All riders at the Borana stables must be comfortable at all paces, be able to mount and dismount unaided. They must have experienced riding in open countryside. Borana is covered in wildlife - elephants can on occasion be aggressive when protecting their young and so guests must be confident enough to gallop to safety. Birds can also surprise the horses and cause them to shy.
Please wear hard hats when riding on Borana. This is not compulsory for guests over 21, but well advised. If riders have not come with their own hats we have 10 in the store of varying sizes.
We do have a few Australian stock saddles and one western saddle otherwise we always use English saddles. If you prefer Australian or Western saddles please let us know.
Most of the horses at Borana are polo-schooled ponies and respond to being ridden one handed, neck reining and preferably ridden with a long rein to ensure a more enjoyable ride for both rider and horse. Our horses will start to fight the bit and throw their heads around if kept on a tight rein at a walk. It is also much safer when riding through difficult terrain to allow the horse to find its own way and its own balance.
Our horses have all got good characters but even the best of us can have a bad day so please remember that horses can kick and bite.
Although we are very happy for riders to ride abreast, please be aware of holes when riding off road.
When riding through narrow wooded valleys it is best to follow one another, one guide at the front the other at the rear.
Even though the terrain can be very uneven please trust the horses, as they are fit athletic and sure-footed even at a canter.
The aim of riding on Borana apart from being able to admire the diverse and beautiful scenery is to get close to the plains game and enjoy a very special and unique experience.
Please be quiet when approaching all wildlife, human voices travel a long distance and most wildlife on Borana is not accustomed to it.
The odd lone bull buffalo can be a bit grumpy and object to having its space invaded, this is never a problem though they can look and behave in an aggressive manner in order to put the point across. We always respect their desire for privacy and tend to leave them alone.
Herds of buffalo are very like cattle and tend to run away though some of the scouts may be more curious and advance cautiously, again never a problem and they will back off.
Elephant - On Borana we have huge respect for elephant.
If we sight elephant please be quiet - an elephants ears are surprisingly sensitive to the human voice especially the female voice.
We will always check the wind and also check the general atmosphere of the herd. If they are grazing contentedly then we may approach, but this will also depend on the topographical conditions. If on the open plain with easy escape routes, we will get closer but then only if our guests would like to. In thickly wooded areas it is easy to surprise an elephant, but the lead guide will always be out in front and will be able to warn the other riders. Prior to entering this kind of terrain guests are told to retreat in the direction from which they came if confronted with an aggressive elephant, they will be following the guide at the rear.
If we see or hear elephant in wooded terrain we will send a guide in to recce a safe route around them.
Lion - Lion are very seldom seen from horse back. It is generally believed to be because the lions do not trust the sight of a human on a horse. Rose Dyer has been riding daily since 1979 when she moved to the Ngare Ndare and the lions do not seem to have become accustomed to this sight. We may have been watched by lion from their hiding place behind a bush and a couple of times they have run for cover and we have caught a fleeting glimpse. Our guides are very good at tracking lion and our horses have a keen sense of smell for lion so we usually have plenty of warning if one is in the vicinity.
Almost the most dangerous wildlife will be a Shelley's francolin breaking cover at the last moment and giving a horse a fright. Please always be in contact with your horse in case of this happening. 95% of the time the horses will not bother but they are animals and can on occasion behave differently.
Please always rise to the canter, have compassion for the horse and do not overtake the lead guide.