Natural Horsemanship & Trails

Bordeaux France: (IT-FRABR05)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/France_Natural_Horsemanship_Trails.aspx

Introduction
Bordeaux France
Join us in the heart of the Lot-en-Garonne to experience the multitude of horseback riding trails through the countryside as well as learn about or advance in your natural horsemanship skills.

When in this history region, you will discover the bastides (fortified villages) of the Middle Ages, explore the diverse landscapes that are rich in culture and heritage, ride through the far, lands which produce hazelnuts, plums for Agen prunes, purple Perigord vineyards with wines from Monbazillac, Bergerac, Pecharmant, and villages gilled with traditional architecture (pigeon houses, farms, character houses).

Non-riders, hikers, and mountain bikers will enjoy the many marked trails and surrounding activities such as golf, visits to historical sites and castles, and wine tastings.

Accomodation


Accommodations

This is a stationary ride, so all nights will be at the same location.

Description
We welcome you in the heart of the Bastides and gastronomy of the southwest in the Lot-et-Garonne in the town of Lougratte. Situated near the castles of Perigord, between the valleys of the Lot and Dordogne, our location offers wondrous sights and many activities. Walks in the forest, vineyards, and visits to castles and prehistoric sites are amongst some of the possibilities.
Our pool onsite will be a great way to cool off after a ride!



We have 3 cottages available all year:

Fakir (holds up to 6 people)
    - 3 rooms and 2 baths
    - living room with TV, WIFI, DVD player
    - a fully equipped kitchen opening onto a terrace overlooking the park and the pool 
    - Internet
    - cleaning and linen included 10 minutes from shops

MacLéo (holds up to 8 people)
    - 4 rooms and 4 baths
    - living room with TV, WiFi, DVD player
    - a fully equipped kitchen opening onto a terrace overlooking the park and the pool 6 x 12 m
    - Internet
    - cleaning and linen included

Loukia (holds up to 11 people)
    - 5 rooms and 3 baths
    - living room with TV, WIFI, DVD player
    - a fully equipped kitchen opening onto a terrace overlooking the park and the pool 
    - Internet
    - cleaning and linen included

Room Occupancy
Possibility of single room but with supplement. We try our best to match you with a roommate, but if this is not possible you may be placed in single room with a supplement to be paid.



Meals

All meals are included from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 8.

Continental breakfasts are served at the accommodation.
The lunches are buffets with a wide choice (adapted to particular diets) & wine.
Dinner in the restaurant (wine not included for dinner).

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to most dietary restrictions with prior notice.


Riding


Riding Ability
This ride is for the experienced rider who has mastered all 4 paces (walk, rising trot, canter/gallop in a forward seat) on a varied terrain, in open spaces. The experienced rider rides regularly, has good physical fitness, has good soft hands, a good attitude, and self-confidence. You should be able to control the speed and direction of the horse in all circumstances and be able to ride long distances including gallops of several minutes in open terrain.
There are certain sections of the trail where we might need to lead the horses. It is recommended that you be in good physical condition in order to participate.
Previous experience of trail rides over a number of days would be beneficial but is not required.
Riders who, on their own initiative, ask not to ride during the stay will be charged 300 euros for the transport of the horse.

Pace

The pace is varied depending on the terrain, with long periods of walk and plenty of opportunities to canter and gallop. We ride around 5-6 hours riding each day

Horses
Most of our horses were born on the farm. They live in herds in a 70 acre field and this is what makes them strong. This social lifestyle is very close to their ideal living conditions, which is a natural environment.
Every horse has its own character, but all are gentle, balanced, and multi-talented.
The horses are a mixture of purebred Arabian and Paint horses as well as Arabian/Paint crossbreds and Thoroughbreds.
The relationship with the riders and our horses is crucial. Above all, we place attention on the welfare and education of our horses.

Tack & Equipment
Our saddles are a French trail saddle (JMS brands), which blend the best of English and western styles to make the perfect trail saddle. Horses will work in bridles with Myler bits.
Saddlebags, poncho, and water are provided. Helmets are not mandatory but are strongly recommended.

Logistics
There is a support van for the transport of luggage and riders. It is possible for a rider or a non-riding companion to follow along the horse riders in the van.
We ask the riders to have only one suitcase (size 69x47x27) and one handbag.

