Equestrian Training Courses at Masia Can Grau
Equestrian Training Courses at Masia Can Grau
You love horses and cannot decide whether to go on vacation to travel to foreign countries and cultures or stay home and spend your holidays in the stable and practice riding? With us you can do both! In our Finca Can Grau situated at the Costa Brava – the Wild Coast – at 100km north of Barcelona we offer different equestrian training courses. The courses are held in the morning half day to give enough time off to combine riding-holidays to discover the beautiful Pre-Pyrenees landscape and Catalan culture.
Ideal for holidays accompanied by friends or family no-riders, for they can practice another kind of outdoor sport (mountain, water), do sightseeing of the area or simply relax on the nearby beaches or our pool, while you are riding in the morning. As well as coming together with your best friend or buddies from the barn and enjoy a new riding and travel experience together.
The courses are designed for horse-lovers and riders with little o more experience who want to learn more about horses, horse training, different types of riding and improve their handling and riding skills. We give the possibility to adapt courses for whole groups.
Our teacher Susanne Lenk is a professional full time horse trainer. She is an official Riding Teacher, Physiotherapist for humans, Osteopath for horses and certificated Horsemanship Expert with a lot of experience in training young and difficult horses, showing on horse fares, writing for horse magazines, teaching horsemanship and giving riding lessons to students. She speaks fluent Catalan, Spanish, German and English.
Do you want to know more about equine ethology to better understand your horse’s behavior and be able to educate your horse in a respectful way? For example, how to motivate a horse to follow you freely in the arena? We invite you to disconnect from daily stress, live the moment, learn to relate and communicate with horses without having to use force or punishment. With the principles of ‘Doma Natural’ Horsemanship you can learn to use universal equine body language in handling from the ground and improve the reactions of your horse while ridden. In the course we adapt to the interest of the participants and work on topics such as: body language in groundwork and liberty, techniques of respectful use of ropes and reins in handling and riding, desensitization techniques without flooding the horse with fear, relaxation exercises for the horse , control and obedience exercises for the horse, preparation for bitless riding and riding with neck ring.
Riding experience: low, riders with some experience (walk, trot and canter in an arena)
Technical difficulty: low (exercises adaptable to conditions, approximately 1,5h riding daily)
Riding discipline: indifferent
Minim/maxim: 2-8 participants
Course duration: 4 half days Timetable: 10h00-13h00
DAY 1: Arrival in the afternoon / evening, meet the group, dinner
DAY 2: History and information about the ‘Doma Natural’ – Natural Horsmenship in Spain, Liberty work with body language in the round pen. Getting to know the horses.
DAY 3: Groundwork basic with the leash. Riding with less rein aides and more body expression
DAY 4: Groundwork getting the horse to follow and copy your moves. Riding bitless.
DAY 5: Respectful desensitization. Get the horse used to new object or situations without flooding, Riding bitless
DAY 6: Breakfast and departure
After breakfast and tacking up, we leave the farmhouse following a ridge with spectacular views of forest, rosemary and thyme. Up to the Fluviá, out of the rolling hills onto the plains, we canter and gallop through olive groves and fields of wheat, past country farmhouses and churches and into the foothills of the Empordà. Today we’ll not ride with the cattle but prepare our team strategy to work tomorrow in perfect coordination. Our destination is to a charming Hotel where you will enjoy a dinner with our music who will accompanies us throughout the week with his guitar and his lovely songs.
After having breakfast, we will pick up our horses, and prepare to begin our journey. Today, the cattle has started at 5:45 in the morning with the herder, our cattle expert, from the farm owned by the “Moixa”. The route we will take to reach our first stop in Sant Llorenç de la Muga, where we will rejoin the cattle and the herder, we ride through typical Mediterranean brush wood forest, thick with bushes and calcareous soil. This is a rocky area with old buildings of traditional rural architecture like shelters for herders and small stone walls. When we reach the St. Quirze d’Olmells shrine, the vegetation will change completely, and become a Mediterranean forest which will continue until we reach the plains of Palau Surroca and the castle of La Roca. From here on to Terrades we will take a short rest beside the Sant Sebastià shrine. Then we will continue along a path that borders the main road, until Sant Llorens de La Muga village for lunch. After a two-hour break, we will resume our journey with the cattle, which will take us down to Albanyà. Once we arrive, we will go to the Bassegoda Camp Site, where we will have dinner and spend the night, leaving our horses with the cattle in a nearby field. We will spend the night in small and comfortable wooden bungalows. This is an ideal place for wildlife lovers in the middle of nature. It is a door to the wild, for during the following 48 hours the only traces of civilization we will find are some chapels from the eleventh and twelfth centuries and a few houses in ruins. There is no phone signal during this time.
After breakfast we will go to the field where our horses are and we prepare everything for the two next days which will include breathtaking views and fresh air. At lunch time, we will join the cattle that have started off earlier in the morning. After the picnic, we will help to collect the cattle that have been dispersed. From now on we will stop seeing roads and cars and we will enter the Massif of Bassegoda (895m/2936.351ft) that dominates the entire valley. We will follow the paths parallel to the “torrent of Píncaro”, a tributary of the Muga River. This will take us towards the Coll de Bassegoda and the Coll del Principi (1172m/3845.114ft Here, on this vast open plain of red pine woodlands, we will once again join the cattle. We ride together to the “¨Comella” house for our picnic and leaving here the cattle. We will then ride to the “Morato” where we will set up camp with tents, campfires and spend a lovely evening, leaving the horses to graze freely around us. The cultural value of this valley is of great importance. There are about 15 sanctuaries, shrines and monasteries, all dating between the years 980ad and 1200ad. The most important are Sant Pere de Albanyà, Sant Bartomeu del Pincaró, Sant Miquel de Bassegoda and Sant Julià de Ribelles.
NOTE: Due to the special nature of this route, which depends on the weather and the complications involved in bringing cattle, the organization reserves the right to modify the itinerary if necessary.