Rafael Soto Clinic
This is a seven-night, six-day dressage programme that culminates with four private dressage lessons with Olympic Silver Medallist, Rafael Soto.
The programme offers an unrivalled combination of six shared dressage lessons, on highly trained Spanish horses, two lunge lessons and four private lessons, with the world esteemed Olympic silver medallist, Rafael Soto, all alongside the culture and heritage that makes the Andalusian region of Spain so special.
Guests will be immersed in an exceptional day-to-day riding and training programme like no other. It’s a great chance to get a real feel for the sensitive Andalusians and Iberian horses, and to learn more about them.
Depending on your ability, you will get the chance to feel many of the advanced dressage movements, such as Passage, Piaffe, Pirouettes, Flying Changes and, of course, Spanish Walk.
During your stay we also include cultural excursions to the heart of Seville, to view a flamenco show, and the world-famous horse show in Jerez entitled “How the Andalusian Horses Dance” all whilst staying in one of the most beautiful medieval towns in the world.
This is a unique programme that will not be found anywhere else.
This programme is only run over pre-set dates and has a maximum number of five riders per clinic. As a result, early booking is highly recommended.
Our weight limit for this programme is 80kgs.
This programme is ideal for riders who have an elementary understanding of dressage right up to advanced dressage riders.
Rafael is not only a superb rider and trainer of horses, but he is also a highly skilled teacher of riders. Rafael has a great eye for detail and his positive teaching style brings out the best in all his riders, regardless of their current abilities.
This programme is designed for those who have a great passion for dressage and who want to progress their ability and understanding in a safe and supportive environment.
Typically, our participating riders are adults, with no upper age restriction, who are passionate about learning more about Classical Dressage.
If you are travelling with a less experienced rider or a happy hacker or a non rider we have the itinerary and a different price available. If you cant do the dates we have an intensive dressage break too!
Guests arrive in the afternoon and settle in to their hotel, a former Palace, once the residence of a medieval Queen, which is nestled in the heart of the breathtakingly beautiful medieval town of Carmona.
In the evening, you will be joined at the hotel by one of the hosts, for a welcome dinner, where you will meet the rest of the week’s riding members.
After some friendly introductions and conversation, you are free to spend the rest of the evening at your leisure, and to relax before the beginning of what we hope will be an unforgettable week.
After breakfast at the hotel you will travel the short distance to the centre, you will have a short-guided tour and a chat with our instructors.
Your first group lesson will be an assessment for your instructor, who will note your good points and the areas which need to be worked upon. It is also the first chance for you to get used to your horse and the more sensitive style of riding required for the Andalusian and Iberian horses.
Today, you will also have the first of your lunge lessons which offer a wonderful opportunity to improve your seat, balance and posture
Once the morning lessons are over, relax with a book on the terrace or in the comfortable guest lounge. You are also more than welcome to stay and sit by the arenas and watch the daily training of our horses.
Meet the rest of the group for lunch in our beautiful dining room and enjoy your first experience of typical Andalusian home cooking and sample our excellent local house wine.
There will be another dressage lesson this afternoon.
Early breakfast and pick up at the hotel at 8:30 a.m. for the drive to Jerez de la Frontera, in the province of Cádiz.
Jerez is internationally renowned for its production of sherry and brandy. However, the main attraction of this day will be the visit to the Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre, and to see an equestrian performance titled, “How the Andalusian Horses Dance”.
Here you will have the privilege of seeing the magnificent Andalusian stallions at their best, at home in the breath-taking setting of their 18th Century palace and the riding hall. They will be performing piaffe, passage and the airs above the ground (courbette, capriole, etc) in a spectacle of light, music and colour.
(Vivi Garcia, the chief instructor at the centre, trained at the Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre for four years and frequently performed in the show. Her mentor and trainer for the final two years was Rafael Soto.)
Please note: the additional cost for the Jerez trip and the “How the Andalusian Horses Dance” performance is €32
Return for a late lunch.
Group dressage lesson this afternoon.
As the week progresses so will your dressage, performing more advanced movements and to a higher standard.
Today you will have two group lessons (morning and afternoon) and you will be working on some of the exercises you will encounter during your Rafael Soto sessions. This is so you are fully prepared to get the very best out of all four of your private lessons with him.
Once your lessons are over feel free to stay and continue observing the daily training of the geldings, mares and stallions, from young and green to very advanced. We also train the schoolmasters regularly to keep them sensitive and in good shape so that our guests can enjoy and get the most out of their lessons with them.
Lunch is served.
Another dressage lesson this afternoon.
Group dressage lesson to start.
Today, you will also have your second lunge lesson. By now, you will have a good understanding of the importance of a secure and balanced position.
