Meet a Globetrotter: Karena Smith - Horse Riding Holidays and Safaris

Meet a Globetrotter: Karena Smith

*Update* Sadly, our wonderful hosts in Montana have taken a step back from hosting guests and we are unable to offer the Montana ride anymore. We do, however, have a wonderful ranch ride in Shell, Wyoming, and for adventurous souls there’s the Big Horn Cattle Drive.


When Karena was just eleven, she already had an appetite for adventure on horseback, heading off on her own to explore trails even though she was meant to be part of a riding group. And even though this caused her a little bit of trouble, (i.e. a huge scolding from her mum for going off on her own), her appetite had been whet and there was no stopping her. So when Karena joined us on our riding holiday in Montana, USA we couldn’t wait to find out more about her life and what led her to the world of globetrotting. Have a read…

What is your day job?

Business Development Manager for a Specialty and Emergency Veterinary Hospital organisation.

How have horses influenced or changed your life?

I’ve loved and been around horses since I was a child, either hanging out at the barn, mooching rides off friends, or just watching competition from the sidelines.  I have always felt a connection to these beautiful, large animals that act like over sized dogs! As an adult, I was finally able to afford my own horse, lessons and showing, and became competitive in eventing and dressage.  I obtained my USDF Bronze medal a few years ago on a horse I bred and trained.  Horses have always grounded me.  They allow me to be ‘in the moment’.  When I ride I feel like all of the stresses of the world melt away.  They have changed my life by introducing me to partnership, relationship, teamwork, responsibility and of course, fun!

What is your earliest memory of horses?  

My dad was in the US Military and we were stationed in the Philippines.  My fondest memory was on a trip to Baguio in the mountains.  I begged my mum to go horseback riding with the trail rides they offered at Camp John Hay.  I was at the back getting bored with the nose to tail ride and when the guide wasn’t looking, I veered off and rode trails by myself.  My mum was hysterical when the group came back and I wasn’t with them.  But I arrived shortly from a different direction and though I was scolded, it was worth it because it was just me and my trail horse having a grand time on our own adventure.  I was 11 at the time 🙂

What was your childhood pony called?  

I didn’t have one.  There was a riding academy on Clark AB and I did catch rides – rode my friends’ horses when they were out of town, etc. There were several that I was fond of.

What does riding or being with horses mean to you?  

Peace, harmony, relaxation, joy, adventure, teamwork, love.

What have horses taught you the most?  

Discipline, patience, teamwork, responsibility.

What was your first globetrotting ride?  


What made you take the plunge and sign up for a globetrotting holiday?  

Staying at a cattle ranch and completing a cattle drive was on my bucket list.

What other globetrotting rides are you wanting to complete?  

New Zealand, & Argentina

What is your most memorable globetrotting moment?  

Driving cattle on horseback

Why choose this type of travel? As in exploring a new country from the back of a horse?  

Combines my love of riding and adventure

A tip that every globetrotter should know before going on a ride…

Get time in the saddle!

Finish this sentence – Don’t leave home without….

Biking shorts under your riding pants!

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