Susanna Brown completed her first Globetrotting ride, The Grape Horse Adventure, just a few months ago and is now getting ready to head to Tasmania for her next ride, which she booked the moment she arrived home! Not only that, she’s also booked on the Glenorchy Back Country Ride in New Zealand just four months later. I don’t think we’re jumping the gun here to say that when it comes to travel, this globetrotter has found her one true love!
Read on to learn more about Susanna and her Globetrotting journey.
What is your day job?
I’m a psychologist working in education.
How have horses influenced or changed your life?
I’ve always loved horses – they’re just beautiful animals. I read horse stories like the Silver Brumby series throughout my childhood, was always drawing horses, and dreaming of owning horses.
What is your earliest memory of horses?
I read and wrote stories and drew horses as a child, and dreamed of owning a pony, but on my first opportunity to ride at a riding school I was terrified, cried and didn’t go. I was quite nervous of riding for quite a long time.
What was your childhood pony called?
I didn’t have one. My parents bought a pony for my older sister when I was about 13, and I walked and jogged alongside her and her friends wherever they went until someone would let me ride for a bit. It was bareback for quite some time, as my parents couldn’t afford a saddle. She was initially a cranky little mare who was hard to catch and pigrooted if you tried to get her past a trot, and then we realised she was in foal! Eventually she became used to my sister and I, and I wished she were mine. Her name was Chocolate. I got a lot of confidence and experience riding her, and riding other people’s ponies. I didn’t have my own horse until I was an adult.
What does riding or being with horses mean to you?
Escape from everything ordinary and stressful, being truly in the moment, and in the connection taking on the speed and strength and beauty of the horse. It’s the most amazing partnership and such a giving thing on the part of the horse, to share that with me.
What have horses taught you the most?
How to be calm and relaxed even when I feel anxious – deliberately, so that the horse is relaxed – to slow myself down. I got into the habit of singing if I felt nervous.
What was your first Globetrotting ride?
The Grape Horse Adventure in South Australia.
What made you take the plunge and sign up for a Globetrotting holiday?
I like to travel and see new places, but I find travelling alone stressful and lonely.
I don’t like cities or being around a lot of people; I like quiet and space away from tourists.
I love horses but not riding in arenas, and often ‘trail rides’ are nose-to-tail, unsatisfying, and geared towards non-riders.
I used to live in the Flinders Ranges in South Australia and that was where, as an adult, I finally had a horse of my own, a big bay ex-racehorse called George. I have wonderful memories of riding on empty outback tracks with my daughter, long afternoons riding with our Kelpie running alongside… we even did an overnight ride up over the ranges, camping out. The prospect of riding in a landscape I really love on a good horse was so appealing. It was a very impulsive decision, and I worried for the next six months that I’d be the worst rider, that I’d get too sore to enjoy it, that I wasn’t fit enough, that I was too old, that I’d be disappointed and have wasted my money. But it was brilliant… the other riders were the most amazing people. I never felt I was travelling alone, but I had space when I needed it. The horses were such individual characters and just so well trained and responsive. Every detail was perfect, well thought through, and Jen and Jeremy were incredibly patient, generous and fun! It was honestly the best holiday I’ve ever had.
Which Globetrotting rides have you since completed/planned/dreamed about?
As soon as I came home from The Grape Horse Adventure, I booked the Tassie Tiger Trail. Because it’s Jen and Jeremy again, and because I’ve been to Tasmania quite a few times and know it’s a fabulous place, I know the ride will be great!
Then I have the Glenorchy Back Country Ride booked for next March… I’ve actually been to Glenorchy, and I’m a huge Lord of the Rings fan, so the thought of riding there is very exciting.
Australian and New Zealand rides are most achievable for me at the moment because of work, and limited time, so I’ve decided to work my way through those. Margaret River is next on my list, if I can get in quickly enough!
Why choose this type of travel? As in exploring a new country from the back of a horse?
It’s perfect for the solo traveller – you are with people who also love horses, the group sizes are small, there’s company when you want it, everything is taken care of, the experiences are unique, and of course there’s the riding and the horses!
What is your most memorable Globetrotting moment?
All of it… five days with not a care in the world, totally in the moment.
Who is your favourite trail horse of all time and why?
I’ve only had one, Jabberwocky. He was a great little character, lots of fun.
A tip that every globetrotter should know before going on a ride…
Just do it while you can.
Finish this sentence: Don’t leave home without…
DO leave all your responsibilities behind and immerse yourself in the adventure.
If Susanna’s tale of Globetrotting wanderlust has whet your appetite, click here to learn more about The Grape Horse Adventure!