Horse riding in Morocco – our experience and advice

Horse riding in the desert and on a beach by the ocean is something you want to do? Then I have some info for you!

Being a horse rider, I obviously couldn’t miss horse riding in Morocco during our holidays.

For the short story, when I was younger, at about 7-8, we went on holidays to Morocco with my family. At this time, being a horse rider was already a dream of mine, but according to my parents, I was still too young for a sport with as many risks – they wanted me to wait for my 10th birthday before starting. Although I was impatient, I understood their point of view. 

The good side of things is that they were still open to make exceptions. And, as Moroccan beaches used to be full of men walking around with their beautiful Arabian horses for tourists to go on a tour, I jumped on the occasion and asked if I could do this. They weren’t necessarily reassured, but my parents let me, making me the happiest little girl.

I was put on the horse, the owner was holding it by a lunge rain and we started to walk away on the beach. At this age, I obviously didn’t have enough strength to be alone on the horse while galloping, so on the way back, the man came on the saddle with me. I was so excited to be about to gallop on the beach! A few adjustments later, we started galloping on the way back to where we left my parents about an hour earlier. 

My mum was waiting alone on the beach. She saw the horse, the man on it, but because of the speed and my tiny size at the time, she couldn’t see me on the horse. She panicked, she thought the man kidnapped me or something. Luckily no and she soon realized that. I was on this horse with the biggest smile, having a total blast! 

After having lived this experience when I was younger, I couldn’t imagine for a second going to Morocco without living this again! Especially since I had been horse riding for years now and was even more comfortable being on a warm-blooded horse in an environment like this.

This time though, I would be with Mathew. As the goal was to do activities together, I convinced him to do this with me. He was reluctant, but eventually accepted to come with me. He isn’t used to horse riding, so it was a challenge. I mean, you know how everyone is so chill about horse riding, thinking you just have to let the horse do its things while sitting on it. Well, it’s wrong haha. Horse riding, even as a leisure activity, takes balance, requires to be attentive and focused at all times, and uses quite a lot of muscles.

In addition to not having expected the above, Mathew didn’t have the best outfit for horse riding – he was wearing shorts and hurt his legs because of the friction with the saddle. 

Apart from this, we had a really nice afternoon horse riding in the desert and on the beach. And although Mathew admitted that he wouldn’t come with me a second time if I wanted to (which I did), he also enjoyed this new experience.

Now, here are a few things to keep in mind if you plan to do a similar activity.

Read reviews before going anywhere

I found the organization we went to after having read reviews online, keeping two criteria in mind : the horses’ conditions and the experience people had there. People there had the love for horses, we could directly tell. They knew their horses very well and wouldn’t have let us choose the one we wanted just to please us – they firstly ask our level, and then matched us with horses that were adapted. The horses were in good conditions and the place as well, which is very important to me.

I recommend you to inform yourself about different places before choosing where you’re going to go. Check the reviews, try to get a feel of the place’s values in order to know if the horses are being well taken care of.

Beginners, be ready!

I recommend it 100% for regular horse rider, but if you’re a beginner, be careful. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do it – Mathew isn’t used to horse riding and had no problem there. But even if the horses are adapted to your level, you must remain conscious that Barbs and Arabic barbs horses require you to have a minimum strength and to be comfortable with speed, because these horses are warm-blooded and you feel it when riding.

I’ve been riding for about 13 years now, therefore I’m used to discovering and understanding horses I’ve never ride before. Nevertheless, when it comes to horses, you never know how they will react to specific situations – never take anything for granted and stay focused! 😉

Wear the right outfit

This will have an influence on your ride for sure! As mentioned above, Mathew didn’t have anything adapted, he rode in shorts and ended up with sore knees and bum. Wear long trousers or track pants and, if possible, something close to the skin and comfy. For the shoes, sneakers that aren’t too wide are perfect. I wouldn’t recommend to take any backpack or at least not a big or heavy one, it’s not practical. As for the riding helmet, if it’s a good organization, they’ll provide you one at your size.

Mathew was brave and even recorded our horse riding experience while horse riding! Have a look to get a better idea of how it looked like. It was magical!

Love, Pauline

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