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Weekend trips

Horseback riding for children – what awaits the kids in Trajbar team Zaprešić?

We couldn’t wait for these beautiful days of early spring to go on our favorite activities again, including trips for children and family! This time we decided to stay in the vicinity of Zagreb and find here what Liv likes the most, which is horse riding. Liv particularly enjoys horses. We use the chance to take her for a guided walk because, at age 3, she is still too young to enroll in a real riding school where she would be able to handle a horse on her own. So we took the opportunity to take her for a walk with a guide. Due to the proximity to Zagreb, pleasant experiences with the owner, and a friend with whom we collaborated on various projects of the Fun Laboratory, the choice fell on the equestrian club Trajbar Team in Zaprešić. It turned out to be the best decision!
The owner, Maja, said “just come, we’re waiting for you,” and we headed to Zaprešić, a pleasant twenty-minute drive from Zagreb (especially if you go in the morning when there are fewer crowds). We set out in the morning with the plan to, along with horseback riding, spend lunch, coffee, a walk, basically, almost a whole day in nature and company! And it turned out to be a good decision. The Trajbar Team space is beautifully decorated, and many people know it for weddings and various outdoor events for which it can be rented. Since many of you already know that I dislike crowds, it was a new plus that we arrived at the right time when there were none. Especially in the outdoors!
The calm atmosphere allowed us to take a leisurely walk through the entire complex, peek into all the stable rooms, and look at all the horses.  All of this is accessible for viewing and strolling, making it a wonderful chance for kids to learn about the horses’ daily activities. What they eat, how they dress, and where they sleep… The people who look after these animals on a daily basis are really their “backstage.” It’s wonderful to see how seriously and joyfully committed young people, many of them even children, are to caring for horses and enjoying the outdoors. I also love that Liv saw it and plans to join them in it! After the tour, we sat on the sunny terrace for a coffee (yes, yes, there are coffee shops and terraces, and next to them is a very nice children’s playground). Soon, it was time to ride!
You can ride every weekend, on Saturdays and Sundays, from 13:00 to 18:00. A tour with a guide around the building costs 20 kn (2.65 euros). We didn’t use it because the owner, Maja, suggested another, longer option that we prefer, which allows for a full experience with a horse! The option is that it’s possible to get a coach / guide who will spend 45 minutes (or an hour) with the child. This includes a small and fun education about horses (where they live, what they eat, what they like and don’t like) and preparing a horse with a child, in which the trainer will explain to the child in detail and in a fun way the process of preparing a horse for riding, which includes grooming, an introduction to the equipment (what are the saddle and bridle, what are they for, etc.), and the saddling and bridle procedure itself. Of course, the child will try it on its own, according to its age and physical abilities, which is great if the child is already crazy about horses because it has the opportunity to participate in the whole “process”. After that, there is riding for 15 minutes, which is quite enough for a younger child.
Our coach’s name is Matija, and he immediately clicked with Liv. He explained everything very well, and she absorbed, enjoyed, and absorbed some more! Everything was very interesting to her, and she wanted to try everything herself, which did not surprise me because she is fearless when it comes to animals, so I knew she wanted something more than just riding. That’s exactly what we got, and I can’t praise the quality of service and Matija’s leadership enough! After riding, the reverse process follows – removing the saddle and bridle, washing the horse’s mane and legs, grooming again, and, what Liv particularly enjoyed, hoof oiling. I recommend this experience to all children and parents who want the child to see that riding implies serious responsibility and care for the horse, and not just enjoyment and taking photos in the saddle! All that work strengthened Liv’s desire for horses, of which riding is only one “bullet”. And not always the most important one!
If you want this option, be sure to register at least two or three days in advance so that the Trajbarovci can organize themselves in such a way that one person can devote himself exclusively to you, which will hardly be possible without your notice, considering the amount of work in each equestrian club. You will spend 25 to 30 euros for this option, depending on whether you take an hour or 45 minutes.

“Liv’s” pony is called Mercury, she is eight years old and is great for younger or smaller children. In addition to him, we also met the horse grandfather, Picolla, on which the kids often ride around the building and who loves those walks with the kids. There is also Ruby and the other horses we met in the stable, because each one has a name plate next to them, so you can immediately tell your child his name, without inventing Pegasus and Bucephalus. In addition to the stable, you can also enter the riding hall. We arrived at the right time because she was also being trained by older children who are already riding independently. This greatly interested Liv, who, I’m sure, can already be seen among them with that helmet, pants, and boots that are very nice to see. Movie scenes and movie atmosphere!

After sightseeing and the children’s horseback riding, it would be a shame to go home. Stay for lunch instead! There is a great restaurant in the Trajbar Team area, not far from that sunny coffee terrace. It would be a shame to miss both when you are already there and everything is in nature! The food in the restaurant is very tasty, and for children, there are several children’s menus (meaning, you can choose and you are not condemned to only one, which the child usually does not like). If you want to have lunch, be sure to announce it in advance so that you don’t run out of tables or wait a long time for one. On weekends, reservations for lunch are mandatory, just like the good time that awaits you. If, like us, you don’t eat too much at lunch or don’t spend literally half a day among the horses, I also recommend a trip to the nearby Zaprešićke Dvori, which will fit in great after riding in nature. That combination intrigued me so much that after the next ride in the Trajbar Team, we’ll definitely continue to Zaprešićke dvore, for some more fun, rest, and nature!

Tips & tricks for an even better time with horses

To make your and your child’s time with horses even better and safer, here are some useful guidelines!

1. Clothing and footwear

It is completely impossible to avoid the mud, dust, and sand that are a regular part of dealing with horses, despite the fact that the stables and the surrounding area are routinely cleaned and maintained. So, forget white gloves and similar movie costumes! Dress your child in clothes and shoes that won’t hurt to get dirty, which mostly means tracksuits, rubber boots, tennis shoes, etc. For riding, closed shoes are mandatory, that is, those with no toes sticking out. Long pants are also a must, especially in the summer when a child in shorts will get pretty sore in the saddle. If you are going in the summer, I recommend that you bring long pants (leggings, sweatpants) in your backpack for the child to change into before riding.

2. Always announce yourself

Even if you just want to walk and look at the horses. Your announcement is important to the “horsemen” in order to organize their time so that they can dedicate themselves to you and provide you with the best experience!

3. Ask the team anything!

You don’t understand horses? Nothing! You are not alone! Follow the instructions of the club employees, who will guide you in the rules of behavior among horses. Also, if you have brought a gift for the horses, such as carrots or apples, first ask the employees if you can give it to them and in what way. Namely, many horses have a precise schedule of knocking, which you cannot know if you do not contact those who care for them. Respect their rules and stable house rules – and you’ll have a good time at a gallop!




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