No farm stay at Oakhurst is complete without meeting our band of trusty steeds. They’re certainly a much loved bunch. You might just be coming over to the stables for a quick “hello”, taking a kiddies pony ride or even going the whole hog and heading out on one of our popular trails. Whatever you’re in for, the chances are you’re going to love our horses and the great range of activities we offer around them.
Back to the beginning
There was once a time when the only farm animals you’d find on Oakhurst were cows…and lots of them. But once little Holly Crowther – one of farmer Jake and Claire’s daughters got hooked on riding, there was no stopping her. Along with the love of riding, came the love of horses, which Holly shared with many of Oakhurst guests and their children. We soon set about building stables and formalising the horse trails and riding experiences as an activity for guests staying on the farm.
Meet the herd
Today the Oakhurst herd is made up of of a total of 10 horses, each one exuding their own special charm, which you’ll no doubt get to experience on your next stay.
While not all of our horses are used by guests on pony or trail rides, we’ll introduce the whole bunch anyway. Starting off with the jumpers: Mick Dundee is Holly’s competing horse, together they’ve walked off with many prizes and awards at show jumping events. Countess is a young warmblood, being trained up as a future show jumper. Eagles Waveski is another competitive jumper…and also self-made head of the herd.
Onto the trail horses. These are the guys who’ll carry you eagerly along the Oakhurst trails. Nothing bothers them much, they’ll plod along for hours on end, enjoying having you along for the ride. Introducing: Strider, Winter Sun, Zizi, Leo and Irish Rambo. (Don’t be put off by his name…he’s a big softy really)
For our little guests, keen on enjoying a pony ride, there’s gentle Zoe – a lovely old girl who’s close on 30 years old. Last but not least is Mobi, as the name suggests this little boerperd is exactly that…mobile. He’s so mobile in fact that he’s almost impossible to catch, so he doesn’t get ridden much. But once in the stables, he’s a good as gold and just loves a gentle brush and groom.
Isaac – Oakhurst’s expert trail guide
We met Isaac Mene at a show some years ago and it became clear right there, that this was the man to lead the Oakhurst horse trails. Isaac hails from the Eastern Cape and has worked with horses for the past sixteen years. Ask him anything about a horse and he’ll tell you all you need to know. Put him on a horse and you’ll see how in tune he is with these amazing creatures. But most of all, Isaac is great with people. Guests young and old always have a super time when on the trails with him. He’s become known as Oakhurst’s very own horse whisperer.
Getting you out onto the trail
Trundling along the Oakhurst tracks and trails on horseback really is one of those experiences not to be missed. Whether you’re a novice or experienced rider, Isaac and the trail horses takes you up hill and down dale, stopping for some great views and a few pointers along the way. You can opt for either a 30 minute trail ride or take the 15 minute option if you feel like taking it easy. All rides are done at walking pace and we provide riding helmets.
Pony rides for the kids
Kids from three years and up love our pony rides. Isaac leads them along, supporting them if required. This gives parents plenty of time to take photo’s and allows them to walk alongside for support. You never know, this is where the future career of a show jumper could begin.
Horse care with Holly and Isaac
Now, at Oakhurst we’re all about mucking in and getting your hands dirty, and that includes our younger guests. Holly and Isaac run the popular Horse Care with Holly and Issac program, a real hit during the busy school holidays. Here kids get to help out around the stable yard, but with guidance and teaching on how to care for your horse, grooming, filling hay nets, cleaning out stables and even cleaning and polishing tack. One-on-one beginner riding lessons are also offered on request.
Saddle up for your next Oakhurst adventure
So, if you’re planning a stay at Oakhurst and you’re a keen rider, beginner or just want to give it a go, we’ve got you covered. There’s no healthier way for kids and adults alike to experience this beautiful environment, than on horseback. It’s loads of fun, plenty of laughs and could well be the cherry on top of your Oakhurst farm stay. You never know, you might even be swapping that mountain bike for a horse soon…believe us, it’s happened before.