Why you should be horseback riding in Sri Lanka

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Catherine writes about going horseback riding at exotic locations in Sri Lanka:

I’m on a horse.

Riding on the Kalpitiya beach.

Riding on the Kalpitiya beach.

Rather, I was on a horse gracefully trotting down the powder-fine golden sand of the Kalpitiya beach in Sri Lanka. It was the evening. The sea was illuminated a furious red by the setting sun. The briny breeze messed up my hair, but I didn’t care. I had never been so relaxed and carefree than I did on that day of my horseback-riding tour in Sri Lanka.

The Indian Marwari horses are wonderful.

The Indian Marwari horses are wonderful.

Needless to say, I love horseback riding. I never thought it was a passion I could indulge in after I moved to Sri Lanka. Then I discovered that people could tour the famous attractions in Sri Lanka on horseback. When I first came here the services provided were rudimentary. But now Mai Globe Travels offers horseback-riding tours in cooperation with a top riding academy in Sri Lanka. Our horse riding tours, with at least 2 participants, is accompanied by a riding guide and a handler for each horse. This is in addition to the chauffeur-guides that our clients get for touring cultural attractions. You can complement your beach or cultural vacation with a horseback riding tour, or exclusively dedicate your vacation in Sri Lanka to horseback riding. You will ride an Indian Marwari horse for the entirety of your tour. The horses will travel with you. Please be aware that the horses need a break after being transported from one location to another. These breaks will be filled with exhilarating cultural visits for you!

Riding horses into the ocean!

Riding horses into the ocean!

The riding vacation usually starts on the Kalpitiya beach. Kalpitiya is one of the most popular venues for horseback riding, as most of our clients, and us, love to combine dolphin watching tours with sunset horseback rides on the beach. I’ve tried this several times and it’s amazing. My horse trotted and galloped on the beach for a while and the tour ended with me riding the horse into the shallow ocean! The handler came with us, of course. After I rode an elephant into a river, I thought nothing could surprise me. That was until I went for a swim with a horse!

Riding past an ancient site in the jungle near Sigiriya!

Riding past an ancient site in the jungle near
Sigiriya!

The excitement didn’t end there. I’ve toured Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle on foot and by bicycle like five times now. But recently I went there just to enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore ancient ruins on horseback! My riding tour began at Kandalama, home to some of the most scenic natural trails in Sri Lanka. My Indian Marwari horse and I trotted through a footpath that went through the lush tropical jungle and ended at the serene Kaldiya Pokuna pond. The pond was once an ancient meditation site for Buddhist monks. Along the way, I feasted my eyes on exotic birds, monkeys and even peacocks. On my second day, I rode my horse through remote villages, paddy fields and flourishing banana plantations right to the UNESCO-designated Sigiriya Rock Fortress. I wish I could have taken my horse to the top.

Riding through a tea estate.

Riding through a tea estate.

The Hill Country of Sri Lanka is also a great place to go horseback riding. Places like Nuwara Eliya and Kandy already have a reputation for being breathtakingly scenic. So imagine how unique it would be to explore tea plantations and historic town squares on horseback! That’s exactly what I did during a golf break at Nuwara Eliya. I rode a brown-spotted white beauty through sloping tea plantations and spectacular fields of exotic flora. We trotted around the famous Gregorys Lake and at the meticulously landscaped grounds of the Nuwara Eliya Race Course and Golf Course. On another day, I actually started off my morning with a horseback ride through vast tea estates and bustling villages. It was all wrapped up nicely with a tour of a tea factory.

Exploring a bird sanctuary on horseback.

Exploring a bird sanctuary on horseback.

The great thing about living in Sri Lanka is that I can easily plan a weekend getaway to an exciting location. Two weeks ago I planned my escape to the southern temple town of Tissamaharama for a weekend of horseback riding. The coastal and arid southeastern landscape allowed me to enjoy a different trail, like I was galloping through a fertile desert. Also, this time I stayed near the stables so I could pet and help groom my horse, which was just so wonderful. That Sunday morning I rode my horse to the breathtaking Lunugamvehera bird sanctuary. We trotted around the huge water reservoir there and marveled at the exotic birds. What a weekend!

If you are like me and love horseback riding, you can try our exclusive tour package designed especially to let equestrians experience Sri Lanka uniquely on horseback. Or, you can add horseback riding as an activity to your itinerary. Either way, don’t miss out on this incredible experience in Sri Lanka!

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