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“Excellent trek through Sierra Nevada”

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Caballo Blanco Trekking Centre
Reviewed May 19, 2014

This review is long overdue. We had an amazing time on our half day trek with Caballo Blanco. Jane is a great guide that was very accommodating to my boyfriend and I who were first time riders. They tailored the length of the trek to our needs and schedule, which for us was 3 hours. The trek was fun and challenging, filled with gorgeous views of the Sierra Nevada and glimpses of the Mediterranean. We went in February, but the weather was perfect. I was sick the night before, but that fresh mountain air made me 100% better!

We stayed in Granada and took a 45-minute bus ride out to Lanjaron. The owner and her husband offered a car ride to and from the stop for a small fee (well worth it as it is quite a ways up the mountain). The owner and staff (Sarah, Allie, Jane, and volunteer Rachel) are wonderful, warm people that care about their horses and have a personal connection with each of them. The horses themselves were quite some characters, made everything much more fun.

The experience is a great value, worth much more than what we paid. If there is one activity I recommend for a vacation in Southern Spain, this is it!

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Michelle M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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25 - 31 of 62 reviews

Reviewed April 10, 2014 via mobile

It was always going to happen... And, after 6 years out of the saddle, it was seeing my 6 year old daughter trek out with Sarah that finally got me back on board - thanks Caballo Blanco;-) My husband also joined us and wow, what an truly amazing way to see the Alpujarras! We loved every minute and the ride was over all too quickly - determined to get back there somehow, someway...

Daughter also had two lessons and Sarah is clearly a marvellous, very accomplished instructor as well as guide - explaining things really well and helping to instil confidence.

The Caballo Blanco horses all seemed happy and well-cared for. Loved the sure-footed Molly whom picked her way flawlessly up and down Rocky Mountain paths. And we wanted to take Meg home - what a superstar!

Keep up all the good work, folks...

Stayed: April 2014
1  Thank Alex260777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2014 via mobile

Unlike every other guide and host on the ride, the owner of Caballo Blanco did not meet the riders. Not a great introduction to or ending of the ride. Our guide, Jane, was excellent. She repaired all damaged bridges with the riders. Jane's employer should be indebted to Jane because she managed to make the whole group of riders feel so safe while letting us have fun. Having not ridden like this before, I felt safe at all times thanks solely to Jane - despite some if the challenges faced. The views and experiences from the ride itself were great. The farmhouses where we stayed were excellent, clean and spacious and our hosts were friendly, professional and magnificent. The other riders and I did feel that the large number of horses owned by Caballo Blanco, and the manner in which they are kept by Caballo Blanco at the ranch, is a tad upsetting and questionable - especially given that untrained work experience staff help to tend to the many horses at the ranch. Maybe keeping horses like that is a Spanish thing?

  • Stayed: March 2014
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1  Thank MrPerdido
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Caballo B, Owner at Caballo Blanco Trekking Centre, responded to this reviewResponded April 20, 2014

I'm glad that Jane looked after you so very well. It would be grand if I could meet and greet every client, but it is just not possible. I take many treks myself, and often on the same arrival dates as other clients. Our guides and hosts do a wonderful job, and I am very pleased you gave them such great feedback.
We enjoy taking on work experience helpers, and I believe that the horses benefit from all the extra attention of having so many hands helping. Our guide, Jane, started as a trainee many many years ago and and it is of mutual benefit for us to spend time and effort on training. A vast amount of our Working Holiday helpers also return again and again.

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Reviewed November 20, 2013

I had a great time on my working holiday at Caballo Blanco. I was thrown into the deep end as soon as I arrived with both tasks and riding. I was nervous about the horses because I haven't rode for so long and the horses can be intimidating but the working holiday was fantastic. I should have stayed for more than one week!

The accommodations are basic, just as Sarah lets you know on the website and in her emails. I personally loved sharing a caravan with no electricity with two other girls. This probably won't be the case for everyone. Most of the volunteers and working holidayers were young - 16, 19, 23, 25, 27 etc. but I am 36 and a couple of late 60 year-olds were there too, and I like to think we did a fair share of the work.

There is a lot of physical work but I think the working holiday people do less than the WOOFers or work exchange people. The work was simple; something most people can do. The ranch is busy (even in late October and November) so that people are coming up for rides all the time which keeps you running around or allows you to ride out with them. Paying the working holiday fee guarantees you 5 days of riding out of 7. I rode once for 1.5 hrs and at the other extreme for an entire day. I loved the horses. Make sure you clarify your experience and ask for a horse that matches your comfort. I absolutely loved riding Lucero on my first two days because he's so friendly and easy going but he is slow and I was happy to move up the ladder of horses (Flamenco, Terrano, Rio, and Pieper) so to speak.

What I loved: no electricity but solar and a generator in the evening; the quiet; getting up in the dark to feed the horses; falling in love with all the dogs; goose wrangling; walking up to check that the horses out on the fields have water; using the loo during sunsets (the view is awesome); hiking up and down the mule track to Lanjaron to buy wine, honey, and local chorizo (sausages); Lanjaron itself is wonderful to explore; the amazing star lit nights; the olive, chestnut, acorn and other trees; the local fruit trees; the wild thyme, rosemary, and oregano which fill the air-- along with the pine-- with natural fragrance; being busy and working hard but taking long breaks for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; meeting people, especially the young, energetic workers, and talking for hours; learning the +20 horses names and personalities; riding off road along mule paths with spectacular views; having long and peaceful sleeps with no noise except the odd goose honk or horse neigh; going to sleep tired but happy. Also, many of the core volunteers are actually very knowledgeable about horses and really help run the place very well and it was great to learn from them.

