From the horses carved into the Arc de Triomphe and the fountain at Chateau de Versailles and the panoramic image of Napoleon Bonaparte crossing the Alps, horses are intrinsically linked. In this tradition, a variety of equestrian experiences are available in and near Paris. These include horse and carriage rides from the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe to Champs Elysees and Trocadero, horse shows and riding adventures.
La Voie de l’ecuyer at Chateau de Versailles
On a Saturdays and Sundays, at Chateau de Versailles' Grande Ecurie (royal stables) l'academie du spectacle equestre (Equestrian Arts Academy) puts on La Voie de l’ecuyer, an equestrian ballet featuring dressage, music, artistic fencing, Kyudo (Japanese archery).
Horses Riding at Chateau de Versailles
When Chateau de Versailles was a royal palace, the royal stables, which were completed in 1683, had 600 horses. Horses were seen throughout the grounds. Today, thanks to Horse in the City it is again possible to explore the gardens, the Domaine de Marie-Antoinette, the Trianon, the Lanterne, and The Grand Canal at Versailles on horseback. The adventure includes a guided tour of the chateau. The day ends with a gourmet picnic.This experience is available every day except Monday when Chateau de Versailles is closed.
Horse Riding in the Bois de Boulogne
Bois de Boulogne, an 846-acre wooded area in the west end of Paris, was once the hunting grounds of the French royal family. The grounds include le parc de Bagatelle, le jardin des serres d'Auteuil, and le jardin d'Acclimatation. Now, it is possible to explore 28 kilometers of trails on horse back. There are ponds, brooks, and waterfalls to explore. The experience ends with a gourmet meal at Pre Catalan, a restaurant located in what was once the residence of Napoleon III. The restaurant is closed on Sunday and Monday.
Polo Lessons at Moulin de la Tuilerie
Groups that are interested in learning about the sport of kings, can arrange polo lessons at Moulin de la Tuilerie, 18th-century mill, that was once the private weekend country home of Prince Edward the Duke of Windsor and his wife, American socialite Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor.
Photo Credit: Renata Barros