DINING FOR A CAUSE

A weeks riding at the Domaine de Cazes in the Lot Valley is full of such moments. The Domaine is a seventeenth-century manor not far from the small, riverside town of Puy lEveque, set in forty acres of fields and paddocks. Inside, the house radiates rustic charm, with stone flagging, oak beams and open fireplaces. Its owners, Cathy and Denis Letartre, are endurance riding champions who breed their own Anglo-Arab horses, and whose riding programmes offer the freedom of the areas 150 miles of riding trails. Guests at the Domaine choose between a full week in the saddle, riding independently or with a guide and staying each night at specially selected gites, or a series of day rides, returning each night to the Domaine. Either way, the riding is superb. The Domaines horses are fit and responsive, moving effortlessly from a slow walk to a fast canter, flashing through the trees as sure-footed on a narrow, uphill track as they are on the open ground. Our first day took us across nearly thirty miles of country, meandering through snug valleys on well-marked trails, emerging into pretty villages with the sound of hooves clattering on stone, then back again deep into the forest. We stayed overnight in a con-

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