Sierra Nevada Horse Riding

Horse Riding + Bullfighting with horses (Rejoneo)

Lea Vicens

Enjoy the best of Spain, Granada and Sierra Nevada. We will pick you up at your hotel early in the morning and we will ride in Sierra Nevada National Park for four hours. Then, we will send you back to your hotel, where you can have a rest, a shower and get your better clothes to go to something really special: bullfighting with horses, a tradition going back to hundreds of years ago. We will be with you in the “corrida” and you will have a full explanation in English of what you are watching.

The bullfighters are the best in the world: Léa Vicens, Andy Cartagena, Diego Ventura oficial. Lea Vicens is the first woman ever to reach this level of skills.

Diego Ventura

Date: 18th of June 2017

Includes: transportation to/and from your hotel to Las Encinillas, four hours horse trek in the Sierra Nevada, transportation to/and from your hotel to the bullfighting ring, tickets to the best location in the bullfighting arena, drinks and tapas in the bullfighting arena and comments in English during the “corrida”.
Price: 440€/pax
Deadline for reservations: 9th of June

+ info: (+34) 616256704 victorfernandez@lasencinillas.com

Pictures taken that day 🙂

Horse Riding Sierra Nevada: Safety vs Money

Horse Riding Sierra Nevada

Horse Riding Sierra Nevada: safety vs money. That is the dilemma. A lot of times costumers push me to take a route or ride at speeds they are not ready for. What to do then? Should I lose the costumers in aras of security or follow the dictum “the costumer is always right” and get into dangerous situations?

It is a kind of circus exercise, how to balance both ends and be successful. Especially dangerous are the situations with small kids without riding experience. The parents expect me to take the kids to the outside, their first day of riding when the kid is six, five or even less. Then, I recommend to take a riding lesson in the small arena I have and I lose the costumer.

Horse Riding Sierra Nevada

Another problem is the real ability vs what you think it is your ability. The rider it is not able to control his/her horse at walk, they can hardly trot and they ask me for a “wild canter”. I can refuse and get ugly looks or I can agree and be partially responsible for an accident.

Horse Riding Sierra Nevada

And to me, the last but not the least of the problems are the horses. How good it is a horse vs how good you think a horse is. The difference is huge. For example, I am lucky enough for owning three or four Master Horses. A master horse is well trained and he will take care of you under any circumstance: rivers, cars, risky passages, complicated routes… It is the kind of horse I will take if I needed to go to the end of the world. He is not the youngest, the fastest or the bigger one, but he is the ONE. I am afraid a lot of people they do not agree. They want young horses, fast horses, difficult horses. In most of cases (there are rare exceptions) these rider are not trained enough to ride these kind of horses in this terrain. If they do not have a problem in the river, they will have it with the cars if not they will have it with a shadow. So, what to do? Should I get complaints as “…the horse you gave me is old, the horse you gave me is slow, that horse is not fit enough…” or should I let them ride a different kind and having an ugly fall? Of course, the ideal horse is young, strong, big, well trained, afraid of anything… I am sorry, I do not own any of this kind (I wish), I have some Master Horses, but I do not own any Miracle Horse.

Horse Riding Sierra Nevada Horse Riding Sierra Nevada

Camino Santiago Route: from Almeria to Santiago on horseback

1353km between Almeria and Santiago, crossing Spain from one corner to the other. Now you can do it wit us on horseback

First two days of route: from Almería to Abla
Friday the 10th of February in the afternoon: arriving to Almeria
Saturday the 11th of February Almería-Alboloduy
Sunday the 12th of February Alboloduy-Abla

Don’t delay as places are very limited. You also can bring your own horse. For more info call +34616256704 or by email victorfernandez@lasencinillas.com

Sierra Nevada Horse Riding: cows

Sierra Nevada Horse Riding: cows. I was speaking about cattle driving in Sierra Nevada before.

