Bali has always been referred to by many as the best place to experience new things. Having a variety of activities to choose from, this month I thought to try my hand at horseback riding with Ubud Horse Stables, to trot through rural villages, where culture and tradition entwine.

Saddle Up Discovering Bali on Horseback (1)

Just a 30-minute drive north from central Ubud and I was at our horseback adventure destination in Jasan Village. Here in the  I immediately experienced a sense of warmth and intimacy of local people.

Not being a horse person whatsoever, I thought riding a horse was as simple as jumping on, sitting there and letting the horse do all the work. Well, anyone who has ridden a horse will know how wrong that is. Luckily for me, the guys at the Ubud Stables knew what they were doing and the staff were so involved throughout the entire process. Looking around, I noted that the horses were well taken care of; healthy and well trained They paired me up with a brown female horse, a mare, which is said to be a safer choice according to the staff. Safety clearly a priority, they also handed me a helmet to wear throughout the journey. Finally, with a little bit of help, I slowly climbed onto my mare’s back and found my balance upon this beautiful beast.

Saddle Up Discovering Bali on Horseback (2)

My 1-hour riding started from Ubud Horse Riding Stables to the rice fields of Jasan Village. Since I have no experience in horse riding, two professional staff from Ubud Stables guided me, one behind and one in front, making sure Bella, my horse, was totally calm and well behaved. We travelled along the main road before turning into a bamboo forest, where the sunlight shone between the bamboo leaves. The path then opened up to the scenic view of rice fields. At times, Bella stopped to eat grass, meanwhile I took the time to enjoy the singing birds and see the farmers going about their daily activities. Simply being outdoors and enjoying the freshness of the Bali countryside was in itself a noticeable stress reducer. If you can’t get enough of the trip, the guides are happy to extend the trip, giving you a little longer to bask in the rural setting.

Saddle Up Discovering Bali on Horseback (3)

On our way back, we rode gently into Jasan Village where friendly smiling faces greeted me. To mark the end of the tour, some fresh coconut juice picked straight from the trees quenched my thirst. Overall, the horseback experience was a beautiful opportunity to witness firsthand the traditional life of local village people, living in harmony with nature as they have for years. Whilst the riding was a new and unique experience, and incredibly enjoyable, being able to immerse myself with local life was the real treasure.  Seeing real, everyday living culture. Something that is slowly being lost as Bali develops.

Ubud Horse Stables
Jasan Village, Timbul, Gianyar Regency

Joannes Rhino

Joannes Rhino

Joannes Rhino is a Editor in NOW! Bali Magazine