Skip to content

Surviving Small Stirrup Irons and Scary Cows

The first time I visited Slovenia I was shocked to discover the incredible beauty of this small country. There was something truly wonderful everywhere I looked. The Julian Alps were particularly stunning and I was delighted to discover just how many different ways there were to explore the mountains. I spent a lot of time hiking, I went white water rafting, I greatly enjoyed a paragliding trip and the quad biking was brilliant. Naturally I also felt the need to go riding.

Lake Bohinj

I was staying near the and had not seen any riding stables in the area. A quick search on Google revealed that there were stables in the nearby village of Stara Fužina. I drove up to the village to take a look and found the stables but there was nobody around.

A note pinned to the office door directed all enquiries to a mobile number which I called. It was answered by someone who was clearly enjoying a drink in a local bar. I asked if my partner and I could ride the next day and was told that this would be fine and to arrive at 9am. I then had an interesting encounter with the stable's pet pig!


Big Horse, Small Stirrup Irons

I wasn't at all convinced that whoever I had spoken to had taken any notice of what I has said but when I arrived at the stables the next morning they were expecting us. I was introduced to my horse which turned out to be a sizeable grey. As I attempted to mount I noted that the stirrup irons were a little small for my hiking boots. The boots were not ideal but they were all I had with me that were vaguely appropriate for riding. Once in the saddle I tested the stirrups again and decided that I could get away with them. As my partner is not an experienced rider and I had explained this to the guide, I figured that we would only be walking.


The Need for Speed

We were soon on our way and followed a trail up into the mountains past an amazing gorge. The scenery was truly incredible and I was enjoying my leisurely ride.

Then the guide asked if we wanted to speed things up a bit. My partner said that was OK which I thought was rather daring. I had imagined that speeding things would mean trotting, so I was more than a little surprised when the guide broke into a gallop. There we were, my partner never having galloped and me with boots about to fly out of the stirrup irons, charging along a mountain trail after the guide.

Scary Cows

I shouldn't have worried because my feet stayed put and my partner coped very well. I enjoyed the rest of the ride immensely and thought that the drama was over when we turned back towards the village. But I was wrong! As we walked along a county road the guide’s horse suddenly shied and the guide flew out the back door and onto the road. I asked her what had happened and she explained that her horse was terrified of cows! There were a few cows close to the gate of the adjacent field and they had spooked the horse. Weird!

I had a marvellous day in the mountains but I will mostly remember that ride because of that the incident with the cows. My partner was a complete novice and my stirrup irons were too small, we were both riding horses we didn't know and yet the only person to fall off was the guide! How ironic!


We are very sorry, but the browser you are visting us with is outdated and not complient with our website security.

Please upgrade your browser to a modern secure version to view our website.