Dehydrated, sick and nauseous was how I felt on a horse ride in the Sardinia Bay area of Port Elizabeth recently.
I arrive early at Heavenly Stables, situated at Sardinia Bay Rd in Lovemore Park. I was hoping for a more pleasant welcome, but I was left with none.
I think the level of service of the staff set the tone for what was to come. Sadly, this one ticked all the wrong boxes.
As a travel writer, I find it very hard to write a bad review, but sometimes for the value of the reader one has to be honest.
I've done horse riding before, but this one goes in my worst experience list. Horse riding for me should be fun, comfortable and one should have the feeling of never wanting it to end.
I was the only South African on the trip. There were two other international couples.Most of the trip was spent in the Sardinia Bay Nature Reserve with trails so small the poor horses got hit by trees or branches every so often.
It was long, all I wanted was for it to end.
My horse Cruise seemed distracted from the word go, sluggish and miserable. I felt for him.
Our instructor, a young girl in her early 20s,was cold. She didn't exude any personality. All she kept saying to me and some other members of the group was ‘kick harder, kick harder’( in reference to the horses and their movement).
She would stop for a few minutes to wait for everyone to keep up and leave without even saying a word.
Cruise ate grass and peed throughout the trip while we all had a laugh. He grunted, and continued.
Often he would look back at me before he started the ride again for my approval.
The only part of the horse ride I enjoyed was the 15 minute beach ride. I felt out of a scene of a soapie. The cool sea breeze was a refreshing welcome from the heat and dehydration I felt while in the reserve.
As we galloped on the sand dunes, down to the beach, my horse rebelled a bit and tried to head for the water. I stalled him and made him follow the rest of the horses. Other than the beach experience, I hated the almost three hour ride.