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Horse Riding Holiday, individual and small group training sessions near Bordeaux

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

Learn to ride and care for horses - spend time understanding how to handle horses, groom and prepare a horse for riding. Develop your riding skills and build confidence in your riding ability. %Harris Horses offers you top class riding instruction, whatever your level and experience, on our exceptional horses. Lessons are in small groups, in pairs or individual. We discuss your experience and expectations so we can create a program just for you. %All levels of rider welcome. %For more advanced riders, our horses love jumping, and we link it to relevant flatwork and dressage - with exercises to improve arena skills.

Interested in food and wine? Situated near Bordeaux, this lovely part of France has become one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe.

Meet the instructors

Jackie & Johnny
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  • Spend time getting to know your horse
  • Learn about handling, grooming, care of feet etc..
  • Learn to tack up, putting on saddle and bridle
  • 10 horse riding sessions
  • Learn about caring for your horse after riding
  • Small groups, individual or pairs
  • Approximate daily time spent with the horses; 4 hours, which includes 2 hours riding
  • Individual clear training plan for each rider
  • Kind, and well mannered horses
  • Flexible riding times to allow for other activities
  • Daily hearty breakfast and dinner
  • 6 nights' accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced


5 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: French
Group size: Maximum of 3 participants
Airport transfer available:
Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport (US$86 per person)
Airport transfer available:
Bergerac Dordogne Périgord Airport (US$86 per person)
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You will be accommodated in a studio apartment on-site attached to the family home. It has an en-suite bathroom and shower with a king size bed and a sofa bed. English TV available if required. There are also fridge and tea or coffee making facilities. There is a spacious terrace for relaxing and sunbathing, with a jacuzzi for your use. All bed linen and towels provided. Hair dryer/room heater/room cooler.

There is a second bedroom, with separate adjacent bathroom.

In low season - March/April/May and September/October/November accommodation is available in the neighboring gite, with swimming pool.



Guests arrive on Sunday, the studio and gite are available after 14.30 pm. Riding starts on Monday morning with an introduction session to meet the horses. 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 10 training sessions will be both fun and challenging, with the primary aim to teach skills, good technique and build confidence to develop a calm, relaxed, and positive rider.

The horses

You will ride Harris Horses’ schoolmasters and ex-competition horses. Beginners will start 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 you. More advance 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, riding forward confidently with a clear plan - the key to successful competing!

Shorter programs are also available. We can offer a longer-term program, with or without your own horse, by arrangement.

The coaches

You will get top class instruction from our 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 experience. The last day of riding is on Friday, with guests departing on Saturday morning, after breakfast.


Jackie Harris

Johnny Harris


Harris Horses is situated in a peaceful area of countryside 4 kms from Coutras, South West France. Coutras has a mainline train station, and is close to the A89 motorway, which travels across Aquitaine from Bordeaux. The centre 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 Coutras, lies the charming historic town of Saint-Émilion, surrounded by stunning Chateaux and thousands of hectares of some of the most famous vineyards in the World.

There are many excellent eateries, ranging from bustling terrace cafés to a Michelin starred restaurant, and numerous wine shops for tasting and learning about the local wines from their (many English-speaking) staff. There, you will also find a modern spa with friendly 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 SW France is World famous for it's 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.

Nearby places

  • Coutras - 5 minutes - for shopping, small restaurants, train station.
  • St Emilion - 20 minutes - for wine tasting, Chateaux tours, outdoor cafes, high end restaurants.
  • St Seurin sur L'Isle - 20 minutes - for canoeing and kayaking.
  • Libourne - 20 minutes - for Lake amusement park, pizza, restaurants.
  • Bordeaux - 50 minutes - for City exploring, Wine museum, restaurants, cultural displays, theatre, cinema etc.
  • West coast beaches - 1hr 30 minutes - for Arcachon, Lacaneau, Biscarrosse, and numerous small beaches. Also cycling in the many pine forests.
  • Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport (BOD) - 60 minutes.
  • Bergerac Dordogne Périgord Airport (EGC) - 50 minutes.



  • Horse riding


  • Dining area
  • Kitchen
  • Lounge
  • Multilingual staff
  • Special menu request
  • Terrace


  • Laundry
  • Tour assistance


In this holiday, breakfast is provided and dinner is served either in the main room of the house or at 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

The following drinks are included:

  • Alcoholic beverages

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

  • 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)

Explore 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 Chateau visit and wine tasting, a visit to Bordeaux, 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 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 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.

Spa treatments

Local spa and Hotel in St Emilion% Massage and beauty treatments also available - Aude is an excellent local masseuse, and is available to visit by arrangement.

What's included

  • Learn about handling horses, preparing a horse for riding and after care
  • 10 sessions of riding (approximately one hour per session, individual or shared with one other rider)
  • Bed and Breakfast, and evening meal
  • 6 nights’ accommodation
  • Tax

What's not included

  • Flights from and to either Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport (BOD) or Bergerac Dordogne Périgord Airport (EGC)
  • Transfers from and to Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport (BOD) or Bergerac Dordogne Périgord Airport (EGC)- Harris Horses can arrange transfers for you - cost £80.00 each way
  • Car hire (if required)
  • Charges for excursions
  • Lunch (except by arrangement)
  • Individual travel insurance
  • Additional riding can be booked, subject to availability; cost £65.00 per hour individual. £50.00 per hour shared with another rider.

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 airport bus from Merignac to Gare St Jean in the centre of Bordeaux, where they can take a local train to Coutras.

Alternatively, Harris Horses can provide airport transfers at a charge of 80 Euros each way.

Please note that guests are responsible for their own flights, train journeys and transfers.

Arrival by train

The fast TGV from Paris travels direct 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$86 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$86 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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