Reviews
49 reviews    1 2
Castellare di Tonda - Italy
Experience Level

Medieval Tuscany

4 star rating   19 May 2018

Kind horses if a little lack lustre. They all looked very well and were all very well behaved. It was a bit steady due to the ground conditions which was unfortunate due to the wet weather. Our guides were extremely caring and made sure everyone was happy. Probably not so suited for those wanting a faster riding experience.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy
Experience Level

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
Experience Level

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
Experience Level

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
Experience Level

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.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy
Experience Level

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   5 May 2018

In the morning of the first day of riding I asked if I could ride a Criollo horse. They provided me with the most wonderful horse that afternoon and I was so happy to ride him all week. The horses are very sure footed and responsive. They are fit and look very healthy.
The terrain is very hilly with some very steep sections, this meant there weren't too many opportunities to canter but it's what I expected and the beautiful scenery more than makes up for the lack of fast riding. There is plenty of trotting though and we did have a few canters each day.
Our guide Marco was great. His english is perfect! We loved our picnic chats and learning more about Italian culture. We were incredibly lucky there was only me and my friend booked on this ride and it didn't rain much at all. Had it rained anymore I would have been very scared on the steep slopes which I saw get very muddy bit I'm a wuss with things like that. My friend didn't mind it.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy
Experience Level

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   28 October 2017

It was a fantastic experience, the day tours were excellent especially due to Jessica our guide. She took us to very nice places including an original Tuscan pottery and a idyllic Tuscan villa, where we had a wonderful lunch with the most accommodating host. We thoroughly enjoyed every moment; thanks Jessica.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy
Experience Level

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   16 September 2017

We started with a lesson in the school (in a thunder storm) which was very informative regarding Western which is quite different to English riding. Then we had 3 day rides with a picnic these were really enjoyable about 2hrs riding then a stop at benches for a very generous lunch with wine, cake and coffee, then a 2hr ride home. The other day was split into a morning and afternoon ride with time to do your own thing in the middle. The riding was through woods, tracks and steep mountain paths all at a fairly steady pace.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy
Experience Level

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   16 September 2017

Lovely terrain and paths. However didn’t get the full 24 hours of riding, maximum 18 hours. Whilst on the paths there were opportunities for a faster pace but guides were over cautious due to the conditions. However on the last ride it started to rain lightly and then we had a very fast pace back to the ride curtailing our riding time again. This didn’t quite add up as on the days where the weather was fine we weren’t allowed to canter as soon as it started to rain certain stretches where it was deemed unsafe to canter were now safe.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy
Experience Level

Medieval Tuscany

4 star rating   2 September 2017

Yes, it met my expectations.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy
Experience Level

Heart of Tuscany

5 star rating   22 July 2017

Lovely horses, I rode 7 different horses in the week, (which is what you get when you say on day 2 "surprise me") all different and fun, equally if you wanted to stay with the same horse you could. Riding through absolutely stunning scenery up and down through the valley, I loved meandering around with the occasional canter but if you want long flat out gallops, this is not for you especially in the July heat, but if you enjoy spending time on a lovely horse in beautiful scenery riding at appropriate pace for heat, it's perfect.
We took opportunity to have western lessons and I can definitely recommend them as well.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy
Experience Level

Heart of Tuscany

5 star rating   15 July 2017

I hardly ride these days after a fair bit of experience until about 10 years ago, so wanted a place where the riding was a slow/moderate pace and relaxed, in an interesting landscape. I picked Castellare di Tonda because it was Western style, in Tuscany, and the reviews so far were consistently good. The good points are mostly covered in the other reviews; the landscape was absolutely stunning, the horses all tried hard and were all responsive, the introductory lesson was really useful, and I enjoyed the walking/trotting and canters where possible. Some of the horses are on the mature side, but they are fit, in good condition and definitely enjoy the rides out. I did 2 hours in the morning and 2 in the evening, and while it was hot, we rode in wonderfully cool woods and the shade of the trees was very welcome at each time of day. I also did a reining lesson on Wednesday which was fascinating - Franco was very patient (of course the horse was great but it was like a first lesson in Chinese for me) and I got a real sense of achievement at the end by getting the horse to "flow" in a spin by (finally) getting the aids right and suddenly the horse and I were speaking the same language. Basically most things in the western style are opposite to english style - eg, drop the reins and keep your foot in the stirrup on dismounting - so the differences were quite hard to remember sometimes when you just revert to what you "know" or started out with. The horses are all very responsive to voice aids so that was also really interesting and fun to use. I wanted to ride several different horses and they were all lovely (Boy the Criollo was my favourite if I had to pick one I think!) I was super-lucky that week to be riding with only one other person in the morning, and on my own with Marco or Jess and once with Kirstin in the afternoons, who were all excellent so it was also fun to chat with them and learn more about western technique etc. All together a wonderful week for me as it was a good pace, responsive horses, lovely guides and absolutely stunning riding. AND the pool was fab and the food was incredible!! The staff at the accommodation were lovely to me and Franco even came up at breakfast on my last day to say goodbye which was so nice. All highly recommended if you're after this sort of riding and location.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy
Experience Level

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   8 July 2017

Fantastic horses and a team that does everything to match the horse and rider.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy
Experience Level

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   8 July 2017

The pace was a bit slower than I had expected (most likely because of the heat), but there were several short canters each day and a couple of longer stretches of canters. I had the most amazing horse! A beautiful young mare with lots of personality and energy, which completely matched to the type of horse I did request before the holiday.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy
Experience Level

Heart of Tuscany

5 star rating   8 July 2017

It did meet my expectations


Castellare di Tonda - Italy
Experience Level

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   1 July 2017

Excellent


Castellare di Tonda - Italy
Experience Level

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   1 July 2017

Horses very responsive and well schooled. It took a short while to get used to Western riding as apposed to english but enjoyed the experience.


49 reviews    1 2