Reviews
33 reviews    1 2
Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

4 star rating   5 October 2019

The people running riding here were pleasantly surprised to have clients who could not only ride well, but also ride western. I got the impression that having this does not happen very often.
We were the only two clients on our riding programme (which surprised us a little) although we were joined for some afternoon rides by a Dutch couple, who, luckily, could also ride well, and ride Western. Having only two guides, The operation would have been very strained had more levels of riding ability needed to be catered for.
Marco, our guide, turned out to be very capable and a knowledgeable and interesting person to talk to. His English was perfect. He made sure that we achieved the best possible riding experience.
I was initially concerned about being allocated the same horse for all 5 days of riding, but my Sicilian mare, Caramella, proved to be very fit, responsive and reliable. Plus, after experiencing the very steeply sloped up - and down terrain - I was grateful that she was very sure footed too. No scope for long canters or gallops, given the often challenging geography, but plenty of short, sharp canters up slopes. The variety of terrain, plus amazing views, plus the terrific, leisurely pic-nic lunches on whole day rides, made for an excellent riding experience.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Heart of Tuscany

5 star rating   6 July 2019

Excellent


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   1 June 2019

The riding was through really beautiful country. It had rained for like 40 days or something before we arrived, making the trails pretty messy, so we had to adjust our paths, sometimes taking the same loops to keep us in the saddle longer. Once the ground dried, we could go out for full days and see some incredible ruins, old towns and amazing views. Our guides, Sammy and Marco were very safety minded: horses and guests first. These horses and tack were impeccably maintained, that tells you what you need to know about a facility and it’s owner, Franco.
[ITS comment: We are so pleased to hear that you enjoyed the riding.]


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Heart of Tuscany

5 star rating   1 June 2019

The horses are very well cared for. The first ride was in the indoor arena to accustom the riders to the Western aids. The terrain is hilly but the horses are very sure-footed. I rode Boy all week, riding two hours per day which worked well as I was able to spend time with my non-riding partner and daughter. The wild flowers are beautiful and I was lucky enough to see a badger and wild boar!


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   18 May 2019

Excellent


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   18 May 2019

Attentive guides who looked after us very well. It met my expectations, maybe a few more canters would have been nice but I understand why fast riding was limited as the terrain was quite hard in places.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   18 May 2019

The variety of terrain was fantastic. Each ride covered different parts of the estate. The reining lesson was great fun with a super sensitive well trained horse.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Heart of Tuscany

5 star rating   18 May 2019

Opened my eyes to the skill of Western riding style.
Perfect pace for the beautiful variety of terrain covered.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   13 October 2018

This ride did meet our expectations. The guides were very safety conscious and also were charming company. They couldn't have worked harder to meet our needs and give us a great experience. It might be worth mentioning to future riders that this ride is over hilly ground including sometimes steep inclines (up and down). This didn't worry us as we are used to that type of riding, but some people might find it a challenge. As ther had been some rain recently, some of the descents were tricky and a certain level of fitness is needed.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   6 October 2018

Castellare Di Tonda is a beautiful place with some breath taking views. the horses work so hard and give you their vey best, my horse Scout was just the best, he was a pleasure to ride everyday I couldn't have been matched better by Marco. The horses are very well looked after and all cared for, all the tack is excellent. The group was in my opinion too big, on one day we had 11 riders and 3 guides therefore not able to do many canters. Our guides were very good Marco and Alisha were amazing with the group trying to do everything to make the holiday a good, one and one to be remembered. I would recommend this trip to everyone. Franco is so good with the horses they seem to love him and Marco beautiful to watch them, the trust from even the youngest horses was heart warming. The food was delicious, very good choice every evening, the staff in the restaurant second to none. The picnics on the full days had everything you could want, tables, clothes to put on, chairs and so much food, sitting in the open laughing and everyone enjoying themselves. who could ask for more. A holiday to remember, met wonderful new friends. 10 out of 10
[ITS comment: Going forward into 2019 the new maximum group size will be six riders.]


