Here at Trans Wales Trails, we like to pride ourselves on standing out from the crowd. Riders often leave here telling us they’ve never experienced riding like it on any other horse riding holiday. If your experience of trekking up until now has been to get your horse in line and stay there nose-to-tail, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how different our approach is. Our horses are forward-going, well schooled and sociable. Here, riders are encouraged to build a relationship with their horse, and we’ll help you catch, groom and tack up at the beginning of the day. Our horses are beautiful, fine, fit Welsh cobs who will surprise you with their sureness of foot and superb balance. Compact, intelligent and strong, they are ideally suited to the hills and mountains that surround us. The terrain is varied and includes open moor-land, thick forests, picturesque country lanes and narrow mountain ridges. During your holiday here, there is plenty of opportunity for fast canters and gallops, and even the chance to jump logs and ditches – all optional of course!
We expect riders to be comfortable at walk, trot and canter. If you’ve only ridden in a school before, we can help you to enjoy your first hacking-out experience. It is not necessary to have lots of technical knowledge, but we do expect riders to have a decent level of fitness, as our trails require between 3 – 6 hours on horseback. Outdoor riding is very different from that of a riding arena. The terrain is not flat so we use several techniques that riding schools will not cover in regular lessons. We will of course fill you in on the best way to ride in the mountains, helping you to ride in a more balanced manner. Please note we do not cater for complete beginners. We offer a range of horse riding holidays, from weekends based here at the farm, to week-long holidays offering longer and more challenging trails. With over 40 years experience and knowledge of this area, we are able to alter routes to suit riders, horses and weather, ensuring each day is enjoyable and offers just the right amount of challenge!
We have a herd of about 65 Welsh cobs and crosses, the majority of which have been bred here on the farm. Horses are selected for temperament and character. Size ranges from 14 to 16 hands. We breed and break our own replacement stock, and every year several youngsters join the riding stock. Our horses are very reliable, friendly and sure-footed, guaranteed to give you an excellent ride. Meet the Cwmfforest Herd
Paul Turner has been riding around these mountains since he was 4 years old, first accompanying his father Mike on the routes, and eventually leading rides as soon as he was allowed at 18! His unique knowledge of the local area, routes, ground condition and weather patterns enable him to choose the best way to go each day. Sometimes our rides are taken by other leaders, all of whom have been trained up personally by Paul, and are briefed thoroughly by him each morning before they set out with their group. Tack: Our saddles are the very comfortable endurance type.
If you’ve never handled a horse from the ground before, you’ll get a crash course in general horsemanship, from catching your horse, grooming them and tacking up. By the time you mount your horse, you’ll be firm friends! Having ensured you are safely mounted and well suited to your equine partner, we head for the hills, where if required we can help you to improve your trail riding technique.
Warm, comfortable and windproof clothing will help you to enjoy your trail riding experience. Jodhpurs or breeches are a must – no jeans please! Hard hats are essential, as are a long pair of boots, or short boots with half chaps. We have plenty of jodhpurs, hats and boots for you to borrow if you don’t have your own. If you have a long raincoat, that will come in useful if it rains as it protects our saddles as well as you – but again we have some to lend you. Don’t forget casual wear for the evenings, and a pair of house shoes/ slippers will come in useful. See our FAQ for more.