Testimonials and Reviews about Horse Trekking with River Valley Stables
Many of us have experienced horse treks which have simply not delivered what we were looking for.
This could have been due to number of factors – the terrain, the guide, the horse, or even the wrong ride for your riding ability.
The people who have shared their experiences here, may answer some of the reservations you may have about a ride with River Valley Stables.
“The natural horsemanship practiced at River Valley Stables also meant that the horses had no bits and very loose reins. For me this was quite a challenge having been taught in the English style. However, after the break, this turned out to feel more and more natural, and the lack of bits made no difference at all!”
We learned how to keep our horses focused on us and to create a connection between us. Within 10 minutes Maggie and I had gone from reluctant partners to a good team!
After having done quite a few horse treks in Australia and New Zealand, the half day horse trek at River Valley Stables was a real breath of fresh air.
The group consisted of my mother, myself and our guide Janey, and we were not stuck behind one another in a set order as they do in other horse treks. We were free to roam as we wished in the vast pastures! I also did my first jump in at least 5 years (which ended hilariously)!
The absolute best part of the trek was not what we did on horseback, but what we did on the ground. The horse I rode, Maggie, and I were not connecting during the first half of our ride – she was intent on going every other way than the way I would like, and followed the other horses closely, afraid to be left behind.
When we got to the lodge for our break, Janey decided to call her mother who has been using the Natural Horsemanship techniques for a few years. We learned how to keep our horses focused on us and to create a connection between us. Within 10 minutes Maggie and I had gone from reluctant partners to a good team!
The natural horsemanship practiced at River Valley Stables also meant that the horses had no bits and very loose reins. For me this was quite a challenge having been taught in the English style. However, after the break, this turned out to feel more and more natural, and the lack of bits made no difference at all!
All in all a wonderful and eye-opening experience well worth the time, money and 45 minute drive from the main road!
Thank you so much!
Hi River Valley Stables
It was great to hear from you and thanks for finding my sunglasses. Stupid me. I was quite emotional when I got back to the stables with the sheer joy of the day and not wanting it to end.
I was fine the next day, if just a little bruised on the inner thigh. I have to say it was the most fantastic time I had with you, and I still get emotional when I think about it.
For me, it was a fulfillment of a childhood dream to be able to ride over country like that, with the added bonus of great company. The photos have come out really well and I will email them on when we get them loaded onto the computer. Give my love to Bling.
No doubt you are very busy now. I have already recommended a number of people to come to you to stay.
Have a great New Year. Thanks again for everything and giving me one of the best days of my life.
All the best
“Being an experienced rider, I just wanted to go with a guide (and maybe a small group), and get out there and just kind of be free.”
Hi River Valley Stables
I decided to try River Valley Stables because I really wanted to go somewhere that was going to let me ride how I ride. You know, not go and plod around some field with 10 other people.
I was recommended to River Valley Stables because of the amazing views and how you could stretch your legs a little bit and get out there and do your own thing as well.
And that is what I actually found with this experience.
Lizzie the guide was great. We went for a few good runs, had some fun and explored a bit, which was nice.
It was very very important to me to not go with a heap of beginners. I understand that you’re going to have to do it sometimes, but for me being an experienced rider, I just wanted to go with a guide (and maybe a small group), and get out there and just kind of be free.
That’s what I came to River Valley to do.
I thought the views were absolutely stunning. Beautiful clear, clear sky with no rain.
We also stopped for a cup of tea on the top of the mountain. Just great!
The horses are fantastic. Bling was such a gentleman. He really knew what he was doing.
And also getting a few good runs as well, just running across those paddocks and being able to get the horses to stretch their legs.
I would recommend this Half Day ride to anyone who loves getting out and seeing the country and actually wants to experience what New Zealand has to offer. I would also recommend it to people who just want to enjoy horses and just have some positive experience with them.
Definitely book at least a Half-day ride if you really want to just get out there and fully experience a trek.
