Horseback riding in Spain is an ancient art which contributed enormously to their military success and helped them become the most powerful country in Europe in the 16th century. It was their magnificent Arab, Andalusian and Barb horses which enabled them to conquer mighty empires in the Americas like those of the Aztecs and the Incas. Vast wealth from plundering the treasures of America enriched Spain and began a prosperous period when art and architecture flourished for centuries. Travelers can still wonder at the artistic glories created during this period. Today riders see picturesque medieval castles and traverse ancient, walled towns. This is the land which fostered great artists like Picasso, El Greco, Velasquez and Dali. Being exposed to this enthralling history is one of the charms of riding vacations in Spain.
Equitours has developed over many years a broad choice of excellent and well tested equestrian vacations. You can ride from the Mediterranean to the rugged mountains of the interior. You can gallop along beaches in Catalonia, wind through the mountain trails of the remote Alpujarras or take dressage lessons in Andalusia. Spain is truly a many- faceted land where the horse is still much revered. From the Epona Equestrian Center you can visit the Royal Spanish Riding School in nearby Jerez where magnificent Andalusian stallions perform the most intricate maneuvers in dressage. The ambiance created in this place by the exquisite architecture of the building, the costumes of the riders and the apparel of the horses is most impressive. The precision of riders and the superb performance of the horses are breathtaking. Of course classical dressage developed from the need to have warhorses perform athletic feats like the capriole where the horse leaps in the air and gives a mighty kick with both legs capable of smashing surrounding foot soldiers with devastating blows far more powerful than any human could give. In those days they were as effective as modern tanks.
Spain is understandably one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. It has a very rich cultural tradition with castles out of fairy tales, flamenco dancers, soulful folk songs, gastronomic delights, excellent climate and good safety for travelers. On the back of a good horse you can go deep into the country off the normal tourist path and experience the vibrant heart of Spain. At the same time you will have the opportunity to practice the sport you love on fine horses.