Here at Cortijo Los Lobos we can  cater for a diverse range of skills, abilities and disabilities. Horse riding and being with these beautiful animals provides a very beneficial, therapeutic recreational activity.

We can provide private and small group horse riding lessons for children or adults with special needs in a safe, professional and supportive environment.
We tailor the classes to meet the cognitive, emotional and physical ability of the individual.

June specifically has experience working with children with Autism.

Please let us know your requirements and we can design a course to meet your needs.

A very sad morning for us – we have just had our beautiful Lucy put to sleep. She has been suffering for a few years now from arthritis and just lately she seemed to be in a lot of pain, very stiff when walking and finding it difficult to get up if she lay down. We know we made the right decision for her but it doesn’t get any easier. R.i.p our very special, beautiful Lucy. We just hope that Leo can cope with your death :( .

The El Granero cottage kitchen has just been updated with new work tops, curtains and electric oven with gas hob, plus some pretty tiles to finish it off – we think you will like it

Irene is about 23 now, (2018) though we are not 100% sure of her age as her paperwork is not genuine, but when she came to live with us in the autumn of 2014 we were told she was about 19. She is our guests favourite , it is just a shame that she is quite a small horse and now, as she is getting older, we are limiting her to just being ridden by children.

   How Irene looked when she was first rescued

She is not the most glamorous looking horse but she really is a delight to ride, totally trustworthy but full of energy, often having little trots to keep up with the others (much to the delight of the children riding her) as she likes to be at the back of the ride. Irene is now lives with Capri and whenever possible enjoys a grassy paddock out by the road, coming in at night to the sand arena where she has access to a comfy stable if she wants it.  She also has extra hard feed 4 times a day and  knows that she gets an extra bowl of food after a ride too – if we don’t bring it quickly enough she will start to beg with her front foot, she does look very cute. She also loves a roll in the sand every day. She is quite an opinionated old lady, we really love her quirky character.

Irene has not always been so well loved and happy however. She came to us in 2013 after an English woman living nearer the coast rescued her from a Spanish riding school. The woman had booked a ride and when she turned up was given Irene . Poor Irene was skin and bone and wearing a heavy Spanish saddle and a harsh , rusty bit plus serratta nose band ( there is a bit of serrated metal under the nose band, cutting into the nose when the reins are pulled). The woman refused to ride her, saying it was cruel and she was too thin ,but after she left she couldn’t stop thinking about her, so went back to the riding school and bought her. Irene then lived in a small paddock in her garden for a year and had her shoes and bit removed to try to make her life as kind and stress free as possible. Her previous owner then started to realise that keeping her on her own was not ideal and asked me if I would have her, having found us on Facebook and wanting a bitless and barefoot home for Irene. I am so glad that I said yes, I really can’t imagine life without her.

 

She has scars on her nose from the Serrata, she has lost parts of her tongue from harsh bits and still has a stress habit from being shut in a stable most of her life and can be seen biting the wooden fence posts and sucking in air. I don’t worry about this as I think it is something she needs to do, it has become a habit and trying to stop her would only stress her.

Sierra can be ridden by all abilities.

Sierra was very head shy when she arrived in February 2016. She was also a bit aggressive towards other horses, putting her head down and charging towards them, though fortunately she was never agressive with people although she did seem very nervous of being touched and was impossible to catch.
Sierra also had shoes on and her feet were very overgrown and turning up at the toes. Her previous owners said that when she was shod the farrier had to sedate her. We didn’t want to continue her fear of not only being shod but of head collars and being caught, so the only answer was to help her realise it wasn’t anything to be frightened of.


For a few days when she first arrived we made up a small paddock with electric fence in the sand arena so that she could make friends with the horses over the fence (we couldn’t integrate her until we had her shoes off but of course , with her fear of her feet being touched it was impossible to remove her shoes) . I sat on a mounting block with a clicker and treats and a head collar in my hand and just waited until she came to me. It didn’t take more than a few minutes for her to realise that if she touched the head collar with her nose she got a click and treat and in just a few sessions she was lowering her head into the head collar herself. Once that was achieved the next step was to start touching her feet and again, with the help of a clicker and treats , within a few days she was happy for her feet to be touched and Clive had managed to remove her shoes and even give them a little file! We have never had a problem with her feet or catching her since, she really is sweet and actually instead of running away, she follows us around the field.


