Saddle up on the other side of the island
Bali has always been referred to by many as the best place to experience new things. Having a variety of activities to choose from, this month I thought to try my hand at horseback riding with Ubud Horse Stablesandwander into the village life, where culture and tradition entwine. A 30-minute drive north from central Ubud led me to this horseback adventure destination at JasanVillage. I immediately experienced a sense of warmth and intimacy of local people.
Not being a horse person whatsoever, I thought riding a horse was as simple as jumping on, sitting there and letting the horse do all the work. Well, anyone who has ridden a horse will know how wrong that is. Luckily for me, the guys at the Ubud Stables knew what they were doing and the staff were so involved throughout the entire process. Firstly, they needed to know my level of experience with horses, i.e. none, to determine what horse I would get. I ended up with a brown female, a mare, which is said to be a safer choice according to the staff. I noticed that all the horses were well taken care of in Ubud Stales; healthy and well trained. It was also good to see that they put safety first by giving helmets to the riders to wear.Finally, with a little bit of help from the staff, I slowly climbed onto my mare’s back and managed to balance myself. The rest of the ride was as relaxing and as calm as they say a smooth ride.
My 1-hour riding started from Ubud Horse Riding Stables to the rice fields of Jasan Village. Since I have no experience in horse riding, two professional staff from Ubud Stables guided me in front and behind, making sure Bella, my horse, was totally calm and well behaved. We went through the main road before turned to the bamboo forest that led to the scenic view of rice fields. Bella stopped several times to eat grass, meanwhile I took the time to enjoy the singing birds and see the farmers doing their daily activity. Simply being outdoors and enjoying the freshness of hillside have proven to boost my general wellbeing and acted as a great stress buster. You can always ask to extend the trip. Simply ask the guys with you, and they will arrange it easily.
On our way back, we rode gently into JasanVillage where friendly smiling faces greeted me. To mark the end of the tour, some fresh coconut juice picked straight from the trees were ready to satisfy my thirst. It was a jolly ride. The horseback riding gave me a unique experience to witness an extraordinary traditional life of local village people who live in harmony with the nature. For me, it was not just the riding that I enjoyed much, but also being able to see the proper local culture and village life. Something that has been lost on this island as a result of tourism.
Ubud Horse Stables
JasanVillage, Timbul, Gianyar Regency
Joannes Rhino – Bali Writer