And for the reason that I actually went to Australia… PONIES. I miss my horses so much. I thought that taking a year off from riding would be good for me. At times, I didn’t even know if I really loved it anymore, it had become such a part of who I was and what I did that I wanted to see if I enjoyed it or I just didn’t know what else to do.
Stepping away from riding did help me process some of my feelings around it. I came to the conclusion that I definitely still love riding. And that it is an incredibly important part of who I am as a person. Which kinda sucks at the moment given that the closest horse to me is a miniature pony in a creepy petting zoo. But riding in Australia was so epic and at least it will hold me over for a bit. I think I can survive another six months without riding…. but next year, I will definitely be factoring in riding wherever I end up.
So as I was doing research for my three week break, I realized I had an opportunity to ride and it was potentially the only one I would have for a while, so I leapt at the chance. Australia, Mongolia, and New Zealand were the best options. While I really want to go to Mongolia and do a horse trek there, the cold in Mongolia is real and I was not prepared for that in anyway.
I found a travel agency that specialized in horseback riding trips and they set me up with a six day trip through the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. For six days, I got to ride, slept in amazingly comfortable beds (and didn’t have to share a room), and ate incredible food.
My horse was named Luke and he was a small Australian Stockhorse with a lot of personality and a great engine. I got lucky because he was one of the owner’s horses and because I am an experienced rider, she was willing to let me use him for the week. He was so much fun and had a lot of spunk. I wish I could have brought him home with me.
The tour was fantastic. For 6 days, we rode from 3 different starting points all within a few hours of the Sunshine Coast. We started in a tiny 300 person town called Kilikivan where we rode parts of the Bicentennial Trail and got to work cattle for a bit (I really want to be a cowgirl when I grow up). We ate our meals at a tiny bed and breakfast called The Left Bank where the hosts ate with us and told us great stories of guests in the past. Our guides had clearly been friends for many years and there was a lot of wine and laughter.
We moved onto a slightly bigger town called Kandanga where we stayed in a beautiful bed and breakfast called Aramoor Lodge. On the first day, we just rode straight off the property to ride through the rainforest and then took the trailer to ride on some of the Noosa State Trails.
I have always wanted to ride on the beach. And actually ride, not just stroll next to water. On the final day of our tour, I got to do ride on the Noose North Shore. Stepping onto the beach, I thought I was going to explode. it was something I had looked forward to since booking the trip, but I was also sad because I knew it would be my last ride.
The beach was magnificent and Luke was the perfect partner to gallop through the sand and waves.
I was so sad to leave the Equathon crew, but I was off to Cairns and scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef!