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Horse riding in the Haute-Loire and Lozère

Massif Central - Riding in the wild

8 days/ 6 days riding - Price: contact us

Riding levels

Each of our trips is assigned a minimum level of riding ability required. This reflects whether there is technical riding required; the terrain to be covered; the liveliness of the horses; the length of the riding days and the riding fitness required.




For novice riders, these riding holidays will give beginners the chance to get used to being in the saddle. In general, a beginner/ novice hasn't learned how to canter and has not yet mastered rising trot. They are able to mount safely and to control a horse at a walk. 



For intermediate riders who are at ease at 2 paces (walk and rising trot and are starting to canter in a forward seat) out in open countryside. The intermediate rider is able to mount and dismount their horse unassisted, use basic riding aids, ride at a rising trot for at least 10 minutes, to change and control the pace from a walk to a trot and comfortably canter over short distances.



For experienced riders who have mastered all 3 paces (walk, rising trot, canter in a forward seat) over uneven terrain. The experienced rider rides regularly, has a good seat and is confident of their own ability. They are able to control the horse at speed and change direction of their horse at any pace and in any circumstance as needed.



For advanced riders who have mastered all 4paces (walk, rising trot, canter gallop in a forward seat) over uneven terrain on all types of horses including those that are very spirited. The advanced rider rides regularly has good physical fitness, has good soft hands and has the ability to gallop for long stretches without getting tired.



For all riders, whether they are novices, intermediate level, experienced or advanced. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, endurance training, natural horsemanship, trail riding orcentre based safaris.



For beginners and intermediate level riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capability of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For beginners, intermediate level  and experienced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For intermediate level and experienced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, long-distance ridingtraining,endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For intermediate level, experiencedand advanced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, long-distance ridingtrainingendurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For experiencedand advanced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, long-distance ridingtraining,endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.

Comfort

Each of our rides has been assigned an expected level of comfort

Nights in hotels, guesthouses, B&B's or homestays. Double or twin rooms with bathrooms.

 

EQUUS JOURNEYS Fingerpost Cottage
Hopton Wafers
Shropshire, DY140NA. UK
Phone : +44 (0) 1905 388977
INFO@EQUUS-JOURNEYS.COM

Imprimer

AUVERGNE - ARDECHE-Massif Central - Riding in the wild

8 days/ 6 days riding - Price: contact us


Activity :

Level :

Comfort :

Explore the south of France on horseback as you ride trails, stay in charming B&Bs and enjoy local French cuisine. Explore Lozère by cantering across granite plateaus, taking ancient Roman paths and descending into the Allier gorges. Leave behind the valleys and basalt columns to discover, from the saddle, the Mageride Massive and Gévaudan as your horse crosses the rock-strewn slopes and plateaus covered in fragrant yellow broom. Enjoy fantastic views across seven counties of France and visit some of the region's beautiful chateaus.

Strengths

- Discover a region rich in surprising tales and history - Roman roads, well-preserved chateaus and legends of mountain beasts
- Enjoy a high-quality ride with an engaging and experienced guide and plenty of opportunities to canter
- Ride through serene and bucolic countryside, through majestic gorges and between granite plateaus and basalt columns
- Get a taste of the wild wide open spaces of the Margeride and Gévaudan in Haute Lozère
- Every day enjoy hearty picnics and dinners made from local ingredients

Itinerary

Day 1 : UK - LE PUY EN VELAY - SAINT PAULIEN -

On your arrival, you will be met either at Puy en Velay airfield (flights from Paris Orly on certain days) or at Puy en Velay train station; you will then be driven to the stables. If you hire a car, you are welcome to arrive at the farm any time after 16:00.
Once on the farm, you will meet the rest of the team and the horses. You will have dinner at the farm house B&B with your guide.

Day 2 : SAINT PAULIEN - LE THIOLENT - 6 hours riding (approx.)

