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Horse Riding

Horse Riding

This selection of hotels and accommodation which offer horse-riding services is perfect for those who want to enjoy riding while away from home, or perhaps even start learning for the first time. Thanks to Andalucía’s extensive and rich natural landscape, many professional horse-riders have set up places for tourists to stay and enjoy guided tours of the region on horseback.

To those who are perhaps not familiar with the term "livery", it is simply a yard of stables where horse owners pay a weekly or monthly fee to keep their horses on the premises and use the facilities. This is a common practice all over the world for those who would like to have a horse but do not possess the necessary space or facilities to keep it.

Horse drawn carriages have always played an enormous role in Andalusia's great heritage. It has proved to be a very popular discipline within the equine community, almost more popular than dressage in the competition ring. More commonly, it is linked to the great tradition of pilgrimages (romerías).

For those who are looking for a bit of fun and adventure, as well as learning about the wonderful culture Andalusia has to offer, there are many equestrian ranches which offer some great day packages. These packages will usually consist of a private day trip around inland Andalusia, mostly in small groups, and a fairly long horse ride will definitely be part of it.

Penelope Chetwode's sole companion on her ride over the disused mule tracks and goat paths in the wilds of Andalusia in 1961 was the twelve-year-old bay mare, La Marquesa. This treasured animal, borrowed from the Duke of Wellington's Spanish stables, is the ‘other' of the two middle-aged ladies of the title. La Marquesa brought her experience of native travel conditions to the expedition, which was first initiated by the author's fondness for the works ofsuch early British travellers to Spain as George Borrow and Richard Ford.

Polo originates from ancient Persia from the sixth century BC to the first century AD. During the fifteenth and sixteenth century, the game was eventually passed from Persia to other parts of Asia, particularly India, Pakistan and China.

After almost eight centuries of domination by the Arabs the legacy they left Spain consists not only of some beautiful words such as algibes, almenas, alcazares that flow from the mouth like water emanating from the fountains in Arabic houses and palaces, they also left one of the most precious treasures of all, the Andalusian

Horses are a major attraction in Andalucía. Not only do they form an integral part of local traditions - still taking part in many modern-day fiestas, festivals and other events - they also serve tourists well.

The Gibraltar Directory of 1897 says of the Calpe Hunt. "In the winter, the (cork) woods constantly resound with the cherry cry of the Calpe Huntsman , the sound of the horn, and the deep notes of the hounds." One season, it recounts, the hounds even brought to bay a large wolf in the cork wood, and despatched it.

Breeding of the Pura Raza Española all started with the Cría Caballar de las Fuerzas Armadas (Armed Forces Horse Breeding), which comprises a set of centres belonging to the Ministry of Defence, formed by military, civil servant and labour personnel.

Horses are inextricably woven into the Andalucian culture. Most of the festivals in Andalucia involve the impressive Andalucian horses, famous for their long tumbling manes, great presence and strong paces.

Every year the beaches of Sanlucar de Barrameda in the province of Cádiz come alive with the pounding of hooves as the famous horse races take over the coast. Traditionally, the races take place the second and fourth weeks of August from Friday to Sunday. The schedule also depends on the tide times so they might come foward a week.

If you are interested in riding lessons, there are plenty of places to do so. From tuition for the absolute beginner to gaining a full British Horse Society (BHS) it´s all here in Andalucia! You might also like to think about the option of a horse riding holiday to gain further experience.

Raid Kaliber celebrated its popular first edition in 2006, gathering national and international riders who not only participated in an exceptional sporting event but, in turn, discovered the beauty of Andalucia and its people.

Costa del Sol Race Course which was opened in 1999 and boasts a race track which is 1.700m and 1.600 m long and 25 metros wide. The Racing initially took place in the cooler evenings and then out of season at selected summer weekends up to 2013. It has not held races since 2013 due to financial dificulties.

Horse racing is not the most popular equestrian sport in Spain, let alone Andalusia, but there is a small niche for it. If you are keen on the discipline, the region offers a few racetracks that hold events throughout the year. You will find horses in the Andalusian racing scene are probably different to those seen in the U.K., Ireland, France and America, specifically in the physical aspect.

Andalusia offers some stunning and unique equestrian displays, which you will most likely not be able see anywhere else in the world, and what better than visiting this richly endowed region for a sneak peek into the importance of the horse in Andalusian culture.

On this page you will find a Glossary of terms, which may be very useful when horse riding in Andalucia.

Andalusia is carved by many old cattle tracks flanked by hills and walls of stone, as well as bridle paths and paved Roman roads that are steeped in history. The assigned horse riding routes in Andalusia are known as Itinerarios Ecuestres (Equestrian Itineraries) and will be written here with the abbreviated form IE followed by a number.