What a fabulous start to the summer we’ve had at George’s Ranch, with our ponies and horses – not to mention, poor Michelle and Karen – run off their feet as the hacking season gets underway again.
As well as a lot of new faces, we’ve seen the return of many old friends this year, which is not only gratifying, but extra exciting for us because we’ve added a number of new hacking routes to our old favourites.
So far, the new routes appear to have been a hit, with the sunset hack proving especially popular – something that I’m sure has nothing to do with the glass of bubbly at the end of the ride!
As many of you will know, George’s Ranch started life offering laid-back hacks to the Sea Caves and little else, but a lot can change over twenty years, including the terrain.
As Cyprus became an ever-more popular tourist destination, building work increased, the roads became busier and we needed to work around these developments to ensure the safety of our horses and riders.
It wasn’t always easy and there have been times when we have taken out rides, along well-trodden paths, only to find someone has dumped half the contents of their house on the track or routes have been cut off by all manner of machinery and mechanical diggers.
Of course, our horses and ponies have also been known to create their own adventures on occasion – including one memorable ride last year when the heavens opened after a long, hot summer and our normally dependable ponies, Zorro and Gina, found it impossible to resist the muddy pools that had formed. Down they went, and off went the riders. No one was hurt, but it took days to clean the terracotta sheen from Gina’s beautiful light grey coat. What’s that saying about never working with animals or children?
Thankfully, these occasions are few and far between and we have a very good record as far as happy hackers are concerned because we treat each and every hack as a unique event.
As we have a number of experienced horses and ponies to call on – from the armchair comfort of our Shire horse, Sam, to the eager-to-go pocket rocket that is Spot – we can cater to every need and every level whether it’s a group of absolute beginners or a few experienced riders looking for a fun day out. Michelle is always on hand to accompany nervous riders on foot, and Karen takes up the reins for hacks with experienced riders. It’s a winning combination and as of this year, we’ve been able to add a number of new routes to our programme following the completion of developments that have now opened up the coastline.
Really, I don’t think there has ever been a better time to come hacking with us – and I’ve been doing this a long, long time.
Details about all the rides can be found under the Ride Paphos section of the website. You can also contact Michelle for prices and further information about the new routes.
Oh, and one more thing, don’t forget to bring a camera. I promise you, these views and our horses are memories you’ll want to treasure.
Happy hacking everyone!