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African Big Five Horse Safari

Private Bag X3008 Suite 123

Hoedpsruit 1380

South Africa





Saddles & Tack

Our top priority is the care and well being of our horses and their equipment. Every effort is made to fit the right saddle and bridle, and therefore the equipment used for trail is carefully chosen to ensure the horses comfort on long distance rides. All the horses are schooled in basic dressage in the riding arena using the German training system. They all have to be able to jump little jumps inside the arena or on the cross country course.  This ensures that your horse is responsive, well mannered and fun to ride. They also all have to stand their ground in front of elephants and lions, so their training is of upmost importance. All horses are spirited and forward going, some obviously more than others.





Using the right saddle for the right horse is a difficult task and it has taken us years to figure out the right saddle for our safaris. It has to fit the horse first, but also has to be comfortable for the rider.

We feel, that a longer stirrup is better when spending many hours in the saddle and after trying many different saddles we ended up with a simple Dressage Saddle made by Bates, Australia. This saddle has convinced us totally as the saddle flap isn’t too long not like with other dressage saddles, the knee roll not too thick and one really has the option of shorter or longer stirrups. The air cushion system is very comfortable for rider and horse and long distant rides in these saddles are a pleasure. Please read more about Bates Saddles.


Recently we found a new saddle we like, or let’s say a way of getting it, as Philip always had an eye on the Stuebbed Scout saddle. Last year he bought himself one and loved it so much that he got in touch with Stubbed and managed to get some more of these excellent saddles for our safaris.


The Scout A.T.P.R. was specifically designed for the majority of riders who are not interested in performance sports. A.T.P.R. is an acronym for Active Touring and Pleasure Riding. This saddle conveys an extremely pleasant feeling to the rider, and moreover, due to the new and patented long panel system, which will remove stress from the horse’s back when the rider sits down, offers a particularly horse-friendly fit. The impact resistant edge of the cantle makes the look of this saddle unique. Also this saddle is made from full grain cow hide.







Alternatively we still have a small selection of Leon Liversage Endurance Saddles which we have been using in the past.


Seat savers and sheepskins are available in camp.

Almost all of the horses are ridden in a loose ring or double jointed snaffle. Some horses are a bit stronger and are ridden in a Portuguese gag or in a pelham.

We recommend you wear breeches and half or full chaps with comfortable riding boots and a light weight riding helmet, preferably with a good circulation. We do have a limited assortment of chaps and helmets at the lodge, but we highly recommend that you bring your own equipment. Please note worn in riding gear will be a lot more comfortable than brand new one. You will be spending many hours in the saddle in a hot climate, this might not be the right time to wear in your new gear. We also have a lot of thorn bushes so not a mistake to bring the “older” stuff!