Hitting the trails at El Bronco, Hungary

Posted on December 13, 2018

Claire Douglas

Claire from In The Saddle visited El Bronco in September and here is her report of her trip.

I am a huge fan of western riding and jumped at the chance of going to El Bronco in Hungary.

I flew direct to Budapest from East Midlands and upon arrival at the airport, met my fellow guest Anke from Germany.  We were transferred to El Bronco by Sandor whose excellent English and lively conversation made the journey of an hour and a half speed by.

We arrived in the dark and were warmly met by smiley Camilla who showed us to our rooms and informed us that dinner was ready in the bar when we were.  My room set the scene for the week.  It had a massive cowboy mural which looked amazing.  I would happily have this in my own room at home.

western riding, Hitting the trails at El Bronco, Hungary, In The Saddle

My room for the week.

The next morning after breakfast, we got assigned our horses.  There are 50 horses at the ranch with around 25 available for guests. The horses are typical western breeds such as Quarter-horses, Appaloosa, and Paint horses.

There are a range of horses available on the ranch such as quarter horses, paint horses and local breeds.

There are a range of horses available on the ranch such as quarter horses, paint horses and local breeds.

My partner for the week was Pista, a paint horse who had competed in the European Reining championships.  He was fun to ride with a great stop.  Anke was matched to a one eyed paint horse called Doris.  Despite having one eye Doris was very calm and got on with the job.  Our first ride was in the indoor arena due to the windy weather.  Bernie, our instructor, had grown up on the ranch and knew all the horses inside out including their bloodlines.  She put us through our paces in walk, jog and lope and I got to practice a few stops from a lope and a spin.

western riding, Hitting the trails at El Bronco, Hungary, In The Saddle

Anke on Doris and me on Pista in the indoor arena.

Then we headed out on our first trail ride in Kiskunsagi National Park.  The park is perfect for riding as the soil as very sandy (this area was a lake thousands of years ago).  The pace is relaxed but does depend on your riding ability.  I found it to be quite varied with lots of jogs and lopes.

western riding, Hitting the trails at El Bronco, Hungary, In The Saddle

Me on Pista with some Swedish guests.

After our ride Anke and I went on a carriage ride to a look-out tower over the park. The carriage ride was great fun and there were blankets on board in case you got chilly.

western riding, Hitting the trails at El Bronco, Hungary, In The Saddle

The carriage ride.

Carriage driving isn’t the only activity available, you can go for a boat trip on the lake to watch the birds, I was incredibly fortunate to see a white tipped eagle.

western riding, Hitting the trails at El Bronco, Hungary, In The Saddle

The boat trip in Kiskunsagi National Park

On another afternoon, we headed to the local cheese factory and were guided through the cheese making process.  The highlight was the tasting session at the end washed down by a glass of red wine.  Another evening, we had the option to go wine tasting which was great fun.

I was fortunate in being able to experience so many of the off ranch activities, but they do have to be pre-booked (and are an extra cost payable locally) and aren’t always available.

western riding, Hitting the trails at El Bronco, Hungary, In The Saddle

Wine tasting at Frittmanns.

If you prefer to chill out on holiday there are some great spa facilities at El Bronco including a hot tub, sauna and massage room.  There is also a small swimming pool which would be great for cooling off after riding in the summer months.

western riding, Hitting the trails at El Bronco, Hungary, In The Saddle

Relaxing in the spa.

Back to the horses, the week continued with lots of trail rides in the national park, including an all day picnic ride which was a real highlight.  On one occasion, the weather wasn’t great so we had a lesson in the indoor arena.  This time we had a different instructor, Zsofia, and after warming up we worked on transitions such as lope to halt, turn on haunches, turn on forehand and spins.

For any guests who are new to western riding, the day starts with learning the basics in the arena and then once everyone is comfortable, you head out on the trail.

western riding, Hitting the trails at El Bronco, Hungary, In The Saddle

ITS guests Helen and Ellie returning from a trail ride.

This is a great holiday for beginners through to experienced riders since El Bronco have horses to suit all levels.  It’s also a great place to chill out and relax in a lovely location.

For more information or to book your place please contact Claire at In The Saddle on +44 1299 272 243 or via email claire@inthesaddle.com

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