Rachael and Robert B.
In September 2010, Rachael and Robert spent four days and nights at our Kupres destination in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Rachael was kind enough to share their glowing feedback, as well as their photos, and this are their impressions of the farm. They are a well-travelled English couple with many years of riding experience.
“I just wanted to let you know that we are now back from Bosnia. It was a brilliant holiday, everything you described and more. My only regret is that we did not stay for longer but we will definitely be going back.
I have to admit I was almost put off by the price – I thought that for that price it would be awful. That is why we asked for four days only so if it was bad, it was only four days stuck there, not a week! How wrong I was. We have travelled and ridden in a lot of countries and many we would not go back to, often there is something wrong or dangerous or just silly prices eg. picked up in a 3 wheel car driven by a wannabe racing driver, dirty accommodation, a girth that looks likely to snap or a horse who is skin and bones. However, we will definitely go back to Kupres.
The accommodation is basic but very clean and cosy with everything we required, including log burner to dry clothes round. (That is saying a lot from me – I am normally a 5* holiday kind of girl).
The people – Mate, Marko and their family and friends were lovely, they could not do enough to please us. We asked for a tour of the village and we were soon in someone’s front room drinking schnapps and beer and eating home made cheese and sausages! Mate is a lovely man, he was a bank manager until a few months ago when he decided he wanted to make a go of the ‘horse riding holiday business’. He now works part time as a teacher in the local school. He is definitely well liked and respected in Kupres and if there is anything you want, he will do his best to provide it.
The food – lets just say we came home heavier than we were when we arrived. Very tasty rural cooking, natural ingredients and very well cooked and more than enough (and we are big eaters!) – it was nice that we went crayfishing and mushroom picking when riding and then ate them two hours later for lunch. Marko does all cooking and he is very good.
The views and countryside are amazing, so undamaged and perfect for horse riding. The horses were great and really well cared for. Rob rode two different ones, Ruby who is sensible and safe and looked after him well, the other not so sensible (the Arab mare), but he knew that as he had watched her being ridden the two days before. I rode one of his youngsters called Nur. She was only 3 and had only been ridden for two months (this was all fully explained to me before), she was a little livelier but safe. I really enjoyed teaching and schooling her. Seriously, if I had a nicer riding area to bring her home to, I would have offered to buy her, but it would not be fair to take a horse away from that life to road-work and boring England. It was also lovely to ride out with the foals at foot. The riding brought back great memories of riding like you do as a child on a pony, galloping flat out and racing across fields without a care in the world.
As for the location, Kupres town is close and there are cafes and bars and even a pizzeria there, so though in the middle of nowhere, there is civilisation nearby. I really hope that people put their perception of Bosnia to the side and forget about the war. Though there is still evidence of it eg. abandoned villages and houses covered in gun shot holes, this place is an untouched gem. I really want Mate and Marko to do well but also hope that too many tourists do not damage the place.
We have hundreds of photos, rain and all (we mostly had unfortunate weather but apparently it had not rained in months)! On the last day we did the ‘lake and forest ride’ and it was a stunning day. I will sort through the photos this week and send some over – please use what ever you like on your website and we are happy to have our name on it.
Also, I just thought I would let you know that local wine is about 2€, they gave you prices based on French wine as that is what they though English people expected (on the 1st day in the afternoon they offered us tea, as they had been told the English drink afternoon tea each day!) – just another sign of how much of an effort they are making. Mate only charged us 30 € for all our drinks. eg. at least four beers per day, coffees, few glasses of local wine and home-brewed schnapps and he gave us a gift of some homemade cheese.
I must thank you for your personal effort in organising this holiday. You really exceeded my expectations & the ‘pre holiday weather warning’ was greatly appreciated. It was our 2nd good holiday with Far & Ride and I am confident there will be more.
It was a brilliant holiday and the memories of galloping carefree across the Kupres plain, followed by eating tasty, freshly cooked food will stay with us for a long time. We were sad to leave, I have never met such friendly people in such a stunning location. It was the perfect riding holiday. I could go on about how good it was for ages!”
Read more about this ride here: Kupres Farm, Bosnia and Herzegovina.