Before going to Dubai I had already been looking for places where they would offer good rides and I found the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club. The Club was also recommended by some Finnish people so that is where I headed during our stay in Dubai.
|Sitting under the Veuve Cliquot shadows looking out over one of the riding arenas.|
The club was situated around 30 minutes from where we were staying and I went there already a few hours before heading out for our desert treck. The club was huge and I was drooling at the wonderful looking fields and fences. I was walking around the place, getting acquainted with the stables and talking to people. At some point a man stopped me and was wondering if I was a journalist since I was not allowed to take pictures (of course I am only a tourist enjoying photography) and lovely Linda at the reception said that they normally do stable tours but I can go and have a look by myself. So look I did and enjoyed myself immensely in the heat (I love warm weather and it sometimes feels that it doesn't matter how warm it is because after a whole winter in Finland you can do with a lot of the heat).
|One of the riding arenas.|
The Club consisted of many stables and the stables all accomodate around 21 horses. Some were riding school horses and others polo ponnies. Some were owned by the Club and others were privately owned.
|The horses were able to look out from both directions.|
The stables were neat and tidy and there were a lot of grooms from India taking care of the horses. Some horses looked better than the others and were in good shape but there were many horses that looked too skinny and not in good shape at all. My desert treck buddy was absolutely amazing but if I would have seen the horse's back before they put the saddle on I would not have gone up at all. The horse was so skinny and had blisters all over its back. And still it carried me for two hours around the dunes.
|Drying in the heat.|
|Each stall had a fan because it was so hot in the heat.|
When the summer hits in with full heat, most people leave Dubai or at least stay indoors since the temperatures are so hot. The warmth and flies were already present during the warmest time of the day despite the fans in the horses stalls. When I asked what the horses did during the warmest months of the year the instructor said that they were on vacation which apparently meant that they were standing inside for 2 months in the stalls. I really hope that I understood wrong, but "maassa maan tavalla" and I have no idea how hot it gets. It just seems impossible for a horses musculature and mind to be able to withstand standing inside for two whole months but when I asked if the horses were out in the paddocks the answer was no and still a few of them were out and about. So maybe some language barrier there.
|One of the horses.|
|The hay looked and smelled really good.|
|The neat tack room.|
|Some colorful polo sticks.|
|They told me to jump up on the horse as well but I thought that it |
was enough that I just hugged this qutie.
|I was not supposed to publish these pictures anywhere and walked around a bit on my toes but|
I found these lovely grooms that wanted to pose for the camera.
After a few hours spent at the stables we finally headed off to the desert. The requirement was that you needed to be an experienced rider so two of our mates stayed behind already at the yard so we ended up being three of us riding with the instructor.
It was an amazing experience riding in the desert and we cantered a lot. Unfortunately my horse was not in the best shape so I tried to let it eat some dry bush on the way home (as if that would help). But at least it made me feel better. And then I got to wash it when we got back with the grooms.
|Me and my pony with my newfound German friend who lives in Dubai. |
And no, I did not plan the white outfit.
|Heading back from the desert.|
|Washing the horses.|
|There was also a riding school and each child had their own groom walking beside them. |
All instructors were foreigners. From Ireland, Germany and so forth.
After the ride we all stayed for dinner at the Club and had a very pleasant evening. All in all it was a very interesting day and it was fun to see how they trained the polo ponies. Next time I would love to try some polo. I am sure it is a lot of fun.
|I asked why they wear this and a groom said so that they don't eat sand or bite each other. |
I wanted to say that what are you going to do about the legs. They can kick:)
|The huge polo field|
|The grooms took the ponies here to wait for their riders|
|Polo ponies waiting for their riders|
|My newfound stable buddy from India.|
|Warming up the polo ponies.|
|Taking in the night scene. I almost stole a horse to go riding in the lovely evening breeze.|
Reminded me so much of Australia and riding over there.