Last year, Luzi and I went horse riding at San Jon in Switzerland, and we loved it! This year, we just had to go horse riding in Switzerland again, and in the beginning of July, we finally did. In this blog post I will tell you all about the full day horse ride, our amazing group, the ponies we rode, the great staff at San Jon, and the evening and night we spent at their lovely ranch and accommodation.
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We had such an amazing time at San Jon again this year, and it was so much fun to be in a group of people with a passion for horses that had pretty randomly gotten together. Luzi, who now works for Hooves, brought her friend Janina from work, Stine just came back from Indonesia and decided to join, and I knew Jeanne from a few conversations we’d had on Instagram. It was so much fun to meet everyone in real life and on horseback in Switzerland and we all immediately got along with each other.
Luzi requested the same horse as last time, Manitou, and she was delighted to hear he was available! Jeanne rode the lovely Hanja, and her friend rode a pony called Lila. Stine was on Lancelot, a massive Freiberger horse with the neck of a giraffe, which she had to get used to after a year of riding small ponies in South America. Janina rode Mowgli, a lovely gelding with a great dislike for mares, but we made it work! I rode a pony called Ranja. Last year I rode Chicca, and I had requested her again, but she was busy riding around with little kids at San Jon’s pony camp. Ranja was also an amazing pony though, and I was so happy I got to ride her. Everyone absolutely loved their ponies and they were matched perfectly to all of us. Most of the horses at San Jon are Freibergers, or Freiberger crosses, and they are all nicely forward going and well trained. These horses are far from the regular riding school horse, they are happy and excited to go out, they’re strong and dependable, and very forward throughout the entire ride.
We received such a warm welcome upon arrival. I had been in the car for about 16 hours that day and we arrived late, so we were happy to hear they had cold beer and wine ready for us! The drive to Scuol is absolutely incredible, and we followed the route of the Grand Tour of Switzerland to get there. Our horseback guide Katja was also fantastic. She was knowledgeable, a great rider, and fun!
This year, we decided to stay the night at San Jon before our trail ride. San Jon offers lovely accommodation on the ranch, and we opted for two rooms which slept three in each. The rooms are super comfortable, and for Swiss standards very affordable! It was great to get a good night’s sleep before our horse ride so we could really enjoy it. The evening that we arrived, we had to try out their bar though. So our lovely host brought us some drinks on the patio, and we chatted for a while before heading upstairs. The next morning, we had an incredible breakfast, which was included in the price of the room! We didn’t expect breakfast to be included and it was a very welcome surprise. Once again, the people were so lovely. We had breakfast and coffees, and were super ready to go on our horse ride along the Inn river!
After breakfast, we walked over to the horses, and Katja introduced us to all of them. She gave us saddle bags to put our lunches in, and we started to tack up the horses. I always love places that let you groom and tack up your own horse! Of course, they check all your tack before heading out for your horse ride. Around 9.30, we were off! This year, we took a different route than last. Last year’s trail was stunning, but this year we wanted to try something new, a trail ride next to the Inn river. The trail this year allowed us to canter the horses a bit more often, as last year we only managed to get a few trots in. Personally, I don’t mind these slow horse rides, as I love just watching and enjoying the scenery, but I had to admit it was fun to get the chance to canter a couple of times. On this full day horse ride, we rode next to the beautiful river for a long time, enjoying the view of the snow-capped mountains in the background. The Inn river is freezing cold, even in summer, and the water that flows in it is beautifully light blue all the way. We crossed the river a few times by wooden bridges (which I always find terrifying) and the horses were absolute superstars! We rode through forests and fields, all while admiring the beautiful tall mountains in front of us. Katja told us that the mountains we could see are actually part of Italy and Austria, that’s how close to the borders we are horse riding! We also rode through a forest that hosted a sculpture route, and saw incredible (and some slightly strange) works of art along the way. We had a lunch stop in the cool forest, and headed back along the river for a few more canters before arriving back at San Jon.
After our full day ride at San Jon, we visited Luzi’s incredible place. Luzi works with rescue horses at a rehabilitation center and it was so interesting to get to know all the horses and learn how they work with them. Afterwards, we visited the biggest waterfall in Europe, the Rhein Falls, on the Swiss-German border. We also paid a visit to the Black Forest reserve, drove through the beautiful countryside of Germany, raced around on the Nurburgring, zoomed through Luxembourg in about thirty minutes, zigzagged between beautiful vineyards in France, and finally, bounced over Belgium’s horrible roads back to the Netherlands. Europe has so much to offer and it was an amazing trip, filled with horses and adventures!
Make sure to sign up to my newsletter below if you want to join upcoming meet-ups and short rides like this. I always let you guys know through my newsletter what my next destination is going to be and if possible, you’re welcome to tag along. This October I will be traveling through Switzerland again on my way to our meet-up in Tuscany, Italy. Make sure to contact me if you'd like to join the ride. Hopefully I’ll be riding horses along the beautiful trails of San Jon again next year too!
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