Putting on our best Calamity Jane cowgirl impressions, Leoni and I headed to Hampshire for a 2 Hour Horse Riding Experience across the New Forest to roam around with the wild ponies. It was truly my idea of horsey heaven!
The Burley Villa Ranch is located in New Milton and is easily accessible. After parking in the on site car park, we grabbed our cameras and set off to meet our noble steeds. Before mounting up, you’re required to fill out a short health and safety form before heading to the tack room to get a helmet fitted and a pair of cowboy boots (or any boots with a heel). Phil then kindly took us on a tour of the Ranch whilst our rides were being prepared. We checked out the many horses on site, the huge indoor arena, BBQ area and the Wild West Themed shack with its own life sized John Wayne cutout. After checking out the impressive collection of cowboy memorabilia, we headed back to the stalls where the horses were tied up and were ready to get this Cowboy show on the road!
Leoni was going to be riding a beautiful cob called Concho and I was on his best friend, Coyote. Our instructor for the day, Charlie, helped us on board before we set off to the outdoor school to get to grips with the basics. We learnt how to stop and make our horses walk on, before moving onto a ‘jog’ – don’t worry this hack is still perfect for beginners as jog is not much faster than a walk! With the ability to control our horses, we headed out of the Ranch towards the New Forest to begin our 2 hour hack. It was amazing riding amongst the wild ponies and cattle which live on the forest. Our horses were all impeccably behaved and looked after us along the way. The hack takes you to a river which is great to plod and splash through!
With heavy hearts after having enjoyed our hack so much, we arrived back at the Ranch where we dismounted our horses and they were taken for a much needed lunch break! The venue is truly a 5* facility and the staff could not have been more welcoming. This experience also comes with lunch so it was a shame we couldn’t stop, but we can’t imagine there would be anything better than feeding our hungry bellies with a good ol’ western BBQ.
Thank you to Phil, Charlie and the rest of the Burley Villa Team for making our Western Horse Riding Experience so relaxed and one to remember!