Let me ask you this.
Did you grow up riding horses?
Are your childhood memories peppered with double-dinking bareback on your pony?
Or Sunday mornings in your beige jodhpurs doing troop drill at Pony Club?
Being bold and fearless on your horse….carefree…deliciously happy.
I shout, FREEDOM!
But then life happened. Adult-ing happened. Sometimes adult-ing is SO tedious. SO restrictive with too many deadlines and not enough freedom.
Can I ask, when was the last time you were in the saddle? Have you been lurking on our website for some time now? Should I? Shouldn’t I?
CUE: mental dialogue
‘I need to get saddle fit.’
‘I’ve lost my confidence.’
‘I haven’t ridden since I was a kid.’
‘I don’t want to hold other riders back.’
I get it, we have some rides that you NEED to prepare for. Think Morocco, Iceland, Mongolia. For those rides, you need to be riding fit and confident in the saddle.
BUT we have other rides that are specifically for YOU. What I like to call ‘return to the saddle’ rides.
These rides have just the right amount of hours in the saddle and just the right amount of off-the-horse comforts. Perfect, well-mannered guests horses that bolster your confidence and perfect guides to nurture your return to the saddle.
With that said, don’t think that these rides will be a nose-to-tail ride experience. That’s just not what we do. Our return to the saddle rides are for a range of abilities, and YES, you’ll be able to get some speed on… if you so wish.
Or not – that’s the beauty of these specific rides. Our super-duper ride partners can split the riding group according to ability, confidence, you name it.
SO at the risk of prattling on, here are my recommended return to the saddle rides in Australia, Europe and the USA.
Take your pick – no matter where in the world you are.
The Rainbow Beach, Bush & Cattle Ride, Queensland, Australia
The beauty of working cattle on horseback is that it takes you out of your head, so you tend not to overthink and your instinct and muscle memory kicks in. You’ll squeal in delight as you muster cattle, learn to campdraft, and swim your horse bareback in the ocean – I promise you this. It’s the perfect itinerary for those keen to satisfy their inner jackaroo or jillaroo while being nurtured on calm and responsive horses. OH and the best part is it’s only $3,250 AUD.
Shell, Wyoming, USA
This ranch is the perfect platform for out-of-shape, not-so-confident riders AND riders who are keen to up-skill (perhaps master that canter, or should I say lope!). Why? Well because of their guide per guest ratio, you’ll never be in a group of more than six. And groups are co-ordinated according to riding ability. As I said, PERFECT! Not only that, as your ability and confidence level progress throughout the week, you can request more challenging rides.
Castle & Estate Ride, Ireland
To be sure, to be sure. Sign up solo or sign up as a family or with some girlfriends. No matter your travel style, this equestrian wonderland is going to make you grin from ear to ear. Whether you’re keen to get the basics down pat or nail your sitting trot or maybe even start jumping, the expert instructors will have your back. With three hours of riding a day broken up into estate rides, flat work and jumping, there is plenty of out-of-the-saddle time to visit the local village (a.k.a. the chocolate shop!).
If you’re keen for more options, read our post about the best entry-level horse riding holidays here.