One of the amazing experiences that we had organized for us during our stay at the Montanema Handmade Village in Karditsa, was the afternoon horseback riding at the Saloon Stables at Lake Plastiras. The scenery at the Lake Plastiras is majestic, with the whole mountain scene, the green valley and the impressive lake making it a serene setting for outdoor adventures.
It was a warm afternoon and myself, with three other members of Travel Bloggers Greece we rode our mares around the lake. The only one who got to ride a stallion named Aris was Eley from Meet Culture. Marissa of Travel Greece, Travel Europe had a horse named Bella and Stefanos got to ride the beautiful Naomi.
I was placed in front to lead the rest, on my brown horse called Sandy. To tell you the truth I did feel a little bit nervous at first since the last time I was on a horse was back in 2008 riding in the Red Sea of Sharlm El Sheikh, Egypt. We had Yiannis and Thanassis accompany us throughout the 30 minute ride. Yiannis was leading the way and my Sandy would follow him willingly, like she knew that he was the boss.
Yiannis had insisted that I take control and let Sandy understand that I was the one controlling the situation. She had to follow my guidance. In order to get Sandy to stop I had to use the magic words “Opa, Sandy!” So after a few minutes I started to relax, the horse needed to feel my confidence that is the secret you must execute when horseback riding. The animal must feel that you are the leader and you know how to lead the way.
Once we finished with our ride and were content with our experience and a collection of photos later, Thanassis made sure to capture our experience and jokingly said that they have great knowledge of all types of camera’s, iPhones and iPads as this is something that most of their guests ask for.
There are two types of horseback riding options available at the Saloon Stables, either a 30 minute ride which costs 15 Euro or the 15 minute ride at 10 Euro. The Saloon also offers other activities such as archery, canoeing and paddle boats which can be rented out at 5 Euros per hour.
In total there are 15 horses here at the stable, all are Greek and come from the region of Thessaly. Adonis the manager of the Saloon guided us around and took us to see his pride, the stallion Hermes, who is apparently the same kind of horse that Alexander the Great rode.
Hermes also has a son, called Duke, a beautiful brown horse with a little white patch, and he is definitely a charmer. He did not really appreciate my camera flash going off accidentally, so it took us a while to regain his trust.
After making new friends and thanking the team for their wonderful hospitality, we headed back to the Montanema Handmade Village filled with emotions that turned into lasting memories.