Okay globetrotters, dare I say it: Carol Sharpe may just have the BEST job in the world. As the guide of a professional riding outfit on the idyllic island of Sumba in Indonesia, working at the Best Hotel in the World (no joke!), I honestly think she could be a contender. With stunning ocean vistas and a whole island as her ‘office’, Carol has truly hit the jackpot and we are so pleased to have joined forces to present our world exclusive riding holiday – The Sumba Ride. Here we find out a little bit more about how Carol came to live and work in paradise!
How long have you been running your riding outfit at Nihiwatu?
Almost three years (as of 2017).
And what was the background/history/reason for starting?
Nihiwatu Resort was under major remodelling which my husband was project managing. On one of my trips to visit him I got word the resort wanted to establish a riding facility for guests and I jumped at the opportunity!
What is the philosophy or ethos behind your horse riding experiences?
The people of Sumba believe they are soulfully connected to the horse and the horse reflects the soul of Sumba… I believe there is no better way to explore and connect with the beauty and culture of this Island than riding astride its very own ‘soul’!
What do you love most about your job (guiding)?
I love the connection with horses and nature and sharing this experience with others. The riding experiences we offer always put delight and awe on our guests’ faces and I love the knock-on effect of that first time thrill experience.
What is the most challenging part?
Hot tropical weather conditions can command riding limits and be tough on a horse’s well-being, and remoteness can be wonderful but not always convenient.
Why should globetrotters sign up for this ride?
We offer a unique opportunity for guests to stay in luxury and ride ‘On The Edge of Wildness’. Our stables are part of the award winning #1 Hotel in the World, which is situated on the forgotten Indonesian island of Sumba. Sumba is an enchanting Island of raw beauty that maintains its traditional way of life which is steeped in a strong horse culture. From the backs of locally-bred horses, guest won’t just observe the scenery and culture, but get invited in for hands-on participation in things they will not experience anywhere else!
Finish this sentence – Don’t leave home without…
Your open-minded sense of adventure, and of course your camera!
What has been the most memorable or significant moment of your guiding career?
It was one of those rides you couldn’t orchestrate better – beautiful spring weather and babies everywhere; foals, buffalo, goats and they all crossed our trail to greet us. A guest was so swept away with euphoria and so awestruck when we reached our destination at Nihioka Spa Safari that she burst into tears!