Reviews
13 reviews   
Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Heart of Tuscany

5 star rating   18 June 2022

Emma who has been on 3 In The Saddle rides. A privilege to ride such well trained and cared for horses, unlike any others | The riding went above and beyond all expectations and then some. The hacking was lovely with wonderfully well-trained horses matched to each rider incredibly well, through beautiful countryside.
However, the absolute highlight of the holiday was having a lesson with Franco on a Western-trained quarter horse names El Wimpy. Initially, I had wanted a lesson as I am so used to riding English I wanted to make sure I was riding correctly for how the horses were trained (totally unnecessary as you are given a lesson on day one to understand the basics which is all you need and they respond incredibly well) I was completely blown away in my first lesson riding my trail horse Ros I decided to book another. This time I was on El Wimpy.... I can honestly say it was the most incredible lesson in my life and an experience I will never ever forget, he was the most well-trained horse I have ever had the privilege to ride. Franco is an amazing teacher and trainer he helped me do my first ever 'spin' and also sliding stop, more importantly than this I had lost confidence in my own abilities and he gave me that back (not gonna lie I was crying by the end!)
I was also incredibly impressed with how well the horses were looked after, they were all in impeccable condition, fit with a shiny coat, well mannered and happy.

I do need to make a special mention about Ailsa who really did go above and beyond to look after us, ensuring we were well looked after every step of the way her generosity knew no bounds to the point of driving to the pharmacy to get medication for my mum who was under the weather. Her translating skills were also pretty incredible during my lessons! She is a true asset to Castellore and a genuinely wonderful human being 🙂
[Becky from In The Saddle replies: Thank you for your feedback and I'm so pleased to hear how much you enjoyed the riding. It's wonderful to hear your experiences.]


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Heart of Tuscany

5 star rating   18 June 2022

Morag who has been on 6 In The Saddle rides. An outstanding equestrian experience | This was our 6th visit to CdT, and I'm delighted to say that the horse I rode this year was the best yet. She was powerful and forward-going, but excellently schooled, thus sensitive and responsive: an absolute joy to ride. We travelled new trails and some old favourites, with the high temperatures always taken into consideration, so there were plenty of descents into the cool shady forests after taking in some classically Tuscan views.

The care shown by all the staff with regards the horses' welfare, and ours, was excellent, in particular flexibility in terms of start and finish times to avoid the hottest time of the day. Hats off to Franco, Ailsa et al. for making our holiday so special.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   11 June 2022

Steve (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Amazing holiday | I cannot praise the riding enough. I’ve never ridden such well trained horses, ever! They spook at nothing, not snakes, flapping sheets, fast cars or very steep inclines or drop offs.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany Short Break

5 star rating   1 June 2022

Sean (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Fantastic riding holiday in amazing countryside | Yes it did. After initial trepidation in the indoor arena learning 'Western' with Franco, we were out on a trail. Our confidence grew together with our understanding of our horses. Very good package of rides around the area with welcome lunch stops.
Thankfully dry and no flies so perfect conditions for us and the horses.
Ailsa was an absolute star, she was very in tune with the group, keeping us safe and maximising our enjoyment. Going out at 6am to mark a twisty trip with paint says it all. She was ably assisted by Costansa and Diego and with Franco's oversight they were a great team.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   30 April 2022

Nici who has been on 2 In The Saddle rides. Loved it | Wonderful location, loved the variety of forests and the open vineyards.
The riding experience was great, the horses are well trained, sure footed and extremely well looked after.

The riding is relaxed, yet it never gets boring as the scenery is stunning and the trials are varied.

What makes this places extra specials are the trainers and guides. The level of care and hospitality is on another level. I felt the the whole team had a genuine interest to make the experience excellent. It starts with being carefully matched with the right horse (I was on the same horse all week, very happy as I liked her so much) to the carefully curated trail routes that offered variety, scenery, and daily change. Then the elaborate 'picnics' which turned out to be 3 course lunches, to just everyone being genuinely lovely.

I was excellent overall, I hope to go back there soon.
[Becky from In The Saddle replies: Thank you very much for your feedback and we are so pleased that you enjoyed your time at Castellare di Tonda.]


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

4 star rating   5 October 2019

Sue who has been on 6 In The Saddle rides. Lovely place to ride - on fit, willing and surefooted western trained horses. | 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 picnic lunches on whole day rides, made for an excellent riding experience.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Heart of Tuscany

5 star rating   6 July 2019

Vanessa who has been on 5 In The Saddle rides. Superb Holiday | We had a lovely time. We started off in the school and were instructed on the basics of Western riding, so that you are riding the horses in the best way possible and that you understand each other.
We had breakfast at 7.30 and rode at 8.30 as the weather was hot. Beautiful country side, but some very steep valleys so the pace is dictated by that. Horses are sure footed and responsive.
[Chris from In The Saddle replied: We are pleased that you enjoyed your holiday.]


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   1 June 2019

Burner63 (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Perfectly perfect | 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

Jill (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) A Western riding adventure in beautiful Tuscany | 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

Earl Grey who has been on 3 In The Saddle rides. A Non-rider's Perspective | A Non-rider's Perspective.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   18 May 2019

Rosa who has been on 4 In The Saddle rides. Tuscan adventure | 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

Kim who has been on 6 In The Saddle rides. Stunning scenery, wonderful horses and fantastic company. | 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

Bridget (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Perfect. | Opened my eyes to the skill of Western riding style.
Perfect pace for the beautiful variety of terrain covered.


13 reviews