A riding trip in Antigua



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Since Camilla was very small (like 2) she has been sitting on horses. Close to my parents in Son Norway there is a riding club. We used to go up there as often as we could. So there is no surprise that she  loves them. So far on this trip she has been riding in Holland on the beach, in England on the moors, St Lucia in the banana plantation and everywhere else we could find a stable.

Antiguans love their horses, and there is quite a few of them around. Going for a walk Lesley and Camilla found a horse tied up in the bush not to far from English Harbour. Camilla's heart broke at the sight of this horse all alone. So off we went on expeditions into the bush with bottles of water and carrots for the poor animal. On our last trip up we met the owner Rasta man Geordie. A soft-spoken 50 something with no teeth in his upper mouth and a strong belief in Haile Selassie as the black Jesus.

Geordie walked up into the bush with us and explained he had 5 horses. Not unusual for Antiguans we have learned. He used to race them but now the race track was closed due to lack of maintenance. He took a liking to Camilla and let her ride his horse Liberation that we had found in the bushes. Camilla could come back and ride his horse anytime she wanted if she felt she could handle him. Being a former race horse the offer was very generous but Camilla's a bit too small to handle it's fiery temperament.

Rasta man Geordie and his horse

Spring Hill Riding Club is about ten minutes on a bus from English Harbour. They have 17 horses that roam free on their property all night and serve as riding school horses during the day. Camilla's dream is to have lessons in jumping and this is the place for it. The grounds are great. To get to know the horses and the stables Camilla and I went on an outride. The 2,5 hour trip took us through the hills and down to Rendezvous beach. A very exciting ride. The road was steep and narrow but more than anything else I was nervous about cantering on the beach. I really wanted to but the skills are not quite there. But remembering a quote from a children's book (Brødrene Løvehjerte) that goes something like this; "If you can't do things you are afraid of, then you are not a person but only a piece of dirt" I decided to go for it. It was great! Camilla was completely at ease. She led her horse through the bush with confidence. Trotted with style and sat comfortably down in her saddle as her horse picked up speed along the beach.


For me it was an experience to find myself in a situation where I was the pupil and Camilla (9) was the teacher. She knew almost instinctively what to do and I had to try to copy her. Not sure I did that great but I did not fall off. Camilla was very very happy. Now she cant wait to start having one-on-one lessons. The riding instructor , Sarah, told her she was too good to have group lessons.

Camilla posing with her horse Sussie after speeding across the beach.

Me trying to look relaxed on Gandalf




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This site was last updated 16-01-2006 16:50:59