Silver Saturday

Posted on May 22, 2011

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A normal Saturday evening in Tori world is spent either tapping away at my key board, preparing for the week ahead, collapsed in a heap post a hot and sweaty run or perhaps even across the road at Caribou catching up on the weekend gossip with a girlfriend.

Not this Saturday though. This Saturday I was riding a horse called Silver at Desert Ranch … kicking up the sand to a magnificent sunset. And I can safely say that in my three years in Dubai, this has by far been the best Saturday, one I’ll forever refer to as Silver Saturday.

For anyone who’s been in Dubai a while, you may remember a show called Jumana: Secret of the Desert, entertainment of epic proportions, a spectacular of lights and sights, dazzling dancers and fabulous folklore. Well Desert Ranch is at the same place … Al Sahra Desert Resort. It’s a vast expanse of silky sand dunes peppered with dramatic ruins and lush greenery.

But back for a moment to me and my hack. We saddled up and post photo shoot, went for a casual ride over the soft sand whilst soaking up the amazing colours of the sunset and the soft glow of lights in the far distance. The whole experience seemed a million miles from the bright lights of the city nights.

And it turns out that a desert hack is just one enticing reason to check out Desert Ranch. From coffee mornings to paddock lessons, from school outings to corporate bonding, camel cuddling to campfire nights; it has it all whether you’re a little kid, a big kid or somewhere in between.

They have a whole menagerie to play with too from Arabian horses to cute camels, friendly goats and curious donkeys, never mind a date plantation, Bedouin camp and the amphitheatre itself, reminiscent of ancient Greece but with an Arabian touch!

A further string to Desert Ranch’s bow is their teaching the Parelli method of natural horsemanship where the focus is on teaching the human rather than training the horse. The Parelli method leaves you with so much more than improved communications with the horses alone but rather enhanced relationships with everyone in your life. You learn about yourself, about consequence and responsibility, about leadership and love. Think Robert Redford in the Horse Whisperer except at Desert Ranch, Redford is replaced with a team equally as passionate and charming.

I shall so definitely return to Desert Ranch and suggest, if you want your very own Silver Saturday, to do same. It is what you envisage the true Arabia to be, rugged, dramatic, raw, romantic and combined utterly peaceful.

It’s classie Marlborough Country in the heart of the UAE. And needless to say, as James, my photographer, snapped away, I did admittedly fancy myself as quite the Marlborough girl in my cowgirl hat and aviators.

All this yet a mere 40 minutes from where I sit now in the Greens!

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