Horse riding in Spain conjures images of a lonely beach, virgin sand, and the steady rhythm of a fine stallion galloping along the shoreline. Imagine holding its broad neck with the wind flying through your hair as you breathe the sea air in deeply. All of this is possible in Spain, where there are a great many opportunities for horse riders of all levels. It does not have to be this same romantic picture, though. Short countryside treks, mountain trails and longer horse riding holidays are possible, all surrounded by the stunning scenery and culture of Spain. In this article we give you a taste of what is available here for the budding equestrian.
Why pick Spain for horse riding?
Spain is famous for its long history with the horse, both agriculturally and as a leisure pursuit. Being such a part of the culture, Spain is now well known amongst horse enthusiasts for having some of the finest opportunities for riding in Europe. One particular breed, the Spanish Andalusian is a great choice of horse due to their relaxed nature, making them an undemanding horse to begin riding. Furthermore, there are many centres around the country that work with this breed, giving you a greater chance to learn about them.
What sort of centres are available?
There are many centres around the country, but it is important to find one that is able to cater to your needs. A number of factors will play a part in the kind of riding centre you approach. You will need to take into account your level of expertise and whether you are riding in a group or alone, for example. You will also need to decide the kind of terrain you would like to experience.One of the most attractive options is to ride along the beach, for obvious reasons, but there is also fantastic riding to be found further inland.
Below we have selected three centres that provide an example of what is available.
- Only an hour’s drive from Málaga, El Chorro is situated in the magnificent yet arid hills of Andalusia. Here all abilities can take advantage of the expertise on offer, with riding specialists able to select the perfect horse for each rider. They and the horses know the landscape instinctively, leaving you with the chance to appreciate the views, from this sublime mountain range.
- A little further east, near the city of Granada you will find Las Encenillas ranch. The Sierra Nevada provides beautiful riding opportunities all year round but is particularly enjoyable in the winter. It might be most famous for its skiing but on horseback is one of the best ways to traverse these mountains. Trekking through the snow and feeling the cool sharp air and listening to the distant calls of birds is a horse riding in Spain experience like no other.
Doñana Hipica El Pasodoble
- One of the most pleasurable ways to enjoy your horse is by riding along the beach. Here the terrain is flat, open and easy. It is a great opportunity for a new rider to build up some speed and experience. Costa de la Luz, on Andalusia’s lesser known Western shore plays host to the soft, golden white sands that are perfect for galloping alongside waves in relative tranquility. At the Doñana Hipica El Pasodoble you can explore the flora and fauna of the national park as well as the long stretch of beach.
These are just three of the many venues you can find in Spain. It’s worth doing your research to ensure the best match.
What else should be considered?
Horse riding in Spain holidays and trips come with many options. Therefore, it is important to consider what is best for you and your group before beginning. For instance, treks can go from a few hours riding to a week-long excursion, so be honest about your abilities. Another thing to consider is the weather. The temperature in Spain can become very hot, especially inland over the summer. You can, however, be relatively sure that it will be sunny and dry—perfect horse riding weather.
Many horse riding centres offer accommodation, food, and relaxing swimming and spa facilities. It is very common to find people unwinding by the ranch pool after a long day’s riding. If you or your group are looking for these kinds of facilities, make sure to ask.
It is always worthwhile checking comparison websites before deciding where to go, these are often complete with information including price, facilities and location.
An unforgettable experience for everyone
Many tourists nowadays are looking to bring together their love of nature and horse riding. At whatever skill level, there is a centre for horse riding in Spain for everybody. It is the perfect opportunity to appreciate the landscape and the beauty of Spanish horses all in one go.