Classical Dressage Clinic

Southern Spain Spain: (IT-SPSR30D)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/spain_andalusia_epona_dressage_clinic.aspx

Introduction
Southern Spain Spain
This is a six night, six day holiday designed for riders with a good level of ability. It's for those who have a great passion for Dressage and are ready to work hard for a week to really get a "push on" with their riding. As well as this, it is aimed for people who are not only interested in the Classical Dressage ways of riding, but also in the procedures used for training these magnificent horses. This is a unique opportunity, not easily found at other establishments. Guests will be immersed in the day to day riding and training that goes on at Epona. It's a great chance to get a real good feeling of the sensitive Andalusians and Iberian horses, trained to High School level, and to enjoy some of the advanced movements, such as Passage, Piaffe and Spanish Walk, which even very good riders don't often get a chance to experience. This program includes many private lessons, one of which will be with Olympic medalist Rafael Soto, semi private lessons, ground work sessions (working on training piaffe, passage and Spanish walk) and lunge sessions, working on improving the classical seat. Most of the lessons will take place in the morning leaving most afternoons free for guests to enjoy some shopping or sight seeing in the nearby towns, if they wish, or, altematively, to stay at our facilities just relaxing or watching the afternoon lessons and other riding that might be taking place. (In fact, some guest often opt to join these lessons as an extra if places are available).

The Epona programs are set in an impressive 16th Century Hacienda where the García family will make you feel totally at home. The programme includes visits Jerez de la Frontera (to see the Show "Those Amazing Dancing Andalusian Stallions"), and a visit to Seville on the last evening for a typical Flamenco Dancing Show.

Accomodation

Accommodations
This is a stationary ride so all nights are spent at the same location.

Description
Accommodation is included at the Alcazar de la Reina.
This is a beautiful hotel located in the heart of the historic center of the city of Carmona, just a few minutes drive away from the Hacienda. The hotel is full of history, charm, and elegance while at the same time comfortable and modern, and is located at only twenty minutes distance from Seville International airport. It offers breathtaking views over the fertile valley, the Vega de Carmona, all the way to the great river Guadalquivir, and the Sierra Morena mountain Range behind. The name of the hotel comes from the Moorish term Alcazar, meaning a fortified Palace, and the Spanish, Reina, or queen. Therefore it is the Queen's Palace.
The building was originally erected by the Moors in the 13th century as a fortress adjunct to the Puerta de Cordoba, in an era when the town was one of the most important caliphates of Andalucía. The Palace, totally restored in the 1990s in the original Mudejar style, and refurbished in 2007, boasts spacious and elegant lounge areas and patios, a outdoor solarium with salt-water swimming pool, and a total of four different options for dining: The Tabanco Restaurant, the Terrace Bar, the Tabanco Tapas Bar and the official Guinness Irish Pub.
The rooms are ample, airy, comfortable and very tastefully furnished and feature two large (1m wide) single beds (for double occupancy beds are placed together, for twin, they have a space between), a full en-suite bathroom (tub and shower) with hair-dryer, air-conditioning and central heating, Satellite T.V., a safe and a minibar (consumption not included in the price).
Wi-Fi internet is available in all the public areas.

Other services available in the hotel, which may be of your interest but  not included in the program:

  • Room Service
  • Private Parking. There is a small basement car park which has to be reserved and a fee charged. However it is awkward to manoeuver and there is normally ample parking space  in the street in front of the hotel, in full view of the lobby and an outdoor parking enclosure a few meters away from the front entrance.
  • Laundry and dry cleaning service
  • Treatments (upon request and subject to availability)
  • Business centre: fax and photocopy service.
  • International magazines and newspapers
  • Swimming pool towels
  • Florist  (upon request and subject to availability)
  • Outside of the normal transfer times, shuttle service to/from airport and train station
Room Occupancy
The single supplement fee applies if we are unable to find another rider to share.


Meals
All breakfast (at the hotel) and lunch (at the Hacienda) are included. Also included is the welcome tapas supper on Sunday evening. The other evening meals are not included in the price.

