UCPA horses are carefully selected and trained under saddle to be suitable for beginners. In some cases the horses are kept on a long rein while you are learning how to control and handle the horse. If you have ridden before you will be able to practise and perfect your technique and discover new equine activities; Horse ball, vaulting, jumping etc. You will be grouped in lessons according to your ability.

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What to expect in Lacanau

horseriding sand landscape
You will begin by understanding the preparation of the horses and first steps in horse riding. You will learn or review (if you have ridden before) the basics and safety rules of this sport before taking the horses out. You will take the horses out around the beautiful pine forests near the equestrian center and also get the chance to take the horses to the beach. There is also a great opportunity to have a taste of show jumping with a workshop planned towards the end of the course where you will learn the basics or perhaps show your peers what you can already do. During the week you will enjoy 5 supervised riding sessions and in your spare time explore all the other amazing sporting options available at Lacanau such as surfing, tennis or hire bikes. You will also have one entrance to the Aqualidays Aquatic area complete with jacuzzis and wave pool, and one entrance to the 18-hole mini golf course. 

What to expect in Essaouira

This course is still suitable for any level rider, whether it is your first time or you have been doing it your whole life but there is less focus on coaching and more exploring. Discover the beautiful hinterlands of Morocco and it's fishing villages by horseback. Take the horses for a gallop along the stunning beaches of Essaouria bay. There are plenty of varied rides along endless beaches interspersed with palms, sand dunes and rocky peaks with views over the ocean. A mixture of sessions throughout the week with an opportunity to spend a day in Marrakech (extra charge to be paid at the centre).
horse morocco

Do you need to be fit for a horse riding ​holiday?

horse lavender
Good overall fitness, strength and endurance are extremely helpful for horse riding. It is a sport that you discover muscles in your body that you had no idea existed.  After a few hours in the saddle you will have had a good workout. Your legs, your back, your core and your arms all come in play whilst on a horse. You will benefit from exercises such as running, cycling and swimming to get you ready for this experience, but it is by no means necessary. You just may be a bit more comfortable!

What to wear for horse riding

For those of you that do not horse ride already and do not want to buy all the gear, here are some great tips to ensure you are comfortable on your course. Comfortable, long trousers either without a small seam on the inner leg. Jeans can be worn, however the seams can cause rubbing. Ideally thick leggings or non-baggy sports trousers are the best option for trousers. A lightweight, breathable top and layers are the best idea for your top half. Ideally, hard leather boots or something like Timberlands with a slight heel are the best for horse riding, however if you do not have anything like this, trainers will be absolutely fine. If you have soft hands, a pair of gloves will help with any rubbing from the reins. UCPA will provide you with a helmet.
horse beach



Beginner: You've either never ridden or may have had a few lessons. You may be able to trot or ride at a walk pace.

Intermediate: You're a secure rider on a horse at all paces including cantering. You're happy to ride for several hours and may have some jumping experience.

Advanced: You're an experienced rider, confident and relaxed on horseback. You ride regularly, have an independent seat and soft hands. You're capable of handling a spirited horse out in the open and are happy to jump. You have experience of riding a variety of horses with varied behaviours.

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