The team of Equestrian Adventuresses travels the world to film a documentary-series about women empowerment, horses, travel and adventure. It’s no coincidence that they found themselves horse riding in Slovenia for the next stop in the film tour! As Adventuress Krystal would soon learn, Slovenia is a hidden gem tucked away in Europe. And what better way to discover such a unique and special country than a horseback adventure with fellow adventuresses! So travel with us to Slovenia where you will meet the man behind it all, Borut from Horses on Breg.
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Author: Krystal Kelly
Searching for the “Special Places”
On my mission to see every country in the world, I of course had Slovenia on my radar. When the opportunity arose to ride horses in this magical country, I didn’t hesitate before jumping on the next flight. Luckily for me I had a group of adventuresses joining me on the expedition and I was excited to share this trip with others.
I had first started my equestrian travels in 2010 when I left my home in California for good. I never looked back as I began working full time as a professional coach and trainer at various high level show jumping facilities around the world. Part of me was drawn to the idea of staying in Europe and pursuing my goal of one-day riding in the Olympics. The other part of me wanted to explore exotic cultures in foreign lands.
To combine the two loves I often found myself working at top show jumping stables in “unique countries”. I was addicted to living off-the-grid. Calling home to places many of my American friends had never heard of, much less could point out on a map.
Landing in Slovenia, with my husband-slash-Equestrian Adventuresses official cameraman, Christian beside me, I felt a wave of calm hit me. There was something special about this place. I could feel it.
Meeting the Brains behind Horses on Breg
Borut had started Horses on Breg three years earlier. He always loved horses and was passionate about his country. It seemed only natural to combine his two passions together and offer horse riding in Slovenia. If there is a better way to see a country other than between two ears, I have yet to discover it.
Things quickly began picking up for Borut and soon he had group after group attending his horse riding tours in Slovenia. They enjoyed galloping in the snow in the winter and the idyllic villages and stunning views in the summer.
“That’s the great thing about Slovenia,” says Borut. “You’re never bored. Every day is different. We have caves, churches, mountains, forests, rivers, fields, castles… all can be seen from the back of the horse. You can come in the spring and come again in the winter and feel like you’ve been to two totally different places.”
The Equestrian Adventuresses Tribe Goes Global
Joining Christian and I on this trip were a group of equestrian adventurers from a variety of places. We had Sarah and Julie joining us from the USA and Famous Instagramer, Emma from New Zealand, who has been residing in London for several years now. Also attending was professional equine photographer, Aga Karmol as well as her husband Andrzej from Poland (also living in the UK.)
I met everyone at the adorable hotel-slash-pub-slash-restaurant in a small village not to far from the stables. We would be staying here for the next 5 days and we settled in quickly. Blooming flowers hung delicately from the medieval-styled lattice windows. The church bell rang in the distance. It was like stepping back in time.
After lunch – and some traditional homemade schnapps, as was the custom in Slovenia – we headed to the stables. We would be riding western here, something I didn’t see since leaving the USA ten years ago. Most of us rode Quarter horses. Only Julie and Sarah were on the Icelandic horses, one of them fittingly named “magic carpet”. Emma ended up with an Anglo-Arabian mare whom she adored, especially when it came time to canter and gallop.
Since Aga and Christian rotated between filming and photographing the adventure, they took turns between riding in the support vehicle and riding on horses.
Our First Impressions of Slovenia
We headed out on the trail and began winding our way through the village towards our first stop. Our horses climbed the path as we headed higher and higher, winding our way to the top. We passed cows wearing bells and for a second I thought life couldn’t be any better… until we rounded the corner and I realized it was going to get A LOT better.
The church was perched on the top of the hill. The view from our vantage point completely took my breath away. We dismounted and left our horses to graze casually while we soaked in the moment. From the top of the mountain we could see the clear blue sky and miles and miles into the distance.
The horses were obviously used to the varied terrain and hadn’t even broken a sweat. After some time exploring the church we mounted up and headed back to the village for some lunch (and more schnapps.)
The food in Slovenia was hot and delicious, perfect after a day in the saddle. It was the typical European comfort food I had grown accustomed too, goulash – a dish with meat, gravy and more meat.
Of Horses and Dragons in Slovenia
The mixture of cultures and backgrounds from every person in our troupe added for very interesting meal-time conversations. Andrzej and Borut began their “who has the biggest dragons” banter between Poland and Slovenia which would continue throughout the trip.
“It was a Shepard from Poland that went into the cave and killed the dragon,” chimed Andrzej.