In the morning, you will set off on horseback to explore the south of France and ride through the deep valleys of the Haute-Loire. The wooded valley paths will lead you to the pink-hued Thiolent chateau set in an untouched and undulating landscape dotted with woods and copses. After stopping in the woods around the chateau for your picnic lunch, you will ride along the largest basalt plateau in France; an ideal setting for the first exhilarating canters of your trip.
You will enjoy a traditional dinner and spend the night in a B&B.

Day 3 : LE THIOLENT - LES GORGES DE L'ALLIER - SAINT CHRISTOPHE - 6 hours riding (approx.)

You will set off at a brisk pace along the Bolène track, an ancient Roman road built before César's time, towards the Allier Gorge. The descent into the gorge is truly spectacular and offers up some fantastic views. Once you reach the river, you will stop for your picnic lunch - maybe catching a glimpse of the Atlantic salmon that swim up the river to breed there.
Back in the saddle, you will ride up towards the village of Saint-Christophe where you will stay in a B&B for the night.

Day 4 : SAINT CHRISTOPHE - SAINT EULALIE - OUSTA - 6 hours riding (approx.)

The day's ride will take you further into Haute Lozère where progressively a different type of landscape will reveal itself; high rugged rock-strewn plateaus will open up before you offering spectacular panoramas of the surrounding mountain ranges.
You will make your way across the magnificent Margeride uplands, the setting of the legends and misdeeds of the beast of Gévaudan. You will stop for your lunch, out in the fresh air, next to the areas herdsmen's' huts. At Ste Eulalie, the Margeride provides the grazing ground for the wild bison reintroduced to the area several years ago. Keep an eye out for them, they will be watching you from behind the juniper bushes!
You will have a hearty dinner and spend the night in a B&B in Ousta.

Day 5 : OUSTA - TURC DE LA GARDE - 6 hours riding (approx.)

Riding at more than 1200 metres, you will follow drovers' roads used in the past for driving livestock across the mountains. Travelling along St. James's Way, you will head north and most likely cross the path of pilgrims making their way to the shrine at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galici, Spain. Then, at Truc de la Garde (1486 m), you will have a breathtaking view across 7 French departments.
In the evening, you will have dinner and stay at a local B&B.

Day 6 : TURC DE LA GARDE - ST ARCONS D'ALLIER - CHAVANIAC LAFAYETTE - 6 hours riding (approx.)

Your morning's ride will take you through serene and picturesque countryside up and over many a shallow peak and trough. You will have the magnificent view of Saint Arcon d'Allier as your guide to your stop for lunch in the heart of the basalt gorges of Haut Allier.
The red earth of your afternoon's ride will spur the horses on into a gallop and at a brisk pace you will ride into Chavagnac-Lafayette. Here, you will have your evening meal and stay in a hotel. Chavagnac-Lafayette is the birth place of the famous General Motier, and there will be the option to go and visit his chateau.

Day 7 : CHAVANIAC LAFAYETTE - SAINT PAULIEN - 6 hours riding (approx.)

Looking behind you, you will be able to see your path over the last six days as you head into your final day's riding. The paths, lined with mushrooms and the scent of wild berries, will lead you into the countryside. After a picnic lunch and a short siesta, you will descend towards the sun-soaked and luminous Velay Mountains. From here, you will have a spectacular viewpoint from the Durande to the Mezenc Mountains and, on a clear day, you will see even further.
After this heady cocktail of the Mediterranean, mountains, fresh air and tranquility, the spire of Saint-Goerge's church in St Paulien will appear signaling the end of your trip. You will have dinner and spend your final night in France at the farm house from where you set out.

Day 8 : SAINT PAULIEN - LE PUY EN VELAY -

After breakfast, you will set out on your return journey to the UK. Either you will be driven to the airfield or train station or you will set off in your hire car when you're packed and ready to go.


Price details

No departure for this destination. Please contact our travel advisers for more information.
- Flights are not included

- Groups are made up of 4 to 10 (max.) riders
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

PRICE DOESN'T INCLUDE

TIPS

In France it is customary to tip - usually this is by rounding up the price when you are satisfied with the service. You may wish to leave a tip with the guide who can split it amongst all members of the team - this is not obligatory and is entirely at your discretion.