Looking at her passport, it seems she has had a difficult life, with 11 different homes in her 14 years, no wonder she had issues. She also had sweet itch when she arrived , with a hogged mane , but now she is 100% fine and her mane is growing back . She came to us in a bitless bridle, which is unusual to see here , but the vet says she has some nerve damage in her face and her teeth also indicated previous trauma, so we think that probably it was not possible to put a bit in her mouth. Once we had gained Sierra’s trust we then spent time helping her to be happy to be tacked up.When she first came she would dance around once a saddle was put on her back , but again with the aid of patience and a clicker she is now much happier and is a joy to ride, perfectly behaved with a lovely forward going canter.
We are really thrilled to see that she has made friends with new horse Flamenca and the pair are inseparable, it is lovely to watch their bond growing daily.

6 months on

It has been nearly 6 months since the sad death of our beloved Caña. I finally feel stong enough to write about her, though I will never forget her.

Caña came to us in January 2016 along with another horse, Sierra. They had both been working at another trekking centre over the mountains from us and needed a new home. The trekking business was downsizing.

Unfortunately, Caña arrived with what we were told by her previous owners, and assumed ourselves, was thrush. It turned out to be much worse and when we removed her shoes we found the full extent of the problem. All four of Cañas feet were badly infected with canker (a disease that is next to impossible to treat and a poor prognosis for success). Her feet and heels were bleeding and oozing white puss.

Incredibly she wasn’t showing any lameness but her feet were so bad and so painful to the touch. We can only assume that as it affected all 4 feet, she couldn’t show lameness as she couldn’t limp!

We immediately called the vet and so began months of treatment. Soaking all four feet daily in special solutions, as the months went on, a new mixture of treatments were tried and tested. The transition to barefoot helped a lot but it was a constant battle to keep the infection at bay.

Caña’s feet when she arrived…

 

Helping Caña to enjoy people…

When we first took Caña on, her previous owners described her as ‘not a cuddly horse’. This was a huge under statement. Caña was so sad and shut down, she literally shuddered if you even put a finger lightly on her. With the aid of a clicker and treats we set to work to help her accept human touch more readily. After a lot of time and patience, we were gradually able to catch her, tack her up, ask her to lower her head for her bridle (relaxed) and be mounted at the mounting block without rushing off, all at liberty.

We started to ride her once her feet had started to heal; the vet assured us that movement would help her recovery. When she came to us she was neck reined with a bit. At the grand old age of 24 we transitioned her overnight to bitless with 2 reins and she was amazing! I loved riding her.

With all the months of positive reinforcement, she really responded to my voice. Though she had a huge, long stride (she was a very tall horse), I only had to say ‘stand’ for her to stop and wait for the other horses to catch up.

 

Caña’s last day ……

20 minutes into a lovely ride on a beautiful sunny September day last year, the dreaded event took place. Our lovely Caña was kicked in the leg by our old mare Capri, breaking it badly. It all happened so suddenly, one minute we were walking along, chatting and enjoying our ride, then suddenly Caña was rearing in pain. Luckily our fantastic vets came very quickly and poor Caña was put to sleep very peacefully in the olive grove where the accident happened.
After all the months working with her, we had a strong bond and I really loved her. I miss her gentleness and beauty, she was a very special horse. I console myself that her feet would never have been 100% – canker has a habit of never quite going away, and she has been spared having to tolerate the constant treatment for the rest of her life. She died when her health was at it’s peak of improvement, after a very happy summer of going on picnic rides and being loved by everyone.

She did not have to struggle through another winter, which I know would have taken it’s toll on her feet especially as she was inclined to get mud fever. Despite knowing this, I will never stop missing her.

R.I.P. our beautiful Caña.

 

In April this year (2017), Scarlett had an operation to remove her ovaries .  She had been suffering terribly with hormonal problems and was causing herself injury, as well as disrupting the herd. Luckily for us, our vet was able to sterilise her.   An added bonus since the operation is that she has finally calmed down when ridden too!

She still wouldn’t be described as a beginners horse but as you can see from the photo, if she can be ridden safely and securely in canter, bitless and bareback, she is really getting there !

Scarlett has been out several times this week as lead horse and has behaved perfectly. We are really excited that , now that she can be ridden regularly, she can only get better and better .

Spirit is finally growing up . He is now a pleasure to ride, thanks to clicker training. He is loving his training in the arena but also enjoys a ride out . I think he knows he is going to be the star of the show in our clicker training course in September :)