Kaye Bracken discovered Globetrotting late in life. ‘Just one more trek’, she told herself, but five riding holidays later, she’s showing no signs of slowing down! With the Tassie Tiger Trail, the Grape Horse Adventure, the Glenorchy Back Country Ride and our rides in Japan and Canada under her belt, Kaye is already booked on the Twin Coast Adventure in New Zealand in January 2020, and beyond January her sights are set on the Touch of the Highlands Ride in Iceland. Read on to learn what inspires her to keep globetrotting!
What is your day job?
Retired, which gives me the freedom to go on riding holidays. I was a paralegal in Conveyancing and Probate but spent the last 10 years as a Community Welfare Co-ordinator.
How have horses influenced or changed your life?
Hard question. Horses led me to become a coach for RDA – Riding for Disabled – which has very much influenced and changed my life. I try not to take good health for granted for myself or my children. Horses keep you in the moment and challenge you physically and mentally. Because of horses I have been able to enjoy so many wonderful holidays, have so much fun and meet amazing likeminded people.
What is your earliest memory of horses?
My earliest memory of horses was attending a week-long camp when I was ten years old – as I did not come from a horse family, that took a lot of persuasion for a 10 year old. To this day I have no idea where my passion for horses came from.
What was your childhood pony called?
I did not own my own horse until I was about 40 years old – Talqua Blueprint – Blue for short.
What does riding or being with horses mean to you?
Just a feeling that I am where I should be.
What have horses taught you the most?
Horses have taught me to be patient, fair, consistent, to stay in the moment (not staying focused has led to a few surprising moments), to have fun and to rise to the challenge.
Was this your first Globetrotting ride?
No, my first trek was the Tassie Tiger Trail. Meeting Jen and Jeremy really gave me the confidence to continue riding at home and to book more Globetrotting holidays.
What made you take the plunge and sign up for a Globetrotting holiday?
Having done a few treks in the high country of New South Wales and Victoria some 25 years ago, I thought my riding holiday days were over. But I have always had a passion to ride in Tasmania, so when I saw what was on offer I jumped at the chance. Just one more trek, I said.
Was this Globetrotting ride celebrating or marking a significant moment/milestone/achievement in your life? And if so, would you mind sharing?
No, not really, other than celebrating that at 64 years old I can still do this horse riding holiday thing, i.e. more hours in the saddle than I am used to.
What Globetrotting rides have you since completed/planned/dreamed about?
I have since been lucky enough to sample the Grape Horse Adventure (so amazing to ride to a winery for lunch), the stunning cherry blossom ride in Japan*, Lake Chilko in Canada – what a fabulous ride that one is – and then Glenorchy in New Zealand, which exceeded my expectations. I dream about doing the ride in Iceland – the one with more creature comforts!
*Editor’s note: sadly, our holiday in Japan is no longer offered. We will be looking for a new Japanese ride as soon as the world opens up!
Why choose this type of travel? As in exploring a new country from the back of a horse?
So many reasons – horses can give you such an insightful aspect of the country in which you are riding. Nothing beats being surrounded by nature on the back of a horse. Everything is crystal clear – the country, the smells, the colours, the season, whether it be summer, spring, autumn or winter, really feeling the sun, the wind, even the rain.
What is your most memorable Globetrotting moment?
Again, so many memorable moments – I really could not pick one. Each ride has its own individual taste, which keeps me coming back and wanting more.
Who is your favourite trail horse of all time and why?
Nooooo – I can’t choose – love them all! Ruby in Tasmania, I love her to pieces, she always looks after me. Magnum in Canada – what a gentleman. Doobie in NZ – he is a gem and took me swimming!
A tip that every globetrotter should know before going on a ride…
Being riding fit I think really makes a big difference. Although I no longer have my own horse, I really have to work extra hard at keeping generally fit and getting in as much riding as possible.
Finish this sentence: Don’t leave home without…
A smile and a sense of adventure and wonderment at what is about to unfold. It will be amazing. (Is there a better word for ‘amazing’?)