Dressage Clinic with Rafael Soto
Dressage Clinic with Rafael Soto
This is a seven night, six day dressage programme that culminates with four private dressage lessons with Olympic Silver Medalist, Rafael Soto.
Guests will be immersed in the day to day riding and training that goes on at Epona. It’s a great chance to get a real feel for the sensitive Andalusian and Iberian horses, and to learn more about them.
Depending on your ability, you will get the chance to feel many of the advanced dressage movements, such as Passage, Piaffe, Pirouettes, Flying Changes and, of course, Spanish Walk.
This programme includes six group lessons (group lessons are typically made up of two to three riders of similar level) and two lunge lessons, all designed to help you get the most out of your four private lessons with Rafael Soto.
During your stay with us we also include cultural excursions to the heart of Seville, to view a flamenco show, and the world famous horse show in Jerez entitled “How the Andalusian Horses Dance” all whilst staying in one of the most beautiful medieval towns in the world.
This programme offers an unrivalled combination of six shared dressage lessons, on highly trained Spanish horses, two lunge lessons and four private lessons, with the world esteemed Olympic silver medalist, Rafael Soto, all alongside the culture and heritage that makes the Andalusian region of Spain so special.
This is a unique programme that will not be found anywhere else.
This programme is only run over pre-set dates and has a maximum number of five riders per clinic. As a result, early booking is highly recommended.
Our weight limit for this programme is 80kgs.
Who is this programme for?
The ‘Dressage Clinic with Rafael Soto Programme’ is ideal for riders who have an elementary understanding of dressage to advanced dressage riders.
Rafael is not only a superb rider and trainer of horses, but he is also a highly skilled teacher of riders. Rafael has a great eye for detail, he knows all the Epona horses extremely well, and his positive teaching style brings out the best in all his riders, regardless of their current abilities.
This programme is designed for those who have a great passion for Dressage and who want to progress their ability and understanding in a safe and supportive environment.
Typically, our ‘Dressage Clinic with Rafael Soto Programme’ riders are adults, with no upper age restriction, who are passionate about learning more about Classical Dressage
Many participants have visited us before, often on our Trail and Training or Intensive Dressage programmes.
Many others are first time guests to Epona, who want an unrivalled dressage experience and who have a desire to take their pleasure or competition riding and knowledge to the next level.
Introduction to Rafael Soto
Who in the dressage world has not heard of the Spanish Olympic Team Silver Medallist RAFAEL SOTO?
His charisma has earned him the respect and popularity of Dressage enthusiasts and fellow riders alike, the world over.
That final gesture and enthusiastic ‘There you have it’, followed by the flamboyant Spanish Walk performed by his partner ‘Invasor’ as they left the competition ring, became their trademark, and provoked uproars of applause and attracted audiences, wherever they went.
What most people don’t know is that the spectacular ‘Invasor’ was a difficult horse in his youth and was rejected by other riders as ‘impossible to train’, due to his immense size, strength and laid-back disposition.
Rafael was born in Jerez de la Frontera, where horse tradition is very strong, in 1957. He is a dedicated horseman who has been training horses and riders all his life, following in his father’s footsteps and commencing his riding career at a tender age when his father bought and ran an equitation centre in Palma de Mallorca.
It was there that he had his first important dressage success, becoming Balearic Regional Champion in that discipline in 1982.
In 1987, he obtained his Spanish Instructor’s Qualification, and returned to his native city to pursue his equestrian career.
After winning his first National Championship in 1994, with ‘Flamenco’, he was chosen to form part of the National Dressage Team, representing Spain in the 1995 European Championships. From that date on, he has continued on the Spanish Team, going from strength to strength with his two partners, first ‘Flamenco’ then ‘Invasor’, both Pure Bred Andalusian stallions.
Rafael’s most important successes in Dressage competitions are:
Rafael is the Director of the Royal School of Equestrian Art in Jerez and trained the international Spanish dressage team. He is fluent in Spanish, English, French and German.
