Banff: Spray River Horseback Ride
“This is Brew,” is your only introduction to the animal being handed to you and you quickly begin to become acquainted to the gelding you’re about to spend an hour with and trust to take you safely through the muddy trails. One foot snugly in the stirrup, it’s a familiar feeling to swing your other leg up and over until you’re seated up on the horse’s back.
Last weekend I took a day trip to Banff with a friend and the highlight of the whole thing was easily the horseback riding. Banff Adventures offer a number of different rides, from one hour up to an entire six days back country ride! With just a day to do as much as we could, we opted for the one hour rides. With a brief speech on what to do for those who had never been on a horse, we were off.
The landscape in Banff is stunning; sitting up there surrounded by mountains in every direction makes you realize just how small you really are. Through muddy trails between the trees, we made our way past onlooking tourists and let the horses wind their way into the bush. As we rode, I remembered why I loved horseback riding in the first place. Although it’s hard to tell with just an hour on a strange horse, the connection you can make with a horse is beautiful and life changing. With nothing but trust and understanding between a horse and rider, it’s an unstoppable feeling.
It didn’t feel like long before our guide stopped us to tell us about the river that we would soon be crossing. As the horses stepped carefully through the crystal clear water, the sound of clip-clopping hooves filled the air and everyone’s faces were filled with big smiles and bright eyes.
The view of Banff Falls enraptured us all as our horses came around the corner. The waterfall and the river below it sparkled in the day’s sunshine. (Sorry for the bad quality photos, all I had was my phone, one hand, and a horrified thought that I might drop it into the river to be stepped on by Brew.)
Our ride took us through forest trails, across rivers, alongside a golf course, and next to a waterfall. The hour went by so quickly that I felt we had only just begun when we made our way back to the meeting point. This just means that next time, I’ll have to go for a few more hours 😉 This ride is suitable for ages 6 and over and all levels of horseback riding experience. Although sadly you’re not allowed to go any faster than a walk. I was tempted to take Brew on a little gallop, but I didn’t think the guides would take too kindly to that!