I want to tell you of a beautiful and idyllic place. This place is called Ellmau and is located in Tirol near Kufstein. For riding I always drive to a farm called Achlhof. This farm is about 10 minutes away from the church in the local centre. The Achlhof is situated in pure nature and possesses at present eight horses and a three-year old foal. These are all Haflinger, some are half-breeds and some are pure bred Haflinger. There is also a cow and a calf, a pig, many rabbits, chickens and a cock, cats and of course the farm dog "Rocky".
The main house is a beautiful old and well maintained farmhouse. There are two guesthouses with apartments. A small, beautiful and quiet stream runs nearby. Furthermore you see only forest, meadows and the small road to the village. Also you can see the high mountains of "Wilder Kaiser", where you can walk and climb.
If you hear "riding stable", mostly you think of a 45-minute-lesson on a sand place or in an indoor riding arena. On the Achlhof itís different! Each morning at 9 am you can go for a beautiful ride into nature with all paces. And at 5 pm you can ride the large round.
It starts from a place, which is used also as a paddock. First you ride along a path, afterwards everyone can gallop or trot back in a large elbow to the starting point. Imagine it like a large horseshoe. One round takes approximately five minutes. Wednesday the farm offers a long ride, which can take two days depending upon number and ability of the riders. Franz, the owner of the Achlhof, chooses the way. He cares for all the animals on the farm, shoes the horses and offers carriage and sleigh rides.
I like riding there, because you get very close to the horses and become acquainted to them. You have also to do the grooming by yourself. If someone is to young or has no experience, Franz is there to help. Or the other riders help, than he or she can do it alone the next time.
Holidays on the Achlhof are beautiful and unforgettable for children and adults. Because Ellmau is only one and a half hour away from Munich, we often drive there to stay for a weekend. When we arrive I quickly throw my things in my room and run directly to the farm. On Sunday I need quite a long time to say good-bye to all the horses. Easter holiday my girlfriend and I were allowed to stay there for 10 days. My Holiday dream! Each day we had breakfast at 8:30. Then we went directly into the stable to get the horses. We curried the horses and made them pretty, afterwards we saddled and snaffled them. Finally we started. Franz rode ahead and we behind him.
First we rode along the stream, then over a gravel way into the forest. On the way back we galloped. My Haflinger madeĒ joy jumpsĒ from time to time. Back to the farm our horses got an apple or something else. In the evening we rode the large round, my friend and I were in the same group.
From time to time there is also some work to do, repairing the fence or grooming the horses after their evening visit on the meadows. If a child wants to help Franz, he or she can do so. Itís fun and you learn something. If you donít want to ride you can also go to the village and have an ice cream or visit the church.
The Achlhof is the most beautiful place of the world!
This is an article written of a twelve year old girl in a Munich Newspaper in August 2004.
My children and I visited the Achlhof in May 2005 and this girl described very well the atmosphere there. So I tried to translate this article to put it in this forum. Please miss the mistakes.