Group Size & Staff
Riding groups have a minimum of 5 and maximum of 10 riders, plus the Guide and the Translator.
David (GTE/ BPJEPS TE) is a certified Equestrian Tour Guide. He creates the routes and leads all the riding tours. He is also a trainer of apprentice instructors in Equestrian Tourism.
Britta is your riding companion and translator (English, Dutch, German, and Spanish). She is always available to facilitate any language concerns.

Facilities
The Farm covers 30 hectares (75 acres) of woods and meadows and facilities include a covered riding arena, rolling pastures, a round pen, cross country terrain, as well as a multitude of riding and hiking trails.

Itinerary


Sample Itinerary- subject to changes

Changes due to weather, security, technical criteria, and other imponderables may occur.

Day 1: Arrival
Pick- up from the Villeneuve-sur-Lot train station in the afternoon and transfer to the guesthouse. Dinner at 8:00pm.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at Farm's guesthouse


Day 2: Introductory Ride
After breakfast, guests will have the opportunity to observe the herd of horses in their natural environment of grass meadows. Then guests will be matched with a horse and have time to get to know each other with groundwork. Lunch is served on site at the equestrian farm. In the afternoon, you will enjoy a 2-hour outing on your horse around the farm.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Farm's guesthouse


Day 3: Ride to Monflanquin
In the morning, we head towards the village of Monflanquin. It is a picturesque 13th century bastide, perched on its 'pech', located in a hilly region between Agenais, Perigord, and Quercy. This village is compared by Stendhal to 'a small Tuscany.' This medieval village is classified among the most beautiful in France. We have lunch in the village. In the afternoon enjoy a visit to the bastide and learn its ancient history as told by a storyteller.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Farm's guesthouse


Day 4: Ride back to the Farm
Today we meet the horses in Monflanquin and ride back to the farm through this varied and hilly landscape of the Lot-et-Garome. There are many opportunities for long gallops along these trails. We have lunch at the cottages. In the afternoon, we continue our introduction to the behavioral approach with the horse: observation, complicity, and trust.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Farm's guesthouse


Day 5: Ride around the Farm
This day is devoted entirely to horseback riding through the many paths that surround the equestrian farm, including the GR 654 on the road to Santiafo de Compostela. We discover the traditional architecture of the Haut Agenais Perigord: dovecotes, farms, the unique character of houses such as the 16th century stacking house in Bournel, or the 13th and 18th century priory of the Mesnil Saint Martin. It was restored in 1980 by a religious community. Today, it is a private residence. Picnic in the countryside.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Farm's guesthouse


Day 6: Sightseeing
To reach our lunch appointment, we travel by minibus, leaving the Lot-et-Garonne to reach the Dordogne and its vineyards: Bergerac, Pecharmant, Monbazillac. We discover the landsxape of the Perigord Pourpre, which owes its name to the red color of the vine leaves in autumn. The castle of Monbazillac welcomes us with a picnic followed by a wine tasting and a tour of the castle. In the afternoon, we visit the city of Bergerac, the wine museum, and the boat house. Transfer to the cottages in the late afternoon.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Farm's guesthouse


Day 7: Ride to Cancon
We continue our discovery of the landscapes around the Farm. We ride to Cancon, a 13th century military village, the hazelnut capital of France today. Lunch at Cancon Lake. In the afternoon, we take the shaded paths back to the farm.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Farm's guesthouse


Day 8: Departure
After breakfast, departure or transfer to Villeneuve-sur-Lot or Bergerac train station.
Meals included: Breakfast



Non Riders
Non-riding companions are welcome to join this trip. It is best to have a car in order to do some sightseeing while the rest of the group explores on horseback.


Rates and Dates for Natural Horsemanship & Trails

Rates include:

Accommodations, All meals, Wine with lunch & 6 riding days
Saddlebags, ponchos and water are provided during this trip.

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
     
    20218 day trip, AP€0$0
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.19

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2021 Transfers from/to Bergerac train sttaion, roundtrip, pp
- to be paid locally
20 $25
2021 Single supplement 460 $550
2021 Non-rider rate 1,340 $1,595

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Beverages in hotels and restaurants, Transfers, Wine tastings, Entrance fees & Gratuities

Note:

Due to COVID-19 Corona virus pandemic and certain travel restrictions we are applying some temporary policy changes to some of our tours.

