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Spain - Classical Dressage & Rafael Soto Clinics
Expert Classical Dressage lessons & ride outs, including specialised Rafael Soto clinics

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from £1,250 or €1,525

Horse Riding Holidays Spain – Classical Dressage & Rafael Soto Clinics

PRICES & PRICES top

Classical Dressage Riding Holidays : 2018 Prices

Rates are quote per person sharing.

Train & Trail Programme

£1,250/€1,525/$1,725

Intensive Training Programme

£1,415/€1,730/$2,050

Often enjoyed by clients who return for a second visit who want to concentrate on developing their Classical Dressage skills and includes lunge lessons.

Rafael Soto Clinics

£2,035/€2,450/$2,880

Includes 4 x 45 minute private lessons with the Olympic Silver medallist.

Non riding rate – £715/€880/$920
Single Supplement – £210/€270/$320
Children under 12 yrs – 20% discount
Children under 3 – FREE

Classical Dressage Short Break Riding Holidays: NEW for 2018

3 nights – £650/€780/$920 – Choose to arrive and leave Sunday to Wednesday or Wednesday to Saturday
4 nights – £870/€1,035/$1,250 – Choose to arrive and leave Sunday to Thursday or Tuesday to Saturday

Note: Rates are subject to daily exchange rate fluctuations, please refer to our ‘Terms & Conditions’ for full details.

Classical Dressage Riding Holidays: 2018 Dates

These Classical Dressage riding holidays run every week from Sunday to Saturdays, except the exclusive Rafael Soto clinics which are on set dates.

Open from the 14th January to 22nd December 2018.

Rafael Soto Available Dates 2018

  • 4 – 11 February
  • 4 – 11 March
  • 18 – 25 April
  • 4 – 11 November
  • 9 – 16 December

Included – All the riding, all accommodation, breakfasts and lunches, welcome meal on the first night, drinks with lunch, transfer at pre set times and some sightseeing.

Excluded – Flights, some sightseeing (Spanish School of Equitation Jerez, Flamenco Show Seville), dinners (except for first night).

Classical Dressage : Getting There
International flight to Seville or you can take a flight to Malaga and take the scenic train or drive to Seville.

Transfer
The transfer time is only 20 minutes from Seville airport, and there is a scheduled transfer included from both airport and train station. The pick up is 4.30pm on Sundays at the airport or 4pm at the train station, and the drop off no later than midday on Saturdays.

Please bear in mind the times when booking flights to benefit from the scheduled transfers.

All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.

SUMMARY OF THE TRIP top

This is a wonderful horse riding holiday in Spain combining Classical Dressage lessons with expert tuition and ride outs, including an amazing beach ride. Guests stay in the ancient historical town of Carmona at the gorgeous Hotel Alcazar de la Reina which is rated 4 star and really comfortable with a pool, restaurant, tapas bar and even an Irish pub! This is a perfect riding holiday for anyone interested in dressage, combining great horses, excellent food, top class tuition mixed up with relaxation time and some cultural sightseeing in nearby Seville, Carmona & Jerez.

You will be based in Carmona, a short drive away from the Garcia’s yard and Hacienda and also the beautiful city of Seville. Fernando and Jane have been running this wonderful establishment for over 20 years and now their daughters Vivi and Caty have taken over. With over 60 horses to choose from, and a maximum of 10 guests at any one time, you can be sure to be matched up to the right horse and even try a couple of others during your stay.

Their daughters Vivi and Caty are expert riders and instructors, having both trained with Rafael Soto, the Spanish Silver Olympic Dressage Medallist and current rider at the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art. There are different riding programmes available to cater for all levels of rider. The Train & Trail ride is perfect for novice riders, who want to improve their position, but also want to put their riding in to practice in the open field. Then there are the more intensive training programmes, which appeal to those who are riding competitively and include the Intensive and the Classical and High School Training courses. And for those who want to be taught by Rafael Soto himself (he’s a marvellous instructor with bags of empathy) there are clinics with him throughout the year.

In addition there are some great sightseeing trips, such as a visit to the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art and a traditional flamenco dancing show – we promise that you will come back captivated by the Spanish way of life and dying to return for more.

THE RIDING top

Classical Dressage : Horses – Andalusians & Andalusian Crosses, some Warmbloods, Anglo Arabs and Thoroughbreds and some small ponies for kids.

