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El Bronco lies in the beautiful, peaceful setting of the Kiskunsági National Park. The park covers an area of 53,000 hectares and is home to a wide range of flora and fauna including white tailed eagle, nine species of orchid, heron, white tailed deer and black-winged stilt. The lakes within the park also provide a temporary home for tens of thousands of migratory birds. The landscape consists mainly of saline plains and sandy lowlands, which make it ideal riding country. A rather unusual feature of this area are the sand dunes, which stretch along for miles and offer great views of the national park when you reach the top of them. The riding is varied and interesting; during a ride out you may start out along sandy tracks through the forest, then wind your way past the lake and end up negotiating the sand dunes, which is great fun!
El Bronco ranch was formed in the 1980's as a holiday home in the country. Since then, it has expanded to become a renowned Western riding ranch, with important Quarter-horse, Appaloosa and Paint breeding stock. The horses raised on the ranch are started using gentle training techniques and lead fulfilling lives as leisure and show horses.
The ranch boasts fantastic facilities, there are two large outdoor arenas, an indoor arena, seven corrals, extensive winter pasture, a round-pen, stables and tack-room. Guests are well catered for too, with 12 en-suite rooms, a bar, outdoor dining area and outdoor pool. There is also a wellness centre, featuring a jacuzzi, steam cabin, infrared sauna, Finnish sauna and large shower cabin.
Massages are a great way to ease aching riding muscles. The masseuse is not on-site and so if you would like a massage during your stay we recommend you request this on the first evening so that arrangements can be made. Massages are payable locally and cost around €30 for 45 minutes.
If you are a non-rider or would like a break from riding there are a great range of activities available at additional cost. Your guide will discuss various options with you during your first evening, but extra activities which are usually on offer include a visit to the local cheese factory, wolf encounter, wine tasting sessions, a carriage ride, a jeep safari in the national park, an early morning visit to the bird station, hiking in the national park, fishing in Izsák and a visit to the nearby town of Kecskemet.
The riding is usually a mixture of fun, informative Western lessons and
rides out in the countryside. In the arena you will be shown the basics of Western riding, such as how to turn, stop and back-up, then put your horse through their paces in walk, jog and lope. If you are an experienced Western rider, you may have the chance to progress to movements like side-pass, lope-halt or halt-lope transitions, serpentines and rollback turns.
After getting to know your horse in the arena, you will spend time out on the trail. Paths lead out in many directions and you will likely ride past smallholdings and farmhouses, past lakes, through pine forests and along the edge of farmland. During a week-long stay you can expect to have two longer rides, with a picnic lunch.
The pace is mixed and there are plenty of opportunities for jogging and loping, but generally you won't gallop. The riding groups are split according to ability, but even novice riders will usually have the chance to try cantering before the end of their stay.
The ranch offers four hours of riding for each day you are on holiday plus two hours riding either on your arrival or departure day if your flight times permit.
The ranch offers four hours of riding for each day you are on holiday.
For 2016, a seven night holiday includes 24 hours of riding over 6 days with no riding on the arrival and departure days. If you arrive early and depart late then additional riding sessions may be offered subject to availability and this is payable locally. A four night holiday includes 14 hours riding and a three night holiday includes 10 hours riding. The short breaks do include 2 hours riding either on the arrival or departure day.
For 2017, the riding packages for any length of holiday are four hours for each complete day you are on holiday plus two hours either on the arrival or departure day but not both. So, a seven night holiday includes 26 hours of riding, a four night short break includes 14 hours and three nights includes 10 hours.
The itinerary is flexible, but the following is the likely itinerary based on a week-long stay. This should be used as an illustration of what is likely to take place. The itinerary is subject to change due to weather or other local factors. Any changes to the itinerary are made in your best interests in mind.
You will be met on arrival in Budapest and transferred to the ranch. You will be shown around the ranch, then there should be time for you to settle in to your room before dinner. For 2017 you should plan flight times so as to permit two hours riding either on your arrival or departure day.
This evening there will be a welcome dinner and ride briefing.
After breakfast, you will be matched to your horse and then head out to the arena for your initial session. One of the trainers will run through the basics of Western horsemanship and depending on your level of experience, you can get the feel of your horse at walk, jog and lope. Perhaps set off on a short trail ride as an introduction to the surrounding countryside.
On returning to the ranch, lunch will be served in the bar area or perhaps by the pool if the weather is nice.
This afternoon there will be a trail ride of approximately two hours through the national park and along rural tracks.
Dinner will be back at El Bronco. Perhaps have your first taste of Hungarian palinka this evening.
After breakfast, set off on a longer ride today. Head out through the forest and along sandy tracks, enjoying the forward-going and responsive horses for which the ranch is renowned.
Lunch will be a picnic en-route, often comprised of delicious local ingredients.
This afternoon return to the ranch. There may be time for a dip in the pool or a visit to the winter pastures before dinner.
Depending on the season, there may be the chance for an early morning carriage ride to the bird station. Here, the rangers will give you an insight into some of their work by catching, recording and ring marking some of the bird species found in the national park.
