If you’ve ever been on the back of a horse, you know there’s a sense of adventure and a feeling of excitement you get from the experience. With a few family birthdays coming up and craving that sense of adventure, I thought a local horse riding excursion would be the perfect way to celebrate.
We needed to find a reputable company, one that well cared for horses. Equally important was to find a company whose horses were calm, well trained, and used to carrying beginner riders. After a bit of time searching the internet, we found the perfect company. Located just 60 minutes' drive from Vancouver is Glen Valley Stables in Langley and after a conversation with Joanne, one of the owners I felt very sure this was the right place for us.
Our riding excursion would take place in one of the biggest Regional Parks – Campbell Valley Park in Langley. After a quick introduction to every-one and a summary of the COVID protocols Glen Valley Stables have in place, we were assigned our horses. In no time, we were sitting in the saddle and off riding the trails. It was very funny but the horses naturally fell in line, it was as though they knew the natural order of things.
There’s a huge network of trails through Campbell Valley Park and our ride took us along a quiet creek. You can choose a group or private ride as well as the length of your ride. Based on experience I would highly recommend the 1 hour or 1.5 hour rides as by the end of our ride I could definitely feel the muscles in my inner thighs and my sit bones were sore. The ride takes you through some incredible scenery; a quiet bubbling stream, a grassy flower-filled meadow, wooded forests and marshland. About half way through the ride, we stopped at a beautiful meadow where the horses could rest and eat some of the long grass. This was a perfect photo opportunity for our group!
There are lots of benefits that come from riding a horse. I love the energy boost you get from being outside, its got something to do with the combination of sunshine, fresh air, and exercise. There’s also the added value that spending time with animals is known to increase mood-boosting hormones, leaving you feeling happy and relaxed.
If you go, here’s some tips that might be helpful:-
- Pack your cellphone in your jacket pocket and take it with you on the ride. There are some great photo opportunities along the trail
- Take an energy bar with you and have it within easy reach
- Wear appropriate foot wear. Boots with low heels or runners are the best options
- Wear Jeans or other long pants to prevent chaffing
- Keep water in your car as it’s amazing how thirsty you get after the ride
- Don’t forget your hand sanitizer. They do have some you can use at Glen Valley Stables but it’s nice to have your own supply
- Apply a good dose of sunscreen before you begin your ride especially if you are riding during the Summer months.
What I have learned during COVID is that while it’s important to dream beyond the crisis, it’s also important to live in the present. Add value to your life by creating lasting memories with your loved ones. Try to do things you haven’t done before and find new life experiences. Our experience with Glen Valley Stables allowed us to experience quality family time, get some fresh air and exercise and fill that longing desire for adventure.