© S.Ferrer
Cross the river on horseback for a taste of adventure...

Cross the river on horseback for a taste of adventure...

Horse riding in Argeles-sur-Mer

A beautiful trek through woodland and getting your hooves wet

 

Enjoying this sunset from a kayak reminded us of Lucky Luke and Joly Jumper’s famous ending as they head off on new adventures! That’s fortuitous as there’s plenty of horse-riding options in and around Argeles-sur-Mer. Grab your hat, pick up a crop and come with us!

3, 2, 1, let’s go horse-riding!

We’re going to a Ranch in Argeles-sur-Mer for a horse-riding trek that crosses the river (the Tech river that flows into the sea at Argeles-sur-Mer). It’s 9.15 a.m. and the sun’s already high in the sky above the Ranch’s little reception area. We’re warmly greeted by our guide who hands out “bombes” to us … (Oh yes … for those of you who don’t know, “bombe” is the French nickname for a riding hat 😉)

 

Once we’ve securely fastened our riding hats, we’re introduced to our horses. We’re riding “Orpheus” and “Pati” today. It’s impressive to get up close to the horses and we appreciate how beautiful and imposing these magnificent animals really are.

The first step is to get up into the saddle … the cowboys in the westerns make it look so simple but, take it from us, it’s not quite that easy… We manage it in the end, with some help from our guides. Come on! We can do it. Put your left foot in the stirrup and swing your other leg up and over!

 

What an incredible sense you get once you’re in the saddle. You’re high up and you immediately feel at one with your four-legged companion. All that’s left to do is adjust the stirrup height and your foot position. Then, get to grips with the basic gestures for directing the horse:

– kick your heels to walk on
– pull the reins back to stop
– pull the reins to the right to go right, and left to go left

We now set off on our tour that will last 1 hour and 30 minutes and takes us along the Tech river.

Walking and trotting

Our group of around 10 horses follow small dirt tracks, little paths and at times, we literally cross through completely overgrown areas of vegetation. We sometimes have to duck to get under branches. We walk on and when we’re on suitable ground, we try out a little trot which gives us a boost of adrenaline.

We’re close to the river and our guide tells us that we’re going to take a more challenging route to get down the riverbank. So, we lean back in our saddles for this trickier section. However, it’s well worth it as we gradually see the river appear before our eyes.

A magical moment

Experiencing the horses going into the river is something we’ll never forget… Our feet  get a bit splashed, the sun’s rays glisten on the water’s surface and we even see fish zigzagging in the water’s edge. We want this moment to last forever. The horses also seem happy to cool off. We move into the middle of the river going from one bank to the other and the water almost touches our shoes. The river bed is rocky. After taking quite some time to cross, we go up a section of riverbank lined with reeds and start our return journey. We gain more and more confidence and we’re beginning to really get attached to the horses. We won’t want to say goodbye to them later. A little distracted, some of us let our horses move off the path to graze on some grass or catch a hanging reed branch.

The little Ranch appears at the end of the road. After giving our horses a last caress, we dismount. Our legs are quite stiff but we’ve all had an amazing experience. We thank our three guides who looked after us so well. We’ll definitely do this again!

Thank you to Ranch de la Sirène for their warm welcome and the time they gave to us.

For more info:

Ranches in Argeles-sur-Mer

For all levels, horse-riding with a guide, horse-riding treks, tandem saddles available for children, pony rides guided by parents…


Traversée du Tech à cheval Traversée du Tech à cheval Traversée du Tech à cheval

A unique experience

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