Return to the ranch for breakfast, before working with your horse in the arena. Your instructor may show you the fundamentals of reining, which is sure to be fascinating whether you are a competent Western rider or not. A short trail ride will follow.
After lunch at the ranch, hit the trail once more. Perhaps you will spot some of the local wildlife such as white-tailed deer or herons.
After a delicious breakfast, explore some more of the national park on horseback. Return to El Bronco for lunch.
Perhaps visit the corrals to see some of the stallions, or one of the foals may oblige for a few photographs.
This afternoon you can work on your Western horsemanship in the arena. Perhaps begin with some slalom exercises and then try your hand at side-pass or direct transitions.
Before dinner there should be time to ease tired riding muscles in the wellness centre.
By now you will have bonded with your horse and it could be the time to try some pole bending in the arena, which is great fun! Forget the regulations of English style, this is Western and a relaxed position with a soft contact is called for.
After lunch there will be a trail ride into the national park. It is great fun to jog along through the countryside and the pace allows you to admire the view! A long sandy track may invite for a fun canter.
Dinner will be served back at El Bronco.
Make sure you have a good breakfast because today is another picnic ride! Head out with your horse into the beautiful Kiskunsag countryside. Perhaps you will pass the bird station and the lake with its tall reeds or maybe the route will go through shady forest tracks. Your picnic spot could be a hidden-away glen carpeted in green moss, an ancient tree close to the sand dunes or perhaps a ruined church out on the plains.
After four hours in the saddle you may be in need of a massage (payable locally), or at least a visit to the wellness centre for a session of relaxation in the sauna or jacuzzi.
Dinner will be typical Hungarian fare and the chance to reminisce about the week's adventures.
After breakfast, say your fond farewells and transfer to the airport in time for your flight home.
The ranch has a total of twelve en-suite rooms, spread over the main buildings. Close to the main bar there are two guest chalets, each with three or four well-appointed rooms. Another five rooms are situated next to the Wellness Suite. Each guest room has an en-suite shower room or bathroom, with television (range of international channels), air conditioning and central heating unit. The rooms are comfortably furnished and some have small verandas or seating areas. There is also Wi-Fi at the ranch.
The Wellness Suite is the perfect place to relax after a day in the saddle. Ease aching muscles with a soak in the jacuzzi, have a massage in the treatment room, or re-energise in one of the saunas. There are super seating areas in the spa too, which look out over the horse paddocks - bliss!
In the warmer months it is great to take a dip in the pool and then relax in one of the sun-loungers. Lunch may be served in the open air dining area and a barbeque is often the order of the day during the summer.
Meals are traditionally Hungarian; hearty, filling and tasty. Breakfast is buffet-style with bread, rolls, local salami, cheeses, hams, yoghurt, muesli and fresh fruit/vegetables. Lunch and dinner is also buffet-style. Lunch is usually two courses; in cooler months there might be soup followed by meatballs, accompanied by bread and salad. In warmer weather there might be a barbeque by the pool or a picnic lunch if you are on a day-ride. Dinner might be a main course of meat or pasta, followed by a mouth-watering cake or pastry for dessert. Fresh fruit is available throughout the day and bottled water can be obtained from the bar (free of charge). Special diets, such as lactose or gluten-free can be catered for with prior notice.
Due to the high mineral content you are advised not to drink the tap water. When you check-in a large bottle of water will be given to you for use in your room. When this runs out please just ask at the bar for a refill.
At the bar there are a wide range of beverages available for purchase. Come in from riding and order a refreshing gin and tonic, soft drink or beer. Tea and coffee are also available, as is palinka, the local firewater.
Guest rooms are cleaned every third day from your arrival. If you would like your room to be cleaned more frequently, then this is usually possible - please ask the ranch staff, who will do their best to accommodate your request.
Most people arrive Sunday and stay for seven nights. It is also possible to arrive Sunday/depart Thursday (4 night stay) or to arrive on Thursday/depart Sunday (3 night stay). By exception other arrival/departure days may be possible.
Please select a date on the
calendar to request a booking.
| 7 nights
|| 4 nights
|| 3 nights
| (26 hours riding)
|| (14 hours riding)
|| (10 hours riding)
|2017: 1 January - 30 April|| $1,004
|2017: 1 May - 30 September|| $1,198
|2017: 1 October - 31 December
Accompanying non-riders discount is 25%
For 2017, return guests can pay low season rates all year
Children under 15 sharing a room with their parent(s), or two children sharing together receive a discount of 20%
INCLUDES Riding; full board accommodation
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT No single supplement if willing to share, otherwise €13 per night for a rider to guarantee a single room (payable locally)
PAYABLE LOCALLY Drinks; optional activities; airport transfers; massages (c.€30)
NEAREST AIRPORT Budapest
TRANSFERS from Budapest to El Bronco are €70 per person return (1-3 people) and €50 per person return (4 or more people)
NOT INCLUDED International flights to Budapest
In The Saddle Gallery
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