Being home to pura raza Española, the pure Spanish horse breed, Andalucía is strongly linked to horses. The region is also home to El Rocio, a legendary town among horse lovers all over the world, also known as the “Spanish Wild West”. Its annual Easter celebrations involve a pilgrimage on horseback to the town which is designed to put horses at the forefront and accommodate equestrians– complete with sandy roads and carriage parking spaces.
Marbella, in turn, offers weather conditions that allow for equestrian activities to be enjoyed all year round – and with picturesque scenery. Whether you are looking to introduce your children to these majestic animals or improve your already advanced skills, there are several places where you can get your riding boots on.
The Costa del Sol School of Equestrian Arts
Located in Estepona, this is one of the most important equestrian centres in Andalucía. It is officially recognized by the prestigious British Horse Society and by the Andalusian Horse-Riding Federation. Located in the beautiful countryside between Sierra Bermeja and the sea, it has modern facilities with a truly Andalusian design. There are classes and courses for different levels available and a restaurant. Several times a year the school hosts regional dressage tournaments and equestrian shows.
Marbella Horses has a touching story behind it: founded by two dressage riders who fell in love, Joaquin Legarre and Teresa Cortes Akerman, the club is a family-run business with all of their three young children involved. There is a friendly pony club situated near the beach and a more serious training centre near the centre of Estepona. Marbella Horses also offer Equestrian Therapy with Hippotherapy, Psychological & Pedagogic Horse Riding, Equestrian Occupational Therapy and Adapted Riding all available. If you’re looking to buy a horse, Marbella Horses can help find and select horses for your consideration taking into account the horse’s character, manageability and trainability.
La Zagaleta Riding Club
Elegant and peaceful, La Zagaleta Riding Club is set within the beautiful residential estate of La Zagaleta. The school has a first-class equestrian centre that includes stables, six paddocks and a covered area for training, dressage and show jumping. Here you can get expert training whether you are just beginning or are interested in perfecting your skills to competition level. With many hiking trails around the area it’s also possible to disconnect and have some quality time with your family on horseback.
Marbella Club Equestrian Centre
Located in Benahavís, just 20 minutes from the Marbella Club, the centre is surrounded by pine forests and mountains, with stunning panoramic views and riders can enjoy treks in the surrounding countryside. With two modern geo-textile riding arenas covering over 7,000 square meters, there is space for all. You can get your professional dressage training while your kids can enjoy pony rides and one-on-one instruction.
Arrocha Equestrian Centre
Arrocha Equestrian Centre was founded by the Arrocha family who have a lot of experience in breeding the pura raza Española, with facilities housing a few of these majestic horses. Located only a few minutes from the centre of Marbella, it’s perfect for your daily equestrian needs – whether it’s riding lessons for your children or yourself. The school also offers Christmas, Easter, summer and weekend riding camps for children of all ages.