That there is the smile of a man who just completed his first ever horse riding holiday – a ride he’d been dreaming about since he was a kid – with just THREE HOURS of riding experience under his belt! Needless to say, Scott Wilson is our new Globetrotting idol.
Having dreamed of riding through the Victorian High Country since he first saw ‘The Man from Snowy River’, Scott channelled his inner stockman and dove headfirst into the Craig’s Hut and High Country Ride… and judging by his amazing feedback, it looks like this won’t be the last time we send this courageous globetrotter on the ride of a lifetime!
Please tell us how happy you were with this Globetrotting holiday.
Were there any stand-out experiences (good or bad) with the accommodation that you would like to mention?
I could not find fault with the accommodation. It didn’t matter whether we were in a rustic timber shack on Razorback Hut, out in the open air on the Howqua River or in the beautiful homestead for the last two nights of our ride, the facilities were first class. Hot showers, fresh water, warm beds, cold beer and hot fires. All the crew who were there to make the whole event happen couldn’t do enough to make sure you had everything you needed and you were comfortable.
Were there any stand-out experiences (good or bad) with the meals that you would like to mention?
The food was absolutely spot on. I have a big appetite and I was never once left wanting any more. The food was varied and always freshly prepared. The highlight was most likely the roast dinner prepared on the final night: roast beef, all the veg and gravy. The breakfast of bacon, eggs, beans and toast was also a great way to start each morning. And the lunches were always just what you needed after a few hours’ riding: wraps with all the fillings you could want, muesli bars, fresh fruit and cold drinks. Certainly not a single complaint about the food.
Which horse(s) did you ride? And would you mind elaborating as to why you were happy/unhappy with them?
I was paired up with Donna. Prior to this ride, I calculated that I had approximately three hours’ riding experience in my whole life. The Craig’s Hut Ride was something I booked for my 40th birthday.
Laura and Christian looked after me with Donna. She was never going to win any races, but she was calm, steady, easy to manage, comfortable to ride and she looked after me the whole way. I never once felt uneasy or worried the whole time I was riding her. Obviously I don’t have the experience to back up my assessment, but Donna seemed the perfect match for me. She was beautiful… and yes, I wanted to take her home with me.
In respect to your guides, please elaborate as to their level of service, knowledge of the environment and hospitality.
All the guides and crew involved along the whole trip were fantastic. Laura showed me the ropes when I first mounted up and then asked Gwen to keep a close eye on me. Right from the beginning, they made me feel at ease. Gwen was very easy to talk to and she made me feel comfortable from the start. I was very aware that I had basically no experience and didn’t want to be ‘in the way’ or holding the group up, but I never felt that at all. Gwen is an absolute legend.
All the crew were amazing. EVERYTHING was taken care of. They all had extensive knowledge of the area and the history of the place, which was interesting as well.
The other thing I noticed was how much they cared for everything, especially the horses. They knew all the horses and their characteristics and always looked after them well. They were always aware of what was going on with the herd, and all the equipment was taken care of. Nothing was overlooked.
Did you have a favourite day or experience while on your Globetrotting holiday?
I would have to say my favourite was the ride along the Howqua River. There were so many water crossings and the weather was perfect. I was amazed by the horses’ surefootedness crossing the water. The crystal clear, ice cold water was beautiful, and most times when crossing you got a bit of splash to cool you down. It was a long day’s riding, but it was beautiful.
In terms of value-for-money, how would you rate this particular ride?
Are there any other services or inclusions you would like to see added to this itinerary?
Honestly, I cannot think of anything.
Do you have any further comments or suggestions?
Only to say how much I enjoyed the trip. It was something I had wanted to do since watching The Man from Snowy River as a kid. I LOVED being around the horses, the group were awesome and the staff were amazing. You could tell from the pride they took in everything that they loved the High Country and the horses, and they wanted to show us how amazing it was too.
We would LOVE a testimonial about your Globetrotting experience to share on our social media channels.
This ride was something I had wanted to do for a long time. I had grown up loving the Man from Snowy River movies and had always wanted to see the mountains with my own eyes. I finally figured that turning 40 was as good a time as ever. With approximately three hours’ riding experience in my 40 years of life, I decided to dive in and go for it.
I am so glad that I made that decision. To spend six days up in the High Country on the back of a beautiful horse was something I will never forget. My trusty steed, Donna, looked after me from the start (even though I am sure there were times she wanted to throw me off her back). She was steady, stable and calm.
It was great to be able to share this experience with other riders from all over Australia and the world. You start out as a bunch of strangers, but by the end you know everyone’s story. It’s amazing how easy it is to get along with people when you spend all day with them with no phones, no TV and no internet. We all sat around and ate our meals together and told each other our stories of the day’s riding. It was impossible NOT to connect with everyone.
As for the staff, honestly, I could not give them enough praise. Personally, they looked after me and made sure I was okay, as I was by far the least experienced person on the ride. But outside of that, they made sure EVERYTHING was covered. The horses were very well looked after, the food was faultless, the fires were always lit, the drinks were always cold and the whole crew became a part of the experience. I honestly could not think of anything that could have been done any better. If you have ever thought about it… do it. It doesn’t matter if you have no experience like me: the team will look after you and make sure you have the time of your life.
And finally, where is your next dream Globetrotting destination?
Anywhere… maybe The Kimberley Ride in Western Australia?
The Globetrotting world is your oyster, Scott, and we wish you many more unforgettable trips.