For globetrotter Lauren Cromb, her first horse riding holiday was a treat to celebrate what she termed her ‘funemployment’, a time to enjoy some much needed R&R after working the fly-in fly-out lifestyle for so many years. And fun she did have, with Globetrotting’s superstar guides Laura and Christian Hayes on the Craig’s Hut and High Country Ride. We wanted to get to know Lauren a bit more and find out what makes her tick. Have a read…
What is your day job?
Previously I was working FIFO (fly-in, fly-out) from Perth to the Goldfields as a Graduate Environmental Officer, however I have recently resigned and am enjoying some much needed R&R after the FIFO lifestyle. I celebrated my ‘Funemployment’ in style on my Globetrotting holiday of course!
How have horses influenced or changed your life?
I got involved with horses around age 10 when I found out that my Dad had horses in his younger years. He got me into riding lessons at Brockmans Riding School, south of Perth where I rode and competed in the ‘show pony’ circuit. I then took an interest in jumping and moved to Oakford Equestrian Centre to train in cross country for a short time. I hung up my helmet for a few years whilst working part-time through high school and throughout my University studies, and only got back into riding in 2015 as an adult. I would say, after my week in the saddle with Globetrotting, that horses are definitely my passion. I felt so free and alive, and lucky to be on such an amazing trip! I don’t have any horsey friends so to be surrounded by people who understand how amazing horses and riding are was top notch.
What is your earliest memory of horses?
I remember going to my Mum’s friend’s farm when I was six or so and being put on my first pony to have a led-ride. I loved it! A few years later I found out my Dad grew up with horses and got into formal riding from then.
What was your childhood pony called?
The pony I rode most at Brockmans was called Drumclyer Superman, he was a grey Welshie about 12.1hh. He was a stubborn boy at times but we competed together in the show pony circuit for a number of years until I outgrew him and moved onto the larger horses and ponies.
What does riding or being with horses mean to you?
I don’t think I can actually describe the feeling I get when I’m around horses. Maybe ‘content’ and ‘calm’ – I love the smell of them, their eyes and they way you feel they’re looking right into your soul. Tupp [the horse Lauren rode on the Craig’s Hut & High Country ride] was such a sweet girl. I fell in love with her cheeky nature and responsiveness under saddle. It meant a lot to be able to bond with such a special girl over the week.
What have horses taught you the most?
Resilience – getting through tough rides on cheeky horses, or getting back up when you’ve fallen off, except for when I broke my wrist when I was 14 – I didn’t get back on as I got driven to the hospital haha! I probably would have otherwise.
What was your first Globetrotting ride?
The Victorian Craig’s Hut & High Country six day ride – it was spectacular!
What made you take the plunge and sign up for a Globetrotting holiday?
Funnily enough, Facebook ‘cookies’ must know I love horses, as Globetrotting popped up in my newsfeed one day as a sponsored post. I was intrigued and had a look and within the same day I had booked by first trip! That was in April 2016, so I had a long wait to get to December 2016 to start my first ride! I was working FIFO and had a pretty good disposable income at the time, and I’ve always wanted to do a big ride like this so I just decided to treat myself and book! I booked flights and accommodation in Mansfield all on the same day too.
Was this ride celebrating or marking a significant moment/milestone/achievement in your life? If so, would you mind sharing?
At the time when I booked, it was more a ‘treat yourself’ moment – it was to be my first solo holiday. Later on in June my partner of 4.5 years and I broke up, so this trip with Globetrotting ended up kind of marking my independence and newfound singledom/freedom for the first time in my 20s. Not long after the break-up I quit my FIFO job to be back home in Perth full time and have been enjoying some time to myself before hunting for full-time work again, which I’ve called ‘funemployment’!
Being out on the ride, away from technology/social media and the grief of my breakup, I felt at peace and absolutely loved the tranquility of the scenery and the fresh air. The ladies on my ride were all lovely and I opened up to a few in particular about what had been going on in my life in the six months leading up to my ride. They were all so supportive and thought I had done amazingly to come on this trip after the rough year I had. What a great way to end 2016 – on the back of a horse!
Which Globetrotting rides have you since completed/planned/dreamed about?
I haven’t done another, although once I get a new job and start saving again I will be looking to book my next ride for sure! I think I’d love to do them all to be honest! Make them all a bucket-list item. First up would either be the Tassie Tiger Trail or the Kimberley Ride with Christian and Laura again.
What is your most memorable Globetrotting moment?
Going up to near where the ‘kissing tree’ from The Man from Snowy River is and just taking in the breathtaking views! Absolutely mesmerising!
Why choose this type of travel, as in exploring a new country from the back of a horse?
Because walking on your own two feet is overrated.
Who is your favourite safari horse of all time and why?
Well as she’s my first and only, Tupp would have to be my fave! She was cheeky like me, and beautiful to ride. She was super responsive when I was asking her to avoid low branches so I wouldn’t get clotheslined haha!
A tip that every globetrotter should know before going on a ride…
I didn’t have one myself, but a few ladies brought sheepskin or gel padded saddle savers for their bottoms. I gotta tell ya, my butt was sore for the first three days, and then after that I hardened up for the last three days of riding. Maybe also getting in as much time in the saddle prior to your ride as well would help with this. I hadn’t ridden much since May and my ride was December, so I was definitely NOT riding fit. I certainly was by the end of the ride, though. I felt like I could have kept riding forever…
Finish this sentence: Don’t leave home without…
A good sense of humor and witty comebacks, especially if riding with Christian, Laura and their team – Micko and Christian dish it out, so be prepared to give it back. Oh, and bring lip balm!