Horseback riding in Dordogne, France

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Equestrian tours in France, Dordogne
Dordogne Getaway

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Meeting: Bergerac
Airport:   Bergerac       Train station:   Bergerac
Transfer: Bergerac airport or train station    Distance: 8 miles / 13 km

You will be met at the railway station or the airport in Bergerac and transferred to the manor house. Alternatively, people can arrive directly by car to the accommodation (check-in around 5 PM).

Tack: French trail saddles; snaffle. Saddle bags are provided
Horses: Anglo-Arab and Arab crosses
Pace: Overall the pace is moderate with lots of chances for good long canters.
4-6 hours daily

| Walk | Trot | Canter |
Level: Riding Level (Click for legend) (2.5 to 4 out of 5)    Intermediate
Age: Min 12
Weight: Max 210 lbs
Riders: Min 4 riders Max 8 riders
Riding helmets are mandatory for this ride.

Riding Experience
To join these rides you should have a reasonable amount of previous riding experience and should be comfortable, confident and in control on a well-schooled horse at a walk, trot and fast canter.
In addition, as we will be riding across varied terrain, riders need to be reasonably fit. We try our best to match riders of similar ability, so please be honest in filling out the application form, as less experienced riders may hold others back and not get the most from their horse or the rides. 
Riders will be shown the daily routine with the horses on the first day and are then very welcome to help prepare, tack up and un-tack their own horse each morning and evening, although this is not compulsory! 

Overall, the pace of the rides is moderate with lots of chances for good long canters. We have taken great care to plan the rides - different each day - to ensure that experienced riders have the opportunity to enjoy long energetic trots and exciting canters. Each ride allows for approximately 3 hours riding in the morning and 2 1/2 hours in the afternoon.  We spend between 4 and 6 hours in the saddle each day. However, if you wish to have a day off, or ride for just half a day, this can easily be arranged.

Trails take you from village to village, through woodland and along forest tracks where there are regular opportunities to trot and canter. The local environment of forest, fields of crops, vineyards and small villages means canters may be short and you often need to ride in single file, but you will move on where the going allows.
This region of France is thick with private chateaux and much of the riding is through these country estates and over private land, with some routes passing through villages and farmyards.
The countryside itself is rolling with forested hills, valleys, vineyards and grassy meadows and there are miles of wide tracks through the forest as well as narrower paths that wind through woods, along river banks and skirting cultivated land, so it is important to follow your guide's lead to avoid destroying the hard work (and goodwill!) of the farmers who grant us exclusive access to their ground.
Please note that while we keep riding on tarmac to a minimum, there are occasions on which you ride down quiet country lanes and through sleepy villages. The routes taken cover new ground as far as possible rarely covering the same ground and then only for the shortest of distances.

The Horses
The horses are in the main home-bred crosses with Arab and Anglo-Arab blood. They average about 15hh to15.2hh, although there are some smaller ponies for children. They are specialized in trekking, with calm temperaments, very reliable and not easily spooked. They are well motivated, well schooled and well behaved, and extremely well loved. We can assure you they are also definitely not 'nose-to-tail' trekking types.
We are convinced that if the horses could talk they would agree with us that they live a charmed life. Their home is a recently converted 18th century barn. There are 11 spacious loose -boxes, with deep straw beds and open bars in between so they can see and talk to each other. They also spend a great deal of time grazing in the paddocks behind the house and paddling in the lake.
We select horses for each riders from a wide range, always according to the experience and ability of the riders, which is why it is important to complete the booking questionnaire as fully and honestly as possible. It is as important to us as it is to you that you and your horse are well suited and will get on well from the start. (On the first day, we insist all riders must try out their horse in the paddock behind the house before setting off on the ride).

The saddles are specialized French trekking saddles (Forestier, Gaston- Mercier etc) and are very comfortable. Hard hats are mandatory and each rider must bring their own! A mounting block is available – Please ask for it.

Your French-speaking English host, Jane, has lived here for over 20 years and, as the author of a best-selling guide to the Dordogne, she is the perfect person to show you the hidden treasures, as well as the justifiably famous sights.
On each ride, you will be accompanied by Antoine. Antoine trained at l'Ecole National d'Equitation in Saumur and is your French licensed "moniteur" bringing with him full accreditation which is a legal requirement for all riding establishments in France. Antoine and his assistant are experienced, accomplished riders who know the local countryside, regional culture and history well. They are your guides and have total responsibility for your safety and enjoyment at all times.
The safety of our riders and horses is of paramount importance. It is essential therefore that you follow the instructions of the guides at all times.
Bernadette, our cook, will prepare various country salads, regional delicacies (including foie gras), locally baked bread, fresh fruit, and of course the best local Bergerac wines for your daily lunches. In the rare event of bad weather, we stop at local auberges for lunch.

Children are accepted by arrangement with the minimum riding age generally 12 years old, except for family or private group bookings for the whole house when younger children may be taken.

Additional information
No smoking allowed in the stable yard. The fence and the meadow behind the lake are electrified at night.

Passport and Visa Requirements: Passport valid for at least three months beyond length of stay required by all nationals referred to in the chart above except: (a) 1. EU nationals holding a valid national ID card. Passport NoteFranc. more

Note:  Non riders are welcome to come along - there are lots of sightseeing options or hiking and biking. Non riders should have a rental car for their sightseeing, or they can hang out at the pool, go for a bike ride or hike etc.

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Dordogne Getaway
Tour Code: IT-FR-DOR01
8 days / 7 nights ~$1,965.00
Dates : June and September

Trip Rating :
Difficulty : Riding Level
Riding Level Explained
Beginner A rider who has limited experience, is unable to post the trot and does not canter.
Novice A rider who is capable of mounting and dismounting unassisted, capable of applying basic aids, comfortable and in control at the walk, moderate length posting trots, and short canters.
Intermediate A rider who has a firm seat, is confident and in control at all paces (including posting trots, two point canters and gallops), but does not ride regularly.
D Strong Intermediate
Strong Intermediate An intermediate rider who is currently riding regularly and is comfortable in the saddle for at least 6 hours per day.
All of the above, plus an independent seat, soft hands, and capable of handlinga spirited horse in open country.
Lodging: Standard
Lodging Level Explained
= Facilities in lodges, estancias, haciendas, resorts, etc.
Basic lodging - some with shared bathroom facilities, usually no AC or room service.
Regular standard room - usually with private bath.
 Accommodations with superior comforts.
 = Trips with nights in tent camps. Sometimes the first and last night are in hotels.
Basic tent camping - everyone helps out with camp chores.
Regular standard with some camp amenities and camp cook.
Camping facilities with superior comforts like camp shower, bathroom facility..
 = Trips that combine nights in hotels and camping.
Basic accommodation and basic camping facilities can be expected.
Regular standard with some nicer amenities.
Only assigned to hotel and camping facilities with superior comforts.

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Day to Day Itinerary
Rates | Dates
Tack: French trail saddles; snaffle. Saddle...
Horses: Anglo-Arab and Arab crosses
Pace: Overall the pace is moderate with lots...
Walk, Trot, Canter,
Airport: Bergerac
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