The not so great: be prepared for some sore knees and tender bits as you get used to being in the saddle again!! Also, it would be great if the working holiday youngins were tidier in the kitchen; not all of them seemed interesting in scrubbing the kitchen after cooking!! I think the core volunteers that stay there for months and/or are returnees find it frustrating to constantly be teaching newcomers what to do but they do put up a good show despite this. The big negative for me was that there was not a single person from Spain at the ranch. I thought that at least half the people would be Spanish and I’d have the chance to practice the language and speak with locals but this was not the case. Also, while many of the volunteers were very experienced with horses, the ones that lead trail rides didn't necessarily know much about the region and didn’t really have a feel for customer service. As a tourist, I want to know about the names of the local villages, the history of the area, local customs, and so on and didn't really get this from the young workers. I thought the riders might like to learn more. I think Sarah might do a better job of this when she leads tours but I was never up at the front of the line with her.

The food is as good as you make it. Sarah and Ali provide lots of basics like fresh veggies (from their garden and the store) and fruit, rice, pasta, lentils, chickpeas, sauces, tuna, bread, and more. You have to decide what to eat and cook. I found everything to be basic but wholesome. Some girls complained about not having high-end cheese and sausages but I didn't feel the food was lacking. Ali brought us the most amazing roasted chickens one night and we never went without a good meal. Frankly we were all so tired and hungry that we were satisfied with eggs on toast with pesto sauce and a side salad or just veggie pasta. As a group we took turns cooking dinner. I bought chorizo in Lanjaron one night for us all.

If you just want to ride and forgo the working holiday then you can book a riding holiday. When I was there the guests raved about La Casa del Viento (the accommodation and the food) and Ali, Sarah's husband, will shuttle you up and down to the ranch (10 to 15 mins?). It's actually not a long walk up and down the mule track between the two places either. For volunteers there was no guarantee for riding horses but in the week I was there, everyone got on a horse. The experienced volunteers did ride a fair bit. I enjoyed being immersed in the horse ranch.

I must recommend Caballo Blanco. I think that the horses are excellent. The entire ranch is focused on the horse’s welfare and they really know what they are doing. The working holiday allowed me to really get a feel for the ranch and animals and to meet some lovely people. I’d return in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank googlywoogly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2013

Breathtaking scenery, warm company and the best horses I have ever ridden made Caballo Blanco an incredible experience. If you want good riding and great views, I highly recommend it! Trekking horses can have a tendency to become hard and stubborn, however all Sarah's horses are incredibly responsive and all have very distinctive personalities (especially Pippa and Terrano!), they are clearly loved and well looked after.

I did a working holiday at the centre in the summer of 2013, and would go back in a flash! The family was warm and friendly, the farm is beautiful and eco-friendly, and the riding was the best I have ever had. After just two weeks I felt completely at home, knew the horses, and had to pack my bag with extreme reluctance. If you like horses, good views (even the loo has a view!) and need a break from city life, I highly recommend Caballo Blanco!

Room Tip: My room was 'Casa de Clare' (best one-nearest the kitchen! ;)
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Nell E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2013

We were recommended Caballo Blanco by the owners of the villa we were staying at in Orgiva and we we were not disappointed. Sarah who runs the place is extremely likeable and very extremely enthusiastic about her horses. The horses are all stunning animals and Sarah told us that they are all rescue horses. My wife and I had a 2 hr trek into the mountains with Jane (again who was very amiable) and the scenery was absolutely magnificent. Being both novice riders, the horses chosen ( we had to give heigh and weight measurements when booking) were ideal and knew the routes so both of us were never nervous even when we had to go both up and down very steep parts of the way. As people have said before in their comments, the site looks very basic as are the amenities but my wife having grown up on a farm, knows that working farms are not meant to be pretty. I would highly recommend this riding school and we would look to book a longer trek next time we come back.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank edster1973
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2013

I can only agree with what's been said before; this place is amazing! My first time at Caballo Blanco was a 3 week working holiday the summer of 2011, and I have been going back there ever since; needless to say, I love the place!

Where to start...
The trekking centre is located on a mountain side, outside of Lanjaron. While it might be quite basic, everything you need is available. It's a great place to get away from the daily stress and deadlines and whatnot, and just enjoy the horses, meeting new people, ...

The horses are amazing; they're wellbehaved, nice and surefooted. They all have their own personality and aren't the mindless ponies you usually see at a trekking centre or riding school. There are horses for beginners, nervous riders, experienced riders, and everything in between. You'll be sure to find a horse to suit your needs, and Sarah does a great job at finding a nice rider-horse-combination.

As for the riding; this is how riding is supposed to be. There are lots of trails to discover and the views are simply stunning. I have done a lot of riding while I was at CB, and I don't think I will ever get bored of the rides. And for the competent riders: what beats taking your horse for a nice canter in the mountains?!

Sarah and Ali do their best to make your stay and the riding a positive experience. They are warm, welcoming people who are always willing to help, and I am really glad I met them.
Not only is Sarah a lovely person, she's also a great horsewoman. I love watching her work with her horses and I have learnt a great deal from her.

I am really happy to have found Caballo Blanco, and I'm counting down the days until I can go back!

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank MVal188666
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Caballo Blanco Trekking Centre

Address: Cortijo La Chaparra, Aptdo - 17, | Lista De Correos, Lanjaron, Spain
Location: Spain > Andalucia > Province of Granada > Lanjaron
Amenities:
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Specialty Lodging in Lanjaron
Number of rooms: 18

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