safaris unlimited

Jumping on Horseback Safaris Unlimited Africa Kenya

How We Match Our Guests To Our Horses

Matching guests to horses is a delicate balance, which requires a little bit of science and a little bit of art. Our horses are various sizes, temperaments, and heights, which is a little like the riders (!) so before coming on safari, we ask our guests to send in their height and weight, as well as their competency on horseback.

This might include how many years they’ve been riding, what pace they are comfortable going at on a horse, and how skilled they consider themselves to be as a rider.

In turn, we know our horses as though they were our own children, and their temperament is key to ensuring a comfortable safari for all our guests. Most of the time we get it right, but sometimes after a day or two in the saddle, we make a change when we know the rider will benefit.

Felicia is something of a horse whisperer, and alongside schooling the horses, she also practices Bowen therapy on them, and spends quite a lot of time speaking to them. She’s completely in tune with the horses, knowing when they aren’t quite right, and spending a little extra time with them to try and get them back on track. It’s rare that we find ourselves out on safari with any issue – all our horses absolutely love being out and about on safari. They thrive on the wide open plains, and love the freedom of journeying from one camp to another, an experience which our riding guests also adore by the end of a safari. As one guest put it “no field will ever be long enough, now that I’ve ridden in Africa”.

The Man Behind The Name

We tracked Gordie down in between safaris to ask him a few questions that would give us an insight into the person he is.

What’s your first safari memory?
Being on safari in Amboseli, which is in the southern area of Kenya. Memories of enormous Tortillas acacia trees, snow on ‘Kilimanjaro’ and terrifying Masai warriors with spears.

What do you love most about being on safari?
I love the escape. Exploring pristine wilderness under canvas far from urbanization, is a real privilege.

What’s the name of your safari horse and why is the horse called that?
My safari horse is called Mshale, meaning ‘The Arrow’. It represents that he is fast, stealthy and fearless – qualities that are imperative for a lead horse.

How do you switch off?
Evening walks at home on the ranch, with all my family and dogs.

Where do you go on holiday?
We usually head to our family home on the southern coast of Kenya and bathe in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, and when we are in need of a complete change, we will head to the Alps and go skiing.

Was there a moment when you knew that you loved Felicia and you knew that she would be an amazing partner with you in SUA?
Yes – in fact there was. Felicia & her horse Kashan suddenly submerged into a muddy waterhole, far deeper than they both expected, and then reappeared, as if it was all part of the ride, less a stirrup, less a little pride, but hey-ho – on on, as they say. I knew that she was made of strong stuff!

What’s your biggest dream or ambition?
I would love to journey to South Georgia Island & Antartica.

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