Reviews
1272 reviews    1 2 3 40
Monte Velho - Portugal

Monte Velho

4 star rating   8 February 2020

Alison who has been on 12 In The Saddle rides. Lovely horses. | I chose to just take lessons and having been there once before I knew what to expect. They have some new horses and the horses I rode all taught me something. Being taught a couple of times by Joao (now selected to represent Portugal for the Olympics) was a real privilege. Other lessons were good although could start to feel a little 'samey' over time.


Atlantis and Green Island Trail - Azores

Green Island Trail

5 star rating   8 February 2020

Susan who has been on 5 In The Saddle rides. Horse riding in paradise | Thrilling riding on much loved ,well trained ,reliable ,forward going horses through varied, breath taking landscapes with well informed guides who told us all about the local environment, history and geology as we went. And so many fields of dairy cows! i loved every moment.


Winter Ride - Romania

Winter Ride

4 star rating   8 February 2020

Anne-Marie who has been on 28 In The Saddle rides. An interesting experience | Having been to Romania before and really enjoyed the trail ride I was very much looking forward to seeing it at a different time of year and riding the horses again. Unfortunately, conditions weren't quite as hoped initially and there was much rain and mud in the first couple of days, and the horses on the first day were very fresh and lively and 3 riders were unshipped. Things improved later in the week when the snow arrived, and the whole landscape looked entirely beautiful, and the Wednesday afternoon ride was gorgeous. The Thursday morning ride didn't entirely go to plan as there was much ice meaning the horses couldn't go faster until later in the ride, by which time a couple of them had got quite worked up. By Friday the snow had finally properly come, and the Friday morning ride was long with many canters through the powdery snow which were wonderful. I also particularly enjoyed the Monday and Friday afternoon rides where the group was consisting of only 2 or 3 riders and the horses appeared a little more relaxed and we were able to go flat out on a couple of canters without any concerns that things may go awry.We did also have an encounter with a family of wild boar running in front of us which was wonderful to see. I did get slightly over-horsed on one morning, but was able to swap and after that was allocated horses within my capabilities which were a pleasure to ride, I was especially fond of Kiruna, Ayda and Widra.


Ant's Lodges - South Africa

Ant's Hill

5 star rating   3 February 2020

Linda who has been on 2 In The Saddle rides. Most amazing experience ever on holiday | For me the riding was amazing as was the closeness to the horses and other animals. I thoroughly enjoyed leisurely meandering on horseback to see and photograph the wild animals, insects and birds in close up or trotting along the pathways and listening to the different guides' local understanding of the environment and wildlife (the guides had exceptional knowledge at Ant's for birdwatching) The landscape was breathtaking and I loved cantering along sandy tracks, bush riding and open grasslands in the sun at Ant's as my confidence grew and riding up and down the slopes and rocky terrain at Moolmans (especially to explore the cave paintings). Both centres I felt, had close links to the environment, knowledge of the flora and fauna and an exceptional feel for conservation.

I had been a nervous rider to begin with but my horses were always matched to my level of riding confidence. My friends were able to gallop off into the distance when they wanted more challenging riding and we had our own guides with us throughout the rides. Although the terrain was very different at both centres, I was quickly able to adapt and enjoy the comfortable saddles and long rein style with the help of the riding staff and the amazingly surefooted Boerpeds that I rode while others rode equally competent, schooled Arabs, Thoroughbreds or cross- bred horses. This was a spectacularly wonderful riding holiday.


African Explorer - Botswana and South Africa

African Explorer

5 star rating   31 January 2020

Sarah-Lee who has been on 2 In The Saddle rides. Amazing | Excellent


Horses, Dunes & Nomads - Morocco

Horses, Dunes & Nomads

5 star rating   26 January 2020

Grethe Lill who has been on 6 In The Saddle rides. Fantastic! | Loved my horse which was steady, forward going, fast and gentle.
Enjoyed long canters and gallops as well as long stretches of walking.


Horses, Dunes & Nomads - Morocco

Horses, Dunes & Nomads

5 star rating   26 January 2020

Torill who has been on 3 In The Saddle rides. Great Sahara experience | Very good spirited horses with lots of character. Fun to ride. Very caring staff both wrt. Horses, people we met and other animals. No water was spilled in the desert unless on a plant! So nice to see.

