Reviews
1228 reviews    1 2 3 4 5 39
Wait A Little - South Africa
Experience Level

Big Five Safari

5 star rating   18 May 2019

The horses and team were exceptional. Inevitably in a mixed group the pace will be set to the weaker riders and that is what you accept when joining a larger group. It would have been perhaps more fun for the wait a little team if we had all been able to speak english or german because the evenings were sometimes quiet and there were a few issues over the instructions issued.

Selfishly a few faster moments and a slightly tighter group may have added some extra highlights but perhaps this was because we had an unlucky week with sightings.

Notwithstanding the above I had the most incredible week and was so very lucky to ride Monarch and Perroni and with Monarch wanting to be at the front I got to learn so much more about the bush, conservation work and the animals than I had hoped and I feel very lucky to have had that experience.


Extremadura - Spain
Experience Level

Monfragüe National Park

5 star rating   18 May 2019

The riding was at a relaxed pace, no trotting and mostly walking, but we did canter 4-5 times each day. The first morning is at walk to get to know your horse. My horse Datil was very responsive and walked out well and was polite and easy on the canters. The horses were very sure footed, managing the sometimes rocky terrain like mountain goats. All tack was in good condition and the saddle seat savers were very comfortable. The riding hours were long (6.5hrs) but a long day was broken up with tapas stops and a long lunch, and followed by a shorter days riding (5hrs).


Castellare di Tonda - Italy
Experience Level

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   18 May 2019

The variety of terrain was fantastic. Each ride covered different parts of the estate. The reining lesson was great fun with a super sensitive well trained horse.


Equus Silvania - Romania
Experience Level

Equus Silvania

4 star rating   18 May 2019

On Day 2 I rode a horse who was a bit too much for me. Perfect in walk, but I felt a little over-horsed in trot and canter. I spoke to the guide and for the last 3 days had horses who were absolutely perfect for me! And this horse was by no means bad (someone else rode him after and loved him) - it was just a case of us not clicking. So with the terrain and the pace Day 2 was a little scary, but I did it and felt great afterwards. I would say this is definitely a holiday for a fit person with competent standard of riding - which is exactly as described in your brochure, so no complaints at all from me.
[ITS comment: It's great to hear that you enjoyed the week and were able to find horses to match you later in the week. Thank you very much for your feedback.]


Wild Coast - South Africa
Experience Level

Wild Coast Adventure Trail

5 star rating   18 May 2019

Spectacular views, amazing beach rides and strong, healthy happy horses. Very professional guides - reassuring, relaxed and friendly. The terrain can be a little daunting at times if you're used to mainly flat/straightforward ground, but the horses are sure footed and steady in temperament, so you can have a lot of confidence in them. Loved it!


Castellare di Tonda - Italy
Experience Level

Heart of Tuscany

5 star rating   18 May 2019

Opened my eyes to the skill of Western riding style.
Perfect pace for the beautiful variety of terrain covered.


African Explorer - Botswana and South Africa
Experience Level

African Explorer

5 star rating   17 May 2019

Excellent


Veláni Country Hotel - Crete
Experience Level

Sun and Riding

5 star rating   17 May 2019

Excellent


Ant's Lodges - South Africa
Experience Level

Ant's Nest

5 star rating   16 May 2019

It exceeded my expectations. Both venues could not do enough to please and were very focussed on making the holiday enjoyable. Horses were a delight and very well cared for


Orkhon Valley - Mongolia
Experience Level

Camping Trail

5 star rating   16 May 2019

Excellent


White Stallion Ranch - Arizona
Experience Level

White Stallion Ranch

5 star rating   12 May 2019

Far and away the best riding holiday ever. Everything was just perfect.


Los Alamos - Spain
Experience Level

Villa Based Ride

5 star rating   12 May 2019

Wonderful responsive horses. Rachel always matched everyone with the perfect horse for them.


Quinta do Rol - Portugal
Experience Level

Quinta do Rol

5 star rating   12 May 2019

Excellent


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

5 star rating   11 May 2019

Excellent


Kambaku Safari Lodge - Namibia
Experience Level

Kambaku Safari Lodge

5 star rating   11 May 2019

The horses are well trained and carefully matched to the rider.


Wild Coast - South Africa
Experience Level

Kei River Trail

5 star rating   11 May 2019

The longest flat out gallop I've ever done, and I’ve ridden on a few good beaches! Plus the horses cope with rock scrambling, getting on a ferry to cross the river and swimming the river while the riders got kayaks. The horses are well loved, willing and super fit. The one I rode for the trail and gallop, Tenna Sea, was brilliant.


Wild Coast - South Africa
Experience Level

Kei River Trail

5 star rating   11 May 2019

It exceeded my expectations. Both venues could not do enough to please and were very focussed on making the holiday enjoyable. Horses were a delight and very well cared for


Rocking Z - Montana
Experience Level

Ranch Stay

5 star rating   11 May 2019

The riding was spectacular, the guides really friendly and fun. All abilities were able to ride out together and have fun which is really a credit to them and their horses.


Extremadura - Spain
Experience Level

Conquistadors ride

5 star rating   11 May 2019

The riding takes place in the hills, where it goes very up and down. Therefore, it is not the fastest ride with a lot of canters, as it will be too hard on the horses. But every day there is a canter at medium pace (absolutely perfect, as it does not go too slow or too fast) when the terrain allows it. I think it has been appropriate, as there were several good and long stretches of tracks where we canter.
Emilio is really good at assessing which horse best suits each rider. He hits the spot almost every time, it is wildly amazing!


Transylvania Trail - Romania
Experience Level

Transylvania Trail

2 star rating   11 May 2019

My horse was lovely, beautifully behaved, extremely fit and fast when she got the opportunity. Other riders had, I would say, exaggerated their riding ability and experience and were given a horse they could not control so for the first few days the pace was mostly walk and trot to avoid any incidents. I think it would have been helpful if there had been an assessment ride either at the centre or use Day 1 as a trail ride returning to Equus Silvana for the first night so any changes that need to be made can be carried out promptly. Interestingly we were not asked to sign any waiver forms before or during the ride and I'm not sure any incident forms were completed when someone fell off which happened on two occasions. My horse, as I said was fabulous, others were unfit and simply could keep up with a not very fast ride. My tack was fine but other's found their saddles very uncomfortable and there was a dearth of spare tack.

(ITS NOTE: We have investigated the two falls; incident forms were completed and signed by those involved. Thank you very much for your other comments, which we take on board and have passed on to your hosts).


Transylvania Trail - Romania
Experience Level

Transylvania Trail

5 star rating   11 May 2019

It was VERY rainy, and one of the days we couldn´t ride because the mud was really dangerous - so slippery. But this is nobody´s fault. Other than that, the ride was amazing, with very beautiful views and well behaved horses. They know their job! The good thing about the rain is that everything was very green and the air was so clean we could enjoy breathking mountain views.


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

5 star rating   10 May 2019

From show jumping to dressage was a struggle for me personally. But everyone else had fun for sure.


Horizon - South Africa
Experience Level

Camp Davidson

5 star rating   10 May 2019

Excellent


Veláni Country Hotel - Crete
Experience Level

Sun and Riding

5 star rating   10 May 2019

I didn't know what to expect!
I knew nothing about Velani or its horses before leaving England but any doubts were dispelled very quickly.
I was given the same kind and foreward going gelding to ride for the whole week that I was at Velani. He was foreward going, sure - footed, well up to the long rides in mountainous terrain and phased by nothing. The saddle was very comfortable.
Having only ridden my own horses for the last 30 odd years I did have a few moments of apprehension before getting on for the first time. My apprehension disappeared within minutes, I felt completely at home on this genuine little horse. Individual attention given to all riders was equal to none. Sabine gave as much consideration to the riders as she gave the well cared for and happy horses. The scenery in the mountains had to be experienced to be believed.


