Our unique approach to rider-and-horse relationship makes this ride ideal for riders beginning their riding experience and for more experienced riders who may have learnt to ride in the traditional manner, and now would like to find out more about “Natural Horsemanship”. That is to say, using the least possible force with your horse. We believe that a horse is a gentle and responsive creature (but strong too!) and can listen to the most gentle instructions – you don’t need sharp bit or spurs, you just need to speak the right language!
We make sure that this ride remains friendly and personal by limiting the riders to ten, max. This also benefits the fragile paths and trails we follow. At the host ranch a great deal of the food required is home-produced, such as milk, cheese, yogurt from sheep’s milk and many veggies. Hens lay fresh eggs and what we don’t produce ourselves comes from the neighbours. The wine in Bulgaria is excellent, but sadly not as famous as Italian of French wines – yet!
The ranch has been carefully restored, using local materials and craftsmen. Wood for the log-burners comes from the ranch and surrounding forest (where we will be riding) and there is a tree replanting programme in place. All the water comes from a spring on the farm.
I hope it is not necessary to say that we respect all our neighbour farms and avoid damaging crops and hedges; we pack out all litter and left-overs, in our saddle-bags, so that no mess is ever left behind.
Horses require a great deal of looking after and everyone at the ranch is a born-and-bred “local” both the owners and the people who help with the horses. Hosting visitors on our ride brings urgently required foreign currency directly into the local community – everything we require (from horse shoes to food to local maps) is acquired within the local area (within 50 miles of the ranch).
A display of traditional music and dance is organised for each riding group: partly for the enjoyment of our guests but also to encourage local people to keep the traditions alive and thriving. No additional charge is made for this, it is included and a fee is paid to the dancers to help motivate them!
All the farmhouses and small hotels we use during this trail ride and locally owned and family owner-managed. The guides are important because riders always ask different questions which means guides have to know about natural history, animals birds and plants; and they need to know about the history and traditions of our country. The best place to learn about our culture and traditions is to speak to the senior members of the community, and this is good for all concerned.