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2 October 2022
2 October 2022
Lisa who has been on 3 In The Saddle rides. A great way to see the Island of Crete | I was a little disappointed with the riding as the terrain was really rocky with lots of walking single file in an order set by the ride leader. Although we had numerous opportunities to canter it was not on good ground.
18 September 2022
Debby (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Fantastic | Excellent
8 May 2022
who has been on In The Saddle rides. Lassithi Trek - a mountainous adventure | Yes it did meet expectations - if anything, more forward going than I had expected. Olwen advised me before I went that the terrain is very rugged and rough and that horses in the UK would not cope with it but that the horses there are used to it. And indeed they were - they have been properly acclimatised, so I knew what to expect but it might be an idea to reflect that more in your brochure so that people are not taken by surprise because the other riders (none from In the Saddle) were taken aback to start with.
Vladimir, the guide was excellent and duty of care to rider and horse was always paramount.
10 April 2022
Anabel who has been on 2 In The Saddle rides. Incredible trip with amazing horses across the best landscapes Crete has to offer! | Really fabulous trip, I had a great time and created some memories that will last forever. Everything was really well organised, the hosts were very attentive, delicious food always provided and the horses were wonderful and very well cared for and looked after.
10 April 2022
Alison who has been on 3 In The Saddle rides. On the first morning Sabine sat down with the group and asked us about our riding experience and what type of horse we wanted to ride. She then matched us with our horses and we had a three hour introductory ride to get to know them. We were all happy with the horses and no one wanted to change. My horse was a lovely mare called Iris who was forward going and enjoyed a canter but she also felt very safe.
The riding met my expectations - there was lots of ups and downs as we crossed the mountains to and from the south coast but we still did plenty of canters, including a couple of long canters on the flat. The ground was uneven in places but all the horses seemed fine with it. We had to walk our horses on a few downhill sections but not for very long at a time.
10 April 2022
Jackie who has been on 4 In The Saddle rides. Wonderful | I just wanted to say a big thank for another super holiday! We had the best time, Velani was amazing, horses great, food was delicious, weather was lovely, the staff, guides everyone were brilliant. To top it off, we had the most amazing group, who all got along so well. The scenery was spectacular and we were mostly totally off the beaten track well away from roads, tourists, people
3 October 2021
Tracy who has been on 5 In The Saddle rides. We certainly were not short changed on riding experience - it really is 5-6 hours per day in the saddle. To make this holiday even better it would be lovely to have a day or half day off in the middle (and swim in the sea more maybe!). However the whole experience was just fantastic and it was so nice to get out our country despite the covid rules. Strangely the large earthquake during our first breakfast turned out to be a great group bonding moment and did not faze our hosts or disturb our ride.
19 September 2021
Donna who has been on 34 In The Saddle rides. Crete- Lassithi Trek - great holiday! | The horses were really well cared for. Despite the heat and dry terrain, all had a good covering and were fed three times a day whilst out on the trail. The ground, as we had expected was very hard and stoney in places which we cantered and galloped over. The horses clearly used to this, coped very well although we wouldn't have entertained fast riding on this ground back home!
Tack was well maintained and the safety system adopted for tying the horses at lunch times and evenings was well thought out and worked well.
18 October 2020
Claudia who has been on 11 In The Saddle rides. A very pleasant riding trek, perfectly organised, lovely horses and good guiding. | Crete is a very rocky country. The riding was very much strongly ups and strongly downs - in the heat and in very rocky area. Having made it once was nice, but I would not do it a second time.
18 October 2020
Alexandra who has been on 9 In The Saddle rides. Fantastic time in Crete | As I had been on the Panorama ride before I had a favourite horse from last time which I requested and got allocated for the trek.
27 September 2020
Emily who has been on 22 In The Saddle rides. Lassithi Trek - A lovely trip exploring the beautiful island of Crete on excellent horses. | My horse Pluto was very nice to ride; he was forward but kept his pace and I didn't need to fight with him. An excellent match.
20 September 2020
Geoffrey who has been on 10 In The Saddle rides. Lassithi Trek | A highly enjoyable trip with very good horses, an excellent guide who was knowledgeable, considerate and great fun. The riding provided much variety and a great opportunity to experience the 'real' Crete off the beaten track. Our hosts Sabine and Manolis at Velani were excellent, creating a 'house party' atmosphere at the hotel, with fellow guests enjoying each others company. I cannot recommend the ride highly enough.
Only reservation was infrequent watering of horses on the trek, but I can honestly say that they did not appear to suffer as a consequence, hence overall I think they were well cared for.
Abbie from In The Saddle says, "Thank you for your feedback. Please be assured that the horses are always watered again during the evening".
13 September 2020
Gordon (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Hard Work | The riding terrain was really not suitable for horses. How they managed amazed me. At times it was dangerous bordering on negligent. Riding across the site works of a new airport with big plant and machinery is not acceptable.
