Mkulu Kei horse trail
day rides; a hack out and ride up the Morgan Bay cliffs and then on
to the beach for a few hours in the saddle, a fun beach ride and family holiday
activity +-2 hour. Safari riding in game now available on request for experienced riders.
Novice to experienced riders; we have well-trained horses for your beach horse rides; more than just a pretty hacking experience, this is an awesome outride.
Book a out ride and get free riding tuition, each of our beginner and novice riders, let us teach you how to become comfortable on a horse, how to ride and how to improve your balance.
See Our Horses for more information on our holistic approach to horses and just why we can accommodate you.
"A real ride to many places at any paces"
Riding tuition, quality surefooted riding horses, with variances of pace, from an amble to a canter along the beach. Canter on the waters edge, swim through rivers and lagoon, over beaches, sand dunes, and play in the waves with your horse or deeper into the sea. Horse riding experience aimed at families and friends who live or are on holiday in the Wild Coast, Double Mouth, Jikeleza, Amatola district, or Border areas and would like to try horse back riding, through to those on vacation who have their own horses and wish they could ride their own mount along the beach and into the waves.
A horseback experience with Mkulu Kei horse trails no matter what your riding or confidence level, we have ponies and horses suitable for your riding ability. When Cheryl started Mkulu Kei horse trails and riding safaris, she was determined to have riding horses for all equitation abilities. At this riding stable, you will be surprised at how quickly you get comfortable on top of a equine and learn to ride and for the more advanced riders how responsive, forward moving and well trained the horses are, a pleasure to ride.
This equestrian riding establishment in South Africa offers a range of riding holiday experiences. For those looking for a multi day trekking experience, a memorable horseback safari holiday See our overnight page for a riding holiday along the Eastern Cape, Wild Coast, of South Africa.
There are so many equestrian riding stables & horse barns, why choose us? Read on and find out just why our previous horse riding clients keep coming back. Riding Guest Comments
The best of horse-back equine rides and value for money
* Half day: +- 2 hours in the saddle, consisting of both cliff and beach an outride offering a few hours in the saddle.
* Full day ride: Morning ride, lunch and an afternoon ride. (Duration depends on location booked).
NB Please be aware we only accept riders comfortable at all paces on the longer day rides (Transkei full day ride) and require an advance booking and a 50% deposit prior to the departure date. If you are not sure you will cope with this ride, book the shorter beach ride first and let us advise you. It is suggested that you are competent in the saddle for the safari rides - if a buck jumps out from under your horse's feet you need to be balanced enough to stay in the saddle. We advise that you have ridden at least once on the beach ride so we can assess your riding competence. We require an advance booking and a 50% deposit prior to the departure date.
Two totally different rides and equestrian experiences. On the longer day rides we ride abreast and each equine is expected to listen to his riders commands and follow a different path if asked. We need to get there and back before the Pont closes. On the half-day (few hours) out rides the horses for more advanced riders still wait for their instructions, while those used for novice riders are voice controlled and will not pass a horse in front and will match the pace set by the guide's horse. This way the horses are under our control while we teach you how to ride a horse. We do this as a safety measure so we don't have horses taking off. The riders are separated into groups so that everyone gets to ride out in the group and at the pace they are comfortable at.
A combination of equine safari riding, a long beach, sea, lagoon, rolling hills, jagged cliffs, introduction of horses and equine instruction. A spectrum of equestrian experiences, scenery and terrain.
We are one of the few riding stables where you can actually learn about horses and how to ride in an informal environment without going round and round in a riding school. We know we have a very limited time to give you an out ride of high standard and to teach you to ride if necessary. Free riding tuition during your out ride.
Each year our clientele base gets larger and as the happy guests return to the hotel the phone rings for more bookings. Some of our previous clients started off on lead rein and now can ride any horse. Don't miss out, our horses are of high standard and our approach to teaching is different.
Don't wait until the end of your holiday to book; phone early or you could miss out on the best riding adventure. This is a good way to introduce non-riding partners to equestrian sports and as we go out with more than one guide an extreme range of riding capabilities can be catered for within the same ride.
We have found that once visitors understand why equines react to certain stimuli our clients relax and get on with the concept of riding. Time is taken to allocate the correct horse for your previous experience for the best equestrian experience.
It is only the Trojans who should not trust a horse; you can. Experience our passion for horses and horse riding and see why we are an award winning company.
Mkulu Kei Horse Trails & Riding Holidays Your Choice in an Equestrian Adventure
We do not grab your money and get the ride over as fast as possible; we want you to enjoy yourself, comeback and tell others about us.
Before we depart, we introduce you to "Equus Caballus" The horse. Equus having evolved over 45 - 55 million years, from a small fox-sized multi toed animal (I will show you the evidence of the extra toes) to the single hoofed domesticated animal we know today. Anatomically designed for speed to escape predators, having highly developed senses, balance and a strong instinctive fight or flight reaction. That is how we can ride them; move your leg and they move forward. This stems from the need to flee from predators; they run first then ask why. A horse that is not completely relaxed in his environment will seldom lie down. They sleep both standing up and lying down, a horse resting one leg is not about to kick you, but merely resting. I will walk behind our horses and pull their tails; I will show you just how often our horses sleep lying down, something they will not do if they are nervous, putting your mind to rest that our equines are totally happy and content in human company. I explain the mobile upper lips of Equus and how they are used today. The modern horse is a social animal relying on their social structure for security, living in herds consisting of a single male and a band of females. We explain matriarch mares, hierarchies, pecking order, bachelor herds and prove to you that stallions are not dangerous but great big teddy bears that want, need and love attention.
We explain why horses behave the way they do, their language and why possibly you are not getting the best reaction from a equine. We help you understand the language and how you can talk to them using your body language and improve your bond with a horse and equitation skills.
See Our Horses for more information on our holistic approach to horses.
The basics of riding are explained, and during the ride help is given to encourage you to try the next pace. It is not unusual for a beginner rider to be comfortable and balanced enough to canter on their first ride.
Equestrianism; the skill of riding. With us you can learn the basics of riding and we can help you be comfortable near horses. We explain the different lines to correct your body, seat and therefore balance in the saddle, why your foot position is important and why your heels need to be down.
All our horses are trained so you will find a mount to suit your riding ability. We depart together but split into different riding levels within the ride giving all riding guests the chance to ride at the controlled gait he or she is comfortable with. Although we would like to see novice riders increase their speed, if you are only comfortable going slowly we are more than happy for you to ride at the walk. The others on the ride can increase their pace with one of our other guides. Advanced riders, wait a bit and you will get the chance to ride on once we assess that you are light and steady on our horses. We need time to see everyone is in the correct riding group, your patience is appreciated and will be rewarded by you riding with similar riders of the same level of competency at all gaits. We want you to have the best equitation experience and tell your friends about us.
Whether you dream of hacking along open savannah grasslands, pristine coastal forests or unspoiled Wild Coast beaches, cantering along the waters edge there's a Mkulu Kei Horse Trail that suits your available time, riding level and budget ...
And what better to experience South Africa's beautiful coastline than on the back of a horse...
See you in the saddle soon!
Due to the fact that so many clients either have never ridden before or have never had any formal training or lessons, we spend time giving basic instructions before we ride out, including how to sit correctly and how to hold the reins, how correctly to move a horse on, ask your horse to turn and how to halt your mount. On the ride we spend time if necessary instructing how to post at the trot and for those who are balanced in the saddle, how to canter. We can teach you how to ride, give you riding tips, explain the different gaits and have patient teaching horses and a different training method. We have "experienced only" horses for advanced riders, solid, quiet mounts for beginners, and other horses for every riding skill and confidence level in between.
Please read the assessing your riding ability on the bottom of this page.
All our horses are voice controlled, giving us an element of control over the horses, giving beginners a chance to find their seat before having to worry about controlling their horses too.
After our first trot on the ride we split the riders into those who can and can't ride, sometimes into three groups depending on riding abilities so you are riding within your comfort level and so that everyone gets to experience the pace that they are comfortable at. For those who can ride I am sure you understand we are trying to protect our horses, save their mouths and pass on a little equestrian knowledge. Please be patient, you will get a chance to open your pace after we have established that everyone is in the correct group.
Our riding horses are not like typical trail horses or riding school ponies. There are many equines that would easily hold their own in a competitive sport arena. We monitor the horses so we can see that they all have soft mouths and that those used by skilled riders remain responsive both to the bridle and leg. Don has put hours of work into horses with potential, getting them on the bit and responsive to leg commands so as a rider you will receive maximum potential from the horse using minimal aids and getting the best result from that horse's natural athletic ability and willingness to perform.
