In The Saddle – 2023 Highlights

Posted on December 21, 2023

As 2023 draws to a close we have been looking back at the last 12 months at In The Saddle.

This time of year is a time to reflect on the last twelve months and once again we feel privileged to have been trusted to help so many riders find the right holiday for them. We continue to work as we always have done, to treat customers as we would like to be treated ourselves.

Early this year a lovely woman booked a holiday to Portugal with us. She happened to mention how much she still appreciated the understanding In The Saddle had shown her in 1999 when she unfortunately had to cancel a holiday due to unforeseen circumstances. She said she had never forgotten the sensitive and efficient way we had managed her cancellation. What a memory to retain all these years.

We feel honoured to have been and continue to be a really key part of so many people’s lives through the years.

We have taken a look back at some of the other highlights of 2023 and asked each of the ITS team for their stand-out moments from the year. From meeting up with many of you at a muddy Badminton, to a number of overseas visits to Botswana and South Africa, it certainly has been an action-packed 2023.


Becky and her Mum at Wait A Little

Becky writes “Earlier in the year I arranged a once in a lifetime holiday for my Mum. She had always dreamed of a safari holiday, so arranging her trip to Wait A Little was very special for me. Even better, I was lucy enough to share the experience with her.

On safari it’s always important to not put too much pressure on seeing game, as sightings can never be guaranteed. However we were lucky enough to see all of the big five – four of them from horseback! Being able to share that with my Mum was, hands down, the absolute highlight of my year.”


Claire holding Johnny on pony

Claire “I returned to the office after maternity leave in September. Being a working Mum has it’s challenges, but it is great being back doing a job that I love.

My little boy Johnny is now 16 months old and the time has flown by.

Pictured is Johnny’s first ever time in the saddle, at 9 months old. He spent the whole time giggling enthusiastically, so hopefully he’ll be bitten by the horse bug too and we can head out on an ITS trip in the future. It’s lucky that we have lots of family friendly destinations to choose from.

Stephanie – from our Belgian office

Stephanie writes “During the last 12 months I’ve visited Crete, Botswana & North Macedonia. All three gave me special memories. In Crete I enjoyed splendid views, Greek hospitality and super food. At Macatoo Camp in Botswana, I saw more animals in one day than on my five previous riding safaris put together – wow!

Finally, North Macedonia has a special place in my heart. We started as a group of 9 strangers and are now friends for life. The horses were true champions and gave us all wings. This is a ride you must definitely add to your bucket list!


Lucy’s daughter Izzy

Lucy  “In late 2020, I started my maternity leave from In The Saddle and ended up taking just over 2 years off to raise my daughters Izzy and Alice . The commitment of starting my family meant that riding had to take a back seat.

A highlight of 2023 for me was getting back ‘In The Saddle’. Firstly returning to the office and secondly on my handsome new boy Jack – pictured here with Izzy. It’s exciting to see the next generation of keen horse-lovers. Looking forward, I hope to travel the world on horseback with my girls, as I have previously with my mum. Maybe even all three generations together!


Quinta do Rol

James has told us “My most memorable moment came in late February. In the same week we took a booking from some lovely repeat clients who live just a few miles from our offices; and another from a new client who lives 10,000 miles away on the South Pacific island of Vanuatu on the other side of the planet!”

Coincidentally they were both for the same destination – Quinta do Rol in Portugal.


Lois is on the far right of this picture.

Lois – “My absolute stand out moment of 2023 was going on my first ever safari. Horseback safaris are a large part of our expertise, so it felt like a huge moment to get to experience those hair-raising lion encounters, gorgeous sunsets, bold safari horses, and of course the many bush breaks (there are wild wees, then there are WILD wees)!

I did the Tuli Safari in Botswana, followed by a few days relaxing at Horizon Lodge in South Africa. Being able to talk about my experience with clients has been so fun and sometimes tear jerking whilst looking back at the photos! Helping our clients decide which safari will suit them really does make me feel like I am in my dream job.


Abbie in Namibia

Abbie writes “Looking back over the year I think the most memorable part of the year has been reading the amazing feedback coming in, not only about the holidays themselves, but also the service and knowledge provided by the ITS team. Reading such glowing comments really means everything to us:

“In The Saddle is the most service-minded travel agency I have ever used” (Tina, Jun ’23).

“I don’t think I’ve ever received service and attention to detail like it. The leather wallet surprise was gorgeous and we cannot fault anything with your company. We’ll definitely book again” (Harriet Sep ’23).

“ITS will always be my first choice” (David, Aug ’23).

“I can highly recommend In The Saddle if you’re looking to book a riding holiday; they really know their stuff and are passionate about what they do.” (Susan, Aug ’23).

“Highly recommend ITS – they’re extremely knowledgeable and gave excellent advice. They ensured we had everything we needed before going and checked in with us before we left. The trip itself was beyond all expectations” (Rebecca, Sep ’23)

Melina – from our Danish office

Melina on the Wild Coast in South Africa

Melina tells us “Without a doubt this year’s highlight for me was visiting South Africa for the Wild Coast & Cape Winelands rides, with a group of wonderful clients.

The Wild Coast was spectacular and a true adventure. We enjoyed long canters along beaches, climbing over rocks and riding across hills with beautiful ocean views. Great picnic spots and even swimming at a waterfall. The horses were fantastic – forward, fit and surefooted. And I loved waking up to the sunrise over the sea at the cosy beach hotels.

The landscapes of the Cape Winelands were idyllic. Riding through vineyards and orchards, surrounded by beautiful mountains, with wine tasting and delicious lunch stops at typical Cape Dutch wine estates – it was a perfect combination.


Tanya at Los Alamos in Spain

Tanya tells us “It’s good to be back! 2023 has seen me return to In The Saddle 20 years after I first joined. I’m now working mornings doing various accounting tasks and it kind of feels like putting on a favourite pair of comfy shoes! I started at In The Saddle as an 18 year old and it was my first full time job. I’m now married and have two children.

Life at In The Saddle has changed greatly in some respects – we used to fax ride operators and flight tickets were sent out by post.

But it has also stayed much the same in many ways – our clients’ experience and the quality of the holidays have always been top priority and I’m sure always will be.

It is lovely to see familiar names of clients who were travelling with In The Saddle 20 years ago and who are still riding all over the world and having a wonderful time. It’s also been great to see old favourites like Los Alamos and Ant’s Lodges still popular as ever.I’m also enjoying learning about new destinations like Crete and North Macedonia. And now I have two pony mad children at home, who are asking me when they’ll get to go an In The Saddle adventure.


We hope you have enjoyed reading our 2023 roundup and getting to know our team better.

Do let us know if you need any help planning your next adventure in 2024 or 2025 by contacting us on +44 1299 272 997 or emailing

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