For Natural Horsemanship & Trails (IT-FRABR05):

If your booking is affected by the coronavirus pandemic, it is possible to postpone your trip to a later date in 2021 (depending on availability). It is also possible to postpone your trip to 2022, but you will need to pay the price difference.

With regards to accommodations and restaurants, the French government has imposed strict health rules for all establishments receiving guests so we trust our yearlong partners to apply them correctly for our clients.
Regarding horse riding, the equipment is cleaned and disinfected between each stay. In addition, it is only our team that prepares the horses and manipulates the tack and clients team up with the same horse for the whole week .
Our lunches are served as a buffet but instead of it being self-service, it is our team who will provide the service.
Hydro alcoholic gel will be available freely throughout the horse trail .
We don't impose wearing a mask on the trail (the French riding federation and the French government don't require wearing one while horse riding) but of course, riders can bring their own mask for hotels, restaurants & sightseeing visits if they feel the need of wearing one .
We ask that you follow the hygienic measures below during your stay:
  • wash your hands regularly with soap and water (access to which must be facilitated by providing disposable towels) or by hydro-alcoholic friction;
  • systematically cover your nose and mouth by coughing or sneezing into your elbow;
  • blow your nose in a disposable handkerchief and dispose of it immediately in a trash can;
  • avoid touching your face, especially your nose, mouth and eyes.
  • masks must be worn systematically by everyone when the rules of physical distance cannot be guaranteed.

For more information please visit our COVID-19 Updates page at https://www.hiddentrails.com/article/covid19update.aspx

Other Info
Meeting: Lougratte
Airport: Bordeaux Mérignac Airport (BOD)
Transfer: Bergerac Airport or Agen TGV

Climate:
                                                    Bordeaux area

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

50

53

59

63

70

76

80

80

75

67

57

51

Average Low Temperature (°F)

37

38

41

45

51

56

60

59

55

50

42

38

Average High Temperature (°C)

10

12

15

17

21

24

27

27

24

19

14

11

Average Low Temperature (°C)

3

3

5

7

10

14

15

15

13

10

6

3

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

12

10

10

10

10

8

6

7

8

10

12

11

Source: NOAA


Seasons
Bordeaux, within Frances’s famed Aquitaine wine region, is located on the bend of the Garonne River in the south west of France. It enjoys a mild climate which is ideal for wine growing, making the region one of the world’s top wine producing areas. The average temperature range in the area sits at around 13 to 25 degrees Celsius, with July being the hottest month. The evenings are cooled by a pleasing Atlantic wind which leaves the area enjoying delightful cool summer nights. Due to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, the area is protected from temperature extremes.

Spring
The months from March until May bring balmy temperatures. However, it is not unusual for weather conditions to relapse back to winter and as a result there are occasional cold snaps interspersed with drizzles of rain.

Autumn
Weather in Autumn is similar to Spring (minus the blossoming flowers!) however the majority of the wineries close their doors in October whilst grape harvest takes place, so keep that in mind if you want to take in what Bordeaux’s wine region has to offer.

Summer
Summer in Bordeaux is glorious, clear blue skies and sunny days are made all the more enjoyable when taking the atmosphere with a glass of the regions finest red wine.

Winter
Winters in Bordeaux are short and not too cold but have a tendency to feel quite ‘damp’. November through to January is when the region receives its greatest rainfall.

What To Bring:  
This list is only a guideline for you:

Hidden Trails Travel Documents and Trip Voucher (contains important local tour contact info.)
Flight tickets
Passport
Visa (check with your consulate)

Riding Gear
Riding pants or Jodhpurs
Riding boots (short) + Minichaps
Riding helmet (recommended for all trips)
Riding gloves
Hat (with chin strip) for sun protection
Lightweight Rain coat
A riding helmet is not provided by us, but it is recommended for adults and mandatory for minors during the horse ride.

Personal Clothing
Jacket or sweater for cool evenings
Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
Jeans
Shorts
Underwear and socks
Pajamas
Bag for dirty clothes
Trekking boots/ comfortable shoes
Swimsuit

Additional Things To Bring
Personal Toiletries
Insect protection - mosquitos may be around in the evenings and early mornings.
Personal medications
Sore cream (for an emergency)
Sewing kit
Torch/ Flashlight
Adapter for electric appliances
Camera and extra film or batteries
Belt pack
Address book and pen (for postcards!)
Sun glasses with strap
Sun protection lotion and lip balm