The best way to find out exactly what a holiday is like is to hear directly from someone who has experienced it! We hope that reading the feedback from some of our recent In The Saddle clients will give you that ‘inside’ information and inspire you to book your next trip…
Week after week, month after month, we never tire of hearing the wonderful stories from Los Alamos in Spain. It is no wonder it is one of our most popular trips! Keren Brocklebank-Smith visited the beautiful destination for the first time this year and highly recommends it. “The most important thing for me was the people really cared for the horses, treating them with kindness, respect and love,” she says. This is always wonderful to hear as we take a lot or pride in ensuring all our rides meet our high welfare standards.
For Andrea Skaggs, who also travelled to Los Alamos for a short break, she has returned home addicted! “The land through which we rode was STUNNING. The variety of terrain, the great trail conditions and the climate far exceeded my expectations. The food and Tinto de Verano will be the stuff of my dreams for months to come; my poor horses are suffering the consequences of my overindulgence! In The Saddle will now be my resource for planning the best times of my life.”
Meanwhile, in Catalonia, Linda Heinrichs was embarking on the Mediterranean Trail and was bowled over by the trip. “We were a separate group of eight girls and when we galloped we smiled from ear to ear! Obviously Simon, our guide, saw that and we galloped as much as possible throughout the week! It was truly one of the best things I have experienced.”
In a different part of the world many of our clients were falling in love with Africa and all that the wonderful continent has to offer. Sometimes you don’t need many words to some up a trip and Elizabeth Squire came back from her trip to Horizon in South Africa and simply said “Booking this trip was one on the best decisions I’ve made in my 36 years on this planet so far!” We don’t think you can better that comment!
Penny Robinson enjoyed her ‘glamping’ experience at Motswiri Camp in the north east of the Okavango Delta in Botswana. “The horses were perfect for their job. Our guides were fantastic and very knowledgeable and the ‘glamping’ standards were maintained even when we spent the night at the flycamp. We always had hot water for showers, and starched napkins at dinner! We were riding in a pristine wilderness with sightings of all sorts of animals and birds and felt safe at all times.”
In the remote eastern corner of Botswana lies an area known historically as the Tuli enclave and Sarah Shewring thoroughly enjoyed her trip here at the Limpopo Lodge Safari. “I think this was the best riding holiday I have ever done! The horses were fantastic and so were the guides. The holiday was exhilarating, challenging and fun but at the same time I felt safe and confident! I haven’t stopped smiling!”
Described as ‘the last best place’ Montana certainly lived up to expectations for Lauren Crawley-Moore when she visited Sweet Grass. “Angels on horseback sums up this holiday,” she says. “Brilliant horses, hugely helpful and knowledgeable wranglers, excellent food and a bedroom cabin that was straight out of little house on the prairie! For someone who has owned and ridden horses all her life this is the ultimate experience in ‘big country’ riding. Bring your boots and your hat and Montana does the rest. It is an experience to treasure and to share – I am now a showjumper turned cowgirl!”
The Rocky Mountains of Colorado provide a superb backdrop for a horseback vacation and Claire Towler is in agreement after visiting the Colorado Cattle Company! “This is something special,” she says. “You have the chance to be a cowgirl/boy for a week and experience ranch life. I even managed to rope a cow by the end of the week – with help from an obliging cow mind you! If you want a real ranch experience with fantastic surroundings, great food and great people then you can’t go far wrong here.”
Our very own Olwen Law believes that Mongolia is a country everyone should see and it is said to be where nomads invented riding! Although not your typical equestrian break, a riding expedition in Mongolia is a life-changing experience and several of our clients have written to us in agreement. Annie Dumas set off on the Gobi Steppe Ride, which takes you south of the capital Ulaanbaatar, beyond the Bogdkhan mountains, through grassland steppes, sand dune areas and the giant rock formations of Zorgul Hairhan Uul. “There was a lot of galloping every day which meant very exciting rides,” she says. “The campsites were fantastic, the ger for meals was comfortable and the tourist camp at the end of the riding was a blessing. The Mongolian tourist guide was good and very kind. Everything was well organized and I miss the cook and my horse already!”
For Claudine Douville the Gobi Steppe Ride delivered everything and more. “After building an understanding with my horse in the first few hours it was like we had been together all the time,” she says. “They are very strong horses and can gallop for a long time, even on the eighth day of the ride. My horse was the best of all! The cook did a wonderful job with the food, I am coeliac, one person was vegetarian and another allergic to mushrooms and lactose – but she handled that very professionally and made very tasty meals. Haanda, our guide and interpreter, was very helpful and always ready to give us information about the country and the way of life. The horse guide, Bayaraa, was very professional and despite not speaking English we could understand him very well. We left Mongolia with a very good opinion of the people.”
The Big Skies Horse Trail in Mongolia takes place in the Khan Khentii Special Protected Area, north-east of Ulaanbaatar and for Ann Barnett it gave her the perfect antidote to the stresses of daily life in the west and she found the horses to be perfectly behaved. “Mongolian horses are very easy to ride. They are sometimes described as ‘half wild’, but this should not put anybody off – it means they are not ‘schooled’ like our horses, and in fact they have none of the nervousness of our horses. My horse was docile but very eager and willing and never seemed to tire!”
Our other Mongolian trip, the Mongol Horse Trail, gives you the chance to experience two strikingly different areas, from the treeless steppes to the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park. Our client Uzal De Montserrat found that expectations were exceeded when joining this equestrian adventure. “The blessings of this journey will last throughout my life time! The riding was superb and varied, the horse guide Tumaroo, along with Kenzo the main guide are an awesome team! We were always engaged and each day was more spectacular than the day before. The horses got along with each other better than any horse trail that I’ve been on – they are quite special and have enormous amounts of energy for such small frames. I am indebted to the horse I rode for his gentle strength and radiant spirit.”