We can accommodate kids from 3 years old on their own horse but on lead rein. From 6 years on we can talk about taking them off the lead and riding on their own. We have several under 6 years regular riders that are already cantering in a controlled situation through to international competing professional clients and every riding level between.
Horse riding is very therapeutic to both body and mind, and we encourage special needs riders to join us, if necessary with a separate guide on lead rein. We have taken both mentally and physically challenged / disabled riders, some on a pony ride round the stables and others on the full ride. Joel joined us one season and rode every day for a week and now comes to visit us on a regular basis. We taught Carl a completely blind rider to jump.
See Our Horses page to read more about this incredible young man Carl.
Half Day Ride
Too sun burnt? Too cold to swim? Take a break off the beach, a great way to spend the day with your family and friends.
Booking essential: Please don't wait until the last minute; we book up quickly in the school holidays. Not everyone gets their first choice of ride, day / time.
Times: 9:30, 2:30 and demand and light permitting 18:00.
Duration: 2-3 hours in the saddle. Duration of the ride depends on the pace we are riding at. We watch to see who is not coping and can take a shorter route for some riders if necessary. Cantering riders get the chance to take a slightly longer route. Please be aware that in season (government school holidays) we ride up to 3 times a day, the horses & ponies are rotated but time limits us. The ride is carefully organized so that all horses get back to the stable at more or less the same time, the walkers, trotters and those who cantered. During the ride the different groups merge and split so that mixed riding levels can enjoy the same ride. A good way to introduce a non-riding partner.
General: Suits never ridden before, beginners, intermediate and advanced riders. All ages, less than 6 years or very nervous riders can be accommodated on their own horse on a lead rein.
Rate: R250 per person
A great horse riding experience for family and friends. Value for money activities - Beach riding adventure.
For Your family, single, riding and non-riding partners equine tour.
Description: Meet at our stables just outside Morgan Bay at the designated time.
A chat about horse behavior and our training methods, introduction of our horses, their personalities and temperaments. Tack up. We do not tack up before you arrive so that we know be have given you the correct horse.
Allocation of horses. Tacking up and instruction for those who need it.
We pass through a neighbouring farm towards the beach, riding through open Savannah grassland, riverines and coastal forests. Be on the look out for a wide variety of birds including Crown Cranes, Egyptian geese and Jackal Buzzards, passing dams often covered in purple water-lily flowers. Let your horse drink at one of the rivulets running through the thick-forested valleys.
Passing through the town of Morgan Bay, the long winding paths give us the opportunity to walk, trot or canter as we make our way onto the cliffs at Morgans Bay.
A stunning view awaits you with possible sightings of dolphins and whales frolicking in their playground. But it is the colours of the Indian Ocean and spectacular rock formations that make the Coastline spectacular. Inland, this area was called The Border for much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and was the region of conflict between the British colonists, moving ever eastwards, and the southward moving Xhosa peoples. (Along the Great Kei River nine major wars took place).
As we make our way toward the beach, look out for the resident Giant Monitor Lizard who is often seen lying basking in the sun on the rocks. The beautiful stretch of beach invites you to canter along the water edge or even in the shallow waves. The sound of the horse's hoofs on the sand or splash of the water will live with you forever. Ask your horse to take you deeper into the waves or into the lagoon and experience the power of a horse swimming.
On the route back towards the stable all the riding ability groups merge. By now all levels of riding abilities can trot without stirrups, a very important lesson in balance, and psychologically the new riders will realize that they are comfortable in the saddle and no longer have to balance on the horse's mouth. We instruct our clients to drop the rein on the horse's neck, put their hands on their hips and trot rising. All new riders suddenly realize just now much they have learnt and their confidence levels soar. After this they are ready to learn to canter should they wish.
We started a tradition years ago that all children turn round in the saddle and ride facing the horses tail the last 100mtrs back to the stable. Once the horses have all been un-tacked they are allowed to go free and roll or drink. Certain horses are used for the children to play follow my leader through the horses legs, both front and back, pull the horses tails and slide off the horses bum. It is also explained why they cannot do that at other stables. It is a fun way to end a ride and even funnier when the adults start crawling through the horses legs because they can't have their little ones on an Equi high out doing them. It is these experiences that make us unique and not unusual for us to blindfold our good riders for the entire ride so they can bond and start to listen to their horses and become horsemen and horsewomen, and not just good riders.