Sierra Nevada Horse Riding

Sierra Nevada is one of the most complicates places in the world to do cattle driving

In Spanish, “trashumancia” means cattle transportation, which is more complicated than cattle driving because it envolves long distances of hundred of km. The tradition was like this: in summer the cattle owner keeps his cows free, extensive, over a big area in Sierra Nevada National Park, usually over 2000m high. At the end of the summer the cows will be moved to Cordoba, leaving the snow behind and lloking for green winter pastures. They used to do this with horses and “vaqueros” (cowboys) using the traditional vaquero saddle and equipment.

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When we ride in Sierra Nevada, most of the times we find cows

Now is so much more complicated: the job is too hard and there are not vaqueros left and even there are not horses able to do the work. In my town, Guejar Sierra, there is only one owner left driving cattle with horses in regular basis.

Sierra Nevada Horse Riding

Cows taking a sunbath in December 2015

Right now, they still go to Cordoba, but they only do cattle driving a couple of days, from Guejar to the top of the mountains in spring and the opposite direction in autumm.

Sierra Nevada Horse Riding

Two girls of twelve years old and one of twenty two riding among cows, something very difficult to do in most of places in the world

So, if in spring and autumm you drop us an email, maybe next time you can come with us to ride with the last vaqueros of Sierra Nevada

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Route: Guejar Sierra – Granada – Beas de Granada – Prado Negro – Guejar Sierra

IMG_1013webThis trip will allow you ti visit Granada on horseback, see the Alhambra and flamenco dancers and go on with your horse. It is a three days / four nights trip.

 

First Day: Guejar Sierra – Granada.

IMG_0974webAfter leaving Guejar Sierra, we will head North-West and will cross old cortijos with olive trees and grapes, crossing Guejar, Quentar y Dudar.

IMG_0978webIn our way we will have lunch in a local Fonda, where we will try the local and season food.

IMG_0971webAfter four-five hour riding along the river Darro, we will get into Granada.

IMG_0981web IMG_0983webWe will stop in Sacromonte to have some beers and maybe this wonderful lady will show us around her cave-home (Sacromonte is famous because its caves).

Second day: Granada – Prado Negro.

IMG_0991webAfter getting up and preparing the horses we are ready to go up, North, following a refreshing river valley path and crossing some olive trees fields.

IMG_0997webOf course, the horses and we need some water. There is no better place than in front of the town church.

IMG_1001webWe go on direction North getting into the Sierra. Some places are not for beginners.

IMG_1003webWe will cross over a lunar white stone quarry.

IMG_1004webAnd today we will eat in the countryside among pines and ferns.

IMG_1009webWe will follow route after eating and reach a beautiful river to take some fresh air.

IMG_1014webIn our way we always will find cows or goats…

IMG_1020webAnd we will reach Prado Negro after six-seven hours riding.

Third day: Prado Negro – Guejar Sierra.

Going south is always easier.

IMG_1023webWe will follow a complete different route to go back home, crossing Quentar and the Quentar Water Reservoir.

IMG_1040webAn we will reach home after 6-7 hours riding.

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HorseBack Bands Race

Horse Band Race Carrera de Cintas a caballo

19/09/2015 Guejar Sierra. Granada. A young rider at full speed

The first problem is the translation, how to translate “Carrera de Cintas a Caballo”. We could use the word ribbon or others, as Horse Rings Race but I have chosen to translate as HorseBack Bands Race.

IMG_1197webSo the tradition goes as follows: coming from the Middle Ages is a kind of horse tournament, an exercise of war. As the years pass is a very common tradition in a lot of towns and cities of Spain. We have knitted bands, rolled and with a metallic ring in one end. Thirty-Forty years ago the girls looking for boyfriends used to knit several bands with a distinctive colour of band and the boys who wanted to try luck with that girl were trying to catch one of her bands. In the picture above, young women preparing the rope with the bands.

IMG_1181webSo, if you are able to put your stick through the metallic ring and unroll one of the bands, the girl who knitted it will give you a kiss and tie the band to your chest.

IMG_1187webToday is a little different, girls and boys they have other ways of meeting each other and even girls they do not want to knit anymore or even they do noy know how to do it. So if you catch a band, there are three queens of the “fiesta” and they are the ones who will kiss the boys.

