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Horse Riding Holiday France for All Levels

This listing has one of the 10 most popular offers available in in France

Learn to ride, handle and care for horses - spend time understanding how to communicate and manage horses. Be confident grooming, caring for their hooves and tacking up a horse for riding. Develop your riding skills and build confidence in your riding ability. Learn how to correctly use the training arena, ride exercises using poles and markers. Your hosts offer a full week, 7 nights/8 days of individual training or a short course 4 nights/5 days. Arrival - day 1 afternoon.

Meet the instructors

Jackie & Johnny
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Highlights

  • 4 nights/5 day package
  • 3 days of horse riding, 2 hours individual mounted coaching
  • 6 horse riding sessions on kind and well mannered horse
  • Understanding and handling your horse
  • Learn to lunge, and work the horse from the ground
  • Caring for your horse after riding
  • Individual clear training plan for each rider
  • Flexible riding times to allow for other activities
  • 4 nights accommodation and all meals.
  • Leaving day - depart during the morning.

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


3 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: French
Group size: Maximum of 3 participants
Airport transfer available:
Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport (US$ 87 per person)
Airport transfer available:
Bergerac Dordogne Périgord Airport (US$ 87 per person)
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
14:30
Check-out Time:
10:30

Facilities

  • Horse riding
  • Dining area
  • Kitchen
  • Lounge
  • Special menu request
  • Terrace
  • Laundry

You will be accommodated in a studio apartment on-site attached to the family home. It has an en-suite bathroom and a shower with a king-size bed and a sofa bed. There is a fridge for keeping your wine cool. There is a spacious terrace for relaxing and sunbathing, with a jacuzzi for your private use. All bed linen and towels are provided. A hair dryer, room heater, or room cooler is available. There is a second bedroom, with a separate adjacent bathroom, so the accommodation is perfect for a family stay, or friends' getaway.

Program

You will normally arrive on Saturday. The studio and other bedroom are available after 2:30 p.m.

There are 3 full days of riding, we can be flexible, to accommodate an activity that may require booking - for example, a wine tour. Harris Horses can sometimes be flexible with arrival and departure days so do not hesitate to ask if you prefer a mid-week slot. Riding starts on the following morning with an introduction session to meet the horses and asses your level. Harris Horses will discuss your experience and ambitions, then create a special program for you. All levels of rider are welcome (from beginner to advanced).

The training sessions will be both fun and challenging, with the primary aim to teach horsemanship - handling the horse and preparing for riding, general riding skills with good technique to build confidence and so develop a calm, relaxed, and positive rider and a happy horse. Harris Horses offers you top-class riding instruction, whatever your level and experience, on exceptional, kind horses.

Lessons are in pairs or individually and programs are discussed and created based on your experience and expectation. All levels of rider welcome. For more advanced riders, the horses love jumping, and it is linked to relevant flatwork and dressage - with exercises to improve arena skills. Interested in food and wine? Situated near Bordeaux, and Saint Emilion - this lovely part of France has become one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe.

The horses

You will ride Harris Horses' schoolmasters and ex-competition horses. Beginners will start with handling the horse, brushing and cleaning the hooves, putting on the saddle and bridle, ready to be ridden. The first mounted sessions are in the indoor small school where they can safely learn the basics. Riders will work on position, controlling the horse, use of the arena space, and understanding how the horse is working underneath them.

More advanced riders will ride in the larger outdoor arena, working at higher level flatwork, poles, and basic grids, and onto jumping exercises and course riding. Harris Horses’ experienced horses are light in the mouth and fabulously schooled. They will introduce their riders to the importance of solid basics and higher-level flatwork. Riders keen to work on their jumping skills will ride exercises including small jumps, and progress to bigger jumps and courses.

Harris Horses works at developing a strong and effective position, learning how to balance and control your horse on course, and riding forward confidently with a clear plan - the key to successfully competing. Shorter programs are also available. They can also offer a longer-term program, with or without your own horse, by arrangement.

The coaches

You will get top-class instruction from dynamic trainers - Johnny Harris who is an ex-international show jumping rider and the elite UK show jumping coach and Jackie Harris, a motivational trainer and instructor with over 30 years of experience. The last day of riding is on Friday, with guests departing on Saturday morning, after breakfast.

Included excursions

Harris Horses can assist with booking extra activities, for example a wine tour, a table in a local restaurant for lunch, canoeing on the river etc..

Theses excursions are not included in your package, but can be arranged for you if required.

Instructors

Jackie Harris

Johnny Harris

Location

The holiday will take place in Coutras, Gironde, France. Harris Horses is situated in a peaceful area of the countryside, four kilometers from Coutras, southwest France. Coutras has a mainline train station and is close to the A89 motorway, which travels across Aquitaine from Bordeaux. The center of Coutras is 50 minutes from the Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport (BOD) and the same from Bergerac Dordogne Périgord Airport (EGC).

Under 20 minutes drive from our stables in Coutras lies the charming and historic town of Saint-Émilion. Surrounded by stunning Chateaux and thousands of hectares of some of the most famous vineyards in the world.

Wine tours and tasting can be booked online, there is a "road train" and you can hire bikes (with or without power) or even a Segway!

