Last weekend, it was time for the annual Fira in Sa Pobla. This is the nearest town to the stables and Lorenzo’s home town. Every town in Mallorca has this annual event every year, each on a different weekend. The Firas are an opportunity for each town’s business to show off what they do and for people from the town to get together with visitors and have a good time. Each town has its own theme and in Sa Pobla it’s very much about food and animals. So naturally Hipica Formentor had a stand at the event and joined with other horse riding establishments and livery stables in giving a riding demonstration in a specially created school with a sandy floor.
For us it was a formal display of synchronised riding called the Carousel. To the booming and dramatic theme tune of Game of Thrones, we rode at sitting trot to a carefully choreographed and practiced routine. Dressed in black and orange and with orange numnahs decorated with our stable logo, we presented ourselves and our horses at our cleanest and smartest. The horses were a little bit thrown by the loud commentary on the PA system which they hadn’t had at the practices back in the stable school, but we acquitted ourselves well and were proud of our performance.
Lorenzo and three of our Carousel team at the stand.
Unfortunately, it was one of Mallorca’s rare rainy days, when the island makes up for the lack of rain generally by deluging its inhabitants with what feels like large buckets of water thrown very fast and from a great height. This did dampen the enthusiasm of participants and viewers but we battled bravely on. Better luck next year, with the weather, we hope! Come and see us then when we’ll be back with another stand and another performance next November.
Puça follows Lorenzo literally everywhere, sometimes running 20 or 30 kilometeres a day beside his horse. She’s super fit, as happy as they come and utterly devoted. On the rare occasions that he leaves the stables without her, she cries and complains until he comes back. She doesn’t have a lead but runs a few steps behind him and waits outside shops when she’s not allowed to go in. She knows how to cross the road and if the going gets tough or there are sheep around, she takes a ride on his horse.
Puça turned up at the stables as a young stray. He says it wasn’t immediately obvious whether she was lost or abandoned or had just wandered from where she lived. She hung around for all day and he had to go on an errand so decided decided that if she was still there when he got back, he would take her home and keep her. He went to his car and there she was already waiting for him. Puça chose Lorenzo, so she’s not his dog – he’s her human.
We took our riding holiday partners from Equestrian Escapes in Cheshire, up to the high Tramuntana Mountains last week. They like to experience every aspect of the holidays they sell to their clients and were very impressed with the horses, the guide and the incredible scenery. We enjoyed their company and the weather was perfect.
Come and join us too, for trail riding in the mountains of Mallorca this winter. It’s the perfect time for sports activities across the island and nowhere is more magnificent that the Tramuntana World Heritage site.
RosemaryGreat time with the team from Equestrian Escapes
The dates are set for the coming season for 2 or 3 days trails in the Tramuntana Mountains.
They all begin on Sundays and can be tailored in length between 2 and 3 days to suit our client’s preference.
Sunday, October 15th
Sunday, November 19th
Sunday, December 17th
Sunday, January 14th
Sunday, February 25th
Sunday, March 18th
If these dates don’t fit and you want to arrange your own programme, contact us at email@example.com.
Trails have a minimum of 4 riders and a maximum of 7. We often have clients who tell as that are flexible on dates and will join other riders tomake up numbers, so do contact us to flag up your interest.
“Gloria – crazy for horses” is a mini-series shot on Mallorca, which is currently being shown on Vox channel in Germany. Gloria and the camera crew visited us here in May to ride with Lorenzo and so that Gloria could work her charms on Princesa – the stable’s only anti-social horse. Enquiries are already coming in from German clients who viewed some of the lovely horses here and the trail riding routes.
RosemaryFamous German animal psychologist Gloria Rückert visits Lorenzo at Hipica Formentor
In the UK there is a tradition on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday of making pancakes, based on the idea of using up eggs and fats in the kitchen before the fasting days of Lent. Other European countries have Carnival instead. Amongst them are Germany, Italy, Holland and Denmark. Historically the most lavish was in Venice but this was abolished by Napoleon at the end of the eighteenth century. The first more modern interpretation took place in Cologne in 1823.
