Right, so I’ll be seeing a lot of the other horses’ butts then.

As we head off on our half-day ride in the Brecon Beacons National Park in South Wales, UFO (yep, what a ridiculous name for a horse) and I bring up the rear.

Our group of 11 plus two riding guides, Beth and Katherine, is made up of mostly beginners and a handful of people who have done the occasional ride before.

The ride starts off by winding along narrow rural roads on the way to the national park.

We give a cheery wave as we pass farmers ploughing their fields and local villagers out washing their car.

Early on the group attempts the next step up from a walk, and we break into a trot.

There’s a lot of bouncing all over the place as we attempt to master the quicker gait, and some of the beginners aren’t exactly fans of moving much faster than a leisurely stroll.

Cruising at a slow pace means we can take in the stunning Welsh scenery of the Brecon Beacons National Park, with its rolling hills criss-crossed by trickling streams.

After a short break for our packed lunch of sandwiches and fruit, we ride across the sloping hills, and the more adventurous are allowed to hang back and have a canter.

Our hill ride gets cut short though, when we encounter wild ponies in an adjoining field. Beth and Katherine both know if our group gets too close to the wild ponies, the horses will all end up racing each other. Not exactly an ideal situation for newbie riders.

Instead we start weaving our way back to the riding school through the rural roads, all of us becoming very aware of our aching butts from sitting in the saddle.

All too soon the ride is over, and exhausted but with big grins on our face we head back to our rustic Bushwakkers accommodation where a backyard hot tub and a glass of wine awaits.

Our host Tony Young whips up a meal of pumpkin soup and curry, topped off with a ‘baked Alaska’ dessert.

As we compare notes over a few bevvies, I realise horse riding is just like riding a bike: the fun, exhilaration, exhausted muscles and eau de horse – it all comes back to you.

Outdoor action in Wales


Mountain biking and cycling tours are both on offer in the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Throwing a line is one of the most popular activities in the Brecon Beacons. River or catchment fishing is available.

Guided walks are available through the Brecon Beacons, or pick up a trail guide to the area. Plenty of the surrounding countryside has paths across farmland.

Outdoor specialists offer caving courses for beginners through to experienced cavers. For more details visit breconbeacons.org.

» Erin Miller travelled with Bushwakkers (01874 636 552). A two-day trip including accommodation, riding and transport is £195.