“No, it was a leather-maker from Slovenia that killed the dragon in the cave!” Borut laughed.
Megi, our Slovenian guide for the ride, whispered to the rest of us, “In Slovenia we have the ‘human fish’ in our caves. It is a long white, blind creature that only exists in this part of the world. Long ago when the local people went into the caves and found these creatures which could swim and also walk on land. They believed them to be Dragon-Babies. That is why there are so many stories and legends about dragons here.”
Horse Riding through Caves and Castles
The next day we began our ride in the forest. Soon the daylight in the trees began to emerge and we found ourselves riding along a steep rock face at the bottom of a cliff. We looked up at the colorful stone that shadowed our group and before we knew it our horse’s hooves were echoing in the rock face. The tunnel grew dark as we walked casually towards the light from the other side. Our horses were completely unphased by the sound of the thundering hooves bouncing back and forth around us. Once again I felt completely taken off guard by the beauty of this country.
After a canter through the forest and into the meadow we eventually came to an old, forgotten castle. Not only were there no other people in site, but it was clear from the peacefulness of the place that this was a spot for the locals—not tourists—to come and enjoy nature. We dismounted and settled in, resting in the grass and taking swigs from our water bottles which we carried in our saddle bags.
The green vines wrapped around the castle walls, leaving an impressive and beautiful affect. The tower had been recently refurbished and was obviously loved, though seemingly forgotten, hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the “rest of the world.”
Borut and Christian sat with us while we rested. We began complimenting him and praising him on the beauty of the trails, but he simply shook his head. He had a big grin on his face, as if hinting to us that this was only just the beginning.
Riding Horses in Thunderstorms
The next day would be a day that would go down in riding history for me. I had encountered sandstorms while riding in Egypt, survived riding with the humidity famous in India, and had even experienced a hailstorm while galloping on the steppes in Mongolia… but this was something entirely new for me.
The lightning flashed in the distance as the thunder roared above us. Our ride that morning had been through one of the villages. The locals weren’t shy to invite the passing group of horse riders a shot of homemade schnapps, an offer Borut never refused.
Half drunk from excitement and drunk from… well, schnapps, we wound our way up the streets as we headed for another castle in the city. Once again we left our horses with our two guides for the day, Borut and Megi as we we stormed the castle. The view from the tower above was unbelievable, especially with the storm clouds rumbling in the distance.
Does He Really Have Super Powers?
“I think we’re going to get wet,” I tell Christian as I tighten my riding helmet and adjust my rain poncho. Although the thunder had been following us all day, we didn’t get any form of rain yet. I started to wonder if Borut had some kind of super powers from his military training…
We hopped on our steeds and rode out of the village back into the meadows. Lightning flashed again ahead of us. The canopy of trees peppered the distance as we aimed for the forest. I felt my heart pumping as we walked through the empty meadow. The horses hoof beats in rhythm with the thunderclouds above, I never felt more exposed.
I could tell the rest of the group felt it too, after all, we usually only stopped talking during our moments of gallop. But not today. Not now. We silently rode forward, seeking shelter in the trees just as the rain began to pour.
The Best is Yet to Come
“How does he do it?” I pondered Borut’s impeccable timing once again as we arrived at our lunch destination in the knick of time. We stepped in the warmth of the restaurant for our hot lunch and I enjoyed a hot cocoa instead of a schnapps…(Shhh!)
Horse riding in Slovenia with the thunder was the highlight of my trip. I felt on top of the world as the group returned to their talkative, laughing selves. The rain magically stopped after we finished our hot meal and returned to our horses.
The ride wasn’t over yet and we carried on in sunshine for the rest of the day. Each of us was stripping off our layers as if the storm had never even occurred.
I couldn’t believe our trip was drawing to an end. We had seen so much in so little time. We tracked bears, explored castles and caves, rode fabulous horses and best of all, we did it together. Because the best part of being an Equestrian Adventuress is the fact that no matter where you’re from or where you’re heading, you can always count on the friendships you build and the memories you make to be with you forever.
See It With Your Own Eyes
If you want to learn more about horse riding in Slovenia or book the tour yourself, then go to the Horses on Breg website! You won’t believe how amazing this country is until you saw it with your own eyes.
Did you know that Horses on Breg is just one of more that 400 stables in over “Horse Riding in Every Country” catalog? You can find more stables to do horse riding in Slovenia as well as in over 180 other amazing destinations all over the world. Check it out!