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Harris Horses invites you to this special break for up to six visitors near Bordeaux (voted as the best city in the world to visit 2017 by Lonely Planet) in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France. This very popular holiday will take place in the Spring and Autumn, offering an amazing week in luxury accommodation with swimming pool and horse riding training at Harris Horses. Harris Horses also offers additional organized excursions such as Chateau visit, wine tasting, and even a trip to the excellent local spa while staying here. Solo travelers are very welcome. Come join this fun holiday and meet new people, enjoy dinner with good wine, and have lots of chat about horses!
You will be staying at a luxury farmhouse accommodation nearby Coutras. It is a beautifully renovated farmhouse with large en-suite bedrooms, huge outside terrace, and comfortable quiet spaces. Situated on the bank of the river Isle, this lovely and spacious modern house offers peaceful surroundings with six bedrooms, six bathrooms, and a huge covered terrace for outside eating. There is also a heated salt swimming pool and the surrounding gardens are quiet and shady. It is the perfect place to relax, unwind, and socialize after riding. There are all amenities available, dishwasher, washing machine, and tumble dryer. Full catering is provided, and any dietary requirements can be catered for.
With its long sunny summer as well as mild spring and autumn, this lovely part of France is ideal to enjoy the great outdoors - especially horse riding. Harris Horses offers top class riding instruction for adults and teenagers of all levels from beginner to advanced. This riding package is about improving your ability to communicate with your horse and developing your skills as a rider. Harris Horses will discuss your experience and ambitions, then create a special program for you. On top of that, with Harris Horses' flexibility, you will have plenty of time to enjoy wine tasting, Chateau visits, and trips out to Bordeaux, Saint-Émilion, or the spa - as you wish.
The stables are five minutes' drive away and the package includes eight sessions of training in small groups of two or three of same level riders. There will be demonstrations from Johnny Harris (international show jumper and BS coach) showing various training techniques and riding exercises - after which you will have a chance to try them yourself. The lessons will be both fun and challenging but the primary aim is always to build confidence which will develop a calm, relaxed, and positive rider. The focus is always on sensitive and correct riding technique with the aim of creating trust with better communication and clear instructions.
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. Show jumping is Harris Horses’ specialty and the horses have all competed at a high level in show jumping, but they will happily trot poles and "pop" small jumps when working with less experienced riders. Harris Horses works at developing a strong and effective position, learning how to balance and control your horse through flatwork and pole exercises, and then onto riding courses confidently with a clear plan.
You will get top class instruction from 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. They will discuss your hopes and ambitions for your week here with Harris Horses and create a program to suit each rider. Jumping is their specialty - Harris Horses' wonderful schoolmaster horses are very experienced, well trained and obedient - ensuring you develop confidence and improve skills.
Harris Horses is situated in a peaceful area of countryside near Coutras, South West France and only 50 minutes from the Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport (BOD) and Bordeaux city center. Bergerac Dordogne Périgord Airport (EGC) is also 50 minutes drive away. The City of Bordeaux is under an hour away and is a must-see destination. Voted the 'best city in the world to visit in 2017' by the Lonely Planet, the last 10 years have seen the huge investment pay dividends. Compact and with excellent public transport, it is easy to navigate. Stunning buildings, buzzing cafes and street restaurants, clean and tidy parkland spaces, and fabulous shopping, everything is here.
Located 20 minutes from Coutras, there lies the Historic town of Saint-Emilion. Probably the most famous wine region in the world, it provides some of the best and well-known wines in France. Surrounded by thousands of hectares of vines and stunning Chateaux, this gorgeous little town is a true gem. You may spend a perfect day here, visiting Chateau and tasting wine - and of course, a long lunch sitting in the outdoor piazza, as the day gently rolls along. Restaurants range from bustling terrace café to a Michelin starred restaurant as well as numerous wine shops for tasting and learning from their (many English-speaking) staff.
There, you will also find a modern spa with friendly English-speaking staff. For those interested in seeing the incredible beaches and surf of the Atlantic coast - just one hour and 45 minutes' drive from Harris Horses. Lacanau and Biscarrosse are big surfing hubs and the spectacular sand beaches stretch 200 kilometers from Biarritz to Royan and beyond. In the horseshoe bay of Arcachon, you will find the Dune de Pyla which is the biggest sand dune in Europe.
You will be provided with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Dinner is 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!
You can get additional riding lesson which will cost 65 GBP per person for an hour of an individual session or 45 GBP per person for a shared session. Please note that this additional program is subject to availability. Shorter programs are also available and can be booked on a daily basis from two to six days. Also available is a longer-term program, with or without your own horse, by arrangement.
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, horse racing at La Teste de Buche or La Bouscat, or a trip to a regional horse show to see International Show Jumping.
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.
There is a spa and treatment center in nearby Saint-Émilion. Brochures are available and bookings can be arranged on request. Please send an inquiry for more information.
Please book your flight to arrive at Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport (BOD) or Bergerac Dordogne Périgord Airport (EGC). Transfer from and to these airports is included. Harris Horses will pick you up from the airport.
If you decide to hire a car for more independence, then Harris Horses will supply driving directions on request. Please send an inquiry for more information.