Western Adventure Day
Home on the Range!
My wife bought the Western Adventure Day as a Xmas present for myself and our daughter. She also joined the experience with us but, due to time constraints, we had to switch to the Western BBQ ride instead - but what a good call that turned out to be anyway !
We arrived at Burley Villa to be greeted by Steph, who would be leading the ride and taking us into the depths of the New Forest. Although we were fairly experienced in both Western and English riding, you don't have to be, as the former is a very easy and smooth style to master.
Before we went into the indoor schooling arena for a warm up session, we were greeted by Phil, suitably garbed in western clothing and sporting a ten gallon Stetson hat. Or so it seemed !
First things first - hot drinks in the authentically styled Ranch House, accompanied by some great country music playing in the background to set the mood. (line dancing optional !)
Ok. Time to meet the horses and saddle up, ready to enter the arena for a 15 minute familiarity session.There were five riders in our party and Steph allocated a horse to each of us. Into the schooling arena then, where you soon get used to your mount and are taken through basic steering at a walk and jog pace. The horses are very placid and know their stuff, so even if you are inexperienced at riding, this style is easy to get used to.
Lesson over and time to mosey out onto the trail. Steph lead us into the Forest and we meandered through scrubland and bushes, where the wild ponies were totally unconcerned, barely glancing at us. The two hour ride took us right into the heart of the Forest, alternating between a smooth walk and jog.
When we returned, Phil had a BBQ ready with something to suit all tastes. And the country music was still playing ! It was a great way to end the day and we thoroughly recommend this experience to anyone aspiring to be a rider - or even a Cowboy !
25 May 2014
How the west was won
I booked this as a treat for my girlfriend who used to ride but hasn't had much chance in recent times, and I thought I'd try something new myself. Believe me I am a complete beginner and had never even considered going on a horse. However I was assured that western style riding is a little easier to get the hang of. The write up for the day looked interesting and the promise of a ride across the New Forest sounded ideal. I can honestly say it was a great day that we both immensely enjoyed. OK the weather was stunning but the whole day was well organised, the staff were great and the horses, at least ours, were good as gold, mostly! Starting off with grooming the horses gave me assurance that my horse, Cheyenne, was patient and not going to kick me into next week, which gave me a lot of confidence. We were shown how to fit the saddle and other equipment and had all the necessary help. Then we had a training session in the training arena, which felt secure and in no time I was on horseback, scarcely believing it but there I was. We learned some basic things like how to stop, and our trainer was good humoured and patient. Then we had a hearty lunch, the chef in cowboy hat was particularly cheerful and there was a friendly relaxed atmosphere. After lunch we went out as promised for a 2 hour ride on the Forest, even with a short bit on the road, which worried me, but the horses and our guides were excellent, and I felt remarkably safe given I'd been scared stiff at the prospect of falling off. Throughout the day we had plentiful drinks and snacks. I think the most important thing to say is that for me a complete beginner, and one or two others who had some experience, it was pitched just right. I thought the set up and organisation of the day was excellent. And I could actually walk relatively easily the next day! Would definitely do again.
18 May 2014
Fantastic day out!
I have now been on a western adventure at Burley Villa three times, and could not fault anyone of them. The days are set out brilliantly, the staff are extremely welcoming and friendly and all horses are really well behaved. It is suitable for all abilities and is not boring for those who already have riding experience as the horses are chosen with this in mind. Rides out are at a slower pace as it is mixed abilities but are kept interesting by the cheerful and upbeat guides. I will definitely be returning to improve my western riding skills soon! Thank you to all at Burley Villa for making mine and my dad's day one not to forget.
27 March 2014
Attended the Western Experience Day at Burley Villa in the New Forest, it was
absolutely brilliant. The staff were great & really friendly. The horses were bomb
proof ( anyone of any riding ability could enjoy this gift). The BBQ lunch was
excellent & the afternoon ride in the New Forest was fabulous. My horse Lily was
a little gem. I would recommend this day out for anyone who enjoys horses.
17 September 2013