The New Forest, Hampshire is a corner of England where horse riding has been part of the landscape for centuries, exploration on horseback conjures up scenes of riders hacking across rain soaked earth, bristling past thorny blackberry bushes and lush green hedgerows.
This is a place where indigenous equines have lived before the last ice age, wandering the expansive and beautiful heathland.
So it is no surprise to learn that this is where Sharm Equestrian’s owner, Emma Levin grew up, bringing with her a wealth of expertise, professionalism and knowledge.
The English owned riding centre is based at the entrance of the Mangrove National Park, Nabq, where the scenery is spectacular, varied and vastly beautiful. Rocky pinnacles dot the landscape stretching far out into the wilderness, a place of tranquility.
The National Park’s majestic canyons and Red Sea offer riders the chance to encounter gatekeepers of the land and air, such as herons, gulls and ospreys.
Elegant fawn-coloured gazelles, Nubian ibex and red foxes are all native species, which may be spotted en route.
The treasures of the Red Sea nestle between an infinite cloudless sky, offering a gem box of aquamarines, turquoise and pastel corals, which are just 10 minutes away from the centre.
Sharm Equestrian truly offers unique adventures on horseback, an antidote to modern life, where a drained spirit and tired mind can find its spark again.
The 8 night ‘In The Saddle for 10 Commandments Tour’, takes riders in the biblical foot steps of Moses, exploring the earthly paradise of Mount Sinai, riders will experience the double canyon of Al Arada, the jagged vistas of the El Gunna mountains and Gebel Barqa.
They will encounter the preserved beauty of the ancient Matamir sand dunes and the Bir el Safra Water Wells.
Two nights are spent in a luxurious All-Inclusive hotel and 6 nights in a Bedouin style camp, where guests enjoy local dishes under twinkling Egyptian constellations.
Voted by British Vogue as one of the top 12 destinations for yoga, the ‘Horse Riding & Yoga’ retreat gives riders the opportunity to practice yoga in the morning and evening against a backdrop of sapphire-coloured sea and mountain views.
Morning practice starts with ‘Tribal Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Mysore Style’ a class aimed at guests who want a strong physical workout.
The afternoon class, ‘Tribal Hatha Yoga Sivananda Style’ is a 3 part session concentrating on therapeutic values.
The coastal riding route takes guests through a deep open valley towards the tranquil waters of the Nabq Oasis, where they can wade into the azure on horseback, experiencing something rare and magical.
Riders will also enjoy the magnificent desert, canyons, mountains and other nearby treasures.
Sharm Equestrian’s ‘Nabq National Park Beach and Sea Trail’ follows a coastal route and explores the lush beauty of the mangroves.
There is also the opportunity to camp by the sea, taking in the Maria Schroeder ship wreck and majestic Tiran Island, the trail also explores the nearby desert, canyons, mountains and more.
The sixth day offers guests the opportunity to indulge in a massage, body scrub, light facial and glass of champagne with lunch. This trip offers a mix of all terrains.
Sharm Equestrian offers some truly wonderful and varied day trips.
These are private, giving guests one to one sessions with tour guides, at their own pace.
Riders can experience the romantic ‘Sunrise & Sunset’ ride along the beaches of Nabq Bay.
Or for those planning a wedding, blessings can be performed on the beach, desert or a private boat.
There are also thrilling adventures to be experienced on the ‘3 In 1 Quads, Ride & Snorkel’ trip.
A quad bike can be taken across the desert, followed by snorkeling in the mangroves and an exhilarating (or relaxing) ride along the shore. There are 12 tours in total; each carefully crafted with the guest in mind.
Swimming with horses is a must during May-October for those looking for a spiritual connection between rider and equine.
The centre currently keeps 13 horses; four stallions, one gelding, and eight mares. There are a total of 16 boxes, with 5 more due to be added. This will include space for riders to stable their own horses; two have already been reserved, with more interested parties on the way.
Riders will primarily experience the elegance, strength and intelligent character of the Arabian horse. The breed was developed in desert climates 4,500 years ago and is highly respected by the nomadic Bedouin people who forged close bonds with their horses; the breed is shrouded by myth and legend and by stories which have been passed down over the centuries.
The legend of Al Khamsa, famously speaks about the five favorite horses of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH). After a long journey through the desert, Muhammad (PBUH) released his horses to take a drink at an oasis; before they reached the water he blew his battle horn. Desperate for water some stayed and only five returned. These five faithful horses became his favorite.
It is believed by some that the modern Bedouin Arabian horse is a descendant from this prestigious bloodline.
Horses are also famously represented in literature, from the brooding presence of Ted Hugh’s ‘Rain Horse’ to the well loved, best-seller, ‘Black Beauty’ by Anna Sewell.
Guests at Sharm Equestrian can experience the grace and power of Arabian horses and meet the centres very own Arabian black stallion, Belal.
The team has its own specialist vet and a farrier and holds the prestigious, Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence, for the health of their horses.
The centre is also represented by four global equestrian agents, who offer the best safari experiences in the world. Only those who pass the rigorous inspection process are approved, ensuring that guests will experience the gold standard of equestrian tours.
Training for both horses and riders is given by Mr.Mahmoud, who provides a syllabus, according to classical English standards. Guenda, the stable manager, an ex competitive show jumper from Italy, uses her expertise to match horse to rider, whilst offering guests the opportunity to choose either a female or male guide.
The sensitive and well thought out details highlight the professionalism of the team, who collectively share over 60 years experience working with horses.
Phone: Emma (UK) +44 7766 794906 / Guenda (Egypt) +20 111 2357838
Directions: Finding the stables is straight forward. Located at the end of Peace Road, Nabq follow the Sharm Equestrian signs. The stable is visible from the road just before you get to the mangrove checkpoint.