Stina Herberg is from Rjukan in Norway and ended up in St. Vincent in the Caribbean after working on several development and environment projects worldwide. Horses have always been a big part of her life, and when she found a herd of abandoned and abused horses on the island, she had to search for new training methods to earn their trust.
The horses had been brought over to the island some 8-10 years ago to take tourists on trail rides. The owners had, for unknown reasons, left the island and the horses. The original herd had 16 members, but 9 had since died, so they brought the 7 surviving horses to the Nature and Hiking Center where Stina worked.
The idea was to use them for trail rides, but these horses were different than any of the horses she had previously trained. They were nervous, shut down and sometimes aggressive and did not show any interest in connecting with humans. To make them do their “job” they had to be forced, and that was not something she wanted to do. Stina started to search for other methods of communication, and found Carolyn Resnick who became one of her teachers. It was a long process which in the end gave amazing results.
Check out one of her videos where she tells her story;
If one were to describe all the projects Stina is involved in one would have to write a book. The short version is that she has a huge involvement in fighting climate change and poverty, and is the director of Richmond Vale Academy which offer courses and educational programs related to these topics.
Check out Richmond Vale Academy for more information. This is also where you will stay during your holiday with Stina and her horses. One of their big projects is organic farming, so during a visit here you will find fresh fruit and vegetables in right outside the door with their over 500 trees and bushes.
A horse riding holiday at St. Vincent may be a little different than the traditional riding holiday. The focus is not only on the riding but also spending time with the horses, enjoying peace and quiet in beautiful surroundings. Your holiday can be tailored as you like and can also be adapted to non-riders.
Suggested program for a 1-week stay;
Day 1; Get to know the horses, and a tour of the farm
Day 2; Trail ride – “river trail” to the beach
Day 3; Hiking to the volcano (full day)
Day 4; Relax at the beach
Day 5; Trail ride – “jungle tour”
Day 6; Diving
Day 7; Hiking to the waterfalls, Dark View Falls
You will stay at Richmond Vale were they have 8 guest rooms. The center is located on top of a hill with beautiful ocean view and has facilities like dining hall, fitness center as well as several verandas and common areas for guests to use.
The food served at the center is for the most part produced on site. At this point, they produce most of their greens in the organic garden. What they cannot produce on site is mostly bought local or regional in order to reduce the carbon footprint and support the local economy.
There is also a PADI diving center as well as several hiking and riding trails.
The horses are of a mixed breed, and are all originated from the herd Stina found on the island several years back. They are quite small, so there is a weight limit of 70 kg for riders.
The Caribbean is a fantastic destination in itself, but if you want an experience which is different from the ordinary resort holiday, this is a great alternative. You get to be part of Stina´s paradise with horses in liberty training, bareback riding at the beach, the garden of Eden right outside the door, and enormous engagement for climate, sustainability and the local community as well as a dash of crazy. We love the concept!