Classical Dressage : Level of Riding & Pace – Complete Beginner to Advanced.
There are horses here to suit all levels, trusty sorts to take care of nervous beginners to spirited, athletic types who perform Piaffe, Passage and the Spanish Walk.

Tack – English.

Classical Dressage : Weight Restriction – 16 Stone / 102 kg / 224 lbs.

Classical Dressage : Group Size – Maximum 10.

ACCOMMODATION top

The Hotel Alcazar de la Reina is where guests stay and is a lovely historic 4 star hotel in Carmona which is an ancient small town a short distance from the Hacienda. You eat breakfast at the hotel, it’s an extensive buffet and lunch is enjoyed at the Hacienda.  All home cooked and expect traditional Spanish fare such as olive starters, perhaps Tortillas and mixed salads followed by fresh fruit and/or cheese for desert. Of course a glass or two of local wine if you fancy too.  Evening meals; On the first night there is a welcome Tapas dinner at the hotel with a host from Epona.  Most other nights you are free to eat at the hotel or any number of wonderful local eateries which we recommend.  On the final night you are brought to a Flamenco show in Seville followed by a meal by one of the hosts at Epona (all optional).

Horse Riding Holidays like this Classical Dressage holiday are part of the Zara’s Planet collection of Horse Riding Holidays Spain.

Please Ask About

  • Additional horse activities
    • Private lessons – Rafael Soto
  • Additional non riding activities
    • Massages
    • Golf
    • Tennis
    • Spanish Lessons
    • Flying

SAMPLE ITINERARY top

Classical Dressage: Train & Trail Programme

Sunday
Guests arrive in the aftenoon either by pick-up at the airport or train station in Seville (10 – 20 minute drive) or by means of their own transport. A free transfer service is offered at pre-set times (3.30pm and 8.00pm from the airport and 4:30 pm. From the Santa Justa Train Station). If you can’t or don’t wish to be picked up at these times, the service will be charged, and needs to be booked well in advance).
You will then be escorted to your hotel in the nearby town of Carmona, one of the famous white villages of Andalucia. Carmona is the oldest continually inhabited village in Europe and as you stroll through the narrow streets of the old town, you will feel and breathe the spirits of ancient cultures (Iberians, Visigoths, Phoenicians, Romans, Moors), in the innumerable examples of their architectural influence in the churches, towers, palaces and mansions as well as in the inherited customs.
After you are settled in, you may appreciate a dip in the pool, or perhaps discover the pleasures of the Spanish afternoon “siesta” after a tiring journey.
In the evening, you will be joined at your hotel by one of the hosts, for a welcome dinner, where you will meet the rest of the members of the week’s group and where you may clarify any last minute questions about the weekly program. After some friendly conversation, you are free to spend the rest of the evening at your leisure, and to relax before the beginning of what we hope will be an unforgettable week. WELCOME TO EPONA!

Monday
Mount up for the Old Hacienda Ride (now completly renovated), a relaxed hack around the immediate coutryside, through olive groves and eucalyptus trees.

Depending on the season, you could see fields of sunflowers, wheat and cotton, as well as melons and water melons in late summer. The ride takes you past impressive 16th and 17th century Haciendas and Cortijos, which have stood here since the days when Cervantes rode these same trails, collecting olive oil taxes. Return to Epona for lunch.

AFTERNOON: Equitation lessons will take place in the late afternoon when life is a little cooler. It’s a great chance to improve your school work or dressage.

Tuesday
Early breakfast and pick up at the hotel at 8:30 a.m. for Jerez de la Frontera, in the province of Cádiz, one hour and a half away by car. Jerez is internationally renowned for its production of sherry and brandy. However, the main attraction of the day will be the visit to the Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre, an equestrian performance titled, “How the Andalusian Horses Dance” (Ticket Price: 27 €). Here you will have the priviledge of seeing the magnificent Andalusian stallions at their best, at home in the breathtaking setting of their 18th Century palace and the riding hall. They will be performing piaffe, passage and the airs above the ground (courbette, capriole, etc) in a spectacle of light, music and colour, comparable only with the famous Spanish Riding School of Vienna. Fernando is well known at the school and is good friends with many of the world famous riders. Vivi trained at this school for four years and frequently performed in the show. Return for lunch at Epona, followed by lessons in the afternoon.