There is also a long tradition of Carnaval (spelt differently) in Spain. Rome was a big influence on the country and the wild winter solstice ritual of Saturnalia may be at the root of this festival. These Roman festivities had parade floats, using boats mounted onto a cart and were often permissive and blasphemous, bending the rules of the established order. The name is thought to come from a “farewell to the flesh”, the carne part, meaning meat and valle meaning farewell, symbolizing the lack of meat in the diet during Lent. The festival has changed a lot in modern times but still has an atmosphere of rebelliousness, before the arrival of Lent with its abstinence and penitence.
Carnival was forbidden in Spain for 40 years by the dictator Franco, and couldn’t reclaim its inheritance until the reestablishment of democracy in 1981. Today in Mallorca, and all over Spain, it is a lively and popular event. The Carnival Parade, where groups dress up in costumes and walk the streets, often dancing to music or throwing sweets or confetti is called Sa Rua de Carnaval in Mallorca. It takes place at the weekend after the British Shrove Tuesday. Don’t be surprised by anything you see in Carnaval. Lorry drivers performing the chorus from Sister Act in full nun’s habit, a swarm of giant dancing bees, schoolchildren demonstrating the activities of an Olympic team followed by Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
Earlier this year in Sa Pobla, riders from Hipica Formentor dressed as D’Artagnan, the three musketeers and the ladies from the court to make their appearance in the annual parade. Every year it’s a new challenge to find a theme that works with horses. In the past, we have tried being medieval knights and last year we were Smurfs on horseback – although a few of us didn’t think this was our best look. Alexandre Dumas’ story gave us every excuse to dress up, wigs, hats with feathers, masks, big dresses and as most of are women, rather amusingly moustaches and beards. What will next year bring? We are thinking of James I the first Christian King of Mallorca, his knights and courtiers. Join us for riding lessons or hacking out and join in with our activities.
RosemaryCarnaval – more work than pancakes, but more fun too
Are you amongst the fans of television’s latest craze with its fierce knights, beautiful ladies, divided loyalties, cruelties and battles of strength and power? Or do you just enjoy history, horses, lively entertainment and a Mallorcan barbeque?
On 24th September this year we had an all-day Medieval Games at the stables. Regular riders and some newbies are learning jousting, archery and even decapitation (but only the pretend sort) now and over the coming months in preparation for next year’s games.
The riders and horses wear medieval costume and the competitors are armed with shields, swords, lances, bows and of course their flowing standards. There is a fantastic atmosphere as the horses thunder around the arena and a real sense that the Age of Chivalry has returned. The riders carry their own family crests and the day of the battle commences with a horseback parade and carries on with fiercely fought battles of skill. At the gallop, the competitors collect hanging rings on their lances. They later joust with wooden horses as their foe. They whip off the heads of evil enemies, in this case made of sawdust and attempt to hit a bull’s-eye with their arrows whilst staying on their horses.
For the last two years the winners have been women. Will a Knight of the Realm beat our victorious ladies next year or will another lady take the throne? Calls are out now for new competitors who would like to join in the training.See the Medieval Games icon on our home page for more information.
Hipica Formentor attended the Carnival parade in Sa Pobla on March 1st. The riders dressed in scarlet and gold and wearing long flowing cloaks, carried swords and shields as their horses took the town by storm. The horses walked calmly through the crowded streets completely unafraid of the wild carnival atmosphere with music and dancing all around them. People were delighted to see real horses and lifted up their children to pat them. The riders had a great time too and stopped off for a friendly drink before going into battle.
Hipica FormentorFrom days of old when knights were bold
Old friends who have ridden with us in the past will now find us in a new location. We have a bigger ménage and more space for our horses to exercise and play when they are not working. We are within the Albufera wildlife reserve, where the countryside is flat and open with sandy tracks and views of the mountains. The stable is close to the Ma13 road which runs from the end of the motorway from Palma and continues to Alcudia.
Turn towards the coast at the blue sign saying CTP3. This is on the right when driving towards Alcudia. Follow this road until you cross a bridge which turns to the right. After the bridge take the first right and follow the roads which snakes along until you see the stables.