The most exciting part about moving to a new place is being able to explore your surroundings. And what better way than to do it on horseback!

We’ve spent hours in the saddle mooching around on the hills finding good routes for our guests. Occasionally we’d hit a dead end and really had no choice but to turn back. Mostly the horses surprised us by saying ‘Yes, we can go through this, let me show you how it’s done!’ and making their way through places where we’d never thought possible.

Because the horses live out 24/7 in a big hilly paddock with lots of natural obstacles like fallen trees, rocks and uneven ground they are naturally very sure footed and thread very carefully out on the trails too. It really is fascinating how cleverly they manoeuvre through uneven paths, steep hills up and down, over rocks and bush.. I always tell my riders to trust their horses and give them the freedom to choose their own steps, and people are always mesmerised about how careful they really are.

The horse being barefoot also helps them feel their path better because through their hoofs they get very valuable information about the terrain and the grip of a barefoot hoof is second to none!

Pia Saari is the founder and owner of Country Quest Portugal. Throughout her life she has gathered extensive experience with horses in many different ways. She has worked with horses professionally in riding schools, livery yards and racing stables. She has worked in horse rescue and helped numerous horses recover from severe physical and mental negligence. She has studied equine ethology and psychology, learning theory and many other subjects relating to horses. Country Quest Portugal has a mission and a vision to make the world a better place for horses - sharing knowledge by an online course is a very important part of this mission. The course is priced low to make it accessible for everyone who wants to learn how to better care for their horses.