Another kind of working student – Riding through the African safari

Photo courtesy of www.offbeatsafaris.com

Those of us who pursue eventing know that education is integral to progress. As I described in my last article, working student positions can be wonderful ways to learn. Over the last five or six years I’ve worked for a couple of dressage instructors, a three-star rider in Australia, and a former USET member. From each of them I’ve learned not only how to ride but also how to run a barn—from breeding operations to competition stables to lesson programs.

In a few days, however, I’ll be trying out a new kind of working student gig. It involves large game animals, long days of riding on plains, and a nice mix of trepidation and fun.

Operating for over twenty-five years, Offbeat Safaris is perhaps the most famous horse riding safari company in Africa. It leads five to ten day safaris in the great game reserves of Kenya, including the Masai Mara, Amboseli, and Laikipia. Deloraine, the base from which most of the safaris leave, is nestled on the edge of the Great Rift Valley, only a short distance from the beautiful Lake Nakuru. Its founder, Tristan Voorspuy, has led mounted safaris professionally for thirty-two years and has a Kenya gold level certificate of the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association (Offbeat Safari Website). In addition, Deloraine has many competition horses and polo ponies for riding opportunities on-site.

A six-time Badminton winner says about her experiences with Offbeat Safaris:
After more than 10 trips with Offbeat Safaris, Tristan still manages to combine beauty, excitement, fear, luxury and a deep connection with Nature in a manner I believe no other holiday can…
— Lucinda Green, MBE (Olympic & World Champion 3-Day Event medalist)

Offbeat Riding Safaris action

If Lucinda Green’s commendation of Offbeat Safaris is any indication, then the adventures that take place there will be exciting for anyone. I’m certain this different type of ‘working student’ position will challenge and thrill me, so please follow along on Eventing Connect in the next month to read about these horse safari adventures!

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