Catalonia horse riding, Pyrenees to the Mediterranean

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2020: 7 Jun, 13 Jun, 21 Jun, 27 Jun, 5 Jul, 13 Jul, 19 Jul, 26 Jul, 3 Aug, 10 Aug, 16 Aug, 22 Aug, 31 Aug, 6 Sep
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Responsible tourism

Catalonia horse riding, Pyrenees to the Mediterranean

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation and how to reduce them.

Environment

First and foremost we must mention Horse Welfare.

We ensure that the horses are well fed and well treated; no harsh aides are used (no gags, no whips, no spurs) and a thorough anthelmintic regime is followed. We ensure that rider’s weight falls within limits set by the stable and where the weight-limit is exceeded, a second horse is provided, ensuring that no horse is over-worked (each one would work only half a day). We ensure horse and rider are matched at the beginning of the vacation so that neither struggles. Above all, we ensure the horses are fit for a multi-day trek.

On to the wider environment . What more environmentally sensitive way to travel than by horse with their low carbon footprint.
We also feel that by using horses to travel we are sympathetic to the local wild life and fauna . Although their is some inevitable damage caused by horses hooves the amount is much less than any vehicle. Where at all possible we remain on tracks that the horses use rather than treading out new paths in meadow land. Once on the beach we are free to canter along the sands in the knowledge that the waves will wash the hoof prints away.

As with all the rides we promote there are systems in place to re use and recycle waste at all stages of this itinerary.
Whilst on the Ride we stop for picnic lunches. Any rubbish we generate we take to our next destination to be appropriately disposed of in recycling and composting facilities. We also pick up any other rubbish, where possible, that has been discarded by others.

Riders are encouraged to bring their own water bottles that can be refilled along route rather than use bottled water with its problem of plastic bottle disposal.

At home we operate in an energy efficient building that produces some of its own electricity and uses the rain water to flush the toilets. We also operate a recycling policy in the office. We encourage the use of environmentally transport by offering storage space for bicycles and operate a flexi start to fit in with the local bus timetable.

Community

The Catalans are proud of their heritage and language. They are Catalans first, and Spanish second! The food, language and customs are quite distinct from other parts of Spain.

We use local suppliers along the way. Nights are spent in “casa rurales” which is best translated as farmhouse B&B or rural guesthouse. This provides needed employment to local people in what is a rural area. it also means that the traditional casa that we stay in can be maintained thus preserving the architecture of the region.

Catalonia has a wealth of home produced delicacies and fresh produce. Every evening the hostess produces local food cooked in traditional ways thus helping preserve the local traditional recipes and way of food production. We do not add unnecessary food miles to the food we use.

Catalonia like the rest of Spain is rich in equestrian tradition that dates back far beyond the middle ages. Our riding vacation helps keep this rich tradition alive and viable. We use traditional Andalusian and Spanish horses, typically mountain bred in very good condition.

1 Reviews of Catalonia horse riding, Pyrenees to the Mediterranean

3 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 07 Sep 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Swimming with the horses.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Check which guide & whether will be English speaking based. Check wether you are able to ride alongside each other as opposed to in a line riding school style
The riding pace is slow, if you enjoy fast paced trail riding this is not for you
Take a seat saver & consider padded undershorts for under your jodhpurs
the saddles are very uncomfortable.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


No. That was a big disappointment. There was no engagement with the
local culture or community. The guide knew little or nothing of the heritage of
the region.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


6/10

Read the operator's response here:

Hi Mel,

Thanks for your comments we have taken them all on board.

You mentioned the lack of contact with the local community, which is a nebulous ingredient to a vacation but one we place huge emphasis upon (as indeed RT do). I have always been impressed how our operators succeed in providing employment for local people through the running of their stables, horse husbandry tasks (blacksmith and the like) and the point that local family-run accommodation is used.

We continue to talk/revisit our relationship with the company involved.

I appreciate the impact all this is having on your time, but would be grateful to hear your response. I also appreciate your vast experience both as rider and wilderness first responder. I value your comments.

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