A personal note
‘We feel honoured that he chose to collaborate with us here, at Epona, many years ago now, and so many clinics later, he has confirmed our impressions that he is a truly gifted trainer, mentor and clinician.’ Fernando Garcia Carvajal
What is involved?
Our establishment is world renowned for its depth and quality of classically trained, yet kind and generous, Spanish horses.
At Epona we enjoy the luxury of having both horses and instructors, who between them, are capable of training guests of all levels, from advanced competition riders to beginners.
As a result, you will enjoy group and private dressage and lunge lessons, that are both informative and safe, in purpose built training facilities, alongside like minded people, from around the world.
Our excellent bespoke facilities include irrigated indoor and outdoor schools and exercise track, which help make your lessons dust free and more enjoyable, especially through the heat of a Seville summer. Our indoor arena is 20m x 60m and boasts a top level competition standard sand and fibre surface to further enhance the quality of your riding experience.
The Epona instructors are qualified by the British Horse Society, the Association of British Riding Schools and the Spanish Equestrian Federation which means that they are trained to always have the horse and rider’s safety at heart.
Over the years, the knowledge gathered (having trained in Dressage under many masters of various nationalities) has allowed them to form their own training and teaching techniques, which keep the pupils’ learning and enjoyment as the main priority, as well as safety and the horse’s wellbeing.
Their aim is to pass on this knowledge, keeping in mind the principles and objectives of Classical Dressage, regardless whether to a pleasure rider or a professional rider.
Where do you stay
Your accommodation is in a 4* hotel, complete with a swimming pool, nestled in the nearby medieval town of Carmona, one of the famous white villages of Andalucia.
Carmona is the oldest continuously inhabited town 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.
Carmona is one of Europe’s hidden gems and is a destination in its own right. You will never tire of wandering the streets and will discover that its timeless beauty changes from sunrise to sunset. At night, Carmona takes on a magical glow that will leave you spellbound. With more than fifty small cafes and bars, you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to a bite to eat or a refreshing drink.
Daily Itinerary and Cost
Guests arrive in the afternoon and settle in to their hotel, a former Palace, once the residence of a medieval Queen, which is nestled in the heart of the breathtakingly beautiful medieval town of Carmona.
In the evening, you will be joined at the hotel by one of the Epona hosts, for a welcome dinner, where you will meet the rest of the week’s riding members.
After some friendly introductions and 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!
Airport and Train Station Transfers
Epona offers complimentary transfers to and from the Seville train station at pre-set times.
Arrivals on Sunday
Departures from the hotel on Saturdays only
To train station or airport:
If you require a different departure time or day from the hotel to the airport or train station, please let us know, and we can organise a taxi for you. You will pay the driver in person and the transfer time is usually less than 25 minutes to both the airport and the station.
Why choose Epona
Horses for all levels
Our large number of highly trained horses and well thought out programmes, enable us to accommodate beginners through to advanced riders.
Our qualified instructors bring a wealth of riding and training experience to the lessons.
Personal and close attention from the García family, will make you feel like a valued guest and friend.
World class facilities
Top class facilities (including covered arena) and ancient trail riding routes, are complemented by luxury accommodation in the medieval town of Carmona.
Our programmes combine riding with the historical, cultural and scenic experiences our unique location offers.
Ideal riding holiday climate
We enjoy an average of 300 days of sunshine.
Unique in Spain
The only riding holiday centre in Spain officially approved by the British horse society.
We offer 35 years of uninterrupted experience in hosting and training riding holiday guests from around the world.
Came back from our 10th visit in March, and plan to go back next year. Need I say more, it´s just the most amazing place.
Dressage Clinic with Rafael Soto
Fernando, Jane, Caty, Vivi, this has been the best trip I have ever taken, everything was perfect, the horses, the land and the hospitality.
Classical dressage and High School training
Could it get any better? Great horses, fantastic instructor, wonderful meals and a real family feel. A gem to be treasured.
Please get in touch with us for further information about our programs. To make a reservation, click here.
You can contact us directly by sending us a message through this form.