Horse riding in Essaouira, Morocco is Insta famous… search and it’s easy to find viral reels of riders like Yassine Cavalier cantering down the beach on bareback at great speed. If you haven’t seen Yassine Cavalier riding his beautiful horses on the beaches… then you need to watch his reel below. It’s inspiring to say the least!
If you want to know what makes horse riding in Essaouira special, or you want to find out more about Yassine and his horses, then read this post. This blog is dedicated to reviewing our family tour with the Yassine Cavalier Stables. Alternatively, if you want to know about all of the horse riding stables in Essaouira and choosing the right riding tour for you, then read our post here.
We did some in-depth Instagram reel watching to learn more about the enigma Yassine Cavalier and his bare back horse riding. It was hard work but someone had to do it! We read through his website and then we booked a horse riding tour with him. No we weren’t stalking him I promise!
Below we review our horse riding experience and highlight what you can expect on a tour with the Yassine Cavalier Stables.
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Horse Riding in Essaouira
Horse riding in Essaouira naturally has become something of a phenomenon. And horse riding enthusiasts, both local and international visit Essaouira for a taste of that freedom.
Diabat, a small community five minutes from the medina, is the hub for Essaouira based horse tours and excursions. There are four stables in Diabat and Yassine Cavalier is one of them.
The wild sweeping beaches, sand dunes and forest of Essaouira are based along with southern piece of coastline. This is the perfect backdrop for a horse riding experience, and the best place to come if you’re looking for horses that are well cared for.
Click here to find out more about what makes horse riding in Essaouira, Morocco so special and to read more about choosing the best horse riding experience for you.
The Horse Riding Master – Who is Yassine Cavalier?
Shortly after we started looking at our tour options we came across Yassine on Instagram. We had no idea just how Insta famous he and his horses were.
Yassine was born and raised in Diabat. Growing up in this horse loving community meant he learnt to ride from a very young age. However, it was later in his teenage years that he decided he would turn this hobby into a career. At the age of 18 he left high school to follow his dream, which eventually lead to the opening of his own stables and the training of his beautiful horses.
You only need to watch him once as he interacts with his horses to see how they seem to flow in unison. There is no bridal needed, just the slightest of touch or movement and both seem to know what’s needed. The words horse whisperer come to mind when you watch them.
Yassine Cavalier Horse Stables in Diabat
Yassine Cavalier has also assembled a great group to help him run the horse stables, from the stable hands to the guides. All are extremely knowledgeable and helpful, and very attentive when it comes to each rider’s individual needs and ability. And all the team appear to have the same passion as Yassine when it comes to the horses. There’s no doubt, the horses are well looked after, respected and loved.
Said Cavalier, Yassine’s younger brother was our main guide for our horse riding tour. And he was AWESOME, super supportive and he also happens to take an amazing photo! We were grateful for the selection he sent us at the end of our two hour excursion.
The horses in the stables are instantly curious as you enter. They appear, looking out from their individual stable to see who has arrived for the day. And the best part, Yassine Cavalier asks a couple of questions about your horse riding ability… and knows exactly which horse he will pair you with!
Our Tour Experience – What to Expect
Pick-up and the Yassine Cavalier Stables
After a couple of emails, we switched to chatting with Yassine via WhatsApp. This made communication quick and easy. With this we confirmed and booked in a horse riding tour for two hours… Mike and the kids… (not me, because horse riding scares me 😳).
A driver was arranged to pick us up from Bab Sbaa outside the medina at 9am. We chose this early morning timing based on conversations with Yassine. Firstly, because it would be quieter and secondly, it would be cooler with less chance of wind. Sure enough our driver was on time and ready for us.
On arrival at the stables, Yassine greeted us and took us through to the stables, where we met the guides. But more importantly for our two young girls… where we met the horses! Yassine quizzed us a little, paired us with horses and them something extraordinary happened. I decided to join the tour too! Perhaps I was feeling a sense of confidence from the stables and the surrounding team. But whatever the case, my horse Ramsees was saddled up, and I put aside my fears and prepared for my first horse ride in over 20 years.
Then Yassine gave us a brief of what to expect on the tour. And before we knew it, our helmets were on, we’d mounted our horses and off we went.
Horse Riding on the Beach
From the stables we were led down a dry river bed until we came to the large sand dunes. At this point we stoped to take a couple of photos before heading on to the beach.
We entered the beach around Borj El Baroud, turned south. From here riders can walk, trot, gallop or canter! Our girls are huge horse lovers and have had a couple of lessons, but as a family we are novices. As such, we were happy to take a leisurely stroll and admire the scenery.
However, if you’re an experienced rider, you can let loose and stretch your horse’s legs. Our guides were full of advice and encouragement, so we managed a little trot for a few brief moments at best. This was much to our kids amusement who’re definitely more natural at it than we were – it’s surprising how difficult it is to find the trotting rhythm.
The early morning start was definitely to our advantage. The entire time we were on the beach we only saw a small group of quad bikers shoot past and a couple of kite surfers out in the surf. So it really did feel like we had the place to ourselves. It was a high tide, so there wasn’t a huge depth of beach to play on, but this didn’t bother us. In fact it allowed us to stroll along the water’s edge with the horses getting their feet wet, which further added to the experience.
Riding in the Forest
After 45 minutes on the beach, we headed up the sand dunes, which we traversed a little before dropping down into the forest.
Following the forest path we turned back heading towards Diabat and the stables. The forest was crisscrossed with tracks used by various operators for both quad bikes and horse riding. It was fascinating to see how calm the horses remained as quad bikes went by.
The sand packed tracks through the forest area varied from narrow to wide. It was also relatively flat. We enjoyed the light stroll as we admired the Moroccan desert trees slowly making our back towards the stables.
Riding Past Dar Sultan Palace
We eventually came out around Dar Sultan Palace, also known as the Jimi Hendrix sandcastle. And from here we connected back to the river bed leading us back to the stables.
As we dismounted our horse, and I was reminded of how hard horse riding is on your butt, we excitedly shared stories of our ride. Then the team from the Yassine Cavalier stables gave our girls a couple of carrots to feed the horses as a final thank you and goodbye. Said then shared with us the photos and videos that he had taken on our morning adventure.
From here, we decided to walk back to Essaouira via Dar Sultan Palace to explore it a little further. Then through to the dunes and onto the beach, as the kids were ready for a swim at that point!
Find out more about visiting the Dar Sultan Palace in our blog on 16 Things to Do in Essaouira.
Our Review & Things to Consider When Booking
Coming from someone who is extremely cautious around a horse, I can’t praise Yassine Cavalier Stables enough. Their stables are lovely, and the horses are clearly well fed and cared for.
In terms of value for money, their rates were very reasonable and well placed among the other stables in Diabat.
If you’re looking for a family experience, then outline this to the team when looking for options. They will most likely tailor an experience to best suit your needs particularly if taking younger kids.
Make sure to discuss and agree what you are wanting before booking. We had friends who were avid horse riders but didn’t outline this when booking with another operator. Unfortunately, they ended up on a large group tour, with predominantly novices. As a result, they weren’t given a chance to trot or gallop with their horses as they would have liked.
We DO recommend that you explore your options, but the team at Yassine Cavalier stables should definitely be at the top your horse riding list. Read my post on choosing a horse riding tour in Essaouira for more information around pricing and other available tour operators in Diabat.
More on Morocco
If you are visiting Morocco or more specifically Essaouira, then be sure to read our other dedicated travel posts and content!
- Things to do in Essaouira
- Things to do in Marrakech
- Things to do in Fes
- Things to do in Tangier (coming soon)
- Things to do in Chefchaouen
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