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 mostly stationary ride, so most 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


This program also includes 2 overnights away from the farm. We will spend the 4th night at a Youth Hostel in Cadouin and the 5th night in a farmhouse close to Monpazier.

Youth Hostel in Cadouin
Housed in a beautiful Abbey, this youth hostel offers clean rooms with 2, 5, 6 or 7 beds per room. Some rooms have their own bathrooms while other have shared facilities.
There is free Wi-Fi access at this property.

Farmhouse close to Monpazier
This lovely farmhouse dates back to the 13th century. Today, it welcomes guests in cozy bedrooms, all equipped with ensuite bathroom and free internet connexion.

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.

Important note: The specific level required is the "confirmed rider level".
As a qualified professional of equestrian tourism in France, it is important for the safety of the groups of riders we receive that everyone has the required riding level (see description below).
A person, who doesn't have the required level, causes difficulties for the staff and other participants, with consequences on the good progress of the stay for everyone.
Therefore, if from the first day we judge that a rider doesn't have the required level for horseback riding, he/she will not continue on horseback. He/she will be able to continue with the logistic team. This decision will be made without any refund on the stay.

Our rides are for the experienced rider who has mastered all 4 paces (walk, rising trot, canter/gallop in a forward seat) on varied terrains and in open spaces. The experienced rider rides regularly, has good physical fitness, has good soft hands, a good attitude, and self-confidence. He controls the speed and direction of the horse in all circumstances. He can ride long distances including gallops of several minutes in open terrain.


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: Local specialities & architecture
Departure of the ride at around 10:00 am, after presentation and distribution of the horses. Today, we ride through the numerous paths that surround the equestrian farm, including the GR 654 on the road to Santiago de Compostela.
We discover the traditional architecture of the Haut Agenais Périgord: dovecotes, farms and houses of character such as the stacked house dating from the 16th century in Bournel, or the priory of Mesnil Saint Martin dating from the 13th and 18th centuries. The priory of Mesnil Saint Martin was restored in 1980 by a religious community. Today, it is a private home.
We have a picnic at the château de la Tuque. This beautiful little castle was built by descendants of the Gallo Romans, the Alphéry family, who also built the church of Valette. Today, it is a private property where the truffle, the "black diamond", is cultivated. We continue our discovery of this beautiful area between hazelnut and plum trees on our way back to the horse farm.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Farm's guesthouse


Day 3: Castillonnes & Eyrenville
We ride over the wooded ridges towards the village of Castillonnès. After passing through this 13th century bastide, we reach the charming village of Eyrenville. There, we will enjoy our picnic and a wine tasting of Bergerac wines at the Clos Pech de Bessou estate.
After the break, long canters on the hilly paths and limestone plateaus lead us to the village of Faux, where we leave the horses.
We return to the farm by car.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Farm's guesthouse


Day 4: Ride to Cadouin
In the morning, we cross the forest to discover the renaissance castle of Lanquais. We then descend into the valley of the Couze, a small river which we follow until we reach the château de Bannes. Picnic in the park of this magnificent 15th century private castle.
In the afternoon, we pass through the village of Molières before reaching our evening stop at Cadouin, with its 11th and 12th century Cistercian abbey.
Overnight stay at the youth hostel
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Youth Hostel in Cadouin


Day 5: Cadouin to Monpazier
After riding through woods and forests, we reach the village of Montferrand du Périgord for our lunch break. This village in the Couze valley is nestled at the foot of a medieval castle. The oldest known document mentioning the castrum of Monte Ferrando dates from 1286. We then continue our journey to Monpazier, a 13th century bastide. Classified as one of the "Most Beautiful Villages in France", it remains the best preserved bastide in the South West.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Guesthouse in Monpazier


Day 6: Castle of Biron & Monflanquin
Today, we leave the Dordogne department for the Lot et Garonne and discover the castle of Biron. A 12th and 18th century castle, classified as a Historic Monument. The castle occupies a strategic position on the edge of the Périgord and the Agenais. Its history is linked to the greatness of a family, the Gontaut Biron, who held the fief for eight hundred years. For picnic, we stop at the pretty hamlet of Saint Avit, with its museum of contemporary ceramics. In the village of Lacapelle Biron, oral tradition says that Bernard Palissy was born (1510 1590). He was a potter, enameller, painter, glassmaker, writer and French scholar.
We arrive in Monflanquin at the end of the afternoon. Monflanquin is a typical bastide of the region where we leave the horses before going to our farmhouse for the night.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Farm's guesthouse


Day 7: Born Castle
This morning we ride towards the castle of Born, a royal plum estate dating from the 12th century. In the 16th century, this castle belonged to a branch of the Durfort family, a high nobility family from Guyenne. During the Second World War, it was the owner of Byrrh who bought this property. He was looking for an estate to house his family but also in a region rich in crops and gastronomy to feed his family. We will enjoy our picnic lunch at this castle.
The wide paths will lend us to some nice canters. We discover again the rich and diverse landscape of this region while riding 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




* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2022 Transfers from/to Bergerac train station or airport, roundtrip, pp
- to be paid locally
20 $25
2022 Single supplement 475 $570
2022 Non-rider rate 1,390 $1,670

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

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

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