Full Day Horsemanship Experience

Taihape, New Zealand – Great location - show map

Season: 1st November-31st May

Riding Ability: Intermediate-Advanced

A full day horsemanship adventure, experiencing communication and connection with your horse.  Combining a morning horsemanship session with the opportunity in the afternoon to take your newfound knowledge on a ride through the rural landscape around River Valley.

Duration: Full Day



Start time


It is the Horses gift to connect us with Heaven and our Footsteps

Before booking a ride we recommend you check your riding ability using our guide below:

Beginner – reasonably confident riding a horse at a walk, a rising trot, and learning to canter.
*Sorry but our treks are not suitable for beginner riders.  To enjoy a trek with us you must be intermediate or more experienced*

Intermediate – confident and in control on a moving horse at all paces outside an arena, but not riding regularly.

Strong intermediate – an intermediate rider who is currently riding regularly (outside an arena) and is comfortable in the saddle for at least six hours per day.

Advanced – a frequent rider who is very fit, has an independent seat and soft hands, and is confident on a forward-moving horse at all paces over rough and variable ground on open terrain.


  • Minimum Age 13 Years
  • Maximum weight 100kg.
  • This ride is not suitable for beginner riders
  • Lunch is provided

Everything you can Imagine is Real

This day is your day to explore those things you have wanted to experience with horses.  Our guides will help you to the best of their knowledge with what you want to learn.  Maybe you have a horse at home doing something that you don’t like, and you don’t quite know how to change that.  Or perhaps you always dreamed of owning your own horse, but it just seems too hard to know where to start.  Or maybe you just dream of riding over the hills and far away, but you would love a little more confidence to do that?

There is no secret so close as that between a Rider and his horse

So here is where you begin.  To start with, you are building a trusting relationship between you and your horse. It does not matter if you are new to horses or they have been a part of your life forever. You will begin at the level you need to be working at with the horse you have for the day.  It is preferred that this part of the day initiates the partnership with you and your horse and is carried out on the ground before you ride.  It is amazing what your horse can show you when you observe from this position before you hop in the saddle.

No one can teach riding so well as a horse

You might like to spend the rest of the morning gaining more trust and communication with your horse while working on the ground.  Or maybe you are up for a ride before lunch, using the skills you have built together on the ground, transferred to the saddle.  Lunch is either at River Valley Lodge or a picnic lunch.

Your horse, like yourself, will need time to process what you have done together during the morning, so lunch is an excellent time for this.

Every moment is a fresh beginning

In the afternoon, you might like to revisit the groundwork you did with your horse in the morning before you ride.  It is wise to know that your horse will be finding his way back with you in that moment and will want to connect with you, but he may be thinking about something entirely different after lunch than what you are.  He could still be thinking about lunch!  Horses love lunch!

Once you and your horse have established the same playing field, this leaves the afternoon free to ride out and put everything you have done together into action.  You will be riding bitless and freestyle without a care in the world, your mind tuned to your horse.  Or you might just want to explore more with your horse on the ground.  You choose ????

What is Natural Horsemanship?

Natural Horsemanship is about the partnership between horse and human. At River Valley Stables, our guides have spent time building this connection with the horses and working with them in a way that makes our horses feel good about their work. It is this connection between you and your horse that makes River Valley Stables unique.

What is freestyle riding?

Freestyle is a centred style of riding. It is not English or Western but has many similarities to both these disciplines. Riding freestyle encourages you to connect with your horse through focus, feel, balance and timing. It’s an incredible feeling when you have that connection together.

Alternatively search for other suitable horse trekking adventures here

What we provide

  • Riding Boots
  • Helmet
  • Short chaps
  • Long oilskin riding coats for changeable weather
  • Lunch (either a picnic or at the lodge)

What to bring

  • Long pants
  • Socks
  • Warm top on cooler days
  • Sunscreen
  • Water Bottle
  • Thirst for discovery

Have any questions?

Speak to one of our friendly adventure consultants who would love to help you out.
thelodge@rivervalley.co.nz / 0800 248666

Horse Trekking Options

Taihape, New Zealand – Great location

Burn the Breeze

Suitable for Intermediate to Advanced riders
A ride for experienced riders who want to pick up the pace out in the hills. This is a half-day ride that moves along, exploring longer trails, w...

Duration: Half Day (3 Hours)

Season: 1st November to 31st May

Riding Ability: Suitable for Intermediate to Advanced riders

High Country Enchantment – A Full Day Horse Trek

Suitable for Intermediate to Advanced riders
A full day ride exploring the enchantment of the unique countryside this part of the world has to offer. You need to be comfortable in the saddle...

Duration: Full Day

Season: 1st November to 30th April

Riding Ability: Suitable for Intermediate to Advanced riders

Multi-Day Horse Trekking Holidays

Taihape, New Zealand – Great location

Home on the Range

Suitable for Intermediate to Advanced riders
Build your own holiday, staying in delightful lodgings and dining on wholesome food. Discover your natural horsemanship skills and explore the sp...

Duration: 2-4 Days

Season: 1st November to 31st May

Riding Ability: Suitable for Intermediate to Advanced riders

The River Valley Ride

Suitable for Intermediate to Advanced riders
A 7-night, 8-day ride. A firecracker of an itinerary with the feeling of freedom and adventure at its very core – return to mother nature and l...

Duration: 7 Nights / 8 Days

Season: December to March

Riding Ability: Suitable for Intermediate to Advanced riders

More About The Stables

Taihape, New Zealand – Great location

Meet The Horses

We have a variety of personalities at the Stables. Most are crossbred, including the Kaimanawa (NZ Wild Horse). Meet our trekking team here....

Natural Horsemanship Training

Find out more about our philosophy and why Natural Horsemanship is at the core of everything we do at River Valley Stables....

Have any questions?

Speak to one of our friendly adventure consultants who would love to help you out.
thelodge@rivervalley.co.nz / 0800 248666