HORSES

This herd of trail-riding horses is mainly made up Appaloosas and Quarter-Horse crosses. They are well trained and docile yet energetic. They have been perfectly trained and are used to riding in the Haute-Loire, they are comfortable riding independently from one another and their paces are elevated.

MINIMUM RIDING ABILITY

For this ride, you need to be at ease in the saddle and confident riding outdoors, for several hours at a time, at all paces and across uneven terrain.

There is a maximum rider weight of 90kg/ 14st 2lbs/ 198 lbs

PACE

The base pace of the ride is a walking pace because of the uneven ground. However, you will enjoy (often heady!) trots and gallops whenever the terrain allows.

TACKING ABILITY AND PARTICIPATION

You will be responsible for grooming, tacking and un-tacking your horse. You will also feed and water them in the morning and evening.

TRIP CONDITIONS AND REQUESTED EXPERIENCE

The majority of this trip takes place in the lower mountainous regions of the Haute-Loire, riders need to be in good physical condition. Previous experience of trail riding holidays is a plus but is not necessary.

Helmets are MANDATORY.
Children from the age of 12, accompanied by their parents, are welcome to join this trip.

EQUESTRIAN EQUIPMENT

Western riding tack.
Saddlebags provided.

We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.

COMFORT

You will stay in small country hotels or B&Bs in rooms for 2-3 people with private bathrooms.

CLIMATE

In general, the region is altogether dry, but it has very long winters paired with short summers.

A Mediterranean front makes itself felt in the south and southeast of the region with sometimes considerable rainfall. High in the mountain plateaus, it is usually cold and in the summer they are subject to storms. The oceanic influence also leads to brisk changes between snowfall and long mild spells brought in by the warmer maritime front. The Mediterranean influence also brings with it strong winds in the south and southeast as well as sudden rain storms and cold snaps in the mountains. However, when the southerly winds die down, especially in the summer and autumn, the region benefits from long periods of beautiful hot dry weather.

In winter, temperatures vary between 10 and -3°C.
In spring, temperatures vary between 2 and 22°C.
In summer, temperatures vary between 10 and 28°C.
In autumn, temperatures vary between 3 and 22°C.

Meals

Your meals will consist of picnic lunches carried in your saddlebags, and in the evening, you will enjoy hearty dinners made from local produce.

Support Team

Guide and local team

Your ride will be led by Daniel, who has been organising and leading horse riding trips for the past 20 years. Having been born in the Haute-Loire, he is extremely knowledgeable about and proud of the area you will be riding through. A trip leader with the TREC qualification and a desire to show you the best that his region of France has to offer. Daniel gets by pretty well in English and has even invested in the latest translate-as-you-speak device to provide the best tour possible!

Packing list

The information provided is general and should be adapted to the season in which you are travelling, specifically concerning the necessity of Goretex waterproofs.

Head
- A riding helmet is compulsory and we recommend that you take your own to ensure a correct fit. Helmet makers (GPA, HKM, LAS Helmets, Lamicell, Troxel, Equithème) now offer horse-riding helmets that are ventilated, strong, light and comfortable.
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana for protecting your neck and face from the sun, wind or rain
- Warm hat for cold evenings/days

Upper body
- Thermals in case of cold weather
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun or extra warmth
- T-shirts
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Waterproof jacket (made from Goretex or equivalent) and/ or (depending on the season) a waterproof vest that covers you thighs. No ponchos!!

Legs
- 2 pairs of lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Waterproof over trousers (made from Goretex or equivalent), especially if you don't have a long waterproof coat
- Casual clothes for the evenings (jeans or walking trousers)
- A swimming costume may be useful for impromptu dips in the lake
- Non-irritant cotton or synthetic underwear

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged
- Lightweight shoes or trainers for the evenings
- Several pairs of warm socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, wind or rain whilst riding

Our Recommendations
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. We recommend a small bumbag or a coat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (camera, sunscreen, lip balm etc)
- A soothing cream may be useful to treat areas irritated by long hours in the saddle
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!

