Hi there, half a year ago I got a good advice fom Forum Experts where to ride a horse in Sri Lanka. I have checked this idea and now ready to share the personal experience (end of January 2016). This is a new idea for half day or full day horseback tracking in Nuwara Eliya area and It fits to experienced riders as well as to beginners .
so, I've developed such a program:
First day- Morning start from Colombo or any beach site and drive to highlands of Nuwara Eliya with beautiful Ravana waterfall and Sitha temple on the way. Another option - to visit Hakgala botanical garden that is on the way also. Finally -stay overnight at Nuwara Eliya.
Second day- morning sightseeing tour over Nuwara Eliya and meet horses at their stables of Race Course Ground after late lunch. Ride a little to check the condition of riders, correcting equipment (rather old but satisfactory) and first horseback ride to the nearest top of the mountain. Local half-breed horses are well behaved and trained for mountain hiking, 2-3 hours horse-back tour is very good for everybody, even for children with parents. The best time is before sunset, even primary skills of horse riding is enough for this walk. You will climb higher and higher along the tea plantations to see the whole valley and to visit unique Buddhist monastery near the top and meet sunset finally!
Third day- Next day if the riders condition allows this:) - forward to the longer challenging route - around Gregory lake, through the National reserve of Galway forest (without entering to restricted area as we were asked last time to purchase tickets for 3000Rs each! But if anybody like to see deers - welcome inside!). And when, riding through tea estates, vegetable plantations and villages - climb higher to the mountains to Lover's leap Waterfall. It takes more than 2-3 hours one way. When your horses tired a bit at the end - take saddles off and let them to feed free when relaxing by the waterfall for couple of hours! This place is calm, tidy, still unspoiled and beautiful, due to only a few locals and tourists comes here. This stream is absolutely clean, even famous Lion beer was recently produced on base of this particular water:)! On the way back (on foot sometimes as the way down steep slopes could be rather difficult for horses ) -we visited beautiful old English church with cemetery, as horses and guides stayed waiting outside. When reached the Race Course Ground you can see stables of your lovely horses and watch magnificent racing horses of real English pure breed. So beautiful and distinguished creatures, nobody allowed to ride on it except authorized jockeys!
The same evening,tired and full of impressions - a long drive back or one more night in NE.
What to take to the horseback walk - just cameras, water and sandwiches, washed carrots and sugar for horses.
If it is interesting for horse-lovers - PM for contacts of horses and their guides , I have assembled the original route map also