Love horses? Then why not consider a fun-filled and action-packed horse-riding experience with the horses at Lu Ye Equestrian Culture and Creative Park.
Luye is not the only stable in Taipei, but they are the only ones in Taipei who are located next to the beach and therefore, can offer a unique horse-riding experience on the beach. It is great fun for the entire family, and even children can take part. Time your ride for the evening, and you may even get to witness a magnificent sunset at the beach on horse-back.
Complimentary Shuttle from Tamsui MRT
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The pick-up point for the complimentary shuttle was at Tamsui (淡水) MRT station. Luye is about a 10-15 minutes ride away, provided that traffic is smooth.
We took the chance to arrive early to enjoy the coastal scenery at Tamsui and to soak in the atmosphere at Tamsui Old Street (淡水老街).
Guided Tour and Interaction with Horses
Fire away those burning questions about horses and their living environment. We had a dedicated guide who showed us around the stables, explaining every facet of a horse’s life to us.
This is a treadmill for horses, would you believe it? Just like humans. horses also have treadmills to ensure they have the correct amount of exercise to keep fit.
At the stables, our guide explains to us the correct way of approaching a horse and to interact with them, their habits, and how to take care of them. This horse is named Grace, by the way, and we were to find out later that she had been assigned to be Tommy’s mount for the evening. Grace hails from America, and after years of living in Taiwan, is now able to understand both English and Chinese. Just like us!
And as it is, Grace was very eager to come out of her stable to meet us. Correction. She was eager to come out because her trainer had something in his pocket.
That something was horse feed. For us to gain some rapport with Grace (since Tommy was going to ride her later), the guide gave us the opportunity to hand-feed her! It was definitely fun, and very safe because it was done under the controlled environment of a semi-closed gate. One thing for sure, you definitely need to wash your hands later!
Grace is of course, not the only horse in the stables. This one’s called Gameboy, and he occupies the stall opposite to Grace. He is an attention seeker and had by now developed an jealous anger because his trainer was so enamoured with Grace. Gameboy received a pacifying pet to soothe his injured ego.
I’ve always loved the grace and beauty of white horses, because Prince Charmings only ride on white horses to rescue their princess, don’t they? This one’s just huge and majestic, but I knew for sure he will not be assigned as my mount later, because he is just too tall and huge for my petite size.
My favourite in the stables has got to be Skywalker, a horse who can be considered as a ‘old-folk’ in this stable. We learned that as with most white horses, Skywalker used to be snow-white in his younger days, but their furs will turn to a light grey when they grow older.
And then of course, there are those who had to have their showers and were left to dry off….cute with his wet mane, isn’t he?
After the initial get-to-know Grace, it was time to prepare her for our ride. I got to lead Grace out of her stables to the holding area, under the watchful eye of the guide who had great advice for me – keep the leash firm and short, do not look at the horse or have any eye contact with her. After a small struggle, and letting the horse know who’s boss here, walking her around the stable becomes easy peasy.
Grace was led to the holding area because she is going to receive a back rub from each of us before being saddled for our horse-riding stint.
The guide demonstrates first. For those who has a chance to give a horse a rub, watch the facial expression of the horse closely. Their lips literally curl with delight.
First Time Horse-riding Experience
Next up was horse saddling. We watched as the professional trainer assigned to take care of us for the horse-riding experience explains the correct way of saddling a horse.
Horses are magnificent animals with great strength and grace, yet at the same time, they are also gentle and friendly with humans. Grace here is just so majestic and beautiful. I couldn’t stop petting her as I would do for a dog. If urban Singapore would allow, and if I am filthy rich, I would keep a horse as a pet.
Tommy leads the way to the indoor arena for mounting and some warm-up exercises.
At the arena, I found that my mount for the evening had already arrived. She is Beauty, a black horse who is 12 years old with a gentle temperament. The average life span of horses is about 25-30 years old, so this one’s considered middle-aged. Sounds like safe enough for a beginner like me to start off with.
Grace and Beauty. Very befitting names for these horses.
We each had a dedicated professional trainer assigned to us, so it was all very safe. In fact, each horse was carefully selected based on the experience level and needs of the rider. For young children, smaller horses will be assigned to them.
The basics of handling a horse was explained to us, and under the guidance of the trainer, we took a outdoor ride to the nearby Tamsui beach to watch the sunset. On the return trip from the beach, my trainer thought that I was proficient enough to have free rein of Beauty. And so I had the opportunity to steer her all the way back to the indoor arena!
That’s one of our trainers with Grace, before we bid farewell to her. Thank you, Grace for a most wonderful ride!
Bed and Breakfast (B&B) at Lu Ye Equestrian Culture and Creative Park
It was late by the time we returned from horse-riding (we spent almost 3 hrs here). While waiting for our complimentary shuttle back to Tamsui Station, our friendly guide showed us the living quarters for their B&B package. The B&B package is suitable for those who would like to explore Tamsui (complimentary bicycles are provided), and who would like to spend a day on beginner’s horse-riding lessons.
This B&B is exceedingly beautiful and luxurious. Who knows such luxuries are available at a equestrian centre! Do note that there is only 1 room available!
The B&B is also extremely suitable for those who would like to take their wedding photos here! Yes, we were surprised, even shocked to know that backdrops for wedding shots are constructed for this purpose, right here at the equestrian centre. And I must say, they are very beautiful and modern back drops.
Horses are available on demand for your wedding shot. Imagine how unique it will be! In fact, our trainer had hers taken at Tamsui beach, and she looked liked a goddess on horse-back – absolutely gorgeous.
We had a most wonderful evening interacting with horses and learning the basics of horseback riding. I’ve always loved horses, but never had the chance to get up close and personal with them in Singapore. In just a few hours at Luye, I’ve learned so much about horses and it has piqued my interest further. I’ll definitely love to have a chance to come back here again for a second experience or to pick up some advance horse-riding skills. You should too! It’s fun and totally worth it!
Follow us next as we review our stay @ Taipei.