We are always looking to add new destinations which bring something new to what we offer. We think we’ve done exactly that with these three new riding holidays, including our first ever ride in New Zealand.
From beach riding in France, cantering through the grasslands in New Zealand, to viewing the amazing African wildlife on horseback in Zambia – we think there are some very exciting new rides…
South Island Trails, New Zealand
In recent years, the spectacular beauty of New Zealand has been recognised in TV and films through the likes of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Both the islands of this country have dramatic and varied landscapes, with an exceptional biodiversity, but the South Island in particular offers a great riding climate. Although there is variation in the weather here, it is mild and temperate, perfect for long hours in the saddle.
Bearing all this in mind, we have are really pleased to have partnered with a wonderful business based in Queenstown on the South Island. The host, Barbara, and her family offer a true New Zealand experience where they are able to share their passion for the land and their horses with you. These rides are flexible and adapted for each group – this means that families, single travellers or groups are equally well catered for. There is also the option of an Endurance Race Weekend for the experienced riders who wish to try something new or to enjoy a new area.
This is an exciting and great value trip where you can ride a trail to suit your group. Be sure that Barbara knows all the best routes and hot spots and that there will be a horse here to suit you, whether you’re looking to gain confidence or to use your experience for some more adventurous riding.
For more information see the South Island Trails, New Zealand page.
Aquitaine Adventures, France
The Aquitaine region of France is famed for its history and beauty, the Landes forest being the largest maritime pine forest in Europe. Our new ride, Aquitaine Adventures, offers a choice of trails and based rides for experiencing this exceptional area and the horses here are of outstanding quality and nature. The forest and surroundings offer a variety of terrain and the centre is a certified French Riding School with a choice of beautiful horses to suit.
A dream for many, beach riding along the stunning Cote d’Argent (‘Silver Coast’) brings the chance for breathtaking gallops and swimming in the surf. The Pays Basque Trail takes you through lush landscapes and is an exhilarating ride offering insight into the culture of this lovely part of the world – great riding, great food and a great experience! For the history buffs there is a trip to die for – Castles of Aquitaine. This trek offers fascinating castles and old towns and is educational and interesting with thrilling riding to boot. If that’s not enough for you…the last few days are spent back near base, adventuring through the famous Landes region (where the riding centre is based) and riding on the silvery beach.
If you’re a beginner or looking for a more flexible programme then fear not! There is a fabulous beginners programme here which aims to have total newcomers cantering on the beach by the end of the week. The flexible stays can be adapted in length but feature a practical system where you purchase riding sessions to use at your leisure. The accommodation on all the rides here is in two or three star hotels and gîtes, with the food being typical of the region which, when speaking of France, pretty much means delicious. There is the opportunity for a few nights of camping on the Atlantic Coast trip when the weather is warm and there is often freedom relating to the accommodation you would like. All in all, a wonderful choice of riding in a sublime location.
For more information see the Aquitaine Adventures, France page.
Shiwa Ngandu Horse Safaris, Zambia
This new ride is in the northern part of Zambia and offers accommodation in a fascinating historical home. The house was originally designed by Sir Stewart Gore-Browne in the 1920s and features period details and an extensive library available for your perusal. The estate comprises a 10,000 hectare hectare game reserve with 22 mammal species and as you can imagine, it provides wonderful riding opportunities. The terrain is diverse and there are amazing views for your enjoyment, visible from the back of a responsive and hardy horse.
The horses here are schooled in basic dressage movements to ensure that they are a comfortable and pleasing ride. However, these are sure-footed and brave, a consequence of their experience with the tough African bush and their good breeding (the majority are Boerpard or suitable crosses). Your riding is made even more enjoyable with the company of Steven Rufus, an experienced horseman and a very knowledgeable guide who will ensure the riding suits your abilities and desires.
The final touch is added to this dream trip in the form of excellent accommodation and food. Over 90% of the food served on the estate is homegrown and there is nothing to match eating a delicious three course meal (in the beauty of the luxurious dining room) after a day of great riding and memorable sights.
For more information see the Shiwa Ngandu Horse Safaris, Zambia page.