Two new holidays have been unveiled that provide horse lovers with the chance to combine their passion with work or simply relax and enjoy some unusual therapeutic activities including ‘horse yoga’ and swimming with horses.
Horizon Horseback (www.ridinginafrica.com), which runs riding safaris in South Africa and Botswana, is offering extended stays to enable people to marry time off with work, and Nihi Sumba (https://nihi.com) in Indonesia has unveiled stays featuring the opportunity to interact with horses from the resort’s own stables.
A recent survey of office workers by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and Microsoft revealed that one in five want to carry on working remotely when social distancing restrictions are lifted. The seismic shift in the workplace caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with technology, has shown that previously office-bound staff can work virtually anywhere, including overseas.
During the pandemic Horizon Horseback has been in contact with clients to see how their facilities and natural spaces might be used to twin a holiday with work. As a result, it is launching a limited number of long stay remote working opportunities at significantly reduced rates, allowing guests to integrate their passion for horse-riding and African discovery into their daily workday.
The packages feature a tailor-made itinerary that can be created entirely around the guest’s working day and time zone. Visitors will be allocated private office space with complimentary Wi-Fi for the duration of their stay and be able to ride out on a range of different horses – or stick with a particular favourite – take part in on-site keep fit sessions, lunchtime volleyball, venture out on accompanied runs and bike rides or simply relax by the pool.
Price for a stay of 29 days or more is £100 per person per night, which includes up to two rides a day, swimming with horses and rides in the reserves as well as jumping lessons and polocrosse – a combination of polo and lacrosse – tuition if desired. The tariff includes all meals and drinks, laundry service, unlimited Wi-Fi and a weekly shopping delivery for personal goods such as toiletries.
Additionally, guests on a long-term stay will have the option to visit the Botswana base for up to seven nights at a reduced price, subject to travel restrictions being lifted.
Established in 1993, Horizon Horseback was voted the Best Riding Safari in Africa in The Safari Awards in 2016, 2018, and 2019.
In Indonesia, Nihi Sumba is situated on an island of the same name less than an hour from Bali. Awarded the No. 1 Hotel in the World accolade by Travel + Leisure in 2016 and 2017, it offers facilities for equestrian activities at its own stables. Each morning horses are let out to gallop freely along the 2.5km beach and swim in the sea, the resort is offering guests the chance to develop a deeper connection with both the horses and with themselves.
Horses, regarded as the “Soul of Sumba”, play an important role in Sumbanese culture and have been recognised worldwide for their role in human therapy, with benefits including reducing stress and anxiety and improving confidence.
Under the guidance of the resort’s equine expert Carol Sharpe, guests can participate in interactive activities both on and off the horse. Suitable for people with some riding experience, the horse-themed stays include yoga on horseback, a ground-based session alongside the horses, riding, swimming with horses and the opportunity to take part in other activities at the resort including watersports, yoga and meditation classes.
Known as the ‘River Cruise Queen’, Jeannine Williamson is an award-winning travel writer, cruise expert and our cruise correspondent, who has clocked up thousands of nautical miles.
Photographs courtesy of Horizon Horseback and Nihi Sumba