Other useful items
- Water bottle (1.5 litres or 2 equivalent)
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around at night - bring spare batteries and bulbs
- Toiletries
- Protein or cereal bars for the longer stretches of riding
- Toilet paper and a lighter to burn it after use
- Swiss army knife or equivalent (in checking-in luggage!!)
- Small plastic bags for you rubbish
- Ear plugs (may be useful)
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- A pair of binoculars

Medical kit
Make sure any allergies (to medication or otherwise) and clearly stated in your medical kit
- Any medication you regularly take
- Painkillers
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhea medication
- Vitamin C tablets
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent
- Eye drops
- Hydrating/ soothing cream
- Plasters
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc..
- 10cm wide bandage
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Re-hydration sachets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel

General information
- The airline allows only one bag to be checked-in per passenger. Make sure it weighs no more than 20kg; if it exceeds this weight, you will have to pay excess luggage fees at check-in
- Hand luggage is limited to 7kg (measuring 56 cm x 45 cm x 25 cm), it mustn't contain any sharp objects (knives, scissors, nail file or nail scissors, etc.) and the quantity of liquid allowed per passenger is limited to 100ml per container.
In your hold luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant over 100 ml and all bottles can be decanted into small, clear, plastic Ziplock bags. We recommend biodegradable washing products where possible.
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
- In your hand luggage carry any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.

ENTRY FORMALITIES

The rules for travel to most countries in Europe will change if the UK leaves the European Union (EU) with no deal.

After 29 March 2019:

You should have 6 months left on your passport from your date of arrival. This applies to adult and child passports.

If you renewed a 10 year adult passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport's expiry date. These extra months will not count.

The new rules will apply to passports issued by the UK, Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-brexit

ACTIVITY :Trail Riding

LEVEL :Help

COMFORT :Help

Explore the south of France on horseback as you ride trails, stay in charming B&Bs and enjoy local French cuisine. Explore Lozère by cantering across granite plateaus, taking ancient Roman paths and descending into the Allier gorges. Leave behind the valleys and basalt columns to discover, from the saddle, the Mageride Massive and Gévaudan as your horse crosses the rock-strewn slopes and plateaus covered in fragrant yellow broom. Enjoy fantastic views across seven counties of France and visit some of the region's beautiful chateaus.

  • On horseback through mountains and countryside in France
    Countryside and mountains by horse in France
  • The rolling hills of Massif Central
    French countryside by horse
  • On horseback in Massif Central, France
    Massif Central on horseback, France
  • Having some fun in the river!
    Horse trail ride in France
  • Beautiful river scenery in Lozere
    Horse trail ride in Lozere, France
  • A sense of freedom on horseback in France
    On horseback in Haute Loire, France
  • Riders in Massif Central
    On horseback in massif central mountains, France
  • Get ready for some river crossings on this trail ride
    River crossing with horses in France

STRENGTHS

- Discover a region rich in surprising tales and history - Roman roads, well-preserved chateaus and legends of mountain beasts
- Enjoy a high-quality ride with an engaging and experienced guide and plenty of opportunities to canter
- Ride through serene and bucolic countryside, through majestic gorges and between granite plateaus and basalt columns
- Get a taste of the wild wide open spaces of the Margeride and Gévaudan in Haute Lozère
- Every day enjoy hearty picnics and dinners made from local ingredients

ITINERARY

Day 1 : UK - LE PUY EN VELAY - SAINT PAULIEN -

On your arrival, you will be met either at Puy en Velay airfield (flights from Paris Orly on certain days) or at Puy en Velay train station; you will then be driven to the stables. If you hire a car, you are welcome to arrive at the farm any time after 16:00.
Once on the farm, you will meet the rest of the team and the horses. You will have dinner at the farm house B&B with your guide.

Day 2 : SAINT PAULIEN - LE THIOLENT - 6 hours riding (approx.)