It is a wonderful place for a classic French lunch...there are many excellent eateries, ranging from bustling terrace cafés to 3 Michelin starred restaurants. After lunch, visit one of the numerous wine shops for tasting and learning about the local wines from their English-speaking staff, they can also ship the wine all over the World at competitive prices.about the local wines from their (many English-speaking) staff.

The fabulous city of Bordeaux was featured in the Sunday Times' "Big Weekend Break" and is becoming one of Europe’s top city destinations. The city also has an excellent feature in The Wayfarer travel magazine. The spectacular Atlantic coast of southwest France is world famous for its surf and beaches.

The resorts are located just one hour and 45 minutes drive from Harris Horses. Lacanau and Biscarrosse are the big surfing hubs, with the annual championships held every August. The stunning sand beaches stretch over 200 kilometers from Biarritz to Royan and beyond. In the calm waters of the horseshoe bay of Arcachon and Cap Ferret, you will find the Dune de Pyla - the biggest sand dune in Europe.

Distances

  • Coutras - 5 minutes
  • Saint Emilion - 20 minutes
  • Saint-Seurin-sur-l'Isle - 20 minutes
  • Libourne - 20 minutes
  • Bordeaux - 50 minutes
  • Bergerac Dordogne Périgord Airport (EGC) - 50 minutes
  • Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport (BOD) - 60 minutes
  • West coast beaches for Arcachon, Lacaneau, Biscarrosse, and numerous small beaches - 1 hour and 30 minutes

Food

On this holiday, breakfast and dinner every day are served either in the main room of the house or on the terrace. All meals are cooked using fresh local ingredients and any dietary requirements can be catered for. There is a huge variety of local salad, fish, meat, fabulous fresh bread from the village Boulangerie, and delicious French patisserie - as only the French can do. Of course, you can have a glass of local wine and the choice is endless. Please note that lunch is not normally provided, except by arrangement. Please send an inquiry for more information.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Pescatarian
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Additional riding lessons

Additional riding can be booked, subject to availability. The cost is 70 EUR per hour per individual or 65 EUR per hour shared with another rider.

Exploring the local area

Lunch is usually the main meal of the day in France, so an opportunity to visit local restaurants is one not to be missed. There are some restaurants that can be visited in the local town of Coutras. For a real treat, you can visit Saint-Émilion and have traditional lunch in the outside cafes, sitting in the warm sunshine with moules-frites and a glass of ice-cold local rose - perfect. Harris Horses is very flexible and can adjust times to suit riders who wish to take trips out to visit local attractions.

There are a number of excursions that Harris Horses can arrange for you including a chateau visit and wine tasting, a visit to Bordeaux, an afternoon at the spa, or a trip to a regional horse show to see international show jumping. During the summer months, an afternoon at the lake - swimming and trying the inflatable obstacle course. Or a gentle paddle down the gorgeous river in a kayak or double canoe.

The fabulous city of Bordeaux is also a must-see. It has beautiful historic buildings, busy roadside cafes, and a very cheap tram system to get around. The new wine museum shows the whole wine-making process from start to finish with a very modern twist. The riverside walkway is a great place to stroll and then stop for a coffee or lunch at one of the many snack bars along the way. In addition, all along the coast of Dune de Pyla, there are fabulous seafood restaurants and relaxing seaside cafes that you can visit.

You can also visit the smaller and less well-known beaches of Hourtin and Carcans which are just delightful, relaxed, and generally quieter. Traveling a little further away is the historic walled Citadel of Blaye which guards the mouth of the huge Gironde estuary and the stunning Chateau de Vayres in Libourne is well worth an afternoon out.

Local spa and hotel in Saint Emilion

Massage and beauty treatments are also available. Harris Horses is in partnership with a local masseuse Aude who will come to the house by arrangement. She offers an excellent sports massage - fantastic for those sore riding muscles.

Spa treatments

Local spa and Hotel in St Emilion

Massage and beauty treatments are also available. Harris Horses is in partnership with a local masseuse Aude who will come to the house by arrangement. She offers an excellent sports massage - fantastic for those sore riding muscles!

What's included

  • 6 sessions of riding (approximately 1 hour per session, individual or shared with one other rider)
  • Learn about handling horses, grooming, caring for the hooves, and preparing a horse for riding.
  • Ground skills - lunging and general managing the horse in hand
  • Untacking, washing the horse down, and after work general care
  • Daily breakfasts and evening meals
  • 4 nights accommodation

What's not included

  • Flights
  • Airport transfers
  • Car hire (if required)
  • Charges for excursions
  • Lunches (except by arrangement)
  • Individual travel insurance
  • Additional riding lessons

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport (BOD) or Bergerac Dordogne Périgord Airport (EGC) where you can hire a car. Guests not wishing to hire a car can take the tram from Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport (BOD) to Gare St Jean in the center of Bordeaux, where they can take a local train to Coutras. Alternatively, Harris Horses can provide airport transfers at a charge of 80 EUR each way. Please note that you are responsible for your own flights, train journeys, and transfers.

Arrival by train

The fast TGV from Paris travels directly to Bordeaux, where you can hire a car or take a local train to Coutras. There is another which continues to Perigord, via Libourne where you can hire a car or Harris Horses can arrange a pick-up.

Airport: Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport Airport transfer available: Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport (US$ 87 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.
Airport: Bergerac Dordogne Périgord Airport Airport transfer available: Bergerac Dordogne Périgord Airport (US$ 87 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 20% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 28 days before arrival.

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