Dubai & Singapore: Show me the horses

Stables with restaurants in them, afternoon polo matches, two-hour gallops in the dunes, blah blah blah. Sounds like a really terrible business trip, Risa Flamm.

From Risa:

In January I got to go on a business trip to Dubai. When my boss asked me what kind of activities I wanted to do on the weekend, the answer was easy: RIDE HORSES!!

Non-horse people just don’t get that. All my coworkers kept saying, “All you do at home is ride horses. Don’t you want to do something else?” or “That’s what we hear you talk about all the time–why would you want to do the same thing you do everyday?” To which I replied–you just don’t get it.

Turns out my boss lives right next to the Dubai Polo Club & Equestrian Center–what are the odds, right? My first night in Dubai we had drinks on the patio that overlooked the huge jump arena. Needless to say, I was in heaven.

Then, over the weekend, I got to spend the afternoon watching a polo match. The club house and the houses around the polo field are unbelievable. It is an amazing place to watch a match!

Then I set out on my desert “hack.”

I use the word hack lightly because we GALLOPED almost the whole two hours up and down the dunes. It was intense and amazing. I like to think of myself as young and in shape–I am 27 and I ride my horse six days a week–so I should be able to handle a two-hour ride… right?

I was the only person who signed up for the ride. When my instructor (who was amazing and super-nice) realized I could manage my horse well, he said he was going to take us “off-roading.”  That meant galloping for 15 minutes or more at a time up and down these beautiful sand dunes. After about the third or fourth set I was hot and tired and asked him if we could take a walk break, to which he replied, “What, are you tired? You really need to get on a treadmill or something!” Wow, did that make me feel out of shape. I’m going to blame it on not being use to the desert climate!! But in the end it was a wonderful experience and I would recommend it to anyone who gets the chance. So that was the end of my horse time in Dubai, but not the whole trip.

I headed to Singapore next. Same story: Co-workers asked what I wanted to do in my free time, to which they got my standard response–go see HORSES!! My co-workers were kind enough to take me to the Bukit Timah Saddle Club for brunch. I don’t know about you, but my barn doesn’t have a restaurant. I digress.

So we enjoyed a lovely brunch and continued on to tour the stables. I met a very nice girl who had moved to Singapore from Texas and her ADORABLE grey TB Ash.

There wasn’t a lot of riding going on as it was almost 11 a.m. and they don’t ride from 11-4 due to it being SO STINKING HOT! I did snap a picture of a few coming back from their ride, though.

We then headed across town to the Singapore Polo Club. Not much riding was going on since it was the middle of the day, but I did walk through the endless barn aisles and pet all the ponies.

The moral of the story is, if you have horses in your blood it doesn’t matter where you are or how much of your life you devote to your horses at home–you still want to spend your free time with horses. My next trip is to Malaysia, so yes, I will be scoping out my horse opportunities for that trip, too!


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