The Riding Holiday Show on 12 December 2015 is all about “Meeting the Guides” – in fact that’s what we called the event when we first ran it in 2007. It’s a chance to learn all about wonderful riding holidays all over the world, directly from the people who will be guiding you day by day. As well as an opportunity to renew friendships and chat about past experiences.
We thought it would be interesting to run a series of profiles of some of the people who will be at the Riding Holiday Show and here is another popular guide – Annemee van Aubel from Cerfcheval, France.
1. How long have you been guiding at Cerfcheval?
I started guiding here in 2001.
2. Where did you guide before this?
I am Dutch but worked for a while in France doing different things to get some experience and to learn.
3. How did you get into guiding? Was there someone who inspired you?
I love travelling on horseback and also showing people around. This is a very good way to really get to know a country and visit places that you would not otherwise see.
4. If you hadn’t become a riding guide, what was your Plan B?
I never made a plan B, but I was a sailing instructor in the past. I really enjoyed this time in my life, but I prefer the contact with the horses and my dogs that my current role provides.
5. People coming on a riding holiday often think you have the ideal job – what do you love about it? And what are the downsides?
I love to be with my horses and to work outside, discovering new landscapes and making new friends. The difficult sides of the job are being responsible for everybody and staying positive even when the weather is bad and things are not going as you would like them to.
6. Can you tell us about your favourite horse?
I don’t have one favourite – I have three! I love my mule Sascha, my half Arab Oslo and my lead horse Imperial who had a difficult history before he came to Cerfcheval.
7. What can you not live without (when guiding or just generally)?
My pocket knife and my dogs.
8. What has been your most memorable riding holiday week?
It is difficult to choose, but one of the most memorable was a 650km ride I undertook with my son from Cerfcheval to Lyon. Another memorable ride was with a guest who wanted to swim every day on the Monts de Blond ride. It was October and rather fresh, but I managed to find some mountain lakes for him. He would swim out quite far and I was left on the bank wondering if I’d have to jump into the really cold water to help him if he got into difficulty!
9. How do you relax after a day in the saddle?
Apéro, (as we say in France), followed by a good meal with a glass of wine with fellow riders.
10. What advice would you give a 21-year-old who wants to train for your job?
It is a great job. Don’t count your hours and find yourself some good horses, as they are your best friends and need to take people around safely.
11. Where do you go on holiday?
Often in the Pays Basque with my dogs. I don’t take holidays very often. Otherwise I just take my horse, my mule and my dogs and discover some new parts of France.
Thank you Annemee for sending some lovely images and another interesting article.
You can meet Annemee from Cerfcheval, France at the Riding Holiday Show in London on 12 December 2015. Space at the venue is limited so you must obtain a ticket in advance. The event takes place at the Royal Overseas League in SW1 just off Piccadilly from 10 am to 6 pm.
38 different riding destinations will be represented at the Riding Holiday Show. All part of the In The Saddle portfolio of worldwide riding holidays.