Costa Rica riding holiday
Costa Rica riding holiday
Costa Rica riding holiday
Costa Rica riding holiday
Costa Rica riding holiday
Costa Rica riding holiday
Costa Rica riding holiday
Costa Rica riding holiday
Costa Rica riding holiday
Costa Rica riding holiday
Costa Rica riding holiday
Costa Rica riding holiday
Costa Rica riding holiday

This equestrian vacation teaches horseback riders to connect with their horses and be mindful.The groups are small and programs are tailored on-site to suit the riding levels. The host has a background in classical dressage and also with Natural Horsemanship, which will improve your riding, your relationship with, and understanding of horses. 

The Classical Horsemanship training (Baroque style) is suitable for all levels of riders interested in learning the principles of classical European equitation of the dressage masters. In this way of training, the horse learns self-carriage with strength and suppleness, and the rider learns to use the seat in balance, harmony and use only light aids. There are horses to suit all levels,  so beginners through to experienced horseback riders can be accommodated on this personalized holiday.

In addition to the lessons, there is trail riding, 'horse hiking', and a selection of half-day tours and horseback excursions available to chose from. Longer stays are also available with full-day excursions to choose from, such as white-water rafting, visiting the Caribe National Park, or the famous Irazu Volcano and Cartago city. However if you are short of time, a short break with the horses can also be arranged. 

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The classical horsemanship week covers fundamental principles of balance, the seat, with ground and ridden exercises, flexion and hip mobilisation, horse anatomy, lunging, straightness and correct riding of corners. This leads on to lateral movements: shoulder in, counter shoulder in, halfpass, travers & renvers. You will be taught the importance of timing, and how horses are trained to be ridden ride with light aids and how to improve 'feel'. 

The Natural Horsemanship holidays are something a little different! This style of working with horses is an immersive experience. You will learn groundwork, and the principles of Natural Horsemanship and how to apply them, with an emphasis on communication, psychology and developing an awareness of body language between you and the horse and of course, timing. Themes of leadership and mental strength are covered, and herd observation  As your partnership develops, the horse will begin to teach you, and you can test your precision and creativity, at liberty, around obstacles and try bitless riding with perhaps one or even no reins and a bareback pad.

Lessons are mostly one to one private lessons and some equine massage is covered.

In addition to the lessons with the horse there are half day activities available (some are weather dependent). These include:
-Trail riding
- Nature and local wildlife tour
- Waterfall adventure hike in the forest
- Visit to hot springs (1h30m drive)
- Chocolate making on an organic cacao farm
- Visit to a coffee farm

Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.

Horses & Riding

There are 10 horses on the farm of various breeds and heights, living as a free herd, to suit different abilities from beginner through to experienced riders. English and Spanish saddles are used and mostly bitless bridles. Snaffle bits are occasionally used and curb bits only for very experienced riders. There is a 20 x 40m arena and a trail arena with obstacles. The trainer is an exponent of both Classical Equitation  and Natural Horsemanship and uses these principles to guide her teaching. Group and theory lessons are 1 hour, whilst individual lessons are 45 minutes. The emphasis is on both horses and riders working in harmony and without tension.

Extra individual lessons can be booked on site, subject to availability.



Your host for this programme has a background in European dressage and which respects the horse and teaches self carriage. The basic biomechanics and anatomy of horse and rider are discussed to help understand the use of the seat and  balance in order to ride with light aids. The focus is on learning to ride towards the 'light', to experience ‘oneness’ with the horse, in harmony, understanding straightness and suppleness.

There are 10 horses available at different stages of training and so beginners can be taught the basics, and more advanced riders can learn or improve their lateral work with movements such as shoulder in and half pass.

Beginners are taught to really understand the trot, and can often learn sitting trot on the first lesson.



Anyone interested in horses and Natural Horsemanship will find something interesting to learn either mounted or through groundwork. The emphasis is on learning in a relaxed harmonious environment in the arena. Trail riding can be chosen as an extra activity subject to suitable weather - please note this may not be possible in the rainy season (May-Nov). 



 


Rider requirements

All levels of rider as well as non-riders are welcome here. Children are welcome to ride from 6 years onwards and can take part in many suitable farm activities.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 165 lb/75 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

Accomodation is in beautiful a self built apartments with semi private rooms with mezzanine lofts or triple rooms.There are few private room options with this retreat. Each apartment has a bathroom, and open plan living and kitchen area



The meals and smoothies are vegetarian, using local fresh produce (vegan on request). The farm is virtualy self sufficient and you can even pick herbal tea from the medicinal garden.



The buildings have great eco credentials, using rain water harvesting to flush the toilets, and are made with some recyled materials. All windows have insect screens. A washing machine is available. 


Vegetarian or other dietary requirements within reason can be accommodated with advance notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests before booking.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. NB: Be sure to check the COVID status of the country you plan to visit including entry procedures and requirements while travelling. Passport and Visa requirements can change regularly depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country. There’s a departure tax due when leaving the country by air. Somes airlines include this in ticket prices; a few have still not done so. Check with your airline or travel company whether you need to pay this separately. Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate should you need a visa. In the UK the British Foreign Office gives advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/costa-rica In the US: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/CostaRica.html In Canada: https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/costa-rica


Climate Summary

The best time to visit Costa Rica is during the dry season, which runs from December to April. May and June are also fairly nice along the West Coast. August through mid-November is known as the “Green Season”. Temperatures vary little from dry season to rainy season; the changing factor is the amount of rain. The elevated Central Valley has an average daytime temperature of about 72F (22C) and nights are cool, around 60 (15C). It is usually much warmer in the rainforest area with 100% humidity.

