Originally Posted by Barry Godden
Perhaps I can help you fantasize. As far as that photo is concerned:
The beach is close by Cape Trafalgar. Andalucia
The sea is virtually the very edge of the Atlantic Ocean.
The month was November - it was still warm during the day but the rains would be coming soon.
The beach was deserted except for a few walkers.
There were eight visiting riders, each riding spirited well schooled Andalusians
The saddles were English cut, Spanish made.
The horse you see was young - just five and schooled English but broken to saddle and bit by a Spaniard.
We had just roared up the beach full tilt at the gallop one way and I was on the way back.
We were led by a very competent Welsh female rider - backed up by her equally competent sister. Each guide had years of experience leading groups of riders. Both could cope with the needs of the less experienced rider and the tear away - of which, I must confess, I was one.
The accommodation was in chalets located in a village on the edge of a woodland nature reserve.
The food was home cooked dinners - predominantly Spanish cuisine.
Lunches were in local bistros; breakfasts were self service.
Wine was ad lib and free.
There was an outdoor pool.
All of the group of 8 riders were competent and 4 at least were repeat visitors.
Noone fell off, all took part in every outing. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Riders could choose their own style of riding - classical, hunter, forward, or rural Spanish classical (if they knew how).
It was the last day of the weeks holiday and next day I was to be driven back up the coast to the airport.
Riders groomed and tacked up their own horse, which was theirs for the week - unless rider and horse proved to be incompatible.
Riding was a gentle 3-4 hours per day + lunchtime. Not too much riding.
I went back three times - it was virtually the same programme each time but the week was always enjoyable.
But what topped everything was the opportunity to ride a fit, well schooled, Andalucian gelding - a somewhat special type of horse.
That's amazing. And castillian being my native language, even better.