A question for all of our beautiful Globetrotting ladies: have you ever thought about doing a mother-daughter horse riding holiday?
Some of you are probably picturing your non-horsey mother or daughter and thinking, ‘not in a million years!’ But if you’re lucky enough to share the same passion for all things equine, trust me: there is NO better way to spend quality time together! Fiona and Charlotte Casey are the perfect example. They recently travelled to Western Australia for The Margaret River Ride and when they got back, we couldn’t wait to hear how it went!
Read on to learn all about their lives as horse lovers and their experiences as globetrotters.
What are your day jobs?
Charlotte: I’m a staffing manager at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
Fiona: I’m a client relations co-ordinator for Sunland Group.
How have horses influenced or changed your life?
Charlotte: Horses have taught me to be in the moment and to ride for fun, because I love it.
Fiona: It’s funny how horses find you – I grew up in a country town as part of a very sporty family, however I had no sporting ability at all, which frustrated my parents no end. When I was about 13 years old, my mother, who was born and bred on a farm with horses, convinced my father they should buy me a horse. From the moment Mum started looking for a horse for me, my whole world magically changed in an instant. My lifelong love affair with horses had begun, and Mum and I embarked upon the most beautiful mother/daughter horse adventure you could imagine. We spent years pony clubbing, eventing, showing, doing dressage and trail riding together – it was a dream come true and just divine! Horses changed my life completely, instilling a confidence and competence I had never experienced before. Then the strangest thing happened: both my children, even as babies, were highly allergic to horses. Even if I walked near them still in my riding gear, their reactions were immediate and severe, requiring trips to hospital – thus, owning horses came to an end. However, the universe works in mysterious ways, so amazingly over the years, wherever I have lived or travelled for work, horses and horse people have always ‘found me’! Fortunately, year after year, horses and horse rides have always come my way and I could not imagine a life without these wonderful equine friends – both two and four legged!
What are your earliest memories of horses?
Charlotte: My earliest memories are being placed on the top of my mum’s old, retired show horses at my grandparents’ farm at Cooroy. Even though I started having an allergic reaction immediately, I remember loving horses right from the beginning. Mum said even as babies my brother and I were highly allergic, but the older I grew, the more I wanted to ride Mum’s old horses. So my grandmother and my mum would lead me around on the horses until my eyes were puffy and watering and I could not stop sneezing, but I didn’t want to hop off – I just loved it. Yes, I am still allergic to horses, but I manage my reactions and wouldn’t miss a trail or beach ride for anything.
Fiona: At about eight years of age I recall hopping on a horse at a relative’s farm with Mum leading me around, because I didn’t know how to ride. We lived in town, so I remember being totally amazed seeing my mother handling a horse and could not believe how much she knew about horses. From that time I was hooked and started talking horses constantly to Mum – and then finally, five long years later, after pestering and asking and asking, my parents gave in and bought me my first horse. Yes, it changed my life forever.
What were your childhood ponies called?
Charlotte: Because of my allergies I did not have a pony of my own, but my grandmother and Mum thought I should learn how to ride, and the name of the beautiful palomino pony I had my first and consequently lots of riding lessons on was Cleo.
Fiona: My first horse was called Blackie – a 13 year old black gelding who patiently took me on the journey from non-rider to rider. There’s always such a special love for your very first horse who forges the path and sets your course.
(Left to right: Fiona riding Blackie; Charlotte perched on Fiona’s retired galloway, Storm Boy; Charlotte’s first lesson on Cleo.)
What does riding or being with horses mean to you both?
Charlotte: Riding horses is a wonderful escape and quality girl time away from everything else.
Fiona: The equine love has doubly blessed me! Luckily for me, my mother and I spent many years riding, travelling and sharing the love of horses together, and now all these years later my daughter Charlotte and I are sharing the same passion on mother/daughter horse riding holidays. For me it is such a joy and delight to ride side by side on these magnificent animals with my daughter – and even more special because we feel as though Mum/Grandma is riding right there with us as well.
(Left to right: great grandmother Florence Eleanor; grandma Daphney; Fiona with her galloway Storm Boy in their showing days; and Charlotte on The Margaret River Ride.)
What have horses taught you the most?
Charlotte: Horses have taught me that even though I am allergic, and riding is sometimes difficult, I can prepare for and manage tricky situations to still be able to ride and be with these beautiful animals.