In the morning, you will set off on horseback to explore the south of France and ride through the deep valleys of the Haute-Loire. The wooded valley paths will lead you to the pink-hued Thiolent chateau set in an untouched and undulating landscape dotted with woods and copses. After stopping in the woods around the chateau for your picnic lunch, you will ride along the largest basalt plateau in France; an ideal setting for the first exhilarating canters of your trip.
You will enjoy a traditional dinner and spend the night in a B&B.

Day 3 : LE THIOLENT - LES GORGES DE L'ALLIER - SAINT CHRISTOPHE - 6 hours riding (approx.)

You will set off at a brisk pace along the Bolène track, an ancient Roman road built before César's time, towards the Allier Gorge. The descent into the gorge is truly spectacular and offers up some fantastic views. Once you reach the river, you will stop for your picnic lunch - maybe catching a glimpse of the Atlantic salmon that swim up the river to breed there.
Back in the saddle, you will ride up towards the village of Saint-Christophe where you will stay in a B&B for the night.

Day 4 : SAINT CHRISTOPHE - SAINT EULALIE - OUSTA - 6 hours riding (approx.)

The day's ride will take you further into Haute Lozère where progressively a different type of landscape will reveal itself; high rugged rock-strewn plateaus will open up before you offering spectacular panoramas of the surrounding mountain ranges.
You will make your way across the magnificent Margeride uplands, the setting of the legends and misdeeds of the beast of Gévaudan. You will stop for your lunch, out in the fresh air, next to the areas herdsmen's' huts. At Ste Eulalie, the Margeride provides the grazing ground for the wild bison reintroduced to the area several years ago. Keep an eye out for them, they will be watching you from behind the juniper bushes!
You will have a hearty dinner and spend the night in a B&B in Ousta.

Day 5 : OUSTA - TURC DE LA GARDE - 6 hours riding (approx.)

Riding at more than 1200 metres, you will follow drovers' roads used in the past for driving livestock across the mountains. Travelling along St. James's Way, you will head north and most likely cross the path of pilgrims making their way to the shrine at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galici, Spain. Then, at Truc de la Garde (1486 m), you will have a breathtaking view across 7 French departments.
In the evening, you will have dinner and stay at a local B&B.

Day 6 : TURC DE LA GARDE - ST ARCONS D'ALLIER - CHAVANIAC LAFAYETTE - 6 hours riding (approx.)

Your morning's ride will take you through serene and picturesque countryside up and over many a shallow peak and trough. You will have the magnificent view of Saint Arcon d'Allier as your guide to your stop for lunch in the heart of the basalt gorges of Haut Allier.
The red earth of your afternoon's ride will spur the horses on into a gallop and at a brisk pace you will ride into Chavagnac-Lafayette. Here, you will have your evening meal and stay in a hotel. Chavagnac-Lafayette is the birth place of the famous General Motier, and there will be the option to go and visit his chateau.

Day 7 : CHAVANIAC LAFAYETTE - SAINT PAULIEN - 6 hours riding (approx.)

Looking behind you, you will be able to see your path over the last six days as you head into your final day's riding. The paths, lined with mushrooms and the scent of wild berries, will lead you into the countryside. After a picnic lunch and a short siesta, you will descend towards the sun-soaked and luminous Velay Mountains. From here, you will have a spectacular viewpoint from the Durande to the Mezenc Mountains and, on a clear day, you will see even further.
After this heady cocktail of the Mediterranean, mountains, fresh air and tranquility, the spire of Saint-Goerge's church in St Paulien will appear signaling the end of your trip. You will have dinner and spend your final night in France at the farm house from where you set out.

Day 8 : SAINT PAULIEN - LE PUY EN VELAY -

After breakfast, you will set out on your return journey to the UK. Either you will be driven to the airfield or train station or you will set off in your hire car when you're packed and ready to go.

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Early bird discounts
Get 3% off all trips booked before 31/12/2019 for a departure in 2020.
Terms and conditions:
  • This 3% early bird discount applies to the cost of the trip, and excludes transfers & supplements, international or domestic flights, and any additional services.
  • This offer cannot be combined with any other current discount.