IMG_1196web IMG_1170webThe way the boys dress and how the horses are prepared are very important in this tradition. Young people they do not pay too much attention, but there is a strict dress code and you have to use “vaquero (spanish cowboy)” saddles and equipment.

IMG_1199web IMG_1198webThese activity, as most of the riders are amateurs and the horses are mostly stallions and young horses is pretty wild. If you go as public, I would not stay too close, as tehy run at full speed to show their skills and there is always some accident.

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The public is everywhere, do is dangerous

IMG_1192webIf you decide to come to something like this you should consider: there are mares, stallions and geldings all together. A lot of noise, people, cars, music and alcohol. Are you and your horse ready? Do you have the traditional equipment and clothes?

IMG_1184web IMG_1200webOther rule to take into account: in some places only bachelors (no married man) are allowed to take part.

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Queens of the fiesta with their crowns

And that’s all folks! The pictures were taken by me in September 2015. So welcome to Guejar Sierra next time!

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2 days trek. Guejar – Tocon

Do you want to do something exciting these week?

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Su Tung Po and Cigarrero check the quality of the grass these spring. Taken yesterday.

HORSE TREK FROM Guejar Sierra to Tocon (2 days, 1 night in Tocon).

– Suitable for all levels, even without riding experience. We will choose the route depending on riders level.

– Very small, only 4 people.

– 6-7 hours of real riding every day.

– We will reach 2000m high and Collado del Alguacil.

– Amazing chance of getting an overview over the North Face of Sierra Nevada.

– We will spend one night in Tocon in the wonderful family hotel El Ronzal.

INCLUDES

– Horses, qualified guide and equipment 2 complete days.

– Lodging in double room in El Ronzal.

– Dinner in the hotel.

– Reservations open only to Tuesday 31st of March.

DATE AND PRICE

Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd of April.

140€ /Person.

 

Weight limits: Sierra Nevada Horse Riding

The US and British Cavalry forces used to reckon that a fit riding horse could carry a rider, saddle
and equipment weighing up to 25% of his own body weight. This is a useful rule of thumb provided
that the horse is well conditioned and his rider is competent, well balanced and fit. It goes without
saying that saddlery must be a good fit and must distribute the weight of rider and equipment over
an appropriately large area of the horse’s back.

The quote is from The Riding Holiday Centre Handbook the book written by my friends of Unicorn Trails  . I found the book really interesting and complete, and this is only one of the hundreds of subjects you can find.

This is a very delicate subject for most of the riders, specially for overweight ones as myself. A lot of times, specially in this kind of terrain, it is useful to think it.

stonedesert

It is not the same to force the horse in easy paths than in a desert of stones

All right, we have some extra kg. They let us ride and we are fit enough to stand 7 hours riding for several days. Of course the horse will suffer. But why do we take some extra weight in equipment other than the saddle? Big and full saddlebags over an already overcharged horse it is something we can change easily taking with us a spare horse to carry this extra-weight.

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Rebujito fully equipped

Of course, to take an extra horse will be hard, to prepare it and load and unload even harder. But here, this is what should be done.

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Are you able to take another horse with you?

The tack of this spare horse would be another subject, and a difficult one! 🙂 Another day

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Spare horse tack

 

Horse Riding in Sierra Nevada

Spring is upon us! In Sierra Nevada we are in almond trees blossom season and reaching the really spectacular cherry trees blossom season.

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Figo loves to eat almond trees flowers

Do you want to do some horse riding in Sierra Nevada? Now it is the time to get ready.

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Figo and Tachenko ready for long distance route. Figo is tacked with traditional Spanish Vaquera Saddle.

Perpetual sunshine, long distances to cover, routes of all kinds (from easy forest tracks to really demanding bridle paths) and the best views you can imagine.

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Arab horse in full motion

We will drink snowy water, over 2000m of altitude and dream of evergreen pastures called “borreguiles”

IMG_4350 IMG_4349If we want, we will stop in some real Cortijos, the old Spanish ranchs to drink “mosto” and eat “choto”.

IMG_4353Do you still need to think about it?

 

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