that time of year again. Time to book a vacation. Looking for something different? Are you a budding rider but don’t own a horse? Does the idea of combining endless picturesque horse riding and a holiday sound like a match made in heaven? Or do you own a horse and wouldn’t mind enjoying different horse holidays somewhere Or perhaps a chance to get out of your stable walls and add something different to your training regime. Trail walks, beach hacks and picnics sound ideal. Where do you start when it comes to looking for that holiday? No matter where in the world you are, there is something out there for everyone. From the novice rider to the professional rider there is a riding holiday for all regardless if your trip ends up in the next state, on a South American beach, or on an African riding safari.
Nobody likes this word, but it has to be said. During your planning stage identify how much you either have in the holiday fund or how much you are going to need. Your funds will determine if you stay local or head abroad. When you are booking your riding holiday, make sure you account for some important things. Travel insurance (a lifesaver if there are any falls), meals, accommodation and enough money to get as many fridge magnets as possible, if that is your thing!
Next you need to determine the type of riding experience you are seeking. We’ve compiled a list of the different sorts of riding holidays out there. They do cater for every riding ability.
Here are some ideas for you to ponder on. Have you thought about Beach riding holidays where you can swim with your horse in the Greek Islands, or ride along the wild Catalonia Coast in Spain? Not to mention the crystal waters of the Caribbean or Dominican Republic or a Warrior Trail in New Zealand that combines bush and beach.
Ranch riding holidays – Ever been to an Alberta Working Ranch? Montana and Wyoming have mind blowing trails and ranches that have to be seen to believe. Prefer a European twist then perhaps a French Cattle Ranch may be on the cards.
Adventure riding holidays – Trek through Finnish forests and fells, ride up to the lip of a volcano in Cefalu, Itlay. Riding safaris await you in Kenya, Madagascar and Namibia. Prefer something in the US then the Grand Canyon will have all that you need and then some.
Tuition Riding Holidays – Have you ever wanted to try a different discipline and aren’t quite sure where to start or don’t have the time during your normal working week? A tuition holiday may be just what you need. Fun-filled lessons and expert guidance on everything from jumping to a rodeo with polo on the side.
Family Riding Holidays – Riding holidays aren’t just for singles or couples. Take the family and get right into it as a group. Local or overseas it’s a great way to explore the beaten track and keeps the kids entertained. If all of your family aren’t horse mad, make sure you pick a ranch that has other options for activities and entertainment.
For those of you that I mentioned earlier who wouldn’t mind taking their horse on a holiday then look into unguided horse riding holidays. An option that provides you with the destination, information, maps and support. You choose how long it takes you and where you stop. A safe and fun way to explore somewhere new but at your pace.
There are numerous tour companies globally that can help you plan and book your riding holiday. It is a great opportunity to try something different. Either escape the winter and go somewhere warm, try a new discipline to keep your skills fresh or expand your training ability. Single? No, worries there are riding holidays designed to mix singles with like-minded singles together. You may find your perfect match out here along a ridge line with breathtaking views.
As with most riding holidays, you will be asked your level and riding ability to ensure you are suited accordingly to the different trails, instructor and horse. Make sure you are comfortable with your selection but don’t be afraid to try something new.
If going away isn’t on the cards with your budget then look into local trial rides around you. Grab a friend and go for a hack somewhere new. It will be stimulating and exciting for both you and your horse. Just make sure you pack some supplies, a first aid kit and you let someone know where you will be going on a map. Better to be safe than sorry. Even the most experienced riders can have the odd bit of bad luck.