Horse riding tours

Based on Velani Country House, in Crete:

Velani Country Hotel has 2 Arabic horses, 1 Berber, 2 Thoroughbreds, 4 Dutch Warmbloods, 4 Greek Warmbloods, and for the guide 1 Hanoverian. For the children, we have 1 Welsh pony (section B). All horses are friendly, well cared for and good fed, well trained and all have an excellent condition for the long distance riding.

Sunny Rides

 Sun, sea and moonlight riding.

This partner or family program is an ideal combination for those who travel together with non-riders or whose partner joins 1 of the other sports activities in the hotel like golf, mountain climbing or paragliding.

We daily ride a 2-hour active trip through the valley of Langada, we cross the traditional Greek village of Avdou with its Byzantine church. We climb up the mountain giving an excellent view over the stables and the Langada valley. We ride through Kerm Oak forest to visit the mysterious Church of the Saint Fotini which is hidden deep into a Cave. (2 hours in the saddle and a visit to the cave) and we make a quick canter over the plateau of Mochos.

This active holiday, combines all the good of the Cretan life, relaxing on the beach or swimming in the pool, visiting an ancient site, meeting the friendly locals, enjoying the Greek food and taking our 4 footed friends for a ride during the cool evening hours.

The program includes 6 days horse riding with a total of 12 hours.

Beginner Course

Intensive lessons and a first hack.

This intensive program teaches the new rider the English riding style in a very direct approach. In the end of the course, the rider is able to walk and trot independently, feeling secure on and around the horse, able to make an easy outside trip, tack the horse independent and we make a start with the canter. From experience, we know that sportive riders even learn to canter independently.

Day 1: Idem as trail.

Day 2: Private lesson on the lunge without the saddle but with a blanket, the rider holds a vaulting band. Lesson concentrates on finding balance, rider position and sitting trot. If the rider has a good balance also a few strides canter are practiced. (30 min).

Day 3: Private lesson on the lunge with the saddle. Learning the body position with stir ups, sitting trot without holding hands on the saddle and learning the rising trot. (30 min) Altogether a lesson in tracking and brushing the horse. (30 min)

Day 4: Group lesson with the other starters, for the first time independent riding. Learning how to hold the reins, steer and stop the horse. Practice the use of the lacks as learned before on the lunge. Learning to brush and tack the horse, each rider prepares its own horse with the help of the instructor. (1 hour)

Day 5: Group lesson confirming the learned skills of the last day and more trot. In this lesson we do some games, like slalom race, mounting race etc, to practice the learned skills and to make the pushing lacks more effective. Everybody take its own horse out of the stable, brush it and tack it, teacher corrects mistakes. (1 hour)

Day 6: The first careful outside hack with a walk and some short trots, sometimes even already a small canter. (1.5 hour) Children continue inside with 1-hour group lesson or private lesson 30 min.

Day 7: Another outside trip, this time with some longer trots. (1.5 hour). Children continue inside with 1-hour group lesson or private lesson 30 min.

Day 8: Idem as trail.

Fun & Games (6 riding days)

The Children Fun Week.

This program is only for children from 8 – 12 years old. Children can join this riding program without accompanying of the parents. (Children not alone in the hotel, we are not a pony camp).

The program includes 6 days riding. Each day has a half hour private lesson on the lunge or an hour in a group. If we do a group lesson or a longing lesson depends on the experience and ability of the children. Children can help with brushing and feeding of the horses. The program runs in the cool early morning hours.

No minimum of children per week.
Children older than 12 years can book the normal riding programs.

The above programs are inclusive of 8 days/7 nights in Equestrian Country Hotel Velani ****. The stay is on a basis of half board, breakfast, and dinner in Restaurant Velani, starting with dinner on the first day up to breakfast, on the last day.