You will stay in a charming 4 star hotel in the heart of Carmona, in double or twin rooms. Their are ensuite bathrooms and towels are provided. The hotel has a restuarant, a tapas bar and an Irish bar, as well as a swimming pool and patio areas. In the town of Carmona there are many restaurants to choose from - simple tapas to silver service - or you can choose to eat at the hotel or use their room service.
During the day, at the riding centres hacienda, there is a swimming pool (towels will be provided), a relaxing lounge and outdoor seating areas. You will have lunch in their dining room each day.
Breakfast is continental and dinner is had all together, buffet style, at the hacienda. Apart from the first evening where you will enjoy a buffet dinner with your host Fernando, dinners are not included. You may choose to eat in the restaurant at the hotel or in local restaurants.
Situated in southern Spain, not far from the African continent, Seville enjoys a Mediterranean climate. Being set inland from the sea, in the vast Guadalquivir plain, this allows for relatively mild and clement weather all year long.
The average yearly temperature is around 19.2 °C.
Seville’s summers can be long and scorching with average temperatures often over 25 °C from May to October; with a record high of 46.6 °C. The temperatures peak between June and September with the temperature routinely reaching/ or topping 30 °C.
Guide and local team
Rafael Soto, 3 times Olympic medallist in dressage and official trainer for the Spanish national team, needs no introduction. Now retired from the competition, he dedicates his time to teaching and training.
Fernando runs the courses at the centre and he will come to collect you in the mornings to drive you to the hacienda for your lessons.
Viviane and Catalina, his daughters, are accomplished dressage riders and will be your instructors throughout your stay. All Epona instructors are qualified by the British Horse Society, 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. Viviane studied at the renowned Andalusian school in Jerez . Both Viviane and Catalina speak English and Spanish.
They also train their dressage horses themselves and are happy to answer any of your questions during the daily training sessions!
It is customary to leave a tip in restaurants in Spain. Around 10% of the bill is the standard, although it is often include – so do check. Tipping both in restaurants and to the team at the hacienda rests at your discretion.
In Spring, Autumn and especially in the summer months, it can get very hot, so to avoid feeling sweaty and sticky all the time, try to choose natural fabrics, especially cotton. Dress at Epona is very casual, even for the visits, jeans and T-shirts or a summery dress, are fine. For emergencies at the hotel there is a laundry service.
- Helmets are mandatory in Spain and at Epona this is enforced. Helmet makers (GPA, HKM, LAS Helmets, Lamicell, Troxel, Equithème) now offer horse-riding helmets that are ventilated, strong, light and comfortable.
- Sunhat: cap for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
Weather can change so we recommend bringing tops you can wear in layers, T-shirts, sweatshirts and vests etc.
- Half or long-sleeved cotton shirts (to provide protection from the sun) or T-shirt in a quick-drying material
- A lightweight fleece or jumper
- A swimsuit
- If coming in winter, autumn or spring, a light shower jacket (the kind you can fold up into a little ball)
- 2 pairs of jodhpurs or riding trousers
- 1 pair of casual trousers (tracksuit bottoms, leggings or jeans)
- Cotton or synthetic underwear (non-irritant)
Hands and feet
- Short jodhpur boots and half chaps are the best option as they are much cooler and easier to transport, but if you are used to riding in your long boots and want to wear them it is fine.
- Lightweight shoes, sandals or trainers for the evenings
- Several pairs of socks
- Gloves - as you will be riding the horse on the bit requiring a good contact along with the warmer conditions, blisters can develop which will definitely spoil your enjoyment of the riding for the rest of the week.
Other useful items
- Small medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor (at least 30+)
- Insect repellent
- Any medication you regularly take
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc..
- 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 100ml 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.
- Travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes is highly recommended - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!