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Riding in South Africa?

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  • Riding in South Africa?

    If everything works out, I'm going to be spending next year in Cape Town. Can anyone recommend a good place to ride that is near the university? I ride on my schools IHSA team here, and I feel like I've really started progressing in my riding. I'd hate to take a whole year off. Any recommendations of barns and any suggestions on what form of transportation I could use to get there would be welcome!
  • Original Poster

    Anyone know of anything good? It doesn't have to be a major show barn but I want either good quality instruction or at the very least a trail riding place that treats their horses well.

    I did a google search but most of the places I found are near Johannesburg. Does anyone know anything about the Equestrian Academy of Cape Town? Would you recommend it? Can one take lessons without enrolling in their full program?

    Thanks! PMs are welcome as well


    • #3
      No recommendations but I'll be in Cape Town the latter half of 2011!!! So excited!!! One of my friends went beach riding while she was there, I'm going to get the name of the place from her because it sounded amazing.
      "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
      "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey


      • #4
        I went trail riding in Paarl and I think the place where I rode had some sort of a lesson program. Certainly NOT a show barn by any stretch of the imagination, but seemed okay. I don't recall the name but Paarl isn't that big and there can't be that many riding schools. I think I just found it by googling when I visited there.
        "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


        • #5
          Wait, Rebokscluf maybe was the name?
          "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


          • #6
            My little sister studied at the University of Cape Town last year and loooooved it! I can ask her if she knows of anywhere. I'll let you know! Have fun - her experience was amazing!
            Who is John Galt?


            • Original Poster

              Thanks so much guys! I'll google those places.

              Event4Life I definitely want to go beach riding while I'm there! Maybe I'll run in to you.

              KayPink that is so good to hear. I am super excited!


              • #8
                ^What are you studying, wildhorse?? My uni has postgrad research connections in Cape Town/Johannesburg so I'm really hoping to get involved in a research project while I'm there. So far everyone I've spoken to about Cape Town has only had good things to say. I've just found out I'm actually living in Gordon's Bay - which is just outside Cape Town & apparently very touristy, but working in Townships around Cape Town, then I'll do a placement elsewhere, probably in a school in one of the Wine District towns. I'm so excited! Hoping to definitely so some riding while I'm there - and hopefully playing Polo - as well as sailing.

                wildhorse if you plan to travel there's a place in Mozambique I'm definitely going to go to if I can get the time off: www.horsevolunteer.com looks amazing!
                "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
                "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey


                • #9
                  Wild, I kept a place in Cape Town and stayed there on and off for the last few years.

                  There is a lovely town south of the city proper, about a 30 minute drive, called Noordhoek - located smack at the southern end of the coastal drive that goes up Chapman's Peak overlooking Hout Bay (one of the most beautiful take-your-breath-away vistas on the Cape).

                  There are several stables in the area that offer lessons, nice turn out, x-country courses, and riding on the incredibly wide (over 1 km!) stretch of beach at that particular point.

                  There is a really nice tack shop at (I think) Noordhoek Farm Village (a nice outdoor shopping area with boutiques and restaurants) that has a good bulletin board for the local horse community that may provide good leads on lessons, leases, etc.

                  Before you embark on all this fun, you may want to discuss safe affordable transport options with your uni advisor, or frankly look at renting cars on the weekends for excursions.

                  All the fun wonderful recreational activities of CT are spread out over the region, from wine country to horse country to the best beaches, etc. and frankly a car is a necessity (they drive on the "wrong" side of the road, FYI a la the UK).

                  That said, finding a good reliable local cabbie isn't a bad option; most of them are used to taking people out to destinations outside of the city proper (since so much is located outside the city), and prices aren't too bad (you can negotiate a set daily rate depending on your itinerary).
                  Last edited by Flashy Gray VA; Feb. 15, 2011, 03:06 PM.


                  • Original Poster

                    Event4Life, I'll PM you

                    Thanks for all the suggestions Flashy Gray! I've come across Noordhoek in my google searches and I definitely want to do at least a few beach rides while I'm there. That tack shop sounds like a great place to start.

                    It seems like transportation is going to be the biggest problem. If cab rates are reasonable and I can find a safe and reliable option (I've been to Jo'burg before and was told NOT to take the taxis) that would work, but ideally I'd like to hook up with some horsey people in the area that I can ride with and pay for gas money.

                    Glad to hear all the good things about Cape Town! I turned in the application to my school today, now I must finish the ones for the programs!


                    • #11
                      Wild, you are correct about "taxis" in Joburg - there are a lot more of what we'd call "gypsy cabs" there that can be dodgy - during trips to Joburg I only used private car services that were provided by the hotel.

                      In CT you'll find that there are decent, professional cab companies (as an American would define them) that are are fine to use. CT is a lot different than Joburg security-wise; in general it's a lot better (although don't let that cause you to completely drop your guard, I've known several victims of violent crime in the Western Cape, alas).

                      Noordhoek really is a charming area; even though they always show tons of touristy-riding-on-the-beach photos there are a lot of great farms with excellent show and training facilities in the area.


                      • Original Poster

                        That's good to hear that the cabs are generally safe and affordable.

                        I was able to find the tack shop, thanks! I will definitely be visiting them when I'm in the country.


                        • #13
                          Have fun!

                          I had a really nice time in South Africa, and riding in the winery areas was one of the best parts...


                          "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


                          • #14
                            Near Stellenbosch there is an eventing barn, but I can't remember the name of it. The only reason I remember this is because the girl who ran the winery trail ride tour DH and I went on did pony club and also happened to event. There is also a foxhunt in the western cape too.

                            We actually had a car and drove all over SA (as a comparison, I live in Russia now and would NEVER drive here..)... you do need to know where you are going though, and they drive on the UK side of the road. There is an excellent map book, kinda like the Key Map we have here in the states, which shows how to get all over the area, like on the N1, N2 etc. Definitely need to be aware of what areas to avoid, like the previous posters, DH and I got turned around leaving Kirstenbosch and ended up in the WRONG part of town at night, kinda scary. I had a colleague from work who lives in CT who was able to help us with all that.

                            We loved our time in South Africa! Enjoy!