Like most little girls (and boys), I dreamt about horse riding growing up.
Thoroughbreds, ponies and even unicorns.
What can I say?
It was the 1980’s, and My Little Pony was hugely popular.
I’d love to tell you I grew out of this fad, but that isn’t exactly true.
Though let’s face it…horse riding in Malta probably isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when you think of an island synonymous with crystal clear waters and an eclectic and colourful past.
Golden Bay Riding School
Whilst writing the best things to do in Malta, my desire for equestrian life was reignited upon discovering Golden Bay Riding School.
Not only do I want to offer authenticity here on Girl in Malta, but I also want to immerse myself in local culture and make the most of this adventure.
Sometimes Usually when pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, there is an unconscious resistance to trying something new.
But no such luck here:
- Golden Bay Riding School is in Mellieha, Malta
- Accepts riders of all levels (including absolute beginners)
- Variety of riding options including the inexpensive sunset ride
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I’m partial to a Maltese sunset or three!
So, during my research I discovered the coastal sunset ride lasted 90 minutes and cost €35.00.
Booking A Sunset Coastal Ride is as Easy as 1-2-3
Booking a sunset ride at Golden Bay Riding School is ridiculously easy and can be done via:
Mario (the owner) was super responsive and before I could say “Pegasus” I had booked a sunset sesh!
Oops! Check the Forecast
Can you believe on an island blessed with over 300 days a year, I chose one of those rare 1/65 days?
In my excitement to try something new in Malta and not any old thing.
An activity that was specifically weather related…
I forgot to check the weather forecast.
Despite the cloudy(ish) day, I still proceeded with the booking. And boy was I glad I did…
Golden Bay Riding School
Golden Bay Riding School is a small family-run business, running for over 30 years.
Tucked away in a rural part of Malta, you’ll find it at the end of a quiet, country lane. Besides mother nature, there is nothing else around other than a few abandoned buildings and the odd passing car.
The riding instructors are experienced and qualified. And for a novice (such as myself), it was reassuring seeing precautionary measures being taken.
Upon arrival, we were given safety clothing. Furthermore, once inside the stables, it was pretty clear the horses were well-kept and cared for.
Help with Getting Up on Your High Horse
And talking of total novices…is now the best time to tell you this was my first time?
Prior to this experience, I had never even touched a horse.
One might even describe me as ‘nervous around (all) animals’.
Yet here I was.
Standing there with a mind full of racing thoughts.
First, I pondered on how an earth I would actually get up on my high horse.
Next, I thought about the scenes I had seen in Western movies. Specifically, where horses intuited the nervousness of the rider. Neighing loudly before throwing them off of their backs!
All this (over)thinking was unnecessary, as Mario was waiting with a small stepladder.
He guided me step-by-step on how to mount the horse.
And though I don’t want to downplay my effort…
it was relatively easy.
Clip-Clopping Across the Maltese Countryside
Next thing you know, we were clip-clopping out of the stables, down the country lane and trotting towards the breath-taking Maltese countryside!
My horse was called Oliver (Or Oliie, as I nicknamed him). A powerfully built, brown stallion with a full mane of soft black hair.
As we continued further along the rural path, the clip-clopping of Ollie’s hooves lulled me into a meditative state. And I felt myself relaxing and letting go.
Finally, my dream had come true.
Granted, we weren’t flying. Heck, we weren’t even galloping.
But the enchanting sunset ride takes you on an incredible journey – outside your comfort zone!
Beginning behind Golden Sands, which (did I mention) is Malta’s second-largest sandy beach? The route follows a scenic route along the North coast of Malta.
The ride gives you spectacular panoramic views of sister islands, Gozo and Comino. From atop horseback, you are also spoilt with glorious views of the cliffs, sparkling Mediterranean sea and the popular attraction Popeye’s Village.
Though the day had begun cloudy, it ended in a colourful display of hazy sunshine. Enough for me to experience the sun setting over Mellieha (albeit a somewhat subdued affair).
When was the last time you tried something new?
Address: Golden Bay Horse Riding
Triq Ghajn Tuffieha,
Mellieha Malta MLH 5510