I have not written much about Yannis’ equestrian club, have I? Or, at least, I have not devoted any post to it yet. The name of the equestrian club where I go at home is called “EGVUS”, just outside of the centre of Ierapetra, Crete. It is situated just opposite to the Aghios Andreas beach, and is surrounded by a range of hotels.
The facilities are very small, and advanced lessons are mostly carried out outside, in the surrounding roads and fields. The whole club is indoors, with a roof made of professional warmhouse materials. Also, inside you will find handmade furniture, and -yes- handmade wooden jumping fences. Yannis has set up the whole thing himself, with his own hands, and with some help from Ali, his helper.
The stables -also made by Yannis- are just besides the arena and accommodate ten horses for now. A proportion of them are ex-racing horses from the Athens racecourse. Also, there are two miniature horses trained for equine therapy. But all his equine friends are trained for this; not to move if your heartbeat is high.
The diet of Yannis’ horses is varied and includes hay, mixes and local vegetation. Southern Crete is a quite dry place, therefore there is little fresh grass to graze here, unlike areas of central and northern Europe. Thus, grazing here is thick and dry and must be accompanied with a lot of water.
Lessons with Yannis are worth their money, as he wants his pupils to know everything about horses and how to handle them; historical and biological information, complete tacking-untacking, grooming, tying, leading, feeding, watering, and, of course, riding! Yannis’ pupils must be competent both with handling and riding, hence leading tourists on hacks and preparing the horses for hacks and lessons is a mandatory part of the training.
If you go to Crete for holidays, a visit to EGVUS is worth to do. You will be able to ride in the arena, go hacking, do lessons, and… treat as many horses as you like! If you have kids, then this is the place to take them, because of the colorful environment, the children who spend their free time helping out, the friendly ponies and the informative character of the walks in the arena. And if you like horses but are too scared to approach them, why not enjoying a beverage or snack while watching others having fun or working?
More and more citizens of my hometown are proud of EGVUS, and foreign visitors claim that Yannis offers them experiences of a lifetime!
For information about what is offered call Yannis himself at +306989293360 . You can also follow the updates of the club on their Facebook page here
Here are some photos: