Dream of Cantering on the Beach? 3 things you will need.

One of my favourite things to do with my horse is to canter down the beach. The joy and the thrill of it never diminishes for me.

The smell of the salt air, the sound of her hooves on the sand, the sun on my face and the wind in my hair – but most of all, the thrill that comes from her being relaxed and chilled out, just gently rolling along.

We talk to many people about our Riding Holidays and when we talk about riding down the beach most of them say “OH! I’d LOVE to do that!”

The truth is though, that many people are too scared to. They are worried about cantering, let alone cantering out in the huge expanse of a long beach.

So what are the things you need to have in place in order to canter down the beach and enjoy it?

1 – Choose your company well.

I am very particular about who I trek with. Some of the biggest frights I have had have been riding with clueless, ignorant people.

You need to ride with a group that is focused on EVERYONE being safe and enjoying the ride, people that will wait for you while you sort something out, people that don’t canter off and leave you behind while your horse gets upset and throws a wobbly. The quality of the company that you ride with has a direct influence on the result of your ride.

2 – Canter before you get to the beach.

Don’t make the beach ride the first time you have cantered your horse – try it out in a “smaller” environment first. Canter up a track for 20 meters or so for your first time. Stop cantering before your horse starts to pick up speed. Practice your transitions from trot to canter and back. Make sure you have balance in the saddle at canter.

3 – Make sure you can stop!

You will need to have some control – is your horse listening to you? Do you have good bend laterally? Can you get him soft? When you pick up one rein when you are moving will he turn in a circle and slow down? Can you do a “Continuous Forward Moving Turn on the Forehand”?

One of the ladies that came on our last riding holiday had the dream of cantering down the beach but was having big problems with her lovely boy. Every time she asked him to canter he tightened up and tried to buck her off. By the end of the holiday she was cantering everywhere! I’ll never forget the massive smile she had on her face as I cantered beside her down 90 mile beach!

The video is a clip of some of the awesome fun we have had on the beach this summer!

We love our job! Living the Dream in the South Island!

Our Spring 2016 Clinic run in the South Island was a spectacular trip and we wanted to share it with you.

We traveled down the Kaikoura coast two days prior to the earthquake that devastated the coastline and indefinitely closed the main State Highway. We were in Christchurch when the quake hit and it was huge – even that far away – our truck was rocking and rolling and heaving as if on a roller coaster and it seemed to go on forever.

From Christchurch to Ranfurly, Queenstown, Glenorchy and Invercargill we had fabulous Clinics, did some incredibly beautiful rides and were constantly humbled by the generosity and hospitality of everyone we met.
This is just a wee taste of our trip and we hope you enjoy it.

Don’t forget to check out our next lot of Clinics on the Events page!
Ride the Dream!
Ken and Jane

The Colosseum

Do you have a Bucket List?

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I will turn 50 next year and it has become apparent to me that something was missing.

A bucket list.

As 50 approaches it dawns on you that you are more than likely already over half way through your life. Illnesses and deaths that used to occur in older relatives are now happening to your friends – people in your own age group - the sense of your own mortality starts to close in.

So if I was to check off all these things I dreamed of doing before I shuffled off my mortal coil, I had better create a bucket list.

Italy was in the top 5.

I did Art History and Classical studies in 6th and 7th form (back when we measured our progress through our school years in “forms” rather than “years”!) and since that time I have had a deep yearning to travel to Italy to visit the art works that I studied.

About 6 months ago my dear friend Vicki invited me to travel to Italy with her and I was instantly confronted – my brain went into a panic - the time wasn’t right, how was I going to manage the business whilst being away for a month, etc, etc.

Being in the intensive phase of developing and expanding our business means that the workload is huge at the moment but Ken wouldn’t hear of me saying “No”

Maybe I should wait and go next year? “No” he said “you could be dead next year!”

Mmmm – sobering thought.

So – I metaphorically threw my hat over the fence – then figured out how to go and get it.

I planned – put a plan in place to create the finances, a plan to manage the business in my absence, a plan to manage the family, the animals, the farm.

It has been a huge learning curve – learning to let go of the reins, learning to trust that others can manage things, learning how much of a control freak I am, learning that you never actually have all your ducks in a row!

So now here I am – travelling at 292kms an hour on the Frecciarossa (Red Arrow – the fast train) from Naples to Milan. 

Italy is incredible – every day it surpasses my wildest dreams. The art, architecture and culture are glorious, astounding, humbling and inspiring. 

I am living my dream and I am so fortunate.

You are never too young or too old to create your bucket list – when you put your dreams into existence something magical happens.

Here are a few photos of my trip so far – next week we will be in Vienna at the Spanish Riding School – I will post the photos for you!

And just in case you were wondering - Ken is a champion – he is incredibly supportive and with the help of Joseph, Daniel and Casey the team is running well at home.

They don’t need me at all!!