The Dubai skyline lined the background and cloudy skies prevailed as I got to ride a horse for the first time, along Pearl Jumeirah’s pristine beach – and you can too.
In an ultimate opportunity to make the most out of this winter, people in Dubai have a chance to live their Hollywood fantasy with horse riding sessions at the beach. Provided by the Aayan Equestrian Club, UAE residents and tourists get a chance to interact with professionally trained horses and ride them.
Gulf News got to experience one of the newest attractions Dubai has to offer and I, along with our Senior Visual Journalist, headed to Pearl Jumeirah to give horse riding a go – something I had not done before.
As a horse riding novice, I was a little nervous going in, but the groomers present at the site are trained to make sure everyone is comfortable. You don't need to have prior horse riding training or know any of the lingo.
Emmanuel Eze, horse groomer at the Aayan Equestrian Club, said: “People who have experience riding horses love to come here but we get people with no experience everyday as well. There’s no need to worry, it’s fairly simple and our horses are very well trained.”
Meeting Romeo and Falah
Two horses, Romeo and my namesake, Falah, were trotting around, waiting for us. Getting to pet them on their heads and admiring their grace and beauty made the experience even more enjoyable.
Then, Eze and his colleagues quickly briefed us on the different parts of the saddle. I got a quick lesson on where the seat is, how to fit my feet in the stirrup and how to hold and move the straps to steer the horse. Eze also taught me how to stop the horse and signal it to speed up.
Next, I was taught how to get on the horse using my bodyweight and it was surprisingly easy. Now, I was feeling a lot more confident.
If you are a beginner, one of the groomers will walk along with you, guiding you and the horse, giving you tips along the way – I opted for that option. This also gives you enough time to soak up the beautiful Dubai skyline and the lagoon view.
The horse also walks into the water and in my opinion, feeling the gentle splashes on your feet while you ride a horse is a must try.
If you are feeling more adventurous, the groomer also tells you how to make the horse run.
After the ride and capturing enough Insta-perfect picture moments, the groomers help you get off the horse. By then, I had made friends with Romeo, the horse I rode, and the experience was surreal.
How to book a session?
Currently, the Aayan Equestrian Club accepts bookings through WhatsApp messages or people can contact them on their Instagram account. The contact details are on their website.
Each session lasts for around 45 minutes and costs Dh300 per person. Group sessions for occasions and parties can also be arranged.
The sessions run every day in the mornings from 6 am to 8 am and in the afternoon from 3 pm to 5 pm. The timing is perfect for soaking in the scenery and taking pictures as the sunlight is not too harsh.
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