Now that we have you addicted to equines join a riding school near your home and they can address the equitation position of your seat and polish up your performance at all gaits. The best teacher however will be a different horse, each mount will teach you something and the more you ride the more you will learn.
Please note that in season (Government school holidays) this stretch of beach can be full of holidaymakers, with balls, kites, umbrellas, dogs and small children. My horses are totally used to such distractions and desensitised, but we have to restrict the pace to a controlled canter.
We are very strict: our rules are not to be challenged.
We are responsible not only for you and the horses on this ride but for future rides on the Morgan Bay beach. We ride one behind the other in Indian file. Please don't change the order of horses in the line or you might find your self riding next to your horses arch enemy instead of his friend, we put the horses in a specific order for many different reasons
No racing on the Morgan Bay Beach. Horses are competitive by nature and if given the chance would love to race especially on the beach sand. On the Morgan's Bay beach it never happens so the horses don't ask. A fast controlled canter behind the guide is fine, but do not pass us.
We reserve the right to dismount anyone who in our opinion refuses to adheres to our stable rules. Acting like a cowboy rounding up cattle, in this case beginner riders, by holding back and galloping into the back of the ride will result in being given one warning and then dismounted.
We will not tolerate bad riding behavior, to horse, pony, staff or fellow riders.
The ride is split to accommodate the different riding abilities and guided by two or three different guides, assisted by my development helpers either on horse or foot.
All horses are trained for a wide range of riding abilities and even as a advanced rider it is not pleasant to have a horse want to take off back to the stables. You will not feel the difference of pace and can enjoy your ride back to the barn without fighting your horse. Our horses are trained to have manners.
Enquire about our Mkulu Kei club for riders that live locally and ride often. Any adult or child can qualify. Take advantage of a discounted rate out of season only. The more you visit us, the cheaper your ride.
A riding experience aimed at the families and friends who are on holiday at Morgan Bay, Double mouth, Kei Mouth, Haga Haga, Cintsa, Sunshine coast and East London Buffalo City and would like to try horseback riding, through to those on vacation who have their own horses, can ride and wish their horses where here so they could ride their own mount along the beach. More and more clients are driving through from East London for an awesome beach ride and a day outing. Make a day out of it, go for a ride then lunch at one of the hotels before returning home.
Time is taken to describe each horse's personality before allocating horses thereby trying to match the correct horse for your riding ability, based on your description of your riding level. We do not tack up before you arrive at the stables. It is impossible to accurately judge your level of riding without personally seeing you interact with the horses. Just because you can stay on a horse does not mean you can ride. A good rider will communicate with their horse and the horse will respond with no fuss from rider or horse.
Having the ability to stay on the horse by hanging onto his mouth and bouncing on his kidneys is not an experienced rider!
It is our experience that clients that have not had formal training are inclined to play up their riding ability while those that really can ride often say they have only had a few rides. We need to allocate you the correct horse for you to enjoy your ride. If you are nervous or had a bad experience please say so, we can and want to help you.
On the Morgan Bay beach we never gallop. In season (school holidays) the beach is full of holidaymakers, children and dogs and we take a large number of never ridden /non-riders. I don't want our horses becoming competitive as soon as get on the sea sand. Horses are creatures of habit and if we race on the beach today the next time we ride on the beach they will think we want to do it again and take off.
An awesome South African horseback holiday adventure!
Advance booking essential and 50 % deposit a few days prior to the riding date due to forward planning.
For Your South African Horse Beach Ride
See you in the saddle soon!
Never be embarrassed if you take a tumble or fall off - that's how we learn. Very seldom do you actually hurt yourself, the fear of falling is way worse. Bake a chocolate cake and celebrate! You can't call yourself a rider until you have taken 7 falls, 36 for a good rider and years of falling off to be experienced.
We still fall off! Relax and don't put your hands out to try to break your fall. Very important get back on the horse.
