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Exploring 5 Horse Riding Adventures in the Free State

The Free State province of South Africa offers a stunning landscape perfect for horse riding adventures. Here are five fantastic places where you can saddle up and enjoy the freedom of the open plains and rolling hills.

Bloemfontein Equestrian Centre (BEC) – Bloemfontein

Bloemfontein Equestrian Centre - BEC.Horse riding in Free State
Facebook – Bloemfontein Equestrian Centre – BEC

Ready to saddle up for an adventure like no other? Bloemfontein Equestrian Centre (BEC) is the ideal place to start. With skilled coaches guiding you every step of the way, you’ll experience a fun and welcoming atmosphere. BEC offers a range of riding disciplines, from the precision of dressage to the thrill of show jumping and cross-country. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned rider, there’s something for everyone at this school. The centre provides various horse riding lessons, including 30-minute lessons, hour-long lessons, and walker lessons for children aged three and above. Additionally, they offer outrides and fun days. Join their team of competitive riders and embark on a journey filled with excitement and learning.

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Golden Gate Highlands National Park (Gladstone Stables) – Clarens

Clarens Country StayHorse riding in Free State
clarenscountrystay.co.za

Gladstone Stabbles in Golden Gate Highlands National Park, offers an exceptional horse riding experience. Just 22km from Clarens, the park features one-hour guided horse rides along scenic trails. Wildlife sightings might include mongoose, eland, zebras, and over 100 bird species. The park is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, making your horse trail adventure even more memorable. Guided rides are weather-dependent, so pre-booking is essential, and helmets are provided. Note that the horses have a rest day on Mondays. Whether you choose a horse or a pony, this ride through Golden Gate Highlands National Park promises an unforgettable adventure.

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Ventersberg Stables – Fouriesburg

 Ventersberg Stables. Horse riding in Free State
Facebook – Ventersberg Stables

Situated on De Hoop Farm near the Caledonspoort border post, Ventersberg Stables has been offering guided horse trail experiences in the scenic Brandwater Basin, surrounded by the Witteberg, Rooiberg, and Maluti mountain ranges, for over 20 years. A small, family business with friendly and experienced guides, Ventersberg Stables provides customised horse riding experiences, with circular routes ranging from 1-4 hours and day trips, sunset and moonlight rides of 2 hours, overnight trails through stunning mountains and along the border of Lesotho, and stabling facilities for horse owners. They also offer picnics on request. Novices and experienced riders are welcome, all rides are guided, and hard hats are provided. Come and enjoy a ride of a lifetime!

De Oude Kraal Country Estate and Spa – Bloemfontein

Oude Kraal horse riding
https://deoudekraal.com/

De Oude Kraal Country Estate & Spa, located on a 3000 ha working Merino sheep farm in the Bloemfontein district, offers a relaxing horse riding experience. After the rain, the veldt looks beautiful, providing the perfect backdrop for a leisurely ride. Birdwatchers will enjoy the variety of water birds at the estate’s full dams. Horse riding options include a 60-minute guided ride and 30-minute hand-led rides for children. In addition to horse riding, guests can enjoy stargazing and exploring the farm on foot. This estate combines luxury with the charm of the countryside.

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Moolmanshoek Private Game Reserve – Ficksburg

Moolmanshoek Private Game Reserve. Horse riding in Free State
Facebook – Moolmanshoek Private Game Reserve

Once a crop farm, Moolmanshoek has been transformed into a private game reserve and wetland habitat. Under the care of Willie, the reserve now features diverse wildlife and restored ecosystems. The equestrian team, led by Wiesman Nel, offers customized outrides suitable for all skill levels. Some of the riding packages include a Riding Weekend, which features a stay at Moolmanshoek Lodge, five hours of riding, and a picnic lunch on Saturday; the Bushman Paintings Trail is a two to three-hour ride to see ancient Bushmen paintings, with spirited canters and serene moments; the Scenic Ride is ideal for beginners and children, lasting 1 to 2 hours, with options for more experienced riders to venture further. Moolmanshoek’s rides are tailored to match the rider’s experience, ensuring a thrilling yet safe adventure.

Whether you’re looking for a competitive edge, a scenic trail, or a leisurely ride through beautiful landscapes, the Free State has a horse riding experience for everyone. So, saddle up and explore these fantastic horse riding experiences!

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