Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Experience Level

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.

The Riding

How well were you matched with the right horse for your ability?
5 star rating
How would you rate the variety of riding, pace or terrain?
4 star rating
How would you rate the overall standard of the horses, tack and stables?
5 star rating

The Accommodation

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4 star rating
How would you rate the standard of the food?
5 star rating

Do you have any comments about the accommodation and food?

I had a one bedroom apartment to myself. It was a little bit rustic but had everything I needed and was convenient for the bar/restaurant/shop/reception and about a 10 minute walk to the stables.
The swimming pool was lovely and not crowded in the slightest and I appreciated that there was time allowed in between the riding to make use of it and enjoy the sunshine.
The food was excellent, even for a fussy vegetarian like me. Breakfast was a buffet with cereal, pasties, cheese, bread, meat etc as well as scrambled eggs. The evening meal was buffet style on four evenings and menu for the others. The staff were very helpful in advising which dishes on the buffet were vegetarian.
I had a table reserved for the whole week next to my fellow rider so although I dined alone we could chat about the day's ride.

Before Your Holiday

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Plan and prepare for your holiday?
5 star rating
Feel comfortable about your transfers and what to expect?
5 star rating

How could we improve the quality of pre-holiday information that we send?

This was the first time that I've travelled alone in many years but the organisation of In The Saddle meant that I was confident that everything would go smoothly, which it did. I booked a transfer from/to the airport and, for me, it was well worth the money. I loved the booklet of info that I received shortly before my holiday. It covered everything I needed.