The Riding Holiday Show on 12 December is sure to be an event to remember, with riding guides and owners from all over the world. This article is written by Christina de Laval, owner of Quinta da Terca in the Azores.
1. How long have you been guiding at Quinta da Terca?
2. Where did you guide before this?
In my younger years I was a guide on tourist coaches going all over Europe with Swedish tourists. As a riding guide I have also worked in Stockholm and the middle part of Sweden.
3. How did you get into guiding? Was there someone who inspired you?
Many years ago I went on a riding trip to Poland and the guide for the weekend was very knowledgeable about almost everything and also lots of fun, so this episode helped to inspire me to become a guide.
4. If you hadn’t become a riding guide, what was your Plan B?
No plan B.
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?
It is the ideal job – meeting people from all corners of the world with the same interests – horses and nature. Showing the beauty of Sao Miguel from horseback. The downside is sometimes you want to teach guests more during their stay and a week passes very fast.
6. If your favourite horse was a human, who would he/she be and why?
Nikita, who if she were human would be a top model. She has a perfect body, great movements, is very feminine and has a lot of confidence.
7. What can you not live without (when guiding)?
A mobile phone.
8. What has been your most memorable ride?
I was riding on the south crater rim of Sete Cidades with a German princess (74 years old) enjoying the spectacular view and taking lots of pictures. When I turn around to take another photo of my guest I see a loose bull standing in the middle of the road about 50 metres from us. My heart stopped! I calmly ask my guest to stop her horse and please be so kind and hold the reins of my horse so I could get the cattle away from the road. With the help of a long bamboo stick and some heifers in pasture close by, I managed to get Mr. Bull interested in the heifers and could close him in on the field with the “girls”!! The rest of the ride went perfect without any more exciting incidents.
9. How do you relax after a day in the saddle?
A shower and a good book.
10. What advice would you give a 21 year old who wants to train for your job?
You need to be a good rider who loves the outdoors, have an outgoing personality, be adaptable, flexible and reliable, have leadership skills, be energetic, cooperative and have interpersonal skills.
11. Where do you go on holiday?
I go to Sweden to meet up with my family.
Thank you Christina for another interesting article. Olwen and the team look forward to seeing you in a few weeks’ time.
You can meet Christina from the Azores 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.