Hillside Horse Trials is situated at the foot of the Amatola mountains.
- Horse trails;
- Stables; and
- Horse-rides into the pristine indigenous forest.
“A trail ride is a trail ride”, some may say. But those who are lucky enough to have experienced the Amatola Mountains with their magically changing forests will know that Hillside Forest Trails are a unique and unforgettable experience.
The combination of knowledgeable guides and well-behaved horses, and a variety of different trails which can be customised, creates a distinctive experience with which to view the panorama of the Stutterheim area and the indigenous forests.
The movement through the changing faces of the forest, whilst experiencing the quietude and splendour, is an advantage of a horse ride. Indigenous forests, intricate and enchanting, wind quietly into the gentle hues of rust and deep green of the towering canopy of the old Pines, which open dramatically into the gnarled figures of Lemonwoods. Pushing through the centuries, these ancient trees stand grandiose in captivating dominion on a shaded landscape of lush ferns and vast boulders.
The dense forests, home to reputable birdlife, wildlife and a magnificent waterfall at Anderson Dam with its shimmering reflections of the sky’s vicissitude, are contrasted by grasslands. Valleys and hills of sunshine or misty tendrils are wound through by brooks and butterflies, luminescent on the tranquil countryside.
Viewing the forests from horseback allows the rider to cover the distances needed to see a number of different biomes with varying paces. Thus, one is able to admire the beauty of the wild flowers, exploring the slow-paced spectacle of colour brilliance, or canter through the vast grasslands between valleys.
From the mount – usually accompanied by laughter, be it a nervous giggle of anticipation or a tumultuous laugh brought on by the physical logistics of coupling the larger of bosoms with the taller of horses – to the dismount, the ride is an adventure.
Rider and steed, man and beast; the empowering sensation of guiding and maintaining control over a powerful and charismatic animal is an experience both humbling and thrilling. There is a kinship, an allegiance, which remains lodged in your mind long after you have driven away from the green fields of Hillside.