Safety had a high focus, and Abdel made sure we all could control the horses before we did a real galopp. Abul rode always in the back and watched out for everybody.

Very helpful and friendly guide and staff. Could not ask for more.


Horses, Dunes & Nomads - Morocco

Horses, Dunes & Nomads

5 star rating   26 January 2020

Bente who has been on 6 In The Saddle rides. Fantastic desert riding in Morocco | The guides were very service minded and took very good care of everything


Horses, Dunes & Nomads - Morocco

Horses, Dunes & Nomads

5 star rating   26 January 2020

Leslie who has been on 22 In The Saddle rides. Excellent | Excellent


Horses, Dunes & Nomads - Morocco

Horses, Dunes & Nomads

5 star rating   26 January 2020

Olaug who has been on 10 In The Saddle rides. amazing experience | My horse was friendly, did not fight anybody, including me, and he was very fast. The area was open and flat. Nice long canters and gallops, exciting and good fun,


Horses, Dunes & Nomads - Morocco

Horses, Dunes & Nomads

5 star rating   26 January 2020

Astrid Synnove who has been on 33 In The Saddle rides. An adventure! | My horse were quite strong, but he was a stallion and were quite young. The terrain were both dunes and big areas for nice canters. We got to canter side by side which I haven't done in many other places, lot of fun! When we kept distance between the horses they behaved well.


Horses, Dunes & Nomads - Morocco

Horses, Dunes & Nomads

5 star rating   26 January 2020

Elisabeth who has been on 16 In The Saddle rides. Desert Adventure | The horses were eager to start and got very good speed from the first canter. As described to us, you need to keep the distance between the horses. I got a very forward going horse, and I understand why our guide asked me if I could hold back a horse :-). After a couple of days, my horse calmed down and was easier to hold back and slow down and the second half of the trip I just loved my horse. Every day had walk, trots and canters.


Ant's Lodges - South Africa

Ant's Hill

5 star rating   25 January 2020

Nicolaas (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Great Experience | We had a bad start as we were given horses that were far below what we needed, based on our experience. Especially for my husband (who rides dressage on Grand Prix level, and this was known), this was an extremely disappointing start. My horse was old, could not breath very good and had difficulties in canter.[Sarah from In The Saddle says: It is the policy at Ants to always underhorse all guests during their first ride. This is to be safe just in case someone's riding ability is not as good as they think it is. However we were pleased to hear that after your intial ride you had horses that matched your abilities well].
Everything was discussed in the evening and we were given other horses. The argument was that they wanted to see the level of the riders. This, however, can be done in a different way. Also as my husband had shown the video of one of his tournaments before the horse was chosen..
The rest of the week, the riding was good. We Complained once about the very rocky road up the hill and we changed the route with the guide. [Sarah from In The Saddle says: Unfortunately some of the terrain in South Africa can be rocky in places, but it is good to hear that the guide managed to find an alternative route for you]


Kujwana - Botswana

Riding Safari

4 star rating   21 January 2020

Tim who has been on 15 In The Saddle rides. Very enjoyable... | The pace was varied, reasonably measured, but lots of opportunities to canter.


Horizon Lodge - South Africa

Horizon

5 star rating   18 January 2020

Clare who has been on 4 In The Saddle rides. Brilliant yet again | I really enjoyed riding Spice and Apache. I really enjoyed the long bendy canters in the game reserve. 1st week Polocross was really fun shame on the 2nd week we had somebody who had played it a lot. (Claire from In The Saddle comments: I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed the riding)


Horizon Lodge - South Africa

Horizon

5 star rating   17 January 2020

Julie who has been on 3 In The Saddle rides. Horizon - brilliant break | Wide range of horses who are extremely well trained! Llots of opportunities to learn about horsemanship and engage in other activities.


Tropical Sands - Mozambique

African Paradise

5 star rating   16 January 2020

Kim who has been on 18 In The Saddle rides. Tropical Sands Mozambique - Undiscovered Beach Paradise | This was our third visit to Mozambique Horse Safari, simply because it is so amazing, with lovely people, great horses and incredible scenery and riding. We have been all over the world and rarely repeat our journeys, but this is one place that keeps drawing us back as it feels very much like home. It is a very personal experience, we have never had to ride with more than 4 or 5 people, and are usually on our own. Pat and Mandy are truly amazing hosts. They work incredibly hard and run a stable of well loved and well cared for horses, several of which are the original horses that they rescued from the atrocities in Zimbabwe when they escaped to Mozambique to start a new life. You can read about them in Mandy's book '104 Horses' which helps you to understand what a truly amazing achievement this is.