Wednesday
After breakfast and a quick transfer to the Hacienda, mount up and set off across country for the ROMAN BRIDGE. Depending on the time of the year you could be riding through fields of sunflowers, wheat, cotton, oranges or peaches, through olive groves with ancient trees still carefully tended and nurtured. It is a countryside where there are very few fences.

A landscape rich with patchwork of different crops, still rotated year by year as they have always been, with wide headlands of uncultivated land separating one field from another and providing a natural bridleway across country. The variety of wild flowers, butterflies and birds.

Along the way you may come across the river, full and flowing in spring, cool and shallow in summer, a natural heaven for wildlife, with abundant vegetation all year round. Splashing through the shallows, terns and grebes, you’ll emerge at an old Roman Bridge and shady eucalyptus grove. After a break and a few photographs, ride back home for a late lunch. Lesson in the afternoon.

Thursday
Today we set off early to the seaside village, where sturdy Spanish horses, all in Spanish andalusian cowboy tack (montura vaquera), will be waiting to take you on the Beach Ride. The ride takes you on an unforgettable route through the Donaña Natural Park bordering the National Park of the same name, one of Europe’s last true wilderness regions and one of the largest wildlife reservations in Spain. The ride will take you over the golden dunes, brushing through fragrant wild lavender, rosemary and thyme. The area is home to many species (some protected), such as fallow deer, boar, fox, lynx, imperial eagles, kites, vultures, storks, flamingos and herons.

You will ride down to the beach and then it’s time for the horses to wet their legs and for those who want to, a canter through the surf. After the ride, we head back to Epona for lunch. Lesson in the afternoon.

Friday
We set off across open country for our last hack of the week, through olive and orange groves, past farmers working the land. How strange, in a region where there are no bridle paths the horse can wander anywhere as long as you have respect for the crop. In all our years here we have never had a farmer object to us crossing his land. On the contrary, they are always pleased to see us. In Andalucia everyone understands and loves the horse. Eventually we arrive at the fields. Return to Epona for lunch.

Friday Night
In the afternoon, after a well deserved “siesta”, get changed into your city finery ready to hit Seville for a classical Flamenco Show (ticket price 35€).

The show features over 12 dancers of national and international fame, traditional singers and wonderful flamenco guitar. After a short walk, we will arrive at an excellent restaurant providing both Spanish and International cuisine for the last dinner of the holiday and some superb Spanish wine.

Saturday
We offer complementary transport to the airport and train station. First trip at 8.00 a.m and last will be at 11.00 am. Have a nice journey home, we hope you enjoyed your stay at Epona. We look forward to welcoming you back!

Classical Dressage: Intensive Programme

Sunday
Guests arrive in the aftenoon, either by pick-up in the airport or train station in Seville (10 – 20 minute drive) or by means of their own transport. A free transfer service is offered at pre-set times (3.30pm and 8.00pm from the airport and 4:30 pm. From the Santa Justa Train Station). If you can’t or don’t wish to be picked up at these times, the service will be charged, and needs to be booked well in advance).

You will then be escorted to your hotel in the nearby town of Carmona, one of the famous white villages of Andalucia. Carmona is the oldest continually inhabited village in Europe and as you stroll through the narrow streets of the old town, you will feel and breathe the spirits of ancient cultures (Iberians, Visigoths, Phoenicians, Romans, Moors), in the innumerable examples of their architectural influence in the churches, towers, palaces and mansions as well as in the inherited customs.

After you are settled in, you may appreciate a dip in the pool, or perhaps discover the pleasures of the Spanish afternoon “siesta” after a tiring journey.
In the evening, you will be joined at your hotel by one of the hosts, for a welcome dinner, where you will meet the rest of the members of the week’s group and where you may clarify any last minute questions about the weekly program. This will be your first opportunity to savour the delights of the local cuisine which still makes full use of ingredients which compose the famous healthy Mediterranean diet, olive oil, garlic, onions and vegetables. After some friendly conversation, you are free to spend the rest of the evening at your leisure, and to relax before the beginning of what we hope will be an unforgettable week. WELCOME TO EPONA!

Monday
After breakfast at the hotel and a quick transfer to the Hacienda, be ready to mount up, after the trail riders leave for their morning ride. Everything is quieter now, ready for the dressage lessons. Your first lesson will be an assessment for your instructor, who will note your good points and the areas which need to be worked on. It is also the first chance for you to get used to your horse and the more sensitive style of riding required for the Andalusian and Iberian horses. Our goal at Epona is that you get as much improvement and fun out of your lesson as possible.

After a break, get ready for your first lunging sessions. Once the lessons are over, relax with a book in the garden or by the pool. You are also more than welcome to stay and sit by the arenas and watch the daily training of our horses. Meet the rest of the group for lunch in beautiful dining room and enjoy your first experience of typical Andalusian home cooking (courtesy of our resident cook) and sample our excellent local house wine. Another lesson in the afternoon.

Tuesday
Early breakfast and pick up at the hotel at 8.30 a.m. for Jerez de la Frontera, in the province of Cádiz, one hour and a half away by car. Jerez is internationally renowned for its production of sherry and brandy. However, the main attraction of the day will be the visit to the Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre, an equestrian performance titled, “How the Andalusian Horses Dance” (Ticket Price: 27 €). Here you will have the priviledge of seeing the magnificent Andalusian stallions at their best, at home in the breathtaking setting of their 18th Century palace and the riding hall. They will be performing piaffe, passage and the airs above the ground (courbette, capriole, etc) in a spectacle of light, music and colour, comparable only with the famous Spanish Riding School of Vienna. Fernando is well known at the school and is good friends with many of the world famous riders. Vivi trained at this school for four years and frequently performed in the show. Return for lunch at Epona, followed by lessons in the afternoon.

Wednesday
The lessons will take place as soon as the trail ride leaves. As the week progresses so will your dressage, hopefully performing more advanced movements. After the lesson, stay and continue observing the daily training of the geldings, mares and stallions, from young and green to very advanced. We also train the schoolmasters regularly to keep them sensitive and in good shape so that our guests can enjoy and get the most out of their lessons with them. In the afternoon: Another lesson.

Thursday
Same as Wednesday, except that today we will include your second lunge session.

Friday
In the morning, enjoy your last lesson. By this time you might be performing some of the more advanced movements (this will depend on the rider’s ability). Last lunch at Epona is the famous Paella accompanied by the not less famous (and very popular) Sangría. In the afternoon, after a well deserved “siesta”, get changed into your city finery ready to hit Seville for a classical Flamenco Show (ticket price 35€).

The show features over 12 dancers of national and international fame, traditional singers and wonderful flamenco guitar. After a short walk, we will arrive at an excellent restaurant providing both Spanish and International cuisine for the last dinner of the holiday and some superb Spanish wine..

Saturday
Diploma: presented to all participants. We offer complementary transport to the airport and train station. First trip at 8.00 a.m and last will be at 11.00 am. Have a nice journey home, we hope you enjoyed your stay at Epona.

Classical Dressage: Rafael Soto Clinic

The training consists of 2 Lunging sessions to improve classical seat & 6 group lessons with the resident instructors. These lessons will determine the level and most suitable mount for maximum benefit during the 4 x 45 minute private sessions with Rafael Soto. Participants will also have a chance to sit in and observe the lessons of the other guests.

OTHER PROGRAMME ACTIVITIES:
Visit to the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art at Jerez de la Frontera.
Flamenco Show and dinner in Seville.
Conference with Rafael and staff, where progress will be discussed and all participants will be presented with a Diploma.

REQUIREMENTS:
Elementary knowledge of dressage is recommended for maximum benefit

DESTINATION MAP top

Zara’s Planet Horse Riding Holidays Guarantee:

All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.

If you are having trouble finding exactly the right horse riding holiday for you from our horse riding holidays collection, please contact us directly using the form below and tell us in your own words what you would like to do and we will use our extensive knowledge to make sure we find that perfect horse riding holiday.

CHECK AVAILABILITY top

Please use the message box below to provide additional and any other relevant information like your riding experience and for how many people.

Also, if the above Holiday describes few different options for your Horse Riding Holiday in the area - please add a note on which choice you are referring to. Thank you.


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Spain Holidays Testimonials

Louise Berridge on Beach Ride Holiday, Spain

Just returned home from my second trip to Barbate. I've done quite a few different riding holidays and this is the best by far, in every way. The horses are willing, responsive, trustworthy and exciting to ride, while behaving impeccably. They install complete confidence in their riders. There are still places left I want to

Louise Berridge from Hampshire