Horse riding holidays and safaris in South Africa


Horizon Horseback is not just a business; it is a partnership of four dynamic individuals, Shane, Laura, Rupert and Tanya. They share a devotion to horses and active interest in the community around them. Each brings their expertise and character to the table in their different ways, making Horizon rich and varied. Each partner pursues different interests and passions and these have been harnessed in the community in the way the partners all ‘give back’ to our local community.


Shane Dowinton is passionate about horses and one of his greatest gifts is his ability to bring a young horse on quietly, kindly and compassionately. It is these skills and talents that he transposes so brilliantly to the development of the young Horizon staff in the horse yards. Many of the Sotho staff have had little or no exposure to horses before joining Horizon, but within a very short time they are confident and accomplished horsemen, playing and teaching polocrosse, mustering cattle and even bringing young horses on themselves. As chairman of St John's church and community leader, Shane helps run a youth group once a week for young men from the local township. Gentle encouragement and teaching, is contributing to making these young men community leaders themselves.



Laura Dowinton's zest for life is people. She has the amazing ability to make everyone feel as if they have arrived home. She sees the best in everyone and from the Horizon staff to corporate team building groups, she skilfully matches talents to task brilliantly. Laura is a board member of the Waterberg Academy school in Vaalwater, and her portfolio is the bursary fund for previously disadvantaged children. She is passionate about helping children that are less fortunate get a 'step up' in life and gain a sound education. Laura also recently helped facilitate a project with The UK Donkey Sanctuary and South Africa's NSPCA, to treat the Waterberg donkeys. In 2011, medical attention and brand new fitted harnesses were given to over 100 donkeys. This year will be combined with a dog and cat vaccination and sterilisation scheme in the local township.



Rupert Baber is a 5th generation Waterberger and has a deep heart for the area. Growing up in South Africa during the height of apartheid has shaped who he is today. His entire life he has somehow been involved in raising up the under-privileged and has been involved in many projects; from building houses in the townships surrounding his university town, Pieter-maritzburg, to research into rural livelihoods in Sekenkhuneland, development of local infrastructure and job creation, to running the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve, part of UNESCO's “Man in the Biosphere” programme, which spear heads a number of environmental and social projects. He has a clear vision for the new South Africa and a dedication to make it happen.



Tanya Baber is the creative and artistic one. Since leaving a career in research and moving to South Africa in 1998, she has thrown herself into community life on the farm and within the area. In 2000 together with Jane Whitbread, she founded the Waterberg Welfare Society to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic within our community. This organiastion now provides a truly holistic approach, with palliative care, treatment, awareness and prevention education and orphan and youth support.

Harnessing her creative side, Tanya founded Beadle workshop in 1998, with the intention of providing additional employment within the farm community. A combined passion for photography and horses has also lead to the development of a great image bank.