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Posted on October 16, 2015
The Riding Holiday Show on 12 December 2015 is all about “Meeting the Guides” – in fact that’s what we called the event when we first ran it in 2007. It’s a chance to learn all about wonderful riding holidays all over the world, directly from the people who will be guiding you day by day. As well as an opportunity to renew friendships and chat about past experiences.
We thought it would be interesting to run a series of profiles of some of the people who will be at the Riding Holiday Show and here is another popular female guide – Joanna Westermark from Kaskazi Horse Safaris , Tanzania.
1. How long have you been guiding at Kaskazi Horse Safari?
4 1/2 years
2. Where did you guide before this?
Manyara ranch conservancy, a conservancy based operation in Northern Tanzania. Prior to that I guided down in South Africa, Kwa Zulu Natal where I led horse safaris.
3. How did you get into guiding? Was there someone who inspired you?
Growing up in Sweden and Kenya I did a lot of riding amongst game throughout my childhood so it’s always been something that I have had in the back of my mind. When I went down to South Africa to study Field guiding and hotel and lodge management the seed was then planted.
4. If you hadn’t become a riding guide, what was your Plan B?
I probably would have become a banker.
5. People coming on a riding holiday often think you have the ideal job – what do you love about it? And what are the downsides?
We never refer to it as a job, it’s a lifestyle that you choose. I believe if your interests are in horses, the nature and wildlife I could not have asked for a better Lifestyle/job. The downside is that you can never “leave work”. It is a huge responsibility that will never end, even though you are on holiday. Apart from that I can’t come up with any other downsides. You deal with incredible people who are on holiday, that already puts our guests in a good mood.
6. If your favourite horse was a human, who would he/she be and why?
It would be my lead horse Heat Haze. He is brave and will master any challenge; he has a fantastic temperament and is a true character. We suit each other well, both of us are somewhat crazy!
7. What can you not live without (when guiding or just generally)?
I could not live without my horses and dogs. I enjoy civilisation every now and then but I very quickly miss the bush. If I could, I would spend my life out in the bush with my horse, my dogs and a tent.
8. What has been your most memorable riding holiday week?
When my horse saved me from a cobra.
9. How do you relax after a day in the saddle?
With a nice ice-cold beer around the open fire.
10. What advice would you give a 21-year-old who wants to train for your job?
Work hard, aim high and believe in yourself. This will take you very far. Life will always be full of ups and downs, but with no downs there are no ups!
11. Where do you go on holiday?
I spend most of my holidays in Africa, although for my next upcoming holiday I will heading to South America.
Thank you Jo for the fantastic images and another wonderful article.
You can meet Jo from Kaskazi Horse Safaris at the Riding Holiday Show in London on 12 December 2015. Space at the venue is limited so you must obtain a ticket in advance. The event takes place at the Royal Overseas League in SW1 just off Piccadilly from 10 am to 6 pm.
38 different riding destinations will be represented at the Riding Holiday Show. All part of the In The Saddle portfolio of worldwide riding holidays.