Welcome to Horsenook Stables!

Prepare yourself to enter a different world, just a short 20-minute drive away from Sofia, Bulgaria's capital.

In a world of piece and quiet, where fresh mountain air fills your lungs, linger a while and take in the magnificent views over rolling heights and evergreen forests. Come by in the evening hours and you will witness the entire sky reveal it's starry constellations.. or ride with us in moon-lit nights.

 

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Located at 1000 Meters elevation, our horse nook is surrounded by four of Bulgaria's mountain ranges:

Rila, Vitosha, Lozen and the Balkan mountains are the views you take in while riding out or by simply observing horses graze on rich meadows,  enjoying their life naturally, in a herd.

We combine authentic North American Western living and riding with the beauty of Bulgaria's natural treasures.

 

Our  horses are started and trained through Natural Horsemanship - a method which during our decade long experience in horse training has been proven to be the most effective and supportive way of creating a trusting, mutually respectful and save relationship between horse and human.

 

⸦ Meet our Horses ⸧ 

Local History

Once part of the Roman Empire, the Thracian region is rich in ancient archaeological findings and some of those areas can be easily reached from our ranch on horseback.

There is evidence of sedentary life from the Copper Age (V-IV  BC) near Paunovo village on the right bank of the Baba River. There, on a small hill overlooking the river, remains of a small prehistoric settlement were found. 

In the Vakarel region exist more than 30 Thracian tumuli with an average size of 15 - 20 m in diameter.

Findings of diverse objects such as clay dishes, coins, fibula, stone axes, carpenters, chisels, wedges, spindles and others are dating up to 5000 years BC or older.  The ancient Roman road "Via militaris" has passed through this area leaving traces of archaeological importance behind.

Just a few hundred meters from our ranch, fibulae from the time of Empress Faustina and coins from John I Tzimiskes were discovered during the construction of St. Peter and Paul's Chapel.

This chapel and other historic landmarks make out for charming little day rides and picnics.

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Nature

Bulgaria's mountains are generous when it comes to a diversity in flora & fauna.

The forests in our region pride themselves with an abundance in birch trees, Scot's pines, oak, aspen, beech, willows, poplars and alder. 

Fern and other grasses are present and tall flowers color the meadows in gentle summer tones.  Nature does not only beautify the lands, she also gives us gifts such as thyme, St. John's Wort, yarrow, mint, rosehip, sage, еlder, wild berries, hazelnuts, as well as edible mushrooms and many more valuable presents.

 

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 What an excitement it is to spot wild animals in their natural habitat!  By moving through wildlife territory on horseback, we receive excellent opportunities to get close, observe and take pictures! Wild boar families, foxes, jackals and deer can easily be heard and spotted, especially at dawn and dusk. You may also see hare, badgers. While human  presence has moved larger predators such as grey wolves, lynx and brown bears into more secluded regions of other mountain ranges, one may discover traces of their  occasional passing through.

Wildlife

From the skies you will hear the yearning screech of buzzard and hawk, while white and black storks impress with their wide wingspan flying low above our heads just to land in the fields in search of frogs, beetles, lizards and snakes. 

Rivers and water ways carry in their fresh waters fish, crab and lovely water plants. In our vicinity you will find several man made lakes - a heaven for the fishing enthusiasts! Their waters bear fish such as pike, carp, bass, catfish, trout, stubble, barbell... to name a few.

Seasons

We enjoy all four seasons:

even though summers are mostly hot and dry, our elevation favors a fresh mountain breeze. 

If you enjoy a fairy-like winter wonderland, you've come to the right place!

 

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Dress well and riding out in the snow is the biggest fun! 

In seasons like spring and fall you may find yourself above the clouds, together with all the snow-capped mountain peaks looking at a cloudless sky

Horse Training

As years' long and certified trainers, we have a wide range of experience working with horse & human of all ages in western as well as classical disciplines.

Chris Shalliev

Colt Starting

Natural Horsemanship - Ground work / Saddle

Rehabilitation of Behavioral Problems

Reining

Dressage

Jumping

Nadia Reid

Colt Starting

Natural Horsemanship - Ground work / Saddle

Rehabilitation of Behavioral Problems

Reining

Kids & Horses

"Confident Rider" Program

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We speak English, German & Bulgarian and look forward to seeing you at Horsenook Stables!

Yours,

Nadia  &  Chris

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