New riders: For your comfort wear sensible clothes. Jeans are Ok but they have a seam, you would be better off with a tracksuit and tackies. Slops don't work - they fall off) and shorts will give you a nasty rub. We have seen it all, bright pink stilettos, the shortest shorts, and a huge straw hat (that one of our horses ate while the owner was not watching!).
Assessing Your Riding Ability
A horse will be allocated to you based on your description of your riding ability!
It is important not only for your own safety and those riding in your group but for maximum enjoyment on your riding adventure that you are honest. The most nervous rider in each group sets the pace for safety reasons and as they become more confident we increase the pace.
Having the ability to stay on the horse by hanging onto his mouth and bouncing on his kidneys is not an experienced rider!
To find the correct horse for your riding ability and to give you the best riding holiday experience, we spend time describing each horse's personality before allocating your horse. If you are nervous or have had a bad experience or fall please tell us. We can and would like to help you get the maximum pleasure out of your horseback ride.
We keep a variety of horses. Friesians, Boerperd, Nooitgedachts, part breeds and Arabs to compliment your preferences and riding ability. The size of our ponies and horses vary from 12 to 17 hands and they are fit and in good condition. They all have even temperaments and are forward moving for different riding abilities. Some equines more forward moving than others.
We ride with English style saddles and snaffles and our tack is kept in excellent condition. We have designed a saddle for new riders. Slightly higher in front so you balance on the saddle, not the horse's mouth. Higher at the back to help you sit in the saddle correctly so your weight is in the correct place in the saddle making it more comfortable for the horses back and we have shortened the flap on the tiny saddles so that our small riders are kicking the horse and not the saddle.
See Our Horses for our holistic approach and See Our Geldings and Stallions for a description of each working horse and pony, as you would find them on an average day. We use the geldings on the beach rides adding mares if training, introducing the foals to the idea of work or require extra horses.
The mares are used at Lalapanzi with pony camp and safari rides. See Our Mares for a description of each working horse and pony, as you would find them on an average day adding geldings when we require more horses.
Before riding out we spend time giving basic instructions. On the ride we spend time if necessary instructing how to post at the trot, what to do with your body at different gaits and, for those who are balanced, how to canter. All our horses are voice controlled, giving us an element of control of the horses, giving beginners a chance to find their seat before having to worry about controlling their horses too. Riders, we do have the correct horse for you and you will get the faster pace when we split the ride.
It is extremely important that you are honest about your REAL riding ability. The most novice rider of each group sets the pace for safety reasons both for the rider and the horse. Please do not play your riding ability up or down there is nothing more frustrating than seeing you trying to ride the incorrect horse or watch a client who said they where experienced hanging on a horses mouth. We are aware that most stables for the public do not spend time matching horse and rider. For the sake of the horse and your comfort talk to us. It is in your best interest to.
This unique safari South African equestrian riding stable offers a total horseback holiday experience, incorporating beach, rural life and Safari riding, while giving you the chance to sample the undeveloped beauty of the Wild Coast in South Africa. As a volunteer with us you can make a difference guiding, teaching non-riders or taking the more advanced groups.
A Horse Ride Through Sub-Tropical Coastal Hills and Riverines to the Beaches of the Wild Coast in South Africa, a horseback-riding holiday, with so much more.
Come Ride with Us ...
...and you will see rolling hills, rich Savannah grasslands and thick-forested valleys with multitudes of rivulets cascading down to rivers that eventually spill out onto quiet sandy beaches, fantastic high rise cliffs and spectacular rock formations that make the Wild Coast in South Africa one of the most beautiful places in the world. An incredible combination of cross-country horse riding and the exploration of our beautiful coastline.
There are so many riding stables why choose us on your holidays and vacations? Read on and find out.
There are so many equine riding stables & riding schools, why choose us? Read on and find out just why our previous riding clients keep coming back. Year after year. The best of horse-back beach rides and value for money.
Ever thought you would like to canter your horse along a beach, or play in the waves? Now you can no matter what your previous riding level.
You could be here on your coastal equine riding gap vacation experience and work with horses at one of the riding schools that you can make a difference.
The sound of the horse's hoofs on the sand or splash of the water will live with you forever.
We at Mkulu Kei Horse Trails & Riding Holidays, the two and the four legged would like to say a big Thank you to all our equestrian guests for sending us their horse riding photos, these are your holiday memories. Thank You. Cheryl