Lunches will be served at the Hacienda, and will consist of freshly prepared home cooked, combining mainly traditional Spanish dishes, which give you a taste of the renowned Mediterranean diet, with some International dishes and a selection of delicious home-made desserts.  In addition, a variety of fresh salad ingredients and fruit is always available. 

You will find innumerable dining option in the immediate vicinity of the hotel, from elegant restaurant to tapas bars with tables in the street. In the hotel alone there are five possibilities, including room service, if you just feel like a quiet night resting. About two blocks walk away from the hotel, you can find the city's hub of socializing, where, families meet in the evening for coffee, tapas or an ice cream. This is the Plaza San Fernando, popularly known as the Plaza de Arriba (the Upper Square) or la Plaza Redonda (the Round Square).

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to most diets including vegetarian and gluten and lactose-free, etc. with prior notice.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Riding Experience
We are an Approved British Horse Society, Training and Examination Centre since 1985. We are used to training people of all abilities, from novice to advanced High School work. We are, therefore, happy to split riders into various groups and adapt our program as necessary to suit both experienced and less experienced riders.

Horses
Our horses are the most important thing for us. They are the ones who truly make this Equestrian Vacation something unique. There are over 60 horses of different breeds, shapes, sizes, levels of training and temperament. With this large number we can match each guest with the ideal horse. There is also the option to change horses if the horse and rider are not getting along.
Most of our horses are Andalusians or Andalusian cross breeds but we have lots of others breeds such as Warmbloods (Hannoverian, Holsteiner and Oldenburg), Anglo-Arabs, Thoroughbreds, different breeds of ponies and others.
But most importantly we would like to emphasize the good nature and willingness of all our horses. We have no kickers or biters and besides their training and work, we think they are all special in their own way; they are all individuals and so they are treated as such. Our horses are a part of our family.

Staff
Every instructor is fully qualified by the British Horse Society, Association of British Riding Schools and the Spanish Equestrian Federation. They all speak Spanish and English.
All ride leaders and assistant ride leaders hold diplomas from British Equestrian Tourism and the Federation of International Equestrian Tourism (FITE). You will only be taught or led by bilingual staff (some multilingual). All ride leaders carry mobile phones to summon rapid help in the unlikely event that this is necessary.

Facilities
Olympic size dressage arena (60 x 20 m)
Covered floodlit school with sprinklers (42 x 22 m)
Additional floodlit dressage arena (30 x 15 m)
One multipurpose large arena (50 x 50 m)
A lunging ring (20 m. Diameter)
There is unlimited "hacking" in beautiful countryside. You can ride days and weeks, without stepping on a single inch of pavement and without finding a single fence or gate.

 

Hard Hat
It is obligatory by law in Spain to wear a riding helmet for all riding activities. We do have a few helmets out, but it is preferable for each person to have his/her own, as a good fit is essential.

Non-Riders
Non-Riders are welcome to join their riding companions. They might even have the chance, to take one or several lesson for complete beginners. Alternatively, they can enjoy relaxing by the gardens or go for a swim in the pool. There are many non-riding activities available like sightseeing, golf, Spanish language lessons, flamenco dancing or singing, massage etc. Some of these activities need to be booked in advance.

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary - Subject to changes.

Sunday
Guests arrive in the afternoon either by pick-up at the train station in Seville (10 - 20 minute drive) or by means of their own transport. A free transfer service is offered at 4:30 pm from the Santa Justa Train Station). 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.

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 with 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 horse. Our goal at Epona is that you get as much improvement and fun out of your lesson as possible. After this first session, take a short break, then change to your new mount for your private lesson. After you have recovered a little it is time for your first lunge session, great for improving your seat, balance and posture.
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. Vivi, our main horse trainer will be more than happy to answer any questions about our training methods and our horses. Meet the rest of the group for lunch in beautiful dining room, where you will have your experience of typical Andalusian home cooking, courtesy of our resident cook and sample our excellent local house wine.