This second lunge lesson will give you an opportunity to work on any areas that need improving and will set you up nicely for your final two days of dressage training with Rafael Soto.
After a relaxing afternoon back in Carmona, get ready to visit the historical heart of Seville.
Here you can visit the tack shop, always a highlight and after a quick walk around it is then time for a classical Flamenco Show. The show features dancers of national and international fame, traditional singers and wonderful flamenco guitar. This Flamenco show is optional and has an additional cost of €35.
Alternatively, stroll the streets around the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and the palaces and mansions that are a part of this world-famous city. The photo opportunities are endless and you will be spoiled for choice. There are also many shops and cafes in the city centre, so there’s lots to do before it’s time to meet up with the others for dinner.
After the show it is a short walk to the typical Spanish night market where you can choose your own meal, from a range of Spanish and International cuisine, accompanied, of course, by some superb Spanish wine.
Two private dressage lessons with Olympic silver medallist, Rafael Soto.
Depending on your ability, you will be performing the more advanced movements with improved confidence, knowledge and technique today.
You will be able to watch the other lessons, which gives you yet another learning opportunity, all helping to make this a very informative and enjoyable day, all the while alongside like-minded and supportive fellow riders.
Lunch is included.
Two private lessons with Rafael Soto.
This is the day you will be able to consolidate everything you have worked on during the week, under the ever-watchful eye of Rafael Soto.
As Rafael knows the centre's horses so well, his four lessons will be progressive and relevant to your individual needs.
Today he will help you get the best out of your horse and, most importantly, yourself.
You will then be presented with the ‘Intensive Training and Dressage Clinic with Rafael Soto’ Diploma while we toast with delicious Spanish cava.
We will then view the video of one of Rafael’s most legendary rides, aboard his impressive PRE Invasor on his way to winning his Olympic medal. Rafael’s commentary during the projection of this video is an experience in itself!
Afterwards, it’s time for goodbyes and last-minute pictures of your new friends, animal and human.
Enjoy at your leisure the last relaxing evening in Carmona.
We offer complimentary transport to/from the train station.
First trip at 8.00 am and the second will be at 11.00 am.
If you require a different departure time or day from the hotel to the airport or train station, please let us know, and we can organise a taxi for you. You will pay the driver in person and the transfer time is usually less than 25 minutes to both the airport and the station.
Have a safe onward journey and we look forward to welcoming you back!0.
Your accommodation is in a 4* hotel, complete with a swimming pool, nestled in the nearby medieval town of Carmona, one of the famous white villages of Andalucia.
Carmona is the oldest continually inhabited town in Europe and as you stroll through the narrow streets of the old town, you will feel and breathe the spirits of ancient cultures (Iberians, Visigoths, Phoenicians, Romans, Moors), in the innumerable examples of their architectural influence in the churches, towers, palaces and mansions as well as in the inherited customs.
Carmona is one of Europe’s hidden gems and is a destination in its own right. You will never tire of wandering the streets and will discover that its timeless beauty changes from sunrise to sunset, and then at night. Carmona takes on a magical glow that will leave you spellbound. With at least fifty-six small cafes and bars, you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to a bite to eat or a refreshing drink.
Mostly Pure Andalusian, some Andalusian cross, trained from Elementary Dressage through to High School, depending on the rider's ability.
Dates for 2022 / 2023, price £2,595pp. Single supp £295:
06 - 13 November 2022 Full
04 - 11 December 2022 Full
05 - 12 February 2023 3 places
05 - 12 March 2023 3 places
We all know that Rafael Soto is a brilliant Spanish dressage rider and the Chief Instructor at The Royal Riding School in Jerez, but did you now that he is equally impressive as a trainer. His exceptional personality, his unwavering patience and his total dedication as a horseman, make his clinics an inspirational experience of a lifetime.
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Equestrian Escapes specialises in horse riding holiday. Our holiday packages are suitable for all ages and cater for all different riding experiences.
If you are interested in riding in Spain you may like to look at some other holidays that we offer the full list is under Spain on the navigation, we have also included a few below.
Trail Riding Holiday Spain
If you are interested in practising your dressage skills before you travel to Spain please look at our UK horse riding holidays. Our horse riding holidays England offer a dressage break as well as beach riding and hacking. If you want to do cross country and show jumping we can also offer you this on our horse riding holiday Cornwall. For other useful links please look at Friends of Equestrian Escapes.
We inspect all the horses in our horse riding holidays to ensure the best quality holiday for you.
For tips regarding your holiday such as what to wear and riding ability, please visit the Travel Tips page.
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We have a large range of holidays to suit a range of riding abilities. Please see here for more information.
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