Pony Trekking – Day Treks

No visit to Lesotho would be incomplete without a pony trek. It is the transport of choice for most Basotho as the sturdy ponies handle the narrow trails better than any 4X4 can.

Malealea supports community tourism. Ponies used on our treks are hired from Basotho owners.
Please read the notice board in the middle dining room for riding tips and overnight trek details and rates.
NB – the weight limit for Basotho ponies is 90kg. 100 – 110 kg for athletic built men

Day treks

Pony treks can be arranged in the morning or the afternoon. Beginner riders can ask for a young person to accompany their horse and lead them at a rate of R15.00 per hour, paid directly.

  • Bushman Painting Pony Trek

    2 hours riding and 1 hour steep hike to the paintings
    Level: easy

  • Gorge Trek

    Very easy 2 hour ride to the top of a gorge. Good for beginners
    Level: easy

  • Botsoela Waterfall

    4 hour trek. It is advisable to take a packed lunch
    Level: for adventurous trekkers

  • Bushman paintings and the Botsoela waterfall

    5-6 hour trek. It is advisable to take a packed lunch
    Level: for adventurous trekkers

  • Makhaleng Plateaux Ride

    5-6 hour trek. It is advisable to take a packed lunch
    Level: for experienced riders

Note for day trekkers

Please do not pay the young boys who lead the horses more than R10.00 per hour. Any disagreement, on their part will be sorted out by management. If you want to contribute to the economy of the country, you can take as many guides as you like. Pay them individually no more than R10.00 per hour and do not pay one guide a large sum.

General information & riding tips

Safety

  • Treks are taken at your own risk. Please sign an indemnity forms before setting off on trek.
  • Leave the name and number of your medical insurance at reception in case an emergency evacuation is required.
  • Always wear a riding helmet on the trek.
  • There are no back-up services with a vehicle to collect you should you fall off your horse. You will have to return to the lodge by horseback.

Riding hints

  • Before mounting, make sure that the girth (the strap under the horse’s stomach) is tight. Once mounted, do not pull the reins up tight, you just may pull the horse over backwards.
  • To make the horse go, sort of push the reins forward, dig your heels into the flanks (sides) of the horse and make a clicking noise. To steer the horse, move the reins across the horse’s neck. To go to the left, move the reins across to the left.  You will find that this can be better done using one hand only.
  • Adjust the stirrups so that your knees are slightly bent. When standing up in your saddle, your butt should be about 6″ (150mm) above the saddle.
  • Be firm with your horse. Use as much force as you feel necessary without hurting the horse. If you’re too soft with it, it will take advantage of you. If your horse is lazy, cut yourself a small stick and just show it to the horse. It should not be necessary to actually use it!!
  • When going up and down mountain passes, ride with loose reins. You will see that the horse steers using his head and neck.
  • There are several mountain passes which are quite hair-raising. If you don’t feel safe, you can get off the horse and walk. You must decide for yourself if this is the better course of action. The horses may occasionally stumble, but always manage to correct themselves. Do not panic. Have confidence in the horse and remain seated.
  • Horses do occasionally put their heads down to eat grass. If you are holding on too tightly, the horse will pull you over his head and you may fall off.

GOOD LUCK!

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