Tuesday
Early breakfast and pick up at the hotel at 9.00 a.m. before leaving 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, "Those Amazing Dancing Andalusian Stallions" (Ticket Price: 27 €). Here you will have the privilege 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 friend 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. Today you will begin with the semi private lesson, followed by the private session. After a break, enjoy the unique opportunity to do some ground work. Our trainer will demonstrate on a one to one basis, the techniques used for training some of the more advanced movements. Ground work is a very strong part of the Classical Dressage style of training.
Once your lessons are over (or between them) feel free to sit by the arena and continue observing the daily training of the geldings, mares and stallions, from young and green to very advanced. We also school and exercise the schoolmasters periodically to keep them sensitive and in good shape for guests to enjoy and so they may get the most out of their lessons with them.

Thursday
The same as Monday, including your second lunge session.

Friday
The same as Wednesday. By this time you might be performing some of the more advanced movements (this will depend on the rider's ability).
The Last lunch at Epona is the famous Paella accompanied by the not less famous and popular Sangría.
In the afternoon get changed in to 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 am 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!

The above sample itinerary is subject to changes at the tour operator's discretion.


Rates and Dates for Classical Dressage Clinic

Rates include:

Six nights accommodations, breakfast and lunch, riding program.
Non-rider includes accommodations and all meals

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20197 day trip, AP€2240$2690
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.2

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2019 Transfer from Sevilla train station at 4:30pm on Day 1, return included 0 $0
2019 Transfer from Sevilla Airport on Day 1 via taxi, per car, each way
This is a "Group Rate" - to be paid locally
45 $55
2019 Ticket to Royal Andalusian School (Jerez), pp
- to be paid locally
27 $35
2019 Ticket to Flamenco Show, pp
- to be paid locally
35 $45
2019 Flamenco dancing lessons, per course
- to be paid locally
150 $180
2019 Single supplement 270 $325
2019 Non-rider, AP, dbl, pp 880 $1,055
2019 Children 12 and under: 20% discount 0 $0
2019 Children under 3 -- FREE 0 $0

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2019 10/13 - 10/19 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP 1 /3 Expired
A 2019 10/20 - 10/26 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP 1 /3 Expired
A 2019 10/27 - 11/02 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP 1 /3 Expired
A 2019 11/03 - 11/09 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP 1 /3 Expired
A 2019 11/10 - 11/16 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP 1 /3 Expired
A 2019 11/17 - 11/23 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP 1 /3 Expired
A 2019 11/24 - 11/30 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP 1 /3 Expired
A 2019 12/01 - 12/07 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP 1 /3 Expired
A 2019 12/08 - 12/14 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP 1 /3 Expired
A 2019 12/22 - 12/28 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP 1 /3 Sold Out
A 2019 12/29 - 01/04 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP 1 /3 Sold Out

Dates Note: Events:
Carnaval March 2-5, 2019
Semana Santa (Holy Week) Apr 14-20, 2019
Feria de Abril (Seville Fair) May 5-12, 2019
Feria Del Caballo (Jerez Horse Fair) May 4-12, 2019

Rates do not include:

Dinner (€10 +), Dinner and ticket for the Flamenco Show in Seville.
ticket to the Jerez riding school Riding Helmet Required!!

Other Info
Meeting: Carmona
Airport: Seville
Transfer: Included from Santa Justa train station.

Climate:
                                                Seville area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

61

64

69

72

79

88

96

96

91

79

68

62

Average Low Temperature (°F)

43

45

48

51

55

62

66

66

64

57

50

46

Average High Temperature (°C)

16

18

21

22

26

31

35

35

33

26

20

17

Average Low Temperature (°C)

6

7

9

10

13

16

19

19

18

14

10

8

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

6

5

5

5

3

1

0

0

2

5

5

6

Source: NOAA


Seasons
Due to its inland location in southern-central Spain, the riding center experiences mild winters and hot summers.

