In early November 2013, I was itching to go on holiday again. I had been at University for nearly 2 months now and was (as usual) disliking being confined to the country. I also wanted to spend more time with my partner as only seeing him at weekends just wasn't enough for me. So I booked us 2 tickets to the Spanish island of Mallorca for a week. The holiday was a chilled one and mostly entailed eating, eating and more eating. However, one day we decided to do something different (although we ate as well, of course).
My partner knows how much I enjoy horse riding so we decided to book a ride that we could both take part in. There were only a handful of stables on the island that offered treks so we picked the one with the best reviews that was situated in the Northern region of Alcúdia.
It was a long drive to get there as we were staying more towards the South of the island and Mallorca isn't the smallest island in the world. After getting lost a few times, we finally arrived at the stables. As my partner is tall, he was given a large bay horse to ride. I was given a smaller white horse. We mounted our rides and followed our guide into the wilderness.
I soon learnt that my horse wasn't the fastest of the bunch. It kept stopping every few minutes to have a nibble of the vegetation. Great! I don't enjoy being put on slow horses as I just spent the whole time trying to get them to go forward. My partner's horse was a lot more forward and I found myself trailing behind.
The ride was going fairly smoothly until we got to a very low bridge which we had to go under. The concrete ground steeply rose up on the other side at almost a 45 degree angle. The path we had been walking on so far had been soil and I eyed the concrete slab up nervously, knowing that it wasn't the most grippy terrain for a horse's hooves. The thing that concerned me the most however was the steep raise in the ground meaning that we'd have to duck very low to avoid hitting our heads on the bridge. I could almost hear my tall partner swallowing nervously.
The guide went first, closely followed by my partner. I watched as both horses slipped, frantically moving their legs to dry and get a grip on the concrete surface. The scraping of hooves sounded loudly in my ears and my partner nearly ended up on the floor before his horse finally got its grip and continued on the trail. It was my turn now. I leaned as far forward as I could as my horse climbed the hill. It skidded a little but overall our ascent was a lot more graceful than the others.
After conquering the bridge, we ventured up into the mountains along a dirt path. It was a relaxing ride through the trees. When we reaches the top of the mountain, we stopped for a break. We got to dismount and have a little walk around. From the top of our mountain, we had a wonderful view of Alcúdia port with the sea glistening in the distance.
It was time to head back. On our way back, we decide to have a little trot. All seemed to be going well until my partner's horse got too excited and started to overtake the guide. The guide had to increase his pace to catch up with him, grab the reins of my partner's horse and encourage him to walk. That was the end of the trotting! There had been no chance of my horse getting overly excited.
The journey back retraced our steps and I knew at one point that the low bridge and steep descent into it would arise. Sure enough, it did. It looked even more challenging coming down the slope than it did coming up. The horses would likely skid down the slope at a fast speed and you therefore had to duck backwards to avoid smacking your head on the low bridge and being violently forced off your horse.
Our guide went first. Yep, his horse definitely skid down the slope. My partner went next which was particularly nerve-wracking due to his height. His horse began to skid and my partner made an effort to lean as far back as he could. He narrowly avoided a terrible collision with the bridge and I could let out a sigh of relief. It was my turn now which wasn't as scary as I'm slightly smaller and have more experience on a horse. My descent was smooth and we could all return to the stables alive. Phew!