Guests arrive in the aftenoon, either by pick-up in the airport or train station in Seville (10 - 20 minute drive) or by means of their own transport. A free transfer service is offered at pre-set times (3.30pm and 8.00pm from the airport and 4:30 pm. From the Santa Justa Train Station). If you can't or don't wish to be picked up at these times, the service will be charged, and needs to be booked well in advance.
You will then be escorted to your hotel in the nearby town of Carmona, one of the famous white villages of Andalucia. Carmona is the oldest continually inhabited village in Europe and as you stroll through the narrow streets of the old town, you will feel and breathe the spirits of ancient cultures (Iberians, Visigoths, Phoenicians, Romans, Moors), in the innumerable examples of their architectural influence in the churches, towers, palaces and mansions as well as in the inherited customs.
After you are settled in, you may appreciate a dip in the pool, or perhaps discover the pleasures of the Spanish afternoon "siesta" after a tiring journey.
In the evening, you will be joined at your hotel by one of the hosts, for a welcome dinner, where you will meet the rest of the members of the week's group and where you may clarify any last minute questions about the weekly program. This will be your first opportunity to savour the delights of the local cuisine which still makes full use of ingredients which compose the famous healthy Mediterranean diet, olive oil, garlic, onions and vegetables. After some friendly conversation, you are free to spend the rest of the evening at your leisure, and to relax before the beginning of what we hope will be an unforgettable week. WELCOME TO EPONA!Back to top
After breakfast at the hotel and a quick transfer to the Hacienda, be ready to mount up, after the trail riders leave for their morning ride. Everything is quieter now, ready for the dressage lessons. Your first lesson will be an assessment with your instructor, who will note your good points and the areas which need to be worked on. It is also the first chance for you to get used to your horse and the more sensitive style of riding required for the Andalusian and Iberian horse. Our goal at Epona is that you get as much improvement and fun out of your lesson as possible. After this first session, take a short break, then change to your new mount for your private lesson. After you have recovered a little it is time for your first lunge session, great for improving your seat, balance and posture.
Once the lessons are over, relax with a book in the garden or by the pool. You are also more than welcome to stay and sit by the arenas and watch the daily training of our horses. Vivi, our main horse trainer will be more than happy to answer any questions about our trainig methods and our horses. Meet the rest of the group for lunch in beautiful dining room, where you will have your experience of typical Andalusian home cooking, courtesy of our resident cook and sample our excellent local house wine.
Early breakfast and pick up at the hotel at 9.00 a.m. before leaving for Jerez de la Frontera, in the province of Cádiz, one hour and a half away by car. Jerez is internationally renowned for its production of sherry and brandy. However, the main attraction of the day will be the visit to the Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre, an equestrian performance titled, "Those Amazing Dancing Andalusian Stallions" (Ticket Price: 27 €). Here you will have the privilidge of seeing the magnificent Andalusian stallions at their best, at home in the breathtaking setting of their 18th Century palace and the riding hall. They will be performing piaffe, passage and the airs above the ground (courbette, capriole, etc) in a spectacle of light, music and colour, comparable only with the famous Spanish Riding School of Vienna. Fernando is well known at the school and is good friend with many of the world famous riders. Vivi trained at this school for four years and frequently performed in the show.
Return for lunch at Epona, followed by lessons in the afternoon.
The lessons will take place as soon as the trail ride leaves. As the week progresses so will your dressage, hopefully performing more advanced movements. Today you will begin with the semi private lesson, followed by the private session. After a break, enjoy the unique opportunity to do some ground work. Our trainer will demonstrate on a one to one basis, the techniques used for training some of the more advanced movements. Ground work is a very strong part of the Classical Dressage style of training.
Once your lessons are over (or between them) feel free to sit by the arena and continue observing the daily training of the geldings, mares and stallions, from young and green to very advanced. We also school and exercise the schoolmasters periodically to keep them sensitive and in good shape for guests to enjoy and so they may get the most out of their lessons with them.
The same as Wednesday. By this time you might be performing some of the more advanced movements (this will depend on the rider's ability).
The Last lunch at Epona is the famous Paella accompanied by the not less famous and popular Sangría.
In the afternoon get changed in to your city finery ready to hit Seville for a classical Flamenco Show (ticket price 35€). The show features over 12 dancers of national and international fame, traditional singers and wonderful flamenco guitar.
After a short walk, we will arrive at an excellent restaurant providing both Spanish and International cuisine for the last dinner of the holiday and some superb Spanish wine.
After breakfast and a quick transfer to the Hacienda, you will mount up for your last lesson where you will be able to confirm everything you have worked on during the week. Afterwards, it's time for goodbyes and last minute pictures of your new friends, animal and human.
Transfers to the train station and the airport are complimentary. Last trip will be running at 11.00 am.
Have a nice journey home, we hope you enjoyed your stay at Epona.
We look forward to welcoming you back!
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