Some October sun is surely the best cure for writer's block?

Some October sun is surely the best cure for writer's block?

Do you like creative writing and would like to learn more in a sunny, relaxed setting?

What if you could do that while riding off into the sunset, in stunning scenery, following the tracks of your riding heroes?

The Writing Horse combines creative writing and riding in serious but fun courses in inspiring locations all over the world.

You could take advantage of this wonderful combination of a riding holiday in the heart of Tuscany together with a creative writing course hosted by Dr John Ballam.

The riding centre is situated near Florence and Sienna and the accommodation is a beautifully restored Tuscan Farmhouse. The centre is fully British Horse Society Registered and has a range of horses to suit all abilities.

You will be able to ride out each day, in the beautiful countryside (depending on experience) or have lessons from beginners to experienced riders including high school classical dressage lessons. It is also possible to have a mixture of riding out and lessons.

The Writing Course and Dr John Ballam

The Workshops are conducted by: John Ballam PhD – Director, Undergraduate Writing Programme, Oxford University and much-published author.

John conducts the Writing Classes, tailored your needs. He works very much on the basis of generating ideas and adapting them to writers working in any form, short stories, novels, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, reporting or otherwise. He feels motivation is the key to success and lets you develop your own creativity. So, although the current courses are about fiction writing, he will be happy to explore other forms of writing if that suits you better.

Weekly Programme

The holiday runs from Saturday to Saturday.

Day 1 – Saturday – Arrival in the afternoon. Welcome dinner and introductions, course outline.

Day 2 and 3 – Sunday and Monday, Morning ride or lesson, Creative writing instruction, dinner.

Day 3 – Tuesday, Morning ride or lesson, writing instruction, afternoon visit to Florence or Sienna, dinner at centre.

Day 4 – Wednesday – Morning ride or lesson, creative writing instruction, dinner.

Day 5 -Thursday, morning ride or lesson, creative writing instruction, afternoon visit for wine tasting and local delicacies, dinner at centre.

Day 6 – Friday, morning ride or lesson, creative writing instruction, dinner.

Day 7 – Saturday, departure after breakfast.

The Riding and Horses

With more than 25 years of history our horse riding centre in Tuscany has at disposal more than 30 well trained horses (Lusitanos, Anglo-arabs, Berber, Arabs, English Thoroughbred, Dutch and Italian sport horses). They will be assigned according to your skills and wishes.

The lessons are divided into three groups and can be taught in fluent English and French. Lessons are often individual or shared between 2 riders (max 3) in order to give the maximum attention to the pupils.

Beginners can learn riding from the very first steps with very gentle horses.

Post-beginners can extend their knowledge and skill or partake in the beautiful riding out.

Experienced riders can take dressage lessons or combine this with riding out. The dressage lessons follow the principles of the Classical Riding giving lots of importance to balance, elasticity and lightness.

Beginners do not have to bring full riding equipment – chaps, whips and riding hats can be provided.

The Accommodation and Food

The accommodation is based on twin share staying at the beautifully restored Tuscan Farmhouse. The rooms are simple and comfortable.

Breakfast is included. Dinner is also included and taken together with all the guests in a lovely traditional dining room and includes wine and grappa. The food is prepared by local ladies, giving you a wonderful Italian dining experience each night.

The Dates

28th September to 5th October 2013

The Price

This includes, half board, lessons or riding out in the mornings, two excursions and the Creative Writing Course and tuition by Dr John Ballam. It does not include international flights, transfers or insurance. Lunch is not included but can be arranged at the centre for a small additional charge.

Travel Arrangements

Flights to Florence or Sienna, between 30 and 45 minutes away. Transfers from the airports can be arranged.

Booking Arrangements

Prices range from £965 (for 6 writers) to £1695 (for a private course)

Want to know more?

Contact Antonia Riley on for further booking and availability information.

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