Honey House Stables, Veliko Tarnovo
Walking into the home of Annie and her family of animals is nothing like the stuffiness of a conventional riding school and you immediately feel like you’re visiting old friends. Chickens, cats and dogs mingle with each other while the horses are free to wander openly across part of the garden in front of the house. This is the third time we’ve come here for a ride and in-between each visit, Annie has been busy doing more to make the environment more welcoming and functioning.
Many of the five horses have been rescued from cruel owners and poor treatment but are now well on their way to enjoying a happy home having been nurtured back to health by Annie. They’re are friendly bunch – my daughter’s favourite is Elena who she rides each time we come. They’ve quickly built up a friendship and she is now learning to groom and feed her, and wangle as many other horsey jobs that she can get away with!
There are various rides of different distances to choose from, depending on how far and long you want to ride. A hack to the Hotnitsa waterfall for a picnic is a personal favourite with her clients but we this time chose a short ride through the village and beyond. Riding along the meadows and open fields around the village, the ponies aren’t bothered about the wandering sheep or goats that appear to join our route at times and they’re calm throughout.
Annie’s a very patient teacher and is keen to encourage the girls to experiment with their abilities so that they’re improving on each visit. She takes a holistic approach to caring and riding the horses and teaches the kids the importance of looking after and treating the horses in this way. As well as organising rides, she also runs her home as a retreat centre so if you’re aching after a long hack, you can always take advantage afterwards and book a relaxing massage too!
Veliko Tarnovo has limited activities for children so the opening of Honey House Stables is a welcomed treat which will be even better when the school holidays arrive and visits can be more frequent! So, whether you’re a novice or a veteran horse rider, child or adult, there’s a Honey House horse and ride through the surrounding countryside to suit your experience and capabilities.
For more information on riding lessons or trips and the holistic treatments from Annie, head to the