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Learn to Ride
Greece, Crete Island

Horse riding holiday for the starting rider

Intensive lessons and hacking out in nature.
The Beginner or Starter Course is a week long horse riding holiday in Greece on the Island of Crete.

The intensive program teaches the new rider the English riding style in a very direct approach. In the end of the course the rider is able to walk and trot independently, feeling secure on and around the horse, is able to make an easy outside trip, tack the horse independent and we made a start with the canter. From experience we know that sportive riders even learn to canter independently in this week.

Odysseia Stables provide safe learning facilities as well as good school horses and a professional teacher.

During your riding holiday you stay on a unique hill side location in Country Hotel Velani*** with swimming pool and panorama view over the Aposelemis lake. Your stay is on a basis of full board.

Riding ability.

The Beginner Course holiday is for riders who have never riden before or have ridden horse occacionally before. The Beginner Course follows the below intenerary.

The Starters Course is for riders who had several riding lessons before or had riding lessons in the past and had a long break but need to continue to improve the basic riding skills. The Starters Course Intinerary follows the below program but starts on day 1 with a private lesson to access the know skills and takes this as a starting point for the rest of the week.


Day 1. Arrival day.

Welcome at Country Hotel Velani***  & Odysseia Stables.
Evening diner in Restaurant Velani.

Day 2. Private lunge lesson with vaulting surcingle.

1/2 hour private lesson.
We start with a private horse riding lesson in which the teacher holds the horse on a lunge line. The horse is not wearing a saddle but a vaulting surcingle and pad on which the new rider can hold. Lesson concentrates on finding balance, rider position, leg aids and sitting trot without hands.
If the rider has a good balance or for the Starter Course riders also a few strides of canter are practiced.

Day 3, Private lunge lesson with saddle.

1/2 hour private lesson and 1/2 hour theory group lesson.
A private horse riding lesson in which the instructor holds the horse on a lunge line. The horse is wearing a saddle.
You learn the basic body position with stir ups, learn to do a sitting trot with and without holding the saddle, and we focus on riding the rising trot.
All starting riders have a group lesson in the stables on handling, grooming and tacking the horse.

Day 4, Group lesson horse riding.

Horse riding lesson 1 hour.
The first time independent riding in a small group. Learning how to hold the rains, steer and stop the horse. Practice the use of the leg aids as learned before on the lunge. And how do we make the horse to listen to the rider.
Before the group lesson we learn brush and tack the horse, each rider prepares its own horse with the help of the instructor.

Day 5, Group lesson horse riding.

Horse riding lesson 1 hours.
A group lesson confirming the learned skills of the last days. Increasing the time ridding in trot. And making turns or stops in the trot.  In this lesson we use some games to improve the learned skills and to make the pushing lacks more effective.
Today everybody takes his own horse out of the stable, brush and tack up the horse independently.

Day 6, Hacking out in nature.

Horse riding 1 hour.
The first easy outside hack into nature with walk and short trots. With starting riders also short canters.
Enjoy the scenery from the back of a horse.

Day 7, Hacking out in nature.

Horse riding 2 hours.
Today we make a longer hack out. We ride through Cretan nature and country side full of olive groves.

Day 8, Departure day.

Breakfast and departure.


In the end of the week you are able to groom and tack your horse alone. Mount and dismount independently.
You can ride your horse in walk and trot and make a rising trot. You made a start with the canter and have a basic experience for hacking out.


The horse riding holiday is 7 nights/8 days/6 horse riding days with a total of 6 hours in the saddle + 1 hour theoretic lessons
The riding holiday can also be booked with more or less number of nights.

The horse riding lessons are held in the beginning or the end of the day.

The horse riding holidays are complete with:

  • Stay in Country Hotel Velani***, charming small hotel with infinity swimming pool.
  • Full Board with breakfast, lunch and diner a la carte in the Velani Restaurant.
  • Horse riding on safe school horses suitable for beginners.
  • Lesson by an experienced teacher.


The Beginner and Starter Course can be reserved the entire year.
The Courses can start at any day of the week.

Prices 2024

Prices are based on 2 guests sharing a Classic double room.
Single room occupation is available at an extra charge.
Riders travelling alone can also choose to share a room with another rider of the same sex.

Prices per week:
Learn to ride program  1.070 € p/p, high season 1.140 € p/p.
Non rider with full board stay  770 € p/p, high season 840 € p/p.
Single room supplement + 245 €.
Deluxe room supplement + 455 €.
Wellness room supplement + 910 €.
Superior wellness room supplement +1.050 €.

Low season, 8 January – 16 March 2024.
High season, 17 March – 2 November 2024.
Low season, 3 November – 20 December 2024.
High season, 21 December – 8 January 2025.

Before reserving please have a look at our terms and conditions.

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