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   6 October 2018

Beautiful terrain and nice well mannered horse. The group size was quite big and it would have enhanced the experience if it was limited to 6 or 8 max. The assist trek leader was quite stressy and needed reminding that we were all competent riders and didn't need every single slight dip in the ground pointing out! All staff were really lovely. It could easily be manageable for beginners as there was nothing challenging in the riding - but it was a super way to de-stress and enjoy some head space.
[ITS Comment: Going forward in 2019, the group size will be limited to six riders.]


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Heart of Tuscany

5 star rating   22 September 2018

The level of care regarding safety was excellent with the guides taking great care to ensure the less able riders were safe and coping. The terrain is challenging for the horses and I personally did not quite understand in advance how rugged it would be. Horses were very sure footed however and well trained.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   22 September 2018

What a great week at Castellare di Tonda in the company of our super cheerful and helpful guides. Great care was taken to make sure horse and rider were matched to ability. The trails were beautiful and I was especially grateful for the woods and trees as it was quite warm every day. The stops for lunch using local produce and wine were superb. The meals at the hotel and the friendly staff were top notch. A day to explore Siena was a bonus and easily reached by local train...go there!


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Heart of Tuscany

5 star rating   22 September 2018

Excellent


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   22 September 2018

Yes, this did meet my expectations. Safety was of paramount importance and I was well matched - my horse Diego, an Argentina criollo suited me perfectly and I felt very comfortable at all times. The riding was varied, and was perfect for me as I hadn't ridden properly for two years due to a hip replacement, so I was happy with the steady pace of the riding. I had a very comfy western saddle! Marco, Kirsten and Aleesha were extremely helpful and great fun to be with at our lunch stops. They all worked very hard to give us a great time.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   22 September 2018

A few more longer canters would have been nice. I was really pleased with my Quarter Horse and the scenery was lovely with no two rides being the same. The guides were excellent and very hard working.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   22 September 2018

Thoroughly enjoyed the riding. Staff were friendly, hard working and very efficient. The horses were looked after well. The countryside was beautiful.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   1 September 2018

Macro and Franco and the Team at the stables were helpful and kind.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   1 September 2018

The tuition we received the first day was an impeccable introduction to Western Riding, being watched over by both Marco our guide and Franco the trainer made us feel at ease both with the style and our horses. We could see the care and attention they gave to us and the horses to be certain in their choices of pairing.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Heart of Tuscany

5 star rating   14 July 2018

Our guide ( Elisha ) was fantastic, she was allways happy and cheerful, she took us out on different trails every day. We even had lessons with her which were excellent.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Castellare Train & Trail

5 star rating   14 July 2018

We rode 'school master' western quarter horses for lessons with Franco and Marco. Franco is expert instructor and his instruction (in Italian) was perfectly translated by Marco- who also instructs and takes the trail rides. We could not have been happier with the horses or the level of instruction. There is a large covered riding manege and a smaller round manege and we could see that all levels of rider experience were catered for by Franco and Marco and his team. We rode out on different horses that were steady but forward going and responsive. Rides were led by Marco or Alicia and in groups of 3 to 9 riders over the beautiful Tuscany terrain.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   30 June 2018

The week starts with a short session in the indoor school to learn the basic principles of western riding.
The trail riding that follows is mostly on tracks and open fields with a tiny bit of roadwork. Some of the terrain is very steep and can be slippery after rain but the horses take it in their stride, just give them their heads and let them find their own way up and down the steep sections. Our guide Marco looked after my German riding companion and me very well and made sure that we were feeling happy with everything. The horses I rode, Caramella and Boy, were both lovely. As there were only two experienced riders for the week there were plenty of canters where the ground was suitable, but the pace was mostly relaxed.
The day rides were particularly enjoyable with a full picnic including wine and the scenery was stunning.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   16 June 2018

Beautiful scenic riding which was top of the list for us. Our guide, Marco, was very good. He was clear with his intentions, his instructions and his explanations. The girls at the stables were friendly and helpful and prepared the horses for us. They looked after Andy well and gave him a suitable horse for his level of ability. On a rainy morning we had a lesson with Marco instead of a trail ride, which was good. I would have liked the opportunity to try some reining movements on an experienced Quarter Horse. [ITS note: it is usually possible to request a technical reining lesson during your stay at Castellare di Tonda, subject to extra cost and availability.]


