For the past 10 years we have been holidaying in rural Spain. Initially we found a cave-house in Andalucia, on the Altiplano de Granada about 60 miles NE of Granada, and I soon felt the need to check out the local Andalusian horses. We found El Pintor on the outskirts of Baza, a riding stable with around 30 horses , and negotiated (I don't speak Spanish and they had no English) 2 hours riding. I went out with a Spanish guide on an amazingly well-behaved Andalusian horse. We tackled long mountain slopes in the foothills of the Sierra de Baza, trotting and cantering on very uneven rocky pathways and negotiating rocky dry river beds. The horse was unbelievably sure-footed and I felt safe on ground that my horse at home would never cope with! I rode out from El Pintor the following year too.
Two years ago we fancied a change of scenery and found a house to rent in Las Alpujarras, near Orgiva. We drove down in 2016 and amongst our luggage I found my riding hat - John had been online and found Caballo Blanco, a trecking/riding school set high up in the southern foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, and booked for my birthday an all-day ride with picnic. That was an experience to treasure! I was given Luna, a typical Andalusian of about 15hh, English saddle and pelham bridle. She was very forward-going and sure-footed. We started off by going down the gravel public road then had to get off and clamber down a steep rocky path, Luna walking and sliding down behind me - I was amazed at how well the horses know their job! We then rode through beautiful scenery up to higher ground, where we had our picnic amongst wild-flowers in a meadow with the horses tied to some trees. Then back to the farm over gravel roads and mountain tracks with far-distant views My guide was English, which was nice as we could talk about the wildlife, the landscape, and life up in the mountains. Its also an experience to be riding all day with the temperature in the 30s on horses unfazed by the heat - unlike me!
As we liked the area so much, this year we found a holiday property in the mountains near Lanjaron, just up from Caballo Blanco, and I booked a 2 hour ride - in the morning before it got too hot. I had a steady well-behaved horse who knew his job, and just me and a guide had a lovely ride. The horses are so different from my Arabs at home - I'm amazed at how sure-footed they are over very uneven rocky ground. Its a lovely experience to try something different and see the countryside from the best place possible - the back of a horse!