Climate Chart

Health

At Unicorn Trails, the health and safety of our customers is of paramount importance. COVID: Be sure to check the latest COVID regulations for travelling in any country you visit.

Health authorities have classified Costa Rica as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. Dengue fever, malaria and yellow fever are present throughout the country, although the coastal and southern states with lower altitudes are the most affected, especially during or shortly after the rainy season between April and November. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Please refer to your country’s latest health guideline for travel in Costa Rica and contact your own GP for up to date advice on vaccinations and prophylaxis prior to travel.


Health (ride specific)

Please take along sun cream and anti-allergy medicine for possible insect bites.

Riders should not have health concerns that limit their riding and must be aware that this a tropical country with higher temperatures than they may be accustomed to.

Bring personal medications, other needs available at pharmacies near by

Electricity

In Costa Rica the supply voltage is 120V. If the appliance or its power supply are not dual voltage rated, the single voltage appliance will have to be used alongside a voltage transformer or converter to allow the appliance to work safely and properly (unless the appliance operates at 120V).
WiFi and mobile reception is very poor in Costa Rica, It's also advisable to buy a local sim card AT THE AIRPORT BEFORE COMING THROUGH SECURITY/PASSPORT CONTROL as it's very difficult to buy one after.

Mobile, WiFi and charging

There is WiFi at the farm, but mobile reception is very poor throughout Costa Rica.

Packing List

Comfortable light weight riding clothes and casual wear, closed shoes, long trousers, light rain/wind proof gear is needed in the rainy season, mosquito repellant, sunscreen, hat, and camera and battery charger. Some sizes of riding helmets are available (not compulsory if over 17). Binoculars are a good idea. Guide books are available.

Programmes

7d/6n/ 5 lessons. Longer stays of 10d/9n/7 lessons; 14d/13n/10 lessons are also possible. Children's programme available, please enquire.

Departure Dates

2024: Can be booked year round except for May and June and when programmes are running.


Pricing
No single supplement payable if willing to share with someone of same sex. Should you wish to book a single room, please see supplement price below.
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
20247d/6n5double pp1,259
20247d/6n5single supplement165
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
20247d/6n5double pp1,475
20247d/6n5single supplement195
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description US $
20247d/6n5double pp1,645
20247d/6n5single supplement219
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
20247d/6n5double pp17,399
20247d/6n5single supplement2,289
Other Activities

Depending on the length of holiday chosen, in addition to the lessons there is a choice of half day tours available a nature tour around the farm, chocolate farm, a coffee farm, the Guayabo Monument, Turrialba Market  and Aquiares Waterfall, Hacienda Orosi Hot Springs and Catie Botanical Garden. For those staying longer, chose a full day's tour, to the famous  active Irazu Volcano and Cartago city or Cahuita National Park or try white water rafting,

Wildlife

Costa Rica supports an enormous variety of wildlife, due in large part to its geographic position between North and South America, its neotropical climate, and its wide variety of habitats. Costa Rica is home to more than 500,000 species, which represent nearly 5% of the species estimated worldwide, making Costa Rica one of the 20 countries with the highest biodiversity in the world. Of these 500,000 species, a little more than 300,000 are insects.

One of the principal sources of Costa Rica's biodiversity is that the country, together with the land now considered Panama, formed a bridge connecting the North and South American continents approximately three to five million years ago. This bridge allowed the very different flora and fauna of the two continents to mix. While encompassing just one thirtieth of a percent of Earth's landmass, Costa Rica contains four percent of species estimated to exist on the planet. Hundreds of these species are endemic to Costa Rica, meaning they exist nowhere else on earth. These endemic species include frogs, snakes, lizards, finches, hummingbirds, gophers, mice, cichlids, and gobies among many more.

Other Information

The farm is involved in a social project, with some volunteers, and supports a local Spanish school and maintains a 5 hectare primary rainforest area for exploration.

Other Country Information

Costa Rica is a tranquil haven of democracy – known as the ‘Switzerland of Central America’. It has no army, excellent hospitals, well-educated people and a great respect for human rights. In 1948 Costa Rica was the first country in the modern world to abolish its army. In that tradition, efforts to establish the University for Peace began at the United Nations under the leadership of the President of Costa Rica, Rodrigo Carazo.

This little country, roughly the size of Scotland, has an incredible diversity of flora and fauna. There is a great deal to explore in Costa Rica; from active volcanoes to palm-fringed beaches. Twelve percent of the land has been set aside as national reserves to protect the astonishing number of plants, birds, reptiles, insects and mammals.

Ticos, as the Costa Ricans are known, are a friendly, helpful and tolerant people. They favour moderation, and therefore have managed to avoid the political fanaticism of their neighbors.

Costa Rica is six hours behind GMT and they use the metric weights and measures system, so kilometres and kilograms instead of miles and pounds. There is approximately 1.6 kilometres in a mile and 2.2 pounds in a kilogram.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO)
Transfer:
Included from meeting point at Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO)
Flight Guide:
London to San José, return from £644
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