The next issue of our ongoing series to introduce you to our guides – those incredible folk that work hard to make your vacation the best week of your year. 

Didier Simonot
Cap Rando Equestre, Provence, France

How long have you been running horse riding holidays? 
30 years !

And what was the background, history, reason for starting?
I started to ride when I wad 7 years old. I rode in an arena in a riding school until the age of 12. At that time, my parents offered me a week trail ride in the South of France (and I did love to travel with horses) and I loved it. I stopped riding in riding schools just turning circles in an arena. When I was 18, I sat for and passed my exam to be a guide. To start, I used to guide trail rides for friends only as I was working in the computer industry. And in 1987, I decided to make my passion my job and created Cap Rando (my company) to organize horseback trips in Provence to share my passion with guests.

How many guest horses do you have?
About 20

Describe your herd of horses. 
Our horses are mostly crossed between Arabian and Spanish. They live all the year in a herd which we feel allows riders a group of well balanced horses.

What do you love most about your job guiding?
To share my passion for horses, traveling, and discovering great landscapes rich in history.

What is the most challenging part?
To explain that trail riding needs, of course, a good riding level and a good shape (level of fitness), but that it doesn’t need a lot of years of riding school in order to participate on some easier trail rides.  And to convince men that not only women love to travel on horseback!    (Editor’s Note:  We heartily agree to that last sentiment!)

Why should people sign up for this ride?
They will discover an exceptional way to visit a country. Horse riding is certainly the best way to approach nature and people.    It’s a great opportunity to forget a busy life and to discover the simple life in nature.

Trail rides should be reimbursed by social security avoiding many depressions in people! (Editor’s Note: We do too!!!! What an amazing idea!)

A tip that every rider must know before signing up for this ride is……
A horseback trip is a combination of many things: horse, tack, guide, accommodations, itinerary, other guests, weather, terrain … One of these, at a moment, may not be what you expected, but all others will overtake your momentary disappointment.

Finish this sentence – Don’t leave home without…
Your willing to explore new countries, new people, and your sense of humor …

What has been the most memorable or significant moment of your guiding career?
Riders crying when leaving them at the airport.

To see the specific rides that Didier hosts, check out more details by clicking on the links here:

Provence Inn to Inn Ride
Mediterranean Inn to Inn Ride
Provence Perched Villages Ride
Lavender Ride
Taste of Provence Ride
New Year’s Eve in France