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Obtaining a Compostela on a horse

Time of past OR future Camino
2023
There was some discussion back in 2019-2020 about Horses on the Camino and some people seemed surprised that there is a Compostela category for horse riders. Well, completing a Camino on horseback and gaining a Compostela is something that happens regularly. It is slightly less popular these days than around six years ago but Pilgrims regularly complete and gain their Compostelas as the graph below shows.

HorseCompostelas.jpeg
Back in 2004 we had almost 400 horseback Compostelas issued in a single month. 2004 and 2010 were Holy years and so that probably prompted the higher numbers but I am not sure what prompted the numbers in 2013 and 2014. Obviously there was a slow down during the Covid years but 2022 has recovered and we had just under 100 horseback Compostelas in June this year and dropping slightly during July.

If you want to improve your chances of seeing a horse riding Pilgrim complete their Camino then you need to be in the square outside the Cathedral early in the morning as horses are only allowed into the square at that time.
 
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CWBuff

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances May-June/2022
Finisterre June-July/2022
11 June 2022
First came across these 4 Hombres from El Salvador who are going to Santiago in a horse-drawn carriage in Santa Catalina de Somoza
Later on stumbled upon them taking shelter from the rain and a break at the Ermita de la Vera Cruz just outside Rabanal de Camino (my stage end for that day - I stopped at Albergue La Senda)
I spent some time speaking with Nelson who assured me that the horses are totally fine. They keep them to softer grounds and cover on the average about 35km/day

 

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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
IIRC, it's 200K on horseback, like the cyclists.
Nope, it's 100 km on horseback, which seems to me more difficult than walking, because you have to feed and house the horse along the way.

From the Pilgrims Office:

"You must collect the stamps on the “Credencial del Peregrino” from the places you pass through to certify that you have been there. Stamps from churches, hostels, monasteries, cathedrals and all places related to the Way are preferred, but if not they can also be stamped in other institutions: town halls, cafés, etc. You have to stamp the Credencial twice a day at least on the last 100 km (for pilgrims on foot or on horseback) or on the last 200 km (for cyclists pilgrims)."
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
2023
I was overtaken by a spanish pilgrim on horseback right after Najera and met a german peregrina on horseback on my bus to Porto. She showed me her "special" Compostela. Half of the bus were Pilgrims.
As far as I remember, they issued over 400 horseback-compostelas in July 2019.
Not 2019 but definitely over 400 in July 2014. Perhaps the conversation had got around to the highest number in any single month, that would have been July 2014.
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
When Phil was a hospitalero on the meseta last fall in Caldazilla de los Hermanillos, he had pilgrims on horseback come for by and ask for shelter. Apparently his albergue was listed on Gronze.com as having shelter for horses, but this was not correct so they went on to the Casa Rural in the same community.
 

mazzarina

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF (partial) '05
Primitivo 19
Portugues 22
I was overtaken by a spanish pilgrim on horseback right after Najera and met a german peregrina on horseback on my bus to Porto. She showed me her "special" Compostela. Half of the bus were Pilgrims.
As far as I remember, they issued over 400 horseback-compostelas in July 2019.
How did the horse get on the bus? 🤣
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
How did the horse get on the bus? 🤣
Same way anyone would get on the bus, through the front door.

Back in the days when I used to drive my daughters and our horses to competitions there was a couple who used to transport their miniatures in the back seat space of their car. They had removed the back seat.

Everyone else would be stressing out over reversing their huge horse trucks or floats and this couple would casually drive up, open the back door of their car and the horses would step out. Simple.

Rather than worry about how the horse got on the bus I would be wondering how much it was charged?
 
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WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Time of past OR future Camino
2015 & 2016 (partial)
…, completing a Camino on horseback and gaining a Compostela is something that happens regularly. It is slightly less popular these days than around six years ago but Pilgrims regularly complete and gain their Compostelas as the graph below shows.
Here's an excerpt from the 2018 statistics:
1661014247403.png
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Finisterre & Muxia (2018)
Camino Portuguese - Lisbon (2019)
I guess that some people who are not used to being around horses don't understand that they are just as trainable as dogs. Pretty much anything you can train a dog to do you can also train a horse to do.
I just never got them to master catching a frisbee !
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
I just never got them to master catching a frisbee !
Clearly you didn't bother to Google "horse catching frisbee" before you hit reply.

There is this
on YouTube but it is a bit tame.

There is another one showing the horse catching the frisbee in mid-air but it is sitting behind a paywall and so you should go find that one for yourself 😻
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Finisterre & Muxia (2018)
Camino Portuguese - Lisbon (2019)
Only ran into one "horsigrim" on the vdp this year. It would seriously be an adventure but a lot of work and agree with the comment on who of the pair should be in receipt of the compostella!

Anyone who has done the vdp and inevitably stayed in El Cubo de Tierra del Vino will recognise this entertaining character who not only did the camino on horseback but wrote a book to assist others. Here he is presenting me a copy after, if I recall correctly, we agreed to ride it together in 2023...it was a long night! Not sure if my childhood bareback riding is the necessary qualification but I imagine it would be a well lubricated adventure with Filiberto especially given we do not share a common language !!
 

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Northpole

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Primitivo 2023
I am loving everything about this thread! 😂 I used to ride myself, and doing a Camino on horseback must be beautiful, but I think I would want someone else to handle the logistics... About ten years ago I did a week-long horse trek in the Maremma (Tuscany) and it was amazing. We slept in tents in different fields each night, but the organizers had made all the agreements etc. beforehand. Otherwise I think it would have been stressful; this way it was just great.
 

Roland49

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF2019, CP2022?
About ten years ago I did a week-long horse trek in the Maremma (Tuscany) and it was amazing.
Made this 6 years ago. But only a single day. It was perfect. The horses, the landscape, the lunch. The riders were picked up by a bus after the ride and the horses were brought back by trailers. No unsaddling, no grooming, no hoof cleaning. Awesome experience.

This year in the Camargue the half-day ride was cancelled, the noon temperature was 41° (105F) on that given date. To save the horses they send back the money and called all riders that had booked for the date.
 

Northpole

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Primitivo 2023
Made this 6 years ago. But only a single day. It was perfect. The horses, the landscape, the lunch. The riders were picked up by a bus after the ride and the horses were brought back by trailers. No unsaddling, no grooming, no hoof cleaning. Awesome experience.

This year in the Camargue the half-day ride was cancelled, the noon temperature was 41° (105F) on that given date. To save the horses they send back the money and called all riders that had booked for the date.
Sounds really nice! The lunches were definitely a highlight on our trek, too. But I loved taking care of "my" horse along the way!
 
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Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Time of past OR future Camino
2015 & 2016 (partial)
There is at least one outfit that will rent a donkey to you, and come get it from you in Santiago.
 

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