Archive for the ‘winter riding’ Category

Riding Holidays for Solo Travellers – from The Riding Company

Going solo! When you mention solo holidays people automatically think ‘singles’ holiday, the two are quite different! Riders who are holidaying on their own can meet and enjoy the companionship of like-minded i.e. ‘horsey’ people, have their own room with no supplement, ride every day together and then have dinner together in the evenings. Riding in Good Company is our motto for these special weeks. 

Join us this Winter in the Alps for a Ride and Ski break or in Spring in Menorca, Sardinia, Portugal or to South Africa on Safari over the Spring Bank Holiday. These trips sell out very quickly as places are limited so get in touch for further details today!


Italy:Lamm Alpine Active 4* hotel in the spectacular Italian Alps:  GET FIT WEEK 14-21st January with a week of ski-ing, riding and then relaxing in the indoor pool and Spa!.Numerous different winter rides out in the snow on haflingers ridden Western style for all ages and abilities, panorama spa, Italian food and sociable bar. Guided snow-shoe walks, cross country and alpine skiing. Free hotel shuttle bus. Also ski touring and off-piste skiing for beginners through to expert with hotel guides. New Date book now for our popular Riding Company Action Week 3-10th March. This promises to be a great fun, sociable week. More details

Italy: Ride & Relax week at the Post Tolderhof: Sunday 18th –Sunday 25th March7 nights Ride and Ski trip : £568 per person (offer includes 7 nights for price of 6!) if happy to share aSuperior Room (30-35m²) with delicious breakfast buffet, afternoon tea with sweet and savoury options, excellent 5 course dinner on ¾ board course, use of the wonderful spa facilities and pool and return transfers from Innsbruck. Winter activity programme includes guided snow-shoe walks, winter hiking tours and ski safari. Riding – add £150 for the flexible 10 hour programme which includes group lessons and rides out.For keen skiers, Plan de Corones has some of the best and most varied facilities to be found and is linked to the huge Dolomiti Superski area.More details


Spain:Menorca: 4* boutique hotel Binigaus Vell with lovely pool, beautiful rides on Menorcan black stallions. Short Riding Break (5 days, 4 nights with 3 horse rides) Monday – Friday 2012 Dates: March: 5th – 9th and October: 1st. PRICE: · Riders: £760 for a single room. Full board with wine and airport transfers included. More details

Andalucian Hills: March 10th or 17th 2012 Gallops for Gourmets Join Karen and chef Neil Armstrong for a special luxury break cooking and riding based at the exclusive El Nobo Villa.
Shepherds and Smugglers: 17-20 April: A special ride geared up to more novice riders, join Karen to explore the ancient trails of Andalucia, There is currently a 10% discount on this week and just 3 places left.
Sweet Chestnut and Wild lavender: 23-26 May: A four day mobile ride for intermediate riders or above. 10% discount on the listed price for this special ‘get together’ tour.
Grazalema Combo Tour: 9-16th April: a 7 night tour new for 2012 featuring a 3 day mobile ride and 4 nights at the fabulous El Nobo Villa.
For More details follow the link.

Italy: new holiday in Sardinia: Mandra Edera May 5-12th (May 7th is a UK bank holiday). Monte e Mare (Country and Sea) riding week based at delightful rural hotel . Ride for 5 days from the hotel in the heart of the countryside towards the coast, returning to the comfort of the hotel each afternoon to enjoy some free time relaxing by the pool or sight seeing. More details

Portugal: March 2012 Dressage at Quinta de Fe. Join other TRC riders and Marc for some top class instruction on his fabulous Lusitano stallions and some spring sunshine. The holiday includes full board and 10 hours of dressage instruction from Prelim level to Advanced dependent on your requirements and prices are just £585 pp if willing to share a twin room or booking a double or £695 for a single room. (prices exclude flights and transfers which are paid locally).This will be a great social week as well as the opportunity of a lifetime to ride amazing horses schooled to the highest level. Read more…

South Africa BIG 5: Riding Company Safari Week Spring bank holiday Saturday 2-9th June 2012 .We have a special offer onAfrican Safaris for 2012, £100 off the listed price if booked by December 15th 2011No single supplement if happy to share a room. Shared transfers. Read a report in Horse & Rider magazine. More details