Spring (May to June)
This is one of the best times to visit as the skies are clear and temperatures are getting warmer.

Summer (June to September)
June to September are the hottest months of the year but the ocean breeze makes the heat bearable.

Autumn (October to November)
This is another great time to visit as the heat starts to calm down and the conditions are perfect for riding.

Winter (December to April)
Even during the winter months it never gets too cold here. However, keep in mind that the sunrays can be quite strong and riding out, it is easy to get burnt without noticing. You should look for a total sun block, or at least factor 30+. You will still get tanned; it's just safer and recommended by dermatologists in this part of the world.


Special note - insects
It doesn't matter what time of the year you choose (though obviously summer is the worst season), you will probably experience more insects, especially flies, than you are accustomed to at home. The horses are used to them, but they can be bothersome when riding, so we recommend you bring along some insect repellent for yourself.

What To Bring:
In Spring, Autumn and especially in the summer months, it can get very hot, so to avoid feeling sweaty and sticky all the time, try to stick to natural fabrics, especially cotton. There are   
many fantastic new products on the market, including full cotton seamless underwear, which is a blessing for the trail rides. Don't forget about fine cotton socks, too.

Trousers:
Of course, nothing beats the comfort and protection that proper cotton breeches or jodhpurs afford for riding, but if you don't intend to ride much after your holiday, you can get by with cotton tracksuit bottoms or leggings.

Tops:
Should be fairly fitting, and it is better to have at least half sleeves for protection to the shoulders against sunburn or low hanging branches on the trail rides. Even in the summer, they are just as cool and for the ladies, are much more "supportive" and comfortable so you can concentrate on learning in your classes. If you come in winter, it's good to bring tops you can wear in layers, T-shirts, sweatshirts and vests. Sometimes it is quite cold and suddenly it gets hot, so it's good to be able to add or subtract quickly.

Helmet:

This is obligatory by law in Spain, though not always put into practice, but here in Epona safety of our guests is our first priority, so it is mandatory for all riding. Light colours reflect the sun and keep your head cooler and cooling vents are a huge plus when riding in hot conditions. Also, some helmets come with a detachable net lining, which can be rinsed out everyday?. Fantastic! We do have a few helmets to lend, but it is much preferable for each person to have his/her own, as a good fit is essential If you are buying a new helmet, do try various different trademarks and models as they come in different shapes and you should find the one which fits the shape of your head.

Footwear:
Short jodhpur or paddock boots are the best option as they are much cooler and easier to transport, but if you are serious about your riding, we recommend that you use half-chaps along with them If you do not have riding boots and do not want to go to the expense of buying some, you must bring string shoes or boots with a small, 1cm heel and no buckles. Please note, sneakers, canvas shoes or sandals are NOT acceptable, even for beginners.

Gloves:
We recommend you wear gloves at least for the classes. We will be teaching you to ride a horse correctly on the bit which requires a good contact, and if you are not accustomed to this, plus the warmer conditions, blisters can develop on the first day, which will definitely spoil you enjoyment of the riding for the rest of the week
 
This list is only a guideline for you

 

Travel documents and Voucher
Flight tickets
Passport
Visa (check with your consulate)

 

RIDING GEAR
Normal riding gear, no rubber boots, please
Light pants without any strong seams
Ankle-high solid shoes with flat heels
Long sleeved cotton shirts (sun protection)
Riding helmet (mandatory)
Light gloves, if wanted
Hat (with chin strip) for sun protection

 

PERSONAL CLOTHING
Lightweight jacket or vest
Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
Jeans
Shorts
Underwear and socks
Pyjama
Bag for dirty clothes
Trekking boots/ comfortable shoes
Swimsuit
 
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING
Personal Toiletries
Insect protection
Personal medications
Sore cream (for the emergency)
Sewing kit
Handkerchiefs
Adapter for electric appliances
Camera and enough extra films and batteries
Address book and pen (for pictures postcards!)
Sun glasses with strap
Sun tan lotion and lip balm