A five-day horseback holiday based at Tasmania’s Gem Farm takes guests from the mountains to the sea and provides an insight into the world of shoeless, bitless riding.

Story By Mark Muller

Sand is flying and the hard, fast drumming of galloping hooves briefly drowns out the crashing surf. Jeremy Ford hammers down the beach on his favourite horse – ‘Ruby Running Bare’ – a huge grin splitting his face. All around is openness: the sharp salty air, blue water and white beach of Narawntapu National Park, on the north coast of Tasmania. It is the only national park on the island state that allows horses, and is conveniently close to Gem Farm, from where Jeremy and his wife Jen Clingly run their business, Wild About Hooves.
This, for Jen and Jeremy, is a workday. They have loaded horses and guests into trucks and cars and deposited them on this remote and beautiful beach – part of the five-day Tassie Tiger Trail tour they offer. It caters to groups of 2–6 riders, and shares with them Jen and Jeremy’s home, skills, expertise and horses, as well as their friendship.
Not only are the horses champions, they are also ridden shoeless and bitless – and this is a large part of the philosophy and attraction of time spent with Jen and Jeremy. From forest trails, riverbanks and mountainsides to wild beaches, guests cover close to 100km on horseback over the five days, with each day beginning and ending on Gem Farm.

This story excerpt is from Issue #93

Outback Magazine: Feb/Mar 2014