Culture? Tick. Freedom? Tick. Adventure? Tick. Adrenaline? Tick. It seems ‘the bigger the better’ is the philosophy when it comes to choosing a horse riding holiday for globetrotter Desiree Charlesworth. Des is one of our most loyal globetrotters and as with many, once she got started she couldn’t stop. Addicted to the world of horse travel, Des has joined us on rides in Mongolia, Namibia, Botswana, High Country Australia and most recently the South Island of New Zealand. I guess the only question left is, where to next? Let’s get to know Des some more…
What is your day job?
I run my own sign business.
How have horses influenced or changed your life?
They have given me amazing friends and enabled me to travel and see the world from horseback.
What is your earliest memory of horses?
I always wanted a horse but was never fortunate enough to have a pony as a child, so to make up for it I read horse books and drew horses.
What does riding or being with horses mean to you?
It gives me a sense of freedom – adrenalin and relaxation together!
What have horses taught you the most?
They’ve taught me how to stay on!
What was your first globetrotting ride?
What made you take the plunge and sign up for this initial globetrotting holiday?
It just seemed like such an exotic adventure! I was actually having a drink with friends one Friday afternoon after our usual horse ride (probably had a few too many drinks) and they said a friend of theirs was going to Mongolia for a horse ride. I was soooo interested and said I was going to go as well. So I immediately rang her up and invited myself and my daughter along! My mates thought I was joking that I could make such a quick decision. BEST decision I ever made!
Was this GT ride celebrating or marking a significant moment/milestone/achievement in your life? And if so, would you mind sharing?
Mongolia was the entry ride, but Africa, the Namib desert ride was a 50th birthday present to myself, and also a test to see if I was good enough to complete it! (It is still the best ride I’ve done to this day!)
What globetrotting rides have you since completed/going to/wanting to complete?
What is your most memorable globetrotting moment?
We were in Botswana and a male elephant walked into our night time meal tent. He was only three metres away and just stood there, swaying and watching us!
Why choose this type of travel? As in exploring a new country from the back of a horse?
It’s the BEST way to see a country! You have a higher view point – six or seven foot in the air gives you such a different perspective of where you are and what’s around you. You’re off the tourist track and being escorted by and staying with locals which gives you a better understanding of that country’s culture. It’s an adrenalin rush every single day.
Who is your favourite safari horse of all time and why?
I would say my African horse ‘Do-A-Lot’, a South African Boerperd. I rode him twice and he didn’t put a foot wrong, he was brilliant. Sadly he was killed by a snakebite a few years ago.
A tip that every globetrotter should know before going on a ride…
WARNING! You will be hooked after just one, so start saving for next ride!
Finish this sentence – Don’t leave home without…