Cappadocia Trails - Turkey
Experience Level

Cappadocia Highlights

5 star rating   10 May 2019

The horses and riding more than met my expectations. The horses were Arabian endurance mares - just what I am used to riding - very forward going and spirited, and of the highest standard being from one of the top Turkish Endurance yards. My friend and I rode the current Turkish champion and last year's champion so we were very happy. The countryside was also some of the best I have ridden through in any country; being amazingly varied and absolutely stunning visually, and the horses were happy, confident and fit enough to cope with the hills, valleys and the flat open steppe and eager to canter whenever the opportunity arose. However these mares are certainly for experienced, regular riders and not casual, inexperienced and infrequent riders.


Cappadocia Trails - Turkey
Experience Level

Cappadocia Highlights

5 star rating   10 May 2019

Excellent


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

5 star rating   10 May 2019

We had a brilliant time. Rode horses of a high standard of training under expert instruction. The instructors were very good, enthusiastic and friendly.
We had three different trainers - all excellent! All were good but particularly liked Cendrine who was really enthusiastic and encouraging. The whole experience was great - the horses were very well cared for and turned out to a high standard. Diago was attentive as ever - took us on a really interesting wine tasting session tour of the stud and explained the breeding programme. His parents had lunch with us one day and were equally friendly and good company - explaining the history of Monte Velho. We also had the chance to see some of the young horses in the schooling sessions.


Horizon - South Africa
Experience Level

Camp Davidson

5 star rating   10 May 2019

Excellent


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

5 star rating   9 May 2019

Hmmmm. After last year's exceptional time at Monte Velho I was surprised at the slightly chaotic arrangements for trail riding this year. Lessons were fine, and I was well-matched with horses and the instruction was excellent - Sandrine, Coralie and Leana were all great teachers. I felt I really progressed in the ring and built on my novice skills, gaining confidence - a real necessity for me.

However the trail rides were a bit of a mishmash. There were beginner riders (4 lessons only in once case) on trail rides, and the matching of riders to horses was haphazard, with experienced rider guests intervening and rearranging the mounts to accommodate the beginners as the staff seemed to have no real idea of individual capacities. There seemed to be a limited range of trail horses and juggling became an issue.

Also, the leaders were mixed. Beatrice was fine but there were difficulties with Cesar, who is new to Monte Velho. He is a real horseman, and has very fixed ideas about how the rides should be managed which resulted in one of our fellow guests (not a beginner) losing all confidence and wasting two days before a lunge instructor could be found for her and her beginner companion. I found his lack of teaching skill and fixed views on what constituted a collected canter a bit bullying. A fellow (very experienced) rider confided to me during this ride that he felt that Cesar lacked the psychological insight to handle the situation. I felt humiliated and was relieved that he left after my second ride out for an operation.

Having said that, my hip was giving me problems and so I dipped out of the last two trail rides I was booked for in order to preserve myself for the fabulous lessons.


Ant's Lodges - South Africa
Experience Level

Ant's Nest

5 star rating   9 May 2019

The staff at Ant's nest were very flexible to adjust the ride when needed due to sore back. This really helped me get the most out the the ride and I didn't have to feel like I slowed down the others when I needed a slower pace. Thanks to them for that!


Ant's Lodges - South Africa
Experience Level

Ant's Nest

5 star rating   9 May 2019

Excellent


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

4 star rating   9 May 2019

The whole holiday was great fun and a wonderful experience, with lovely people, both the staff and owners of Monte Velho and our fellow guests.
The one caveat is that more attention should have been paid to the organisation of the rides, particularly the trail rides. It was silly that my wife's name was on the riding lists and not mine: it was always clear in the booking and run-up that I was riding and she was not.
More importantly, we all filled in competency forms, and it made no sense that experienced and adventurous riders were paired with novices. Thus limiting what they could do. Nor did the trail-ride leaders seem properly briefed on our relative competency: before two of my three rides out, horses had to be swapped around after relative novices were paired with more fractious horses, in one case quite frighteningly, which introduced an unnecessary level of tension.
That said, it was a beautiful setting, we had a brilliant time, and would happily do it again.


1228 reviews    1 2 3 4 5 39