I’ll be coming back in summer to go jumping. I didn’t get to do that on the day I went out, but definitely, definitely coming back.
Dear River Valley family & staff
I am writing to thank you all very much for the wonderful time we (3 girls) had staying at the Lodge on May 1st and 2nd. Everything about our stay was great!
The friendly staff, lovely meals, cosy fire, relaxing and comfortable surroundings, nice room, snuggly super ward duvets, and the black and white cats.
The highlight was our wonderful half day horse trek, enjoying the beautiful horses and breath taking scenery with our two lovely guides who were very professional!
Sorry my horse “Honey” had to smash the window with her big bottom after our ride! We heard the smash while we were looking at the lovely gardens around the house.
We also loved our sauna and hot tub soaks – a great way to end a day after horse riding.
Well River Valley is a beautiful, natural and peaceful place to be, and we have decided we will come once a year (at least) for our special Mother’s Day treat.
Hopefully your beautiful palomino horse will soon get better and I might be able to ride it next time. (I love palomino’s and I used to have one when I was a small girl.)
I wish your families & staff all the best in all you do!
Looking forward to coming to River Valley again
Thank you for everything!
“My River Valley Lodge horse trek was as much fun as I can imagine a horse trek being. River Valley was very kind in accommodating my request for a full day trek, even though I was traveling solo. The Lodge itself is beautiful and comfortable, and set in a glorious location. Just walking out the door of my room and seeing the waterfall on the opposite cliff was a delight.”
My River Valley Lodge horse trek was as much fun as I can imagine a horse trek being. River Valley was very kind in accommodating my request for a full day trek, even though I was traveling solo. The Lodge itself is beautiful and comfortable, and set in a glorious location. Just walking out the door of my room and seeing the waterfall on the opposite cliff was a delight.
The guide for my trip, Lizzie, was just perfect. She and I really hit it off and had a lovely day together. I thoroughly enjoyed Maggie, my horse for the day. She had a great personality and was easy to manage, but had plenty of energy and willingness when we did get to canter (the ground was much too wet for a lot of trotting and cantering).
Fortunately, the day I rode was beautiful and sunny, but the tracks were still quite slick from the previous days of rain. Lizzie opted for safety, so most of the ride was at a walk. This just gave me more time to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
The food, and beer, were great, too. It was nice to meet some of the people who were there for the rafting and other activities. Everyone was very friendly.
I cannot recommend River Valley Lodge too highly. My entire stay was fun and exceeded my expectations. I would definitely go again if I’m lucky enough to visit New Zealand in the future, and I would recommend it highly to anyone interested in a very special getaway, especially for horse trekking.
Dear River Valley I was just staying at River Valley Lodge and I just wanted to let you know what a magical time I had. I was staying on the ‘2-Day Trekker deal’ and it was very worthwhile.
It was hard not to feel welcome there, everyone was friendly and it felt like being at home with a big family. Imagine you will, a trip entailing a trail ride ambling through stunning countryside, a quartet of horse treks across gentle and challenging terrain, and a beautiful lodge cocooned in a valley, alongside a raging river, where you feel like you’ve just dropped off the edge of the planet into another world.
A magical kingdom in the middle of nowhere that encompasses your every being, a place that leaves you feeling in awe of the breathtaking scenery, relaxed from the serene and peaceful ambience and, a few sore muscles from hours of horse riding!!
So thank you River Valley Stables for making my time there an unforgettable experience.
“A magical kingdom in the middle of nowhere that encompasses your every being, a place that leaves you feeling in awe of the breathtaking scenery, relaxed from the serene and peaceful ambience and, a few sore muscles from hours of horse riding!”
“River Valley was definitely one of the biggest highlights of our trip!”
Hi Brian & Nicola!
We just wanted to thank you for our great stay at River Valley a couple of weeks ago! Now we are back in Sweden, where it’s raining a lot and getting cold. But the colors of fall are fantastic! We also have a very fat horse after 3 weeks of doing nothing, while we had the time of our lives in NZ!
