Creating Extraordinary Experiences on Horseback
by Catherine Madera
Have a horse and like to travel? Cherie Cross thinks taking horses on vacation is a great idea. Through her company, Getaway Horseplay, she is providing unique ways for equestrians to have fun and learn by participating in hosted riding vacations around The West.
“Getaway Horseplay is about sharing a meaningful time with our horses and friends,” says Cross who has spent the last 25 years as a horse trainer and riding instructor in Northern California.
Horse-related vacations are not a new idea. There are a variety of dude ranch, trail riding and hosted ride options all over the country. Cross is putting a twist on the idea by offering exclusive riding locations and the opportunity to bring your own horse. With her background in training, she is able to serve as a coach, if needed, as well as an entertaining host and guide.
“Sharing new experiences strengthens the bond with your horse,” believes Cross, who started the company because of her own interest in travel and after successfully coordinating small group rides with her sister. She believes a trusting partnership is key to enjoying life with horses.
“Versatile horses are confident. They become that way through horsemanship and creating positive experiences for them,” says Cross.
Group activities on horseback are an excellent way to share and promote the equine community. Unfortunately, lack of time and knowledge make planning a getaway with a horse difficult for the average equestrian. Questions of where to go, what to see and what will be needed (not to mention how to stay safe) result in the horses being left at home. At Getaway Horseplay, Cherie Cross is taking the guesswork out of a horse-centered vacation.
“It takes a lot of time and energy to get your horse out. Our trips will be well facilitated and coordinated so clients know from the start what they will need and how to plan. You don’t have to figure it all out on your own.”
Getaway Horseplay offers a variety of organized events and hosted trips that are both educational and recreational. Horses will also be available to rent for participants that cannot bring their own horse yet wish to enjoy the event. Adventures range from one to five days at select venues, some exclusive and not offered to the general public. Cross is a cowboy dressage enthusiast and is active in Equine Trail Sports so some activities may include competition. The company also features regular, yearly outings such as the upcoming 3-day event How the West was Fun, held in Paso Robles, CA in July. This event offers the opportunity for horsemen and women to try ranch versatility with cows at the PAL&CC Ranch and take a stagecoach ride at Harris Stage Lines. Rocking Las Vegas, is another special ride held in the spring and fall in Red Rock Canyon where wild burros and mustangs roam. Insert red rock
Cherie has provided guidance and support for me and my mustang. She is an amazing hostess and knows how to provide a safe, comfortable and fun atmosphere for everyone and their horses. I am really looking forward to our next adventure with Getaway Horseplay! Sarah Dickinson ~ Winters, CA
Getaway Horseplay, LLC is a company that coordinates events and trips especially for horse owners with an emphasis on horsemanship, hospitality and recreation. Its purpose is to entertain equine enthusiasts through a variety of horse related activities at selective venues in the United States. The company strives to provide a safe environment for the well-being of participants and horses. See what’s happening at getawayhorseplay.com
Catherine Madera served as editor of the Northwest Horse Source for five years. She has written for numerous regional and national publications and is a contributing writer for Guideposts Magazine and the author of four equine-related books. She has two grown children and lives with her husband and three horses in Northwest Washington.