Seville Snapshots: The Real Escuela Ecuestre de Jerez

It may be summer, but here’s a quiz: Spain:Cat::Horses:Cat’s mom.

I grew up spending Sundays at the barn, learning to care for horses and riding my mother’s docile giant, The Pudge. My mother tried in vain to have my sister and I share her love for ecuestrian arts, but Margaret and I didn’t have much interest in playing with even My Little Ponies, let alone the real ones.

Coming to Spain and learning to categorize the morphology of the long-snouted Andalusian horses sparked my interest in los caballos, long after the days when my Girl Scout troop earned our Horse Lovers badge. Trips to the pueblo often include a trip to the farm and the sound of cantering seems to be synonymous with Seville.

When my mother hopped a flight to Spain (more like sweet talked her way onto one on standby), I had very few plans for her. Those that I did make revolved around an Andalusian pony fantasy: hanging out in the Novio’s village, San Nicolás del Puerto, a horse ride along the beach in Mazagón, and taking in a show at the Fundación Real Escuela del Arte Ecuestre Andaluz in Jerez de la Frontera.

On a sweltering Tuesday, we drove an hour south to Jerez. Lush gardens and a stately mansion were surrounded by yards of stables and practicing grounds. We watched as riders hosed down strong, white stallions, working them out in a ring adjacent to the exhibition grounds. Despite the heat, Nancy pulled me from one ring to the next barn, asking me how to say words in Spanish related to horses.

The show itself was something else – the Novio and I had seen the Lipazzaner stallions while in Austria, but the Andalusian stallion show was exceptional, showcasing the strength and agility of the beasts. For my pony-loving mother, it was one of the highlights of her trip and an alternative to the sherry-soaked tourism in Jerez.

If you go: The Real Escuela is open daily and includes several museum exhibitions and workshops. The celebrated show, ‘Como Bailan los Caballos Andaluces’ is only on twice a week, on Tuesday and Thursday at noon, and some select Saturdays. You can nab tickets from their website, and I’d recommend sitting in the front row, if possible. Student cards or carnet joven will also get you a hefty discount. 

Have you been to the Real Escuela in Jerez? Did you freak out like Nancy and I did when the horses got on their hind legs and jumped?!

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About Cat Gaa

As a beef-loving Chicago girl living amongst pigs, bullfighters, and a whole lotta canis, Cat Gaa writes about expat life in Seville, Spain. When not cavorting with adorable Spanish grandpas or struggling with Spanish prepositions, she works in higher education at an American university in Madrid and freelances with other publications, like Rough Guides and The Spain Scoop.


  1. What a gorgeous picture! It really sets the tone for the whole post. I was, and still am, a total horse fanatic when I was younger, though, the opposite of your case, my mother did not share my love and so riding lessons were out of the question. It sounds like an incredible show to see and it’s definitely on my bucket list now!

  2. Jerez has a lot to offer. I was not in town during show days but you can still see them practice. Jerez is easy to walk and in addition to the Bodegas de Jerez you can stop by the Mercado Central which is gigantic. I have never seen so many fish in one place – not even in Galicia. On another note – I just saw the news about the train accident in Galicia. Hope everyone of your friends and family are OK.
    Eduardo@Andaremos recently posted..The Eiffel Bridge over the Onyar River in GironaMy Profile

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      Thanks, Eduardo. As far as I know, no one I know was going to the Apostol. I considered it, as it’s a great party and a lot of fun, but I wanted the next time I see Santiago to be at the end of the Camino. I’ve been looking for a place to donate blood here in Coruña and am absolutely sickened by the tragedy.

  3. I would love to see this in person. I bet it’s beautiful; the horses are gorgeous.
    Gayla recently posted..Where to Eat in Paris – Near Place des VosgesMy Profile


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