The horses are largely Arab and Boerperd crosses, so are not particularly big, quite narrow, but are very willing and extremely fit. The riding is relaxed and on a long rein with plenty of space to spread out. I have ridden Texas for the last 2 years and Brutus the first time, they were very different but I loved both of them. They are now breeding some of their own so they can produce the type of horse that suits their needs and terrain. The horses on Benguerra are used mainly for day rides with novices and are not as easy and responsive as those on the mainland, but the island is lovely to explore on horseback, we even saw pelicans and flamingos along the beaches.

A lot of the rides are based on the beach and therefore timing very much depends of the tides, a full moon this year gave a tidal shift of almost 5 metres and it's amazing how far and fast the water comes and goes. But it gives huge expanses of largely empty beach and with the guides knowledge of the safe hard sand areas, there are wonderful opportunities for some lovely long canters. The local fisherman are very active along the beaches, so you do need to be a confident rider with wits about you to ensure you keep a watchful eye out for ropes and anchors attached to boats and for holes dug by the locals to collect shellfish and bait for fishing. The Red Dune ride is probably one of my all time favourites, the view of the bay at low tide is stunning.

There are also opportunities to do swimming rides and ocean walks bareback if the tide is right, it is fun watching the horses play in the water and enjoy a good roll. Sea temperature is very warm, probably 28-29 degrees whilst we were there in January.

They do intersperse the beach rides with opportunities to see the inland lakes, the local fishing villages and also give you the opportunity to take a dhow ride to a neighbouring island to have a ride around some slightly different scenery. There is also an option to go on a canoe safari to watch the sunset and see the amazing fireflies once it is dark, can thoroughly recommend it!


Estancias Ride - Chile

Estancias Ride

5 star rating   14 January 2020

Sarah who has been on 4 In The Saddle rides. A fabulous trip - highly recommend | Loved all the four horses that I rode, especially Tormento, who carried me through bogs, up and down hills through the forests and then cantered across the pampas and along stony tracks. They were all incredibly fit and surefooted especially when Amando said “did you see where the guanaco went, that’s where we are going”. The horses looked very well but some of the shoeing could have been better.

I couldn’t believe how the terrain changed every day which made it fun. Vicky (the ride operator) runs a very professional and efficient business and Amando was a first class guide. He is passionate and very knowledgeable about the countryside and wildlife and was excellent at telling us what we could expect each day.


Estancias Ride - Chile

Estancias Ride

5 star rating   14 January 2020

Gary who has been on 6 In The Saddle rides. Excellent trip | Excellent


Horses, Dunes & Nomads - Morocco

Horses, Dunes & Nomads

5 star rating   5 January 2020

Ursula who has been on 10 In The Saddle rides. Dunes & Nomads ride in Morocco - Great guide, great horses, great food, great company | It was the 4th time for my husband and me that we booked a ride in Morocco. There always have been the same four men who guided the tour, groomed the horses, drove the trucks and prepared the food; it is so nice the see how well they work together as a team, there is never a loud word but a lot of laughter and joy.

We had nine stallions with us, some of them were more difficult to handle than the others. Here again there was never a loud word, they were handled very calmly.

(ABBIE FROM ITS: We are so pleased that you enjoyed your fourth visit to Morocco. It is a special place and we can understand why you choose to return).


Los Alamos - Spain

New Year Week

5 star rating   5 January 2020

Gillian who has been on 9 In The Saddle rides. Perfect escape. | This trip exceeded my high expectations. The terrain was fabulous and the hosts and fellow regulars extremely warm and friendly. The riding was pacey and exciting. The day out at Jerez was interesting.

A note to myself is that as per the weight limit advertised, I'd definitely want to be trimmer before returning as the Spanish horses are beautiful and delicate.


Los Alamos - Spain

New Year Week

5 star rating   5 January 2020

Erica who has been on 6 In The Saddle rides. Second time at Los Alamos exceeded my expectations. | The riding was fast and fun but always felt safe.


