A long time before man invented the first machines for travel, this mammal was his means of transport. Today, horseback riding is reserved for competitions, travelling along routes in the mountains or the personal enjoyment of horse lovers.
Horse tourism has grown in popularity in recent years thanks to the rise in rural tourism and the creation of companies and leisure centres that offer activities related to the equestrian world. The offering is varied, from educational activities for school groups to therapeutic riding, and including rides, pony parties for small children, horse-riding trails for beginners or journeys that last several days.
There are several routes in Catalonia which can be travelled on horseback, some of which have interesting monuments and stunning scenery that make it possible to enjoy oneself in a natural and environmentally-friendly way. Group horseback rides have been organised since 1986, making Catalonia a pioneer community in equestrian tourism.
One does not have to be an expert, or even have previous experience, to ride a horse. The horses that are for hire for outings and excursions are calm and servile. It is also possible to contact one of the many specialised schools or companies that exist in Catalonia. One example is the Centre Eqüestre Vilaformiu, in the El Berguedà region, a federated horseback riding school that offers the opportunity of learning how to ride in ten sessions or, if preferred, taking a ride through the area.