[In The Saddle note - we are sorry you found the ride challenging. We have visited this ride and had many clients join it. The ride operator is very experienced and has been providing this demanding trek of some 200kms for 20 years. The horses are fit and well suited for the terrain and also safe if they encounter working equipment. It is true, and is indeed the case on many riding holidays, that we see horses cope very well over terrain that we wouldn't ask our own horse to do].
29 September 2019
Simon who has been on 9 In The Saddle rides. Sun, Sea, and Gallops! | Exciting riding on good horses over varied and difficult terrain. One of the highlights was taking horses for a swim in the sea.
29 September 2019
Drusilla who has been on 7 In The Saddle rides. Good, but could've been great. | The first horse I was given constantly chucked its head up an down and was very close to my face going up hill at canter. The guide said that it was because it was trained as a race horse, so didn't like not being at the front, plus it was being ridden in the wrong bit and was fighting it. The horse was quite unpleasant to ride. Why put it in this bit and in the middle then?
The next day the guide and I swapped horses. My original horse was ok at the front and with the new bit. I then rode Alex who was a sensitive horse, but I liked him. However, it was obvious that his front hoof was very sensitive to stones and he constantly limped after standing on stones, which made me feel a bit sorry for him. He also ended up having two large saddle sores after the trek.
In my opinion, Alex's back was very poor with the saddle sores. The saddle cloths were rock hard which I don't think helped and he obviously was very sensitive to stepping on stones, which was for 90% of the ride. On the subject of horses, there were two kickers in the group too which is not that sensible when they are placed near the front of the ride.
The guide was a very nice person, but sometimes there was very weak communication in terms of times and instructions.
When swimming in the sea, the riders would benefit from neck straps and riding them into the sea. When trying to mount the horse once they are already in the sea is more tricky and resulted in the guide getting stood on in a pair of sandals. Once we were in the sea we were then shouted at to only turn a particular way and people weren't aware of this. If we would've had instructions BEFORE entering the sea it wouldn't have turn out so chaotic.
15 September 2019
Sarah who has been on 2 In The Saddle rides. Fantastic Trek | The riding was fantastic. I think Sabine matched us pretty well with our horses. My horse, Evropi, was very responsive and easy to ride but also quite forward and lots of fun. All of the horses on our trek seemed forward and responsive, and everyone seemed quite happy with their mounts. Luckily the people on the trek were well-matched in terms of riding ability, so we had lots of lovely fast riding. The terrain is often quite rough but I never felt unsafe, even when cantering over very uneven stony ground, because our horses were so sure-footed and confident.
A new experience was going swimming with our horses - something I'd never done before and which was enormous fun.
Our guide, Vladimir, was fantastic and clearly has a natural affinity with horses. He was very careful and safety conscious, but at the same time making the trek fun and interesting with lots of long canters. He also kept a close eye on everyone to make sure we were all happy and enjoying our trip. Vlad and Yanni were up early every morning to feed, groom and tack up our horses. This is something we riders could have done ourselves - and it's a good way to bond with your horse - but we appreciated their hard work.
9 June 2019
BettyBoop (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Mountainous adventure. | The horse matching seemed a little off, with one rider changing horse after the first day. Other riders who requested a very forward going horse were given steady, sensible and easy horses whilst others who wanted the opposite were given more challenging animals which could not be ridden on a loose rein safely. Although I didn't feel that my horse entirely matched my request, I enjoyed riding him and I felt safe for the entire holiday.
I was very happy with the pace of the ride, there were lots of opportunities for some great canters and gallops up the hillside and through olive groves. There was some challenging riding over very uneven and slippery rocks though the horses managed this very well.
The saddles were very comfortable although they could do with better maintenance. The numnahs were in need of a wash as they were very stiff and rubbed on the horses backs causing sores. The grooms were very attentive however and looked after the horses very well - I think they just needed more help maintaining the tack. The horses themselves were amazing to ride, they were very fit and beautiful to look at. They never struggled with the terrain or the steep climbs despite poor shoeing. They were cold shod by Manolis and my horse in particular had very poor feet and lost two shoes on the trail which were replaced a bit haphazardly with shoes that didn't fit.
9 June 2019
Lindy-lou (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Despite emailed information and discussion with Sabine before the trek my initial horse was totally unsuitable, with little streering or brakes, was known to have been broken with a very harsh bit and only been in the yard for a few months. A little Cretan horse given to me on the basis of my small stature. I asked to change and had a wonderful responsive well schooled horse who I felt safe on and thoroughly enjoyed. [ITS comment: We are pleased that you were able to comfortably raise the issue of changing horses, and that the second horse was such a good choice for you.]
The only criticism of the equipment was the very stiff saddle pads considering the climate and length of ride. The tack itself was very good.
Liz who has been on 12 In The Saddle rides. Greek odyssey to the sea | A challenging trail. The exceptional heat we experienced on several days made the riding tougher.
Picking fresh fruit (pear, apple, grape, pomegranate) along the way was a delight but of course swimming with the horses was the highlight of the trip.
[Becky from In The Saddle replies: Thank you very much for taking the time to leave us your feedback. We are glad to hear you enjoyed the expedition in Crete.]