Monte Velho - Portugal

Monte Velho

5 star rating   4 January 2020

Giulia Adriana (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Amazing and peaceful | Excellent


Atlantis and Green Island Trail - Azores

Green Island Trail

5 star rating   28 December 2019

Pamela who has been on 5 In The Saddle rides. Refreshing | I loved all the horses I was given to ride. They each had their own personality and were all responsive, willing and relaxed about pretty much everything we encountered.


Learn to Ride in a Week - Azores

Learn to Ride in a Week

5 star rating   28 December 2019

Helen (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Fabulous | Exceeded my expectations.


Atlantis and Green Island Trail - Azores

Green Island Trail

5 star rating   14 December 2019

Hannah who has been on 2 In The Saddle rides. "Will be Back" | Lovely mixture between long fast paced canters and relaxing walks where you wouldn't want to go to fast as the scenery is so beautiful. Our guide "Nelson" catered for all standards while making sure horses were content. He works extremely hard and never shows any crack of exhaustion! His care and attention to detail is exquisite.

Only hold back was one of the riders was a little weaker than the rest, so waiting was sometimes needed.

There are a lot of steep steep hills so if you are going on this ride - I would advise practising light seat if you can't already!

Horses themselves we almost all rescues - with journals of their back stories which Christina has so beautifully put together, are all perfectly suited to the tasks given. Whether you are more experienced, a bit nervous or not so sturdy on the saddle they have a horse for all!


Ant's Lodges - South Africa

Ant's Nest

5 star rating   9 December 2019

Svein who has been on 3 In The Saddle rides. A marvellous experience! All expectations fullfilled! | Not all of the horses was a good match. But. I wanted to bring the last one at Ant's Hill with me back home. HIS name? Mokabena??


Tuli Safari - Botswana

Tuli Safari

5 star rating   8 December 2019

Alison who has been on 2 In The Saddle rides. Experience of a lifetime | The riding was just as described by Sarah. Long swinging canters and fantastic close sightings of wildlife. Stunning scenery and was fun popping over some logs.


Canyons and Waterfalls - Brazil

Canyons and Waterfalls

4 star rating   7 December 2019

Karsten who has been on 3 In The Saddle rides. Really good and safe horses, but enough to look after for them with my 90 kg.


Ant's Lodges - South Africa

Ant's Nest

5 star rating   6 December 2019

Christopher who has been on 8 In The Saddle rides. A unique experience riding amongst the wildlife | The riding suited our abilities and wishes apart from one morning when the guide set too fast a pace making the horses over excited and competitive and difficult to control. We drew this to the attention of the senior staff at Ant's Hill and they undertook to retrain the guide in question who had behaved in a similar way quite recently. We found the guides at Nest to be generally more sociable, helpful and informative about the wildlife and environment than those at Hill.


Hacienda Zuleta - Ecuador

Hacienda Zuleta

5 star rating   4 December 2019

Tony who has been on 29 In The Saddle rides. Hacienda Zuleta | A hugely enjoyable trip.

The vast majority of riders visiting Zuleta are beginners; I was the only experienced rider for the entire 10 days I was there. This had a considerable upside as it meant every day just myself and my 2 guides set out (Jose lead guide with no English, and Mauricio the English-speaking guide). We all had an absolute blast going on routes they had never been before - always great fun in stunning scenery.

The best ride (Ventana Grande plus The Towers), was one of the best day rides I have ever done. This route was a massive adventure, riding at 4,000m in stunning scenery, but it was very tough on both rider and horse, so for adventurous and experienced riders only.

I also had the pick of all 3 horse they describe as ‘advanced ‘ (Martina, Caracol II, Canela) and all were a joy to ride. The rides I ended up doing were better than the 10 night trail ride I did in Ecuador a few years ago.


Moolmanshoek - South Africa

Riding Holiday

5 star rating   3 December 2019

Luisa (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) We did a horse back riding vacation at Moolmanshoek private game reserve | We are very very happy of our riding vacation at Moolmanshoek! We are both experienced riders and we have to say that the horses at Moolmanshoek are the best we ever ride! Very well trained horses, well responsive and quite! The guides are amazing ad well and the tracks we did were different every day!


1272 reviews    1 2 3 40