Often compared to the Cotswolds or Tuscany, the Tarn’s gentle rolling countryside is a haven for horse-riding enthusiasts, and owners at La Durantie are spoilt for choice with the varied terrain on their doorsteps.
The peaceful, beautiful scenery allows for riders of all abilities to ride out and enjoy the surrounds, riding with friends or taking their horse for an undisturbed ride. Endless outings can be enjoyed on sleepy, car-free roads, or deep amongst the ancient woodland of the Gresigne Forest, or meandering peacefully amongst the many local vineyards. With very little fencing or gates to negotiate, riders can feel at one with nature, with nothing to interrupt them except for the odd deer or the sound of a farmer’s plough.
La Durantie’s nearby stables offer the facilities for the experienced rider to keep their own horse, and those owners wishing to keep or rent a horse for a season can easily do so. Situated 500 metres from the Chateau, there will be 18 boxes for horses, one riding court and one lunging ring, laid out on a 30 hectare site comprising fields and woodland. From the stables riders will have fabulous views of the nearby Bastide hilltop village of Castelnau-de-Montmiral.
For those just looking to enjoy a ride once in a while, and for younger children, the two nearby stables at St.Beauzile (www.centre-equestre-tarn.fr) and Ecuries de la Burgue (www.ecburgue.com) can offer training and rides organised on an individual basis.
There are many endurance competitions to enjoy at all levels, from a beginner friendly 10KM, up to a competitive 100KMs, with each event enjoying a communal local spirit. Breakfast is often shared before the events, followed by celebratory meals over trestle tables, which are filled with local Gaillac wine and scrumptious local produce.
For the skilled rider, slightly further afield there are several show jumping and dressage competitions during the spring and summer in and around the Toulouse area, which is easily reached within 50 minutes of La Durantie.