Lorenzo Crispi was born and bred on the spectacular island of Mallorca. Now living his life long dream he rides horses, hangs out with the local farmers and mechanics of Sa Pobla, cooks traditional Mallorquine cuisine and enjoys the annual Sa Pobla potato festival each June.
We caught up with Lorenzo to find out a little more about him, his life in Mallorca and his riding stable, Hipica Formentor.
What brought you to Mallorca?
I was born here – I am the most typically Mallorquine person you will ever meet. Have you ever read a book called “Beloved Majorcans” by Guy de Forestier? It’s quite sarcastic about us and it’s funny! If you’ve read it you might recognise me in there.
Tell us a little bit about your business, how it started out and where you're based...
My stable is called Hipica Formentor because when I started 20 years ago I was over in Formentor. The name has stuck with me. Now I have a finca near Sa Pobla where I was born. This is a great area for riding on the edge of the Albufera and it’s a good base for riding into the mountains. Many of the horses I have now are the grandchildren of the horses that I started with, but we have introduced new blood along the way. Now we have some fantastic horses which are calm and friendly but love to work.
What are the best bits about your job / life here?
All I ever wanted to do was work with horses. When I was young I worked as a jockey’s groom in England and I learnt a lot there, although I never wanted to spend my life working with race horses. Most of my knowledge since has come from years of working with my own horses and observing how they live. My work is instinctive and the horses are like family to me. If I ever go somewhere else the first thing I want to do is ride a horse. I work with animals that I love and which fascinate me, and every day is different. I meet lots of interesting people and as well as guiding rides and taking my clients out for picnics and tapas on horseback, I often cook for them. I live in an area where some of the best food in the world is produced and cooking is my second passion.
And the worst bits?
Working with horses isn’t a job it’s a way of life and sometimes a twenty-four-hour way of life. if a horse is sick or a foal is being born, I sometimes sleep out in the shelter with them in case they need me in the night.
What makes Mallorca a special place to be for someone in your profession?
Mallorca is my home and I don’t want to be anywhere else. I grew up in an agricultural area so I understand farming and working with animals and I know my way around most of this island. If I was anywhere else, I couldn’t use all that experience. I like to do things in the traditional Mallorquine way. It’s more natural and better for the environment. And this island is just a beautiful place and to explore it on a horse is wonderful.
What is in store for the future with your business, any exciting projects in the pipelines that you can share with us?
We are re-launching out trail riding holidays into the Tramuntana Mountains this winter. We have been exploring some new routes. The views are amazing and the horses love going up there. We have found all of the best places to stop at restaurants and for picnics. We can do three days or four and we stay in the Tramuntana Refuges and at the monastery at Lluc. It’s just a great experience.
What do you do on your days off?
Would you believe me if I said I go for a ride?
What's your insider's tip for the best beach?
Last time I told someone that – it wasn’t the best beach anymore!
Do you have a favourite ride / route, that you do on a regular basis?
For people on holiday our one-day mountain ride has it all. We leave directly from the stables and ride up through lovely scenery stopping for lunch and arrive in the early evening at the Monastery. It’s a great time to have a sundowner before being driven back to the stables in time to go out in the evening. But we don’t do this ride in July and August because it’s just too hot for the horses. We sometimes do an evening version in the high summer but the all day ride is available from September to May
Where's best for a coffee, or a drink, and a bit of mingling?
That’s the wrong question for me. I hang out in some bars in Sa Pobla where the farmers and the mechanics go. That’s where my friends are and in my opinion some of the best food. Sa Pobla isn’t a very touristy place but it’s all the better for that. It’s an authentic Mallorcan experience.
Where's the best place for lunch or dinner here, and why?
There’s a very nice restaurant near us in Sa Pobla in a hotel called Mister Green. It’s in a big old Mallorcan House with galleries and lots of rooms and it gets its name from an English engineer called Mr Green. The whole road is named after him. He built several bridges and drainage system for Sa Pobla. It’s quite a surprising place and is well off the beaten track.
Where would you go for a bit of culture & atmosphere?
Well you’re not going to believe this one either but in Sa Pobla we have a potato festival. We grow about 19,000 tonnes of the best potatoes here and a lot get exported to Britain and Germany. Over a weekend in June dozens of bars and restaurants set up stalls serving potatoes cooked in many different ways from seven in the evening until midnight. With the usual addition of some beer, wine and music, it has a great atmosphere and it’s a very traditional event – not to mention a cheap night out!
If someone was coming here for the first time, what would you suggest they absolutely must do or see?
Explore the Tramuntana Mountains – they aren’t a world heritage site for nothing.
What's your tip to escape the crowds in the summer?
Come riding with me!
For more information about horse riding in Mallorca and Hipica Formentor, please see their listing where you can contact them directly.