Jan 14-21st Ride & Ski Lamm Alpine, Italy
March 3-10th Ride & Ski fitness week, Lamm, Italy
March 5th: Menorca short break
March 18th –25th Ride & Ski Post Tolderhof, Italy
March 10th or 17th: Gallops for Gourmets, Andalucia
March: Dressage at Quinta da Fe Portugal
April 17-20: Shepherds and Smugglers Trail, Andalucia
May 5-9th: Sardinia Mandra Edera
May 23-26th: Sweet Chestnut and Wild Lavender, Andalucia
June 2-9: Big 5 Safari in South Africa at Wait A Little


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Gallop in the snow in the mornings, swish down the slopes in the afternoon, take the reins of a sleigh!

Fantastic ski-ing in Austria. All sorts of playtime-in-the-snow possibilities for families and accommodation in traditional 3* chalet hotels to 5* pampering luxury. Most of our venues combine lots of different winter sports’ activities, not just riding: snow trekking, ski touring, ice-climbing, ski-joering and free-riding (off piste skiing), even carriage driving in the snow.

Join us this Winter Half Term in the Alps for a Ride and Ski break. These trips sell out very quickly as places are limited so get in touch for further details today!


Atzinger at Fulpmes Stubai

Excellent riding centre offering lessons in an impressive architect-designed indoor sandschool. High altitude skiing at international ski resort Stubai Glacier and at Schlick 2000. Riding Kindergarten with free daily pony rides from 4yrs old, horse-whispering and acrobatics courses for kids from age 6. Teen programme and adult riding. Super spa and pool and a delightful family atmosphere in this top class 4*venue. Amazing In- and Outdoor playing areas, petting zoo, kids’ theatre, puppet theatre.

HALF TERM 11-18 Feb from £1266 in a Premium room to £1809 in a large suite for 2 adults, 2 kids, 7 nights on ‘all inclusive half board’ with return airport transfer from Innsbruck.

The Martinerhof: relaxed 4* traditional family hotel close to Salzburg, making this a great ride and ski venue for the whole family. Sleigh ride excursions (half day with panorama picnic stop), pool and spa. Cross-country skiing taster session for all the family. Free shuttle to ski resort Dachstein West. ski lift next to the hotel. Kids club. Winter rides out on the coloured horses on extensive bridle paths. Horsewhispering courses for kids and adults. Free pony rides. Organic farm produce.

HALF TERM 11-18. Feb £1545 in Landhaus Anna (2 rooms with mountain views) for 2 adults, 2 kids, 7 nights on full board with return airport transfer from Salzburg. Great value for money.
Ellmauhof Family Hotel: Stylish 4* family hotel right on the ski slope of Saalbach Hinterglemm, with riding kindergarten for 3-6 yr olds and lessons for all ages and abilities. Indoor petting zoo, free kids club, indoor pools and spa. Sleigh rides. This manages to work brilliantly as a perfect place for kids (teens too) but also provides a stylish grown-up environment for adults, superb wine bar, cuisine and interiors designed in natural colours with an original flair. Free childcare (2 yrs+) 9am-8.30pm incl. lunch & juices all day. Free use of children’s activity pool and waterslide, entertainment programme, adventure Gypsyland play area. Excellent skiing; ski in-ski out convenience and lots of family-focused ski facilities and services. Next to the hotel, a gentle blue run leads to the bottom of the ski lifts where ski school meets or families can take the hotel’s free mini-train service up or down. 200kms of prepared pistes await you in the Saalbach Hinterglemm ski circus.

HALF TERM for 2 adult and 2 kids: £2793 for 7 nights all inclusive full board in a family suite with use of the extensive hotel spa facilities plus free children’s activities throughout the week.

