What is your most memorable date? I discovered horse riding at Achi’s Stables when I posed this question to some of my friends…
I believe that the best stories and adventures lie within us…
One of my friends, Linet’s description of her horse-riding date had me raring to go! Seeing as I’d never ridden a horse before, it was the sure winner!
I contacted Caleb, the Manager at Achi’s Stables in advance, to learn more about their operations and set up a day to visit. He explained that most Kenyans associate horse riding with foreigners, which is a wrong notion… This made me want to visit all the more, and burst this ‘myth’ wide apart.
Achi’s Stables has been in place since 1994, and is one of the few places in Nairobi where you can access horse riding activities. Located off Forest Edge Road, it is a short drive past Bomas of Kenya. (Map Attached with Bomas of Kenya as the reference point.)
On our ‘big day’, we were met by Timothy, the owner, who started us off at the Gazebo, which is next to the stables. The Gazebo is a little run-down, but it seems like it was a great hang-out place, back in its hay days. It is an old, rustic structure, which gives off a sense of history and would have made the perfect place to relax after a horse ride.
However, Timothy explained that they are moving all their operations to the forest, hence the current condition of the Gazebo.
They have about 28 horses at Achi’s Stables, although most of them were out for the day.
At first, the horses were nonchalant, barely giving us any attention. But when Timothy brought out carrots, the horses were instantly charmed! It’s amazing to witness their quick transformation into friendly beings at the sight of carrots!
I have always wanted to ride a white horse, and took a great liking to Hussein, an oldish, off-white colored horse with great character. 🙂
Then came the task of mounting the horse! Whoa! Mounting a horse is not as easy as they make it seem in the movies…You know those Texan movies where some guy jumps on a horse, as it gallops off at a maddening speed? Well, that was not the case for first-time riders like ourselves. 😀
I learned though, that a horse reads the vibes you are giving off… If you are calm, it remains calm and will let you take the lead.
The trick is to remain calm and use the reins to guide the way. It was scary at first, but I eased into it. Luckily, Hussein and I had sort of ‘bonded over carrots’, thus I was able to lead him without much difficulty. 😀
We had a lovely time riding our horses back into the forest, from the stables. However, within the forest, it may get a little tricky because of trees and hanging branches. I got wildly grazed by a tree when Hussein passed uncomfortably close to it, not bearing in mind that he had a ‘passenger’. 😀
While riding in the forest, insist on following well-defined paths to avoid such ‘unpleasant’ encounters with nature. 🙂
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: WANJIKU THUO
After our buoyant, first horse ride, we were starving and ready for a picnic. Little did we know, that we had company waiting to join us, albeit forcefully.
My sister and I were looking for a suitable place to sit, when Wanjiku Thuo nearly got attacked by baboons. She was standing by a table with our picnic items, when baboons suddenly descended upon them. Luckily, the stables’ dogs came to her rescue. The wild and furious barking scared the baboons off, albeit temporarily. Thankfully Wanjiku Thuo was okay, but knee-deep in shock!
It swiftly became evident that our picnic was going to be rather ‘eventful’… It was interesting to learn that baboons fearlessly prey upon women. Apparently, they intimidate women easily, but fear and respect men. And, being in a group of girls only, we were quite vulnerable to their tactics.
With Timothy and Caleb at a close distance, we were finally able to pipe down for our picnic. There was still the occasional, cheeky baboon swinging from a branch trying to grab something off the table. The dogs were a great help though, hanging around and barking harshly at them.
It was an interestingly, ‘memorable’ experience to say the least… Although, next time, I’d be certain to bring along male companions to test the ‘men vs women theory’.
Additional Activities At Achi’s Stables
- Horse riding lessons and excursion at Kshs. 2,000 per person /per hour
- Quad biking Kshs. 3,000 per person/per hour
- Cycling (own bicycle) Kshs. 500 per person/per day
Furthermore, they have a big field for such activities as team building, with various venue-offerings, that one can take advantage of.
Achi’s is a nice place if you are looking to adventure in nature, without venturing far out of Nairobi. It is well-suited for families and groups’ activities, and couples as well.
Hopefully, as Kenyans, we will make the most of such resources that are well within our reach, even as we market our country as a ‘tourist destination’.
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Stay Inspired Always 😀