It is difficult to explain what rider, horse trainer and instructor Alfonso Lopez de Carrizosa offers with his youth riding camps during summer. All we can say is … wish we were teenagers again!
During July, young equestrians are welcomed to enjoy some of the most pristine areas in Europe, the countryside of Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. For years, Alfonso Lopez de Carrizosa, has welcomed young riders to a week of equestrian immersion. This must be the dream vacation for every young person between 12 and 18 whose interest lies in horses and learning. Youth from England, Northern Ireland, Switzerland, Norway and obviously, Spain, are eager participants.
Norwegian Mira Takle Friis (15) spent a week in Jerez de la Frontera in the summer of 2016 and said: “The week at Alcantara lifted my views of riding to a whole new level. Sharing the experience with other horse lovers and making new friends made this the best time of my life. Mum and dad, please let me go back!!” In 2017, perhaps Mira can easily also return with her mum and dad as there are plenty of high-end accommodation options in the area where the rest of the family can stay and enjoy the beaches, culture and cuisine in Andalucía while the teenager is having fun in the stable.
The action takes place at Alfonso´s equestrian centre, Alcantara. Here, the daily activities start early. As Paloma, a camp veteran explains: “We wake up early because we need to go riding in the coolest hours of the day. Already at 9AM we are in the saddle. We are divided into three groups based on age: One group has a vaulting session to improve their seat and position; the second group cleans out the stables; while the third group brushes the horses. At ten o clock, everyone puts on their helmets and riding gear before having a one or two-hour long lesson. We ride different horses to learn as much as possible. If anyone has a challenge doing something, they get extra time with the instructors to run-through their technique. After the ride, we lean the tack, have a snack and have lunch.”
For the campers, accommodation and all large meals take place at El Encinar, a close-by finca with a swimming pool, beautiful interior and wholesome food.
“After lunch, we play in the swimming pool and have a short siesta. At 19, we are picked up again and brought back to Alcantara. In the evenings, we usually play games and have small competitions with the horses, such as gymkhana, and we go on hacks in the countryside. Sometimes we bring a carriage to practice driving. Around 10.30-11 in the evening we have dinner. And everyone goes to sleep very fast because we are so tired!”, Paloma laughs. “The next day, we have breakfast together and are driven to the stables around eight.”
Paloma concludes: “Summer camp is the highlight of the year. We learn in a fun way. I discover so much from the instructors, but also from being with the other campers. You can notice everyone improving their self-esteem, doing exercises and speaking foreign languages in a way they never thought they would do.”
Jerez de la Frontera, with its well-known horse culture, is indeed an exceptional place for young equestrians to enjoy a summer riding camp. During the week, the group goes on several educational excursions to the famous institutions in this area, such as the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art, the Cartuja Stud farm and the Campo Abierto Horse Show of D. Alvaro Domecq. At the excursions, everyone gets t-shirts with the summer camp´s colours and design to wear during the visits. Nothing seems to be left to chance!
The first week of summer camp starts July 9 in the evening and ends July 15 after lunch.
For questions and booking, please contact [email protected]
The international summer riding camp includes
- Intensive week of riding, minimum 25 hours per week in different disciplines
- Full monitoring of progress by world class teachers and instructors
- Accommodation in shared room in an exclusive Andalusian cortijo (farmhouse) with a swimming pool
- Full board, Andalusian Mediterranean menu, with meals made by a well-known chef from the area
- New four-legged and two-legged friends
- Memories for life!