Visit the website or give us a call. www.theridingcompany.com e: info@theridingcompany.com Tel:            01534 745795      

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Achenkirch winter holidays with The Riding Company

What could be more romantic than a ride in a sleigh, wrapped
in fur blankets through the snow in a beautiful Alpine valley, through winter
forests, along the rivers, through villages all lit up with twinkling white lights.
Stop for a warming mulled wine then head back to the roaring fire of your
hotel. Most of our Ride & Ski hotels offer sleigh rides but at some you can
also take the reins and learn how to drive a sleigh yourself. These sleigh
driving courses are for complete beginners (no need to know how to ride) or for
experience drivers who want to learn the special techniques of driving in the

Horse and carriages are still widely used by villagers and
farmers in the Tyrol region of Austria and Northern Italy so this idyllic
picture right out of Dr. Zhivago is once
again a common sight in ski resorts. The Riding Company specialise in all
things riding (particularly Ride &
in Winter) so it is no surprise that they have a wide range of sleigh
ride experiences:

learn to drive your own carriage through the cobbled streets
of Garmisch Partenkirchen, passed the Baroque painted shop fronts, passed the
famous Olympic ski jump, to the foot of the spectacular Zugspitze and back for
a warming Gluhwein with your lederhosen-and-braces-clad host.

Or how about combining German-run efficiency with an Italian
flair at the Alpine Post Hotel in South Tyrol and a horse driving course with three-time
Italian driving champion Hannes Weilaner. There is a large light indoor riding
school here so lessons can take place even in inclement weather. You can also
take riding lessons here and gallop out into the snow if that’s what tickles
your fancy. The extra good news about this 4* village hotel is the spa… with
pampering and soothing treatments and massages especially developed for riders
and drivers.

But the icing on the cake, has to be sleigh pulled through
the snow by two white Lipizzaners – the horse breed associated with Austrian
Emperors and the Spanish Riding School in Vienna – at the luxurious 5* Achenkirch
Reiter’s Resort in the Tyrolean Alps, Austria. The local scenery is a winter
wonderland between the frozen lake Achensee and the dense forests, all
surrounded by stunning snowy peaks. This hotel offers a fantasy-inducing
setting with dream spa, fitness and sporting facilities. A winter holiday
doesn’t get any better than this!

Also throughout the winter, The Riding Company are offering
a new carriage driving holiday in Portugal with carriage driving on the beach
(winter sun) and also in Hungary where you have the opportunity to try a ‘four
in hand’ – driving not a pair of horses but two pairs of horses, or more!

Carriage driving is a perfect activity for all ages, from
pensioners to children – everyone can have a go. It’s a lovely old-fashioned way
to enjoy the countryside


Holiday details:

Germany: The 3* Fiakerhof in the Bavarian Alps. 3 night and 7 night driving courses are offered
in this traditional Alpine chalet-hotel in the famous ski resort of
Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Zugspitze). Courses throughout the year. Winter driving
in the snow. Small groups, complete beginners to advanced.

Italy: Post Hotel in the Italian Dolomites: The 4* Hotel Post lies in the heart of a popular
mountain village in the Dolomites. It has a lovely indoor pool, sauna and steam
grotto in the new 900m2 spa and offers various massages, aromatherapy soaks and
beauty treatments. The restaurant offers delicious gourmet food from the
Alpe-adria region. The stud farm is the largest horse-riding and driving centre
in South Tyrol and it is waiting for you with 30 horses, warmbloods and
Haflingers, a riding arena, a brightly-lit sandschool, professional riding and
driving instructors. Three-time Italian driving champion Hannes Weilaner
skilfully manages the stud farm as well as running the carriage-driving course.
Winter sleigh rides and courses. Combine with skiing at Kronplatz/Dolomiti Superski.

Austria: The Achenkirch 5* Reiter’s Resort in the Tyrolean Alps, Austria. Extensive spa,
fitness and sporting facilities. Beautiful stylish cosy interior. Rides out and
dressage on Lipizzaners. Extensive programme of yoga and spiritual fitness,
downhill and cross country skiing. Romantic sleigh rides in stunning winter
landscape. No children under 14. A winter holiday doesn’t get any better or
more luxurious than this. Nearby skiing at Christlum (free shuttle).

Germany: The 3* Fiakerhof in the Bavarian Alps. 3 night and 7 night driving courses are offered
in this traditional Alpine chalet-hotel in the famous ski resort of
Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Zugsptze). Courses throughout the year. Winter driving
in the snow. Small groups, complete beginners to advanced.

