Friday, May 24, 2013

Here Horsey, Horsey - Nachod, Czech Republic

Back to the sign in Dublin - What have you done today that you have never done before?

Horseback riding.

Our friends have invited us to a weekend getaway in the Czech Republic at the Gallop Ranch, about 2 hours away from Wroclaw. It is a family run establishment that resembles a Native American Ranch with American Western Style horseback riding. The owner's vision is clear.

This dude is legit. He built all the cabins himself. There are limited modern amenities which is part of the experience: no running water, no indoor plumbing but there is electricity. His friend down the way made all the brass/metal for things like door knobs and such. There is an outhouse for the restroom, a homemade Indian style smoke house, outdoor fire pits and outdoor shower. It is like an upscale, minimalist ranch.

Our cabin (we were top level)

The main house

The Smoke House from outside
Chris in his element manning the open fire grill

Making fire in the smoke house
He makes all the saddles by hand - he said he can make 2 in a winter. Pretty amazing. He has a ton of hectors of land with horses and one of the largest herds of buffalo.


Chris coming in from a more advance ride

Handmade saddle
His wife and kids live on the estate with him and help give the horseback riding tours.

With it being my first time on a horse, I am nervous but excited. I make it very clear to the owner, I have never been on a horse and don't know what I am doing. These horses aren't like most other horses, they are almost wild but very well trained. They are huge and beasts of an animal.

So they pull up my horse, his name is Kevin but looks more like Thunder (no kidding he was huge), I hop on. Their daughter helps get me situated and gives me these instructions: toes in stirrup, left is left, right is right, pull together to stop and most importantly, do not yell if something frightens you. I can't believe that is it. I feel like in the states, you'd have to sign a million waivers, they would put you on a pony and have someone walk you. I have to admit, it is kind of nice having this be my first experience. It feels natural being in nature and riding through open hilly fields and through the woods. And how cool to say my first time horseback riding was in the mountains of the Czech Republic - I never would have thought.

Kristen and Kevin

While most of the group thought the ride was too slow, it was perfect for me. We rode in a line through the woods, no one around, empty but for the trees, grassy hills peaking through the branches. Chris was praised for his riding skills, even though he hasn't been on a horse in the 9 years I've known him - doesn't surprise me though - he's good at everything he does.

That night, Chris and I wandered off into the hills and through the woods for some time together. The whole weekend was a great experience and something unexpected. Highly recommend it to anyone in the area.

A walk through the forest (happens to be hunting season too so heard gun shots go off - not too reassuring)

View from the top of the mountain/hill

Horsing around

This is the real deal dude rancher - pretty awesome guy
Interested in visiting or more information:

No comments:

Post a Comment