Fiona: Horses taught me confidence, competence, self-belief, trust in your instincts and faith in the universe; the importance of blending and understanding the mind and spirit of a living, breathing, truly remarkable animal – and the three Ts: ‘training takes time’. My other great love is snow skiing, and it was definitely horses that gave me the courage to learn to ski later in life – I figured if I could fall off a horse and survive, surely I could fall around all over the snow and love it! And I DO! Horses and snow skiing, snow skiing and horses!
What made you take the plunge and sign up for a Globetrotting holiday?
Charlotte: My Mother heard about Globetrotting holidays, which she researched and then declared it to be a brilliant idea for the both of us, and if we booked NOW, while the Western Australian borders were open, we could squeeze in The Margaret River Ride and be back for Christmas! So we did!
Fiona: Word of mouth – I met a lady who had ridden with Globetrotting on The Margaret River Ride and she convinced me that I would love this type of holiday. I asked a lot of questions and I remember her saying that the Globetrotting people loved horses as much as I do and that I would love Globetrotting’s holidays, and in particular The Margaret River Ride. So I did some research, I mentioned the holiday to Charlotte, then all the stars and planets aligned and we rode on The Margaret River Ride with Paul and Fiona, and loved every minute!
Was this ride celebrating or marking a significant moment/milestone/achievement in your lives? If so, would you mind sharing?
Charlotte: No, not a special celebration, although riding with my mother and my grandmother (when I was younger) was always incredibly special.
Fiona: Every mother/daughter ride is a celebration in itself, and especially wonderful because Charlotte and I always think and talk about my mother/Charlotte’s grandmother when we ride together – after all, it was my mum’s love of horses that started it all. Thank you, Grandma Daphney!
Which Globetrotting rides have you since completed/planned/dreamed about?
Charlotte: I’ve completed The Margaret River Ride and I’m dreaming about The Loire Valley & Castles and the Rainbow Beach, Bush & Cattle Ride.
Fiona: I’ve completed The Margaret River Ride and am now dreaming about ALL the Globetrotting rides, but in particular the Rainbow Beach, Bush & Cattle Ride (just up the highway from my dad’s farm at Cooroy), the Glenorchy Back Country Ride and Twin Coast Adventure in New Zealand, and the Wilderness Expedition and Touch of the Highlands Ride in Iceland.
Why choose this type of travel, as in exploring new places from the back of a horse?
Charlotte: I love well organised holidays, i.e. Globetrotting, which are active, exploring and ‘doing’ holidays – I am not a person to sit back and relax unless I’ve earnt some rest time after a great day’s riding.
Fiona: There’s something so wonderful about seeing the world through a horse’s ears! Moving meditation immersed in nature, an escape from the everyday. When I ride, I cannot help but think to myself ‘What a Wonderful World’!
What is your most memorable Globetrotting moment?
Charlotte: The amazing, welcoming Margaret River Ride hosts, Paul and Fiona.
Fiona: Swimming the horses in the ocean at Margaret River was incredibly special, and playing the game of polocrosse with Paul was very addictive; however, surprisingly, something surpassed even those moments of fun. For me, the most memorable Globetrotting moment was riding Stacy in the flag and bend race – it was just the best! It was one of those wonderfully sweet moments when horse and rider gel and blend. It took me back 40 years to my Pony Club flag and bend racing days – the buzz and tingle was amazing! My mare Stacy was definitely the super star and luckily, I managed to press the right buttons and she just flew. Gosh it was brilliant!
Who is your favourite trail horse of all time and why?
Charlotte: My grandmother’s Quarter Horse, Odin – He was so beautiful and fun to ride.
Fiona: It’s a tie between Stacy at Margaret River and Mactaggart, who I rode at Noosa.
A tip that every globetrotter should know before going on a ride…
Charlotte: It’s worth investing in the right riding apparel for your particular holiday – that way you are ready to enjoy and get the absolute most out of your horse riding. If you are unsure, ask the Globetrotting gals… you can never ask too many questions.
Fiona: Expect the unexpected, plan for the unplanned – surrounding yourself with horses means all sorts of little (and big) things can crop up unexpectedly, but that’s part of the delight, right?! With horses there’s beauty, wildness, serenity, and a whole lot of horsepower bundled up on four legs – no two days are the same. Embrace the equine love, embrace the adventure and the joy will be yours.
Finish this sentence – Don’t leave home without…
Charlotte: An open mind and the courage to give everything a go!
Fiona: A second pair of breeches – just when you least expect it a zipper, fabric or something surprising may give way and you wouldn’t want to miss a moment of the action. Although honestly, I’d ride in my pyjamas if I had to!