Portugal: The New Forest Lodge. A traditional farm perched 250m above the Atlantic ocean, enjoys
uninterrupted views over the distant Algarvian coastline. The farm provides a
perfect location to enjoy carriage driving courses, riding and superb
traditional Portugese country cuisine. Combine driving on the beach with a cookery course
and/or with riding. 7 night and 3 night budget breaks available. Our hardy
locally bred Lusitano cross horses are suitable for both novices and
experienced riders. The choice of either riding or driving is yours. Winter
sun, driving on the beach.

Hungary: Carriage Driving: Experienced drivers will love the holiday as much as beginners with
the chance to drive fantastic horses in both 2 in hand and 4 in hand vehicles.
Accommodation in 4 star hotels. Your instructor is the multi medal winning
instructor Sandor Fulop.


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The Riding Company offers riding holidays all year round and winter breaks are proving ever more popular as British riders get the opportunity to experience snow in a more positive light! In the UK riding becomes confined to indoor or all weather arenas, but in Austria at altitude there are opportunities to ride out in spectacular settings. Here are our top tips for winter from Penny Roberts, Head of Austrian Holidays at The Riding Company, and how our Mountain Guide at the Schlosswirt Hotel in Carinthia, Toni Sauper, keeps his herd of horses fit, happy and healthy during the winter season:

Haflingers enjoy a canter in the powder snow


The best breeds to cope: Without a doubt, in Austria, it is the native breed, the Haflinger. Compact, sturdy and sure footed, they are the ideal mountain horse. They remain unclipped throughout the season. The Kroller Hotel in Tirol has Criollo horses of South American origin, renowned for their endurance and ability to cope at altitude in all conditions.

Feeding: The Haflingers are fed circa 3 litres of hard feed a day in winter but this varies according to work. There is always plenty of hay and haylage available, cut from the high pasture during the Alpine summer months, it is often rich in alpine herbs. Haflingers hold their condition extremely well.

Rugging up: The Haflingers with their full coats do not get rugged up except for sweat rugs directly after work when they have a cooling period in their stable.

Stabling: Most Austrian stalls are inside a traditional style barn, with sliding doors to enable easy access. (Try pushing a traditional stable door open with a couple of feet of overnight snow against it!) Older properties often have the barn attached to the house with a link door, humans benefit from the heat of the animals and vice versa!

Live in or out?: Toni turns out the Schlosswirt herd from 09.00-17.00 every day, in all weathers. They are stabled overnight in winter but can’t wait for their roll in the snow each morning. Hay is made available to graze on.

Shoeing for snow and ice: Special shoes are a must in winter, not just for hacking but also for pulling the sleigh. Haflingers were originally draught horses bred to haul timber in the Alps and now make great driving ponies. For winter the shoes are inlaid with a rubber ring that protrudes slightly within the innerside of the metal shoe providing grip. In addition, snow studs are used to give extra hold on icy surfaces. It is possible to prevent snow forming balls on the sole of the foot by applying Vaseline or a similar grease.

Grooming: All horses appreciate a good groom and the Haflingers are no exception. Once dry after work they receive a work over using rubber curry combs and dandy brushes to remove dry sweat and tone muscle, a body brush is ineffective on the winter coats and we don’t want to remove too much grease, they need it for warmth.

Manes and tails: Left long and natural like most of the British Native Breeds. The Haflinger only comes in one colour, chestnut, and the mane and tail are always flaxen and of a coarse texture.

Riding on winter evenings: The Haflingers are happy to hack after dark and Moonlight rides with Toni are a feature at the Schlosswirt Hotel. When there is a good moon it is never really dark as the snow reflects the moonlight to stunning effect. Sleigh rides after dark are also popular, passengers are provided with plenty of blankets and a warming schnapps en route!

What to wear for snow rides: The horses generate a fair amount of heat but the answer is as much as comfortably possible. Some of the holidays are Western style and it’s possible to ride in ski type padded trousers, but you may prefer jodhpurs and thermal underwear for English tack. Always take a waterproof, warm jacket and good gloves plus boots with good tread. Extras that can make life more comfortable area thermal balaclava that fits under your hard hat and thermal ski socks. If you don’t have a balaclava, a headband or scarf should cover your ears.

Drying things: All of the Alpine riding venues also double as ski resorts in winter and the hotels are well kitted out with boot rooms and drying areas for kit and equipment.