River Valley was definately one of the biggest highlights of our trip! Great hospitality and friendly staff in really beautiful surroundings. Starting out with rafting in the morning, horse trekking at sunset, and finally a great dinner! We had a great and exciting time! Thank you so much!
Veronica & Michael
Well I promised I would e-mail and let you know how the horse treks compared. I did a trek in Westport and another in Queenstown. Westport was fun cause we got to swim in the river on horseback and I was given top position in the line. However, there was no galloping and my friend felt neglected as she was on a small pony at the rear of the ride where she could hear nothing so big fail there.
In Queenstown, I went on an ‘experienced riders only’ trek and yet there was still no galloping. Disappointing to say the least. It was also very painful for some reason. I must have had resonant pain from your and Westport’s hacks!!! 😉
I am STILL raving about how excellent a trek I had with you and how it was worth every cent and more. Ricoh was a fantastic horse and you were an excellent guide. I have to say that out of all my experiences in Australasia so far, including the skydive and rafting, the horse trek in River Valley with yourself was by far my favourite.
So thank you so much for giving me my favourite memory of my whole trip so far. I have decided to look into getting some work in the outback when I get settled in Perth and it’s you that has given me the courage to do so.
“I am STILL raving about how excellent a trek I had with you and how it was worth every cent and more. Ricoh was a fantastic horse and you were an excellent guide. I have to say that out of all my experiences in Australasia so far, including the skydive and rafting, the horse trek in River Valley with yourself was by far my favourite.”
“I did the horse trekking on the Saturday and despite being very wary of horses, loved it. The two young women who took us were great & really inspired confidence in all of us.”
I thought I would email you to say thanks for a great weekend. I was in Frank Simpson’s party and we had such a good time.
I should have filled in one of your forms requesting how we felt about River Valley etc but I didn’t get around to it.
I was going to go rafting too but that didn’t happen because of the river level. I’ll have a go next time.
The staff, meals, accommodation, everything, beautiful scenery, were fantastic.
Thanks Margaret Penhall
To find a suitable horse trek for your riding ability, please click here to see how River Valley Stables can help you.
Book NowRead enough, and just want to get on with it and book your trip?
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Two days in heaven on horseback. Thank you Lizzie for everything you did to make it so special.
Tamsin Ewing, Wellington
Awesome ride! Scenery was amazing. Pedro is a dude! Could have taken him home. Thanks very much!
I have never ridden before and I had a fantastic time, great horse and great guide/instructor. Would love to do it again.
Thanks for a wonderful ride – Great scenery and a real gentleman of a horse. Really great meeting you Lizzy, and good to see a company willing to allow you to really ride.
Anna Dare, Wales
Thank you for an awesome morning, beautiful horses and beautiful country. The ride left us with alot of great memories
Laurie, Lynsey, Jennie & Shenaide
The most amazing first ride EVER!
Rachel Evans, England
Thanks for a great ride – it’s so good to be back on a horse again – especially such a cheeky chappey as Bling – I love him!! Thanks for the freedom to run 🙂
Lodge to Lodge Horse Trek InterviewI was blown away. I loved it because you have your expectations– you’re not quite sure, because you wonder about what kind of horse you will get or will you be able to control it? Or is it going to do what you want it to do, or is it going to be one of those horses that’s just going to doddle along and not be very responsive.
Lisa from Auckland, & Lisa from Wellington
A great ride with fantastic backdrop, excellent guide, and as a beginner I managed to stay upright. Thanks for the experience!
Turk did his job better than I could have ever hoped. Thanks for your patience. Amazing location. Thank you
I had a really great time on the back of one of the nicest horses here. Thanks for the beautiful morning in one of the most beautiful countrysies I have ever seen
Horse riding in Lord of the Rings land on a Monday morning. Could not get much better than that.
Fiona Clark, England
To find a suitable horse trek for your riding ability, please click here to see how River Valley Stables can help you.
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