Horse Riding as Therapeutic form of Recovery

Recovery is an important part of reintegrating with society whilst on probation. Working with animals is often recommended as a therapeutic means of regaining self confidence and lowering anxiety levels after any traumatic experience and many people have shared their experiences with us either whilst on probation or after completing the probation period of time. Riding along the coast on horseback is a thrilling experience and can be enjoyed by both young and old. Feel the salt spray in your face, smell the ocean and have a front row seat to spectacular views. Most of the rides are guided and can even involve a romantic picnic at the end for couples. Enjoy a slow walk or work up to an invigorating gallop. The horses are trained to be ridden by riders of various levels. For the less experienced rider, mild tempered horses are available to provide a more pleasant ride.

Here are a few places you can ride horses, these can be found in different locations off the South African coast.

Sleepy Hollow Horse Riding

Ride along 8km of pristine beach in Noordhoek, while riding keep a look out for whales and dolphins in the ocean. Experience Cape Town beaches like never before.

www.sleepyhollowhorseriding.com

Accommodation in Noordhoek: Enjoy the 4 star accommodations at De Noordhoek Hotel located in the Noordhoek Village. You can also enjoy the best sushi in town at the hotels own Village Sushi restaurant. The Noorhoek village itself provides a variety of shops to visit and things to do. Go for a relaxing spa treatment at, Caroline’s Health and beauty or enjoy some handmade ice cream at Kristen’s Kick-Ass Ice Cream. One of the flavours provided:  ‘Rocky Road’ ice cream, double dark chocolate with almonds and marshmallow pieces drizzled with caramel sauce. Sounds yummy, I want one of those! For advanced bookings and great discounts on a horse riding safari in Cape Town we recommend trying Ashanti Travel, they are fantastic and offer superb service.

www.thefarmvillage.co.za

Wild Coast Horseback adventures, Eastern Cape

Experience the Wild Coast with an adventure on horseback. Travel to the Kei Mouth Country club where the excitement begins. You can either enjoy a 1-4 hour ride or take it further by going on one of their riding holidays that can last up to a week. The therapeutic value of engaging with horses is really remarkable.

www.wildcoasthorsebackadventures.com

Accommodation: Kei Mouth Guest Lodge is the place to go when booking your horse riding adventure. Found in a tranquil setting, the Lodge offers a comfortable stay and is within walking distance from the beach, some restaurants and the supermarket.

ynyprobation-therapy

Heaven and Earth Trails, Overberg

The Heaven and Earth Trails is found close to Hermanus on the Karweyderskraal Farm. They offer a relaxed and slow ride for those who feel more comfortable with a leisurely pace. On the other side they offer a more adrenaline pumping ride on one of their many trails. Enjoy the beautiful views and as a bonus offer wine tasting on some the local wine estates. If you are looking for an area with a wide variety of adventure tours, the Overberg area is a must !

Accommodation: The Heaven and Earth Trails offers accommodation and provide a comfortable cottage stay. The cottage looks very welcoming with a queen size bed in the main room with an en-suite bathroom as well as a fully equipped kitchen. Other activities in the area include mountain biking, hiking trails and swimming in the dam that is walking distance from the cottage.

Horseback beach riding sounds exciting, but is it safe? Here are a few tips to keep your ride fun and everybody happy.

  • Wear your helmet. You might want to ride with the wind whipping through your hair, but keep safe by wearing your helmet. Even a fall onto sand can be dangerous.
  • Wear comfortable clothing, preferably some long pants you don’t mind getting dirty. I know you are going to the beach, but riding in shorts might be a bit uncomfortable. The saddle or equipment may rub or chafe your exposed skin causing irritation.
  • Wearing a shoe with a heel will help your foot from slipping out of the stirrup, so think a little before choosing some sandals to ride. Many places include the use of boots and hats to wear during the ride.

Whether you are a novice or an experienced rider, there are plenty of beautiful locations in South Africa you can pick to enjoy your beach horseback ride.