Harris Horses provides the opportunity to riders of all levels to have an unforgettable riding experience in the heart of the Bordeaux wine region of France.
Jackie is a fun and motivating instructor with over 30 years experience of teaching riders of all levels. Before moving to France, Jackie managed the very successful Basingdene Equestrian Centre in the South of England. As well as a busy riding school, this dynamic center trained BHS students and young competition riders. The Petersfield Pony Club had regular rallies and coaching here and in 2000, their show jumping team were the national champions - with Jackie as their trainer.
Johnny is one of the original 12 coaches that were personally selected by Lars Sederholm to spearhead the new training teams. He has huge experience as a top-level competition rider. Together with his wife Jackie, he has bred, trained, and produced numerous horses for sport. Johnny has been coaching riders for over 30 years and continues to travel back to the UK on a regular basis to teach at various centers in the South of England.
Li Li Lin
from Canada, September 2018
"Great riding time!!"
We spent the morning riding and afternoon touring around nearby towns (i.e. St Emilion, Cognac, Bordeaux - very cute/quiet/romantic). It was great combination of riding and chateaux visits overall, and pretty much what we came for. However, the riding experience significantly exceeded our expectations. We really enjoyed the lessons and simply enjoyed riding so much. With our timing, we only took 1 additional lesson with Jackie but we wished we could do more; and we plan to go back next year, just for the riding!
There are lots of great stuff here, the riding stable is full of love!
Jackie and Johnny really took good care of their horses/cats/pet horse. All animals on the farm are happy, lovely and friendly!
While Jackie is very patient and simply very gentle in her approach, we were able to make significant progress in riding. In 6 lessons, I corrected my leg position in raising trot such that, I could now trot for as long as my horse wants and feel comfortable with faster pace in trotting; and I even tried canter. With the canter exercise, I started to feel comfortable with horse movements. After all these lessons with Jackie, I truly realized, riding is not what we could simply learn from YouTube, it varies for everyone.
Other riders that crossed over with us are experienced and there for jumping training. For those of you wondering around, however your experience lvl, you will have break-through here!! Riding is enjoyable before anything else :)
a traveler United Kingdom
I spent a long weekend with Jackie and Johnny in Coutras in the company of my friend, an accomplished rider on her 5th visit. I used to ride when I was little, so was keen to get back on a horse but was uncertain that anything I remembered would be useful or correct! With that in mind we agreed that we'd approach my lessons as a complete novice who was pretty fearless and eager to learn. Jackie could not have been more perfect in her teaching. I had the perfect horse, lessons were tailored to my ability and capacity to learn and at the end of each session I felt positive and motivated (and tired!). The family are clearly experts in all things equine - the horses are meticulously cared for and an integral part of the experience is bonding with the horses through grooming, tacking up and taking for walks (the latter for Ruben, the adorable pet-like Shetland). Aside from the riding, the hospitality was faultless. Jackie is an exceptional cook and host; we wanted for nothing and delighted in the home cooking. Coutras is a typical French town. We didn't have much time for exploring beyond the boulangerie, but I'm sure the picturesque countryside wouldn't disappoint if you wanted to venture beyond the stables. It's worth mentioning that the accommodation isn't on the same site as the riding school which is a short drive away. I can't be more enthusiastic about my trip and would happily recommend Harris Horses to anyone at any level of capability. Fabulous.
a traveler Australia
I have just come off a two week stay with Harris Horse. I cannot recommend this place highly enough! On the riding side, both Johnny and Jackie are super experienced instructors who will whip your riding in to shape quick smart. I've always had a few position issues and in just two weeks they managed to fix and/or improve them noticeably. I was mainly focused on improving my jumping and every day we started with different flat work exercises that improved all the things you need for successful show jumping - line, pace, impulsion, corners / turns and so on, working through the sessions towards more complicated lines and then some jumps and courses. They're also great at insisting you focus on the positives and how you're improving as a rider (I'm pretty competitive so I'm usually finding things to 'work on'), which is a great mentality to have. The horses are all beautiful. I had the pleasure of riding four of the horses and you can definitely see where the term schoolmaster comes in. In particular I had the privilege of riding two former show jumping stars - the completely unflappable schoolmaster Yobo who took me through a metre course in the most relaxed way (he practically had his eyes closed), and Johnnys former show horse Archie (my favourite), who kept me on my toes as he taught me to work over jumps while on a sensitive horse with a huge engine. The homestay experience could also not be better! The house itself is about 15 minutes from the stables, just on the outskirts of ten local town (coutras). My room was beautiful with a big double bed, TV and very pretty French windows looking out on the yard. The family (Jackie, Johnny and sons Tom and Michael) were all super sociable and great for advice on local destinations to visit (St Emillion) and practical tips for local shops, culture Etc. The food is incredible. I was there for two weeks and was given a different meal every single night, every one of them top quality and super tasty. I have allergies but Jackie (who does the cooking as well as instructing!) checked before I came, and I am also a bit of fussy eater but cleared my plate every night. My birthday also fell during my stay and I even got a cake and sung happy birthday! It was also a fantastic opportunity for me to practice my French. I came by Harris Horse unexpectedly when previous plans fell through, and I certainly say I'm glad I did. Would definitely recommend this experience to anyone interested in improving their riding.
a traveler United Kingdom
This is my third visit to Johnny and Jackie; the training and hospitality were as great as ever. It has given me a huge boost of confidence and a disciplined, structured plan to work with back at home on my horse. My advice to travellers is not to hesitate (they fill up fast) but to go on the Harris Horses website and contact Jackie to book; whatever your standard I am sure everyone would get invaluable lessons, really personal training and motivating experience from this fantastic set-up. Thanks again Johnny, Jackie and the lovely horses (especially Yobo this time round :-) ).