Day 255 on the Road
Horse Trekking Through the Enchanting New Zealand Countryside
Today we are joining River Valley for their beautiful horse trekking experience on the North Island! If you like this video and want to see more 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand then just check out our epic YouTube channel!
Today we are doing another amazing activity here at River Valley Lodge. We are going to be doing some horse trekking through the beautiful enchanting hills.
This morning is another glorious day in river Valley. We’re joining their team for horse trekking which is slightly bit different from white water rafting that we did yesterday.
Yeah, it’s slightly bit different so you can leave your paddle at home. once we arrive at the River Valley Stables we are getting geared up with leather riding boots some sexy riding chaps and a helmet. And then we are meeting our horses.
Before we’re meeting our horse we’re meeting our guide. jess is gonna be our guide for horse riding it’s incredible how much she knows and we’re getting an insight into horse trekking like never before she’s telling us the behaviour and how it effects the horse so we can feel super confident going through the trek.
Every single one of our horses have different personalities it’s quite fascinating to know how amazing and different each of them are. For example some are more curious looking around and see what the hell is happening around and you get some of them which are just really greedy and always want to be in the front of the line. It’s interesting to know that before riding the horse so we know what to expect and how to actually handle the horse that we are riding.
After getting some amazing step by step tuition from Jess which really makes us feel a lot more confident on these horses especially for nervous riders like me we are heading across the rolling hills of the Rangitikei Valley.
The theme with river valley horse trekking is that it’s all about freedom and jess admits that they never usually take the same route twice. We sort of can make our own way from paddock to paddock really exploring these hills the way we want to.
River Valley Lodge practices natural horsemanship which means that the horse don’t have a bit in their mouth. The bit in their mouth is the metallic stuff that is in the horses mouth when you usually do horse trekking it’s obviously not really nice for the horse to have something in its mouth for the whole trek so doing a natural horsemanship is always better for the animal.
Because it’s less intrusive for the horse, it also gives us a little bit less control on the horse so we actually need to use a little bit different technique to get the horse to go the way we want to and that includes using our feet. We are using our legs to put a little bit of pressure at the bottom of their bellies – a bit on the left, a bit on the right – and the horse is obeying to what we are asking them to do. it’s a really different way to horse trek than we’ve ever done before in New Zealand.
But the good side of it is that it gives us heaps of freedom. Laura mentioned that this whole theme is about freedom but it generally is. If we feel like we want the horse to go faster, it literally takes a tiny nudge for us to get the horse to start galloping cantering or making its way a little bit faster along the line.
A highlight of this trip is when we start climbing up this huge hill to get to the top and see an amazing viewpoint overlooking all the rolling hills and the forest in the distance it’s just such an enchanting area and it’s an amazing photo opportunity.
After getting plenty of time to soak in the views we start making our way back down the hill and taking an alternative route back to the stables.
We decide to make our way alongside a sheep paddock so we see lots of the locals sort of staring at us and wandering what the hell we’re doing and there’s lots of little ponds about even a few erm dodgy looking vehicles and then we continue onto the next field.
By this point in the trip we have a lot more confidence to start going a little faster on the horses and doing some trotting ans do some galloping and Jess is being really encouraging and has a super positive attitude to make us feel more confident with our horses.
Like for many horse trekking, usually the horse gets a sense that we are on our way home as soon as we turn around and they are pretty eager to get home because that’s when they usually get fed pet and pampered which we definitely plan on doing.
As the pace is getting a little bit faster the fun is getting a little bigger it’s so much more fun when a horse trekking tour is getting a little bit more speed because it just makes it feel like we are literally cantering through the plains of New Zealand like if we were early settlers in the 1900s.
There is heaps of different tours that you can tackle when doing a horse trekking tour with River Valley Lodge but this one that we tackle today is the perfect balance between a little bit of fun but still really beginner friendly and that’s perfect for our group like us because I did horse trekking a few times before Laura is not that confident on a horse and a few people in the tour have never road a horse before in their lives.
And by this point my horse Rio is really becoming cheeky. He personality really starts to shine through and basically he is the cheeky one of the bunch. If I don’t pay attention to what he does he is going to be straying off track and doing his own thing he’s gonna canter a little bit or he’s gonna go for a big feed. While Laura’s horse is Rico and he’s a really calm horse. She kind of have to hustle it a little bit to start moving along.
After another awesome day adventuring in River Valley we’re heading back to the lodge to get some delicious food.
You get Laura which is like where is my horse gonna choose cos I don’t want to bother it too much. I hope you’re ok with me being on your back right?