Are the trails always passable in winter? With the horses wearing their customised winter shoes and with Austria’s long experience in managing winter conditions, riding is available throughout the season. By using local, experienced guides who tailor the rides to conditions it is possible to find safe and exciting routes throughout winter. Routes would only be closed if there was a danger of avalanche or extreme icy conditions on a particularly steep route.

Criollo horses are tough and well suited to winter conditions

Look after yourself: Riding in cold conditions at altitude burns up much more energy than your average hack so make sure you prepare with a hearty breakfast. Many of our hotels include ‘afternoon tea’ as part of the package for riders upon returning from the daytime rides with a choice of sweet or savoury snacks to boost energy levels. Eat well, Alpine food is often high in carbohydrates for a reason!

Pack your sun cream!: Yes, it’s winter but a good strong sun cream with UV block is recommended for those hours in the saddle. It also moisturises your skin against the effects of the cold and wind. Lip salve also highly recommended.

Grooming for humans: The Hotel Post Tolderhof in Süd Tirol, Italy has worked on developing a fitness programme with the University of Deggendorf especially for riders and the treatments are targeted at aiding recuperation and regeneration after an active day in the saddle. Examples of treatments include alpine herb and hay baths, horse brush exfoliation scrubs as well as the trademark ‘Rider’s Massage’ to ease and soothe those muscles used in horse riding. Great in summer, but bliss in winter when you have been out in more extreme conditions.

Select the right destination: Are you experienced or novice? Do you want to canter through the snow or trek at a more leisurely pace. Would you like to combine lessons in an indoor arena on warm bloods with hacks on Haflingers? All are possible but you need to ensure that you select a destination that has the right horses and facilities to cater for your needs.

How long can I ride in winter? During the winter months a maximum of two hours at a time in the saddle is normal as your extremities will feel it no matter how protected you are, there are longer trails but always with a break. The days of course are shorter anyway so the longer trail rides are saved for summer when the mountain tops are accessible.

Best tack for snow? You can ride safely in English or Western depending on which resort you choose but many of our clients have commented on the Western saddle being of great benefit when in deep snow or on the steeper trails!

Try ski jöring!: Have a go at this winter sport whereby you ski behind a horse, like waterski-ing on the snow! This is actually not a new sport at all, but had its origins in Sweden 2500 BC as a simple means of winter transport by peasants. It was also presented as a demonstration sport in the 1928 Olympics in St. Moritz. You should be at least 16 years old, a good parallel ski-er, but no riding experience is necessary. You should not deviate more than 1.5m to the side of the horse. The Riding Company offer this at the Post Tolderhof in Italy where you can combine it with dressage, jumping and hacking!

Take a camera! The views from horseback in the snow are amazing and you will want to remember the experience! Riding through deep snow feels as though your horse is swimming beneath you. Watch out for the snow-spray from the rider in front when you are cantering …………there’s always plenty to talk about over a glühwein in the evening.

Sure footed in winter and summer


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There is a moment in every couples’ holiday when things could go disastrously wrong. It’s the ‘holiday hiatus’ in which the words ‘I hate you’ will be murmured through gritted teeth, as each is obliged to enjoy their partners idea of their perfect holiday.
Unfashionable as it is, there is a holiday divide here: women ride, most men don’t. But now help is at hand, thanks to The Riding Company – http://www.theridingcompany.com – who offer combination winter sporting holidays in Italy and Austria.
By catering for every possible whim, where there are activities organised for keen riders as well as the non-riding members of the party in equal measure, such as golf, skiing, wild-life watching or hunting, white-water rafting, mountain biking, hiking or whatever – everyone is happy.
To find out more about our top breaks this winter; situated in some of the most beautiful resorts in Europe visit http://www.theridingcompany.com/uk/choose-a-holiday.htm#winterridingandskiing

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It’s easy to see why riding amongst the stunning winter landscape, is one of the most popular times of year to take a break.
The Riding Company specialise in winter riding and skiing, which is fabulous if you and your partner have very different ideas about what makes a good holiday!
To find out more about our selection of exclusive holidays in beautiful places visit http://www.theridingcompany.com/ and click on Winter Riding & Skiing.

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