Posted on 26 May 2009 by Dan Johnson
There are many great ways to sightsee: by car, a gentle walk, a boat cruise — but all pale when compared to a horse ride through beautiful surroundings.
Last year La Pignade — our holiday parc in Ronce-les-Bains, in the sunshine department of Charente Maritime — launched an equestrian centre (Caliper Ronçois) with pony and horse riding tours through the picturesque La Coubre forest, and along the Plage du Galon d’Or.
The tours have quickly become a favourite of siblu customers and locals too, which is a sure sign of their popularity. These aren’t just short jaunts around a local field: they include night treks through the forest and day-long hiking expeditions to explore a wide range of scenery and spot local wildlife.
Looking through these pictures from La Pignade, you get a sense of just how picturesque the tours are. La Coubre forest was planted in the 17th century to stabilise the region’s sand dunes, and the many pines now shelter a red squirrels, goats, deer, boar and foxes, and incredibly rich and varied vegetation.
One of the most popular elements of La Pignade’s riding school is the half-day training course for children and adults, which combines riding and horse care to give a broader view of what goes into looking after horses.
Of course, the ponies and horses get their free time too. They are resident at La Pignade and stay in the parc’s own slice of La Coubre forest, where they can be visited when they’re not taking part in tours and care courses.
This is a great way to learn to ride, in relaxed, scenic surroundings. There are beginner and advanced lessons from 17€, with pony walks from 5€, coastal hikes from 50€ and full-day horse care courses from 40€.