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Heart of Tuscany

5 star rating   16 June 2018

The guides had the information from In The Saddle on experience, preference for horses etc. but had a brief chat with us before finalising horse allocation.
The lesson/briefing before the first ride also made sure everyone understood how they expect their horses to be ridden.
My novice husband rode a lovely uncomplicated mare and his confidence grew as the week went on. I rode a horse that on paper was everything I hate, but we built up a great relationship and I loved her little quirks. I also appreciated the guide, Kirsten checking I was ok each day and didn't want to swop horses.
The pace was steady as expected and to meet my husbands needs, we still trotted and cantered on every ride though.
One the day when the trails were too wet to go out we had a very informative lesson in the arena adding a new dimension to our riding. The instructor Aleysha coped well with our vastly different abilities and we both came out of the lesson having learnt and achieved something.
Tack on our horses was in excellent condition, no concerns there.
We rode for 2 hours every morning leaving the rest of the day for sight seeing, a car is a must if you are on the relaxed itinerary.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   9 June 2018

Very welcoming and friendly stable staff, excellent stables and trainers they love their horses and very accommodating.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   9 June 2018

Fabulous accomadation and food....everyone delightful
My birthday...which I tried to keep quiet about ....was celebrated beautifully by our hosts and guide .thank you all so much.Special thanks to Marco for the honeysuckle!


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   2 June 2018

Perfect horses for the terrain - well schooled and cared for.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Castellare Train & Trail

5 star rating   26 May 2018

Excellent


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Heart of Tuscany

5 star rating   19 May 2018

The stables were very accommodating for my needs. I came on holiday with my husband and 6 month old baby and the riding worked perfectly as I was able to choose how I used my 2 hours each day and it meant I rode early in the morning so we could then enjoy the rest of the day as a family exploring the Tuscan countryside. Unfortunately the weather was a little rainy during our week and the terrain does become slippy so the pace was fairly steady. However; the horses were very well trained and I enjoyed trying out a few different ones during my week and it was great to give western riding a go.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

2 star rating   19 May 2018

Best with the most experienced guide (Marco). Had trouble with a gallop in terrain with very bad soil, and a new guide (Kirstin) did not stop before riders on the low horses shouted. It's not ok to write in the material that 'tufo' sand provides excellent footing, because it does absolutely not when it's raining / has been raining. It was incredible wet and slippery soil we rode in, and the horses almost skated around, up/down the hills. We were rather unfortunate with the weather, it happens, but you should rather write that in the rainy weather the routes are quite impassable and that there is not much chance of trot and gallop, if wet terrain in your information material.
Medieval Tuscany may not be the best titel for the ride, it was not so varied (maybe again because of the weather). We became well acquainted with the farmer trails, and great views over the vineyards, but medieval fortresses we definitely saw none of, only some past due recent buildings. Name the ride 'around Tuscany, riding in hilly terrain in vineyards and olive groves', then it fits well with what we have experienced. 😀
It is also stated in the material that you end the week's ride with local drinks overlooking the Hills. We did not do that at all, the ride just finish, pay gratuity and then goodbye.
Overall it was a good trip with lovely horses. The weather is never guaranteed, but badly it seems that it should only rain for 3 days, so the trails in both vineyards and forests were a total wet and slippery, which reduced the possibilities for both trot and canters throughout the week.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany Short Break

5 star rating   16 May 2018

We were disappointed about the riding level. We had informed about our riding skills in advance and had an expectation that when it was riding there was more canters and trot. We had one day where our group of 4 was alone with the riding guide, then the pace was better.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   5 May 2018

The intro lesson in the arena was great before you ride on the trails, really useful for those who haven't ridden Western before. The basics were explained and differences between English and Western riding.
The trails are hilly and steep in some places but there are opportunities for some lovely canters. However, this is not a fast paced ride, mostly the rides are in walk, but with trots and canters interspersed. Relax, enjoy the scenery.


33 reviews    1 2