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We have really been enjoying riding the new river routes this summer.  It has added a lot of interest to the rides, with slightly more challenging terrain to navigate, narrow paths, low trees, it is a really fun ride for the more experienced riding guests. The horses seem to love exploring the new trails and nothing phases them.

If you have had a chance to read about the horses, you may have read ‘Capri’s story’. https://horseriding-holidays-andalucia.com/our-horses/capriochosa-capri/
As explained in her story , she was the start of our bitless and barefoot journey and thanks to her, we have changed the lives of the rescue horses we have taken on over the years and of course our horses born here have never had a bit in their mouth or shoes on their feet, or felt a whip on their skin.
When guests first ride with us , we take time at the start to explain how we ride, with loose reins (a smile in the rein), relaxed, with only the lightest touch. Less really is more, and our horses will work happily for you with the slightest encouragement – if you try to bully them by kicking or pulling they will not understand and may be confused.
Guests often comment that our horses are so calm and don’t react to situations that may have made their own horse run across a field. I explain that when you have loose reins and are relaxed, the horse is also relaxed, meaning that if you see something up ahead that you think might make your horse nervous, and maybe you tense up, with traditianal tight reins and bit, your nervousness is transmitted to the horse down the rein, but with loose ,relaxed reins this doesnt happen.
Sometimes guests are a bit sceptical but once they have tried it they often want to start riding bitless at home.
There is an ever growing following now for bitless riding, all over the world, and it is great that we can offer riders who are already on the bitless journey , the chance to enjoy a holiday without going against their principles. If you do ride with a bit at home though, don’t worry, it is really easy to adjust your riding style while you are here and enjoy some happy hacking :) .
You can even try riding in just a neck rope (cordeo) , we are happy to show you how.

    

One of our foals  was responsible for introducing me to clicker training.
When Picasso was just a few months old, we tried to introduce him to a head collar. We were not expecting any problems, having had other foals who had no problem wearing a head collar for the first time. Unfortunately, poor Picasso decided that the head collar was the scariest thing ever, and however we tried, he would not let us put it on, backing away, rolling his eyes, and eventually rearing up and almost falling over backwards. We realised that we couldn’t turn it into a battle and having recently heard about Clicker training, I decided to give it a go. A couple of days later, having received my new clicker training book in the post, armed with a plastic bottle to use as a target, I went down to the horses to start the training. I was totally amazed. Literally within a couple of minutes I had taught Picasso to target, I could not believe how easy it was and was very excited. I had decided not to use food treats, with Picasso being so young I did not want to encourage any nipping, and chose to give him a nice rub as the reward, which worked perfectly. (we do use treats on the older horses) Once he had got the hang of the target, I replaced it with a scrunched up head collar and he was perfectly happy to touch that instead. I then progressed to holding the head collar on the side of his face, with no reaction and within minutes I had the head collar on, with no stress or fear. It was like a miracle, I couldn’t believe how easy it was and was so excited at this new training tool. I read on in the book and tried a few more exercises on our 4 youngsters, easily teaching them to back up by just a hand signal in front of their chest; I could not believe how quickly they learned and how keen they were to do more. It has been such a useful tool for us, having lots of rescue horses with fears and nervous problems; it is the ideal way to help them.Picasso having a great canter, bitless and barefoot horses, Spain

“He had his final party, he kicked up his heels in glee, he ran around his paddock and said thanks for letting me be me”
Our dear old Hercy died today, very suddenly, aged 25. He had a fantastic day yesterday, enjoying the sun and galloping and bucking around the sand arena, full of the joys of spring (and a few hours eating grass too smile emoticon ) We expected him to live to 35 and we are in deep shock and sadness. Hercy was one in a million he touched the hearts of all who rode him, not many horses could be relied on to take tiny children unled, or stay behind the ride in walk while everyone cantered. (or give me fantastic energetic canters when I pressed the right buttons smile emoticon ) I loved him with all my heart and I don’t know how I am going to cope without him, or seeing his cute little face every day. The rest of the herd are going to miss their good old Uncle Hercy too, he was the horse they all relied on if anything made them nervous, if they had to pass a monster or needed the confidence to go in a new direction. So glad you didn’t suffer Hercy, couldn’t wish for more really but I wish you hadn’t left me xxxx

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We now have 43 amazing reviews on Tripadvisor! Thank you to all our lovely guests who took the time to write a review, we really appreciate it.