How to choose a riding holiday…..

Before you decide on a riding holiday destination you need to ask your riding holiday company some very important questions; but first and foremost you need to decide what sort of riding holiday appeals to you. There are so many riding holidays to choose from – safaris on horseback; ranch holidays, pack trips and instructional breaks. Just what kind of experience is it that you are looking for? Here, riding holiday expert, Joanne Verth, from riding holiday company Equus Journeys, talks to us about what’s available and what we should consider when deciding where to ride.

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Do you want to see wildlife from horseback?

Do you want to get away from it all for a few days and enjoy riding through the countryside?

Do you want to ride into remote and spectacular scenery, that you would not be able to see by any other means?

Do you need a shower every night and a bed to sleep in?

Do you love the idea of riding to a new destination each day or would you prefer to unpack and ride out each day from the same place?

A Safari on horseback is truly amazing; nothing beats the excitement of being face to face with an elephant or the tranquillity of watching a herd of grazing zebra in the distance. Safaris where you might encounter elephant, lion or buffalo are only for experienced riders.  We also offer safaris in areas where there is no dangerous game and they are suitable for all levels of rider and young children. The accommodation varies from luxury safari lodges and safari tents with their own private bathrooms to bush camps with bucket showers and long drop toilets.

A pack trip is an expedition on horseback, you will experience scenery which you would otherwise not have the chance to see. You will need to be physically fit as well as riding fit for the journey. On many of these trips you camp in small tents with sleeping bags and have limited toilet facilities. Often your belongings are carried by yaks or horses so you need to pack to a minimum and not worry about the luxuries in life! Some of these are long riding expeditions and need you being as fit as possible before you travel by also doing plenty of walking, running, cycling or swimming.

A ranch holiday is your chance to live the dream of being in a western film. You choose between a working ranch where you have the opportunity to be a real cowboy and move cattle, brand and vaccinate as well as undertaking the day to day ranch duties. There are guest ranches where you can enjoy the luxuries as well as working cattle and dude ranches where you can enjoy amazing scenery and other activities.

On an Instructional riding holiday a good instructor and well-schooled horse can help you to improve your riding skills. Whether your interest lies in classical dressage or western riding; endurance or natural horsemanship; learning to play polo or simply improving your basic riding skills, there’s a riding holiday to suit you. Classical dressage holidays are usually arena based, but learning to ride western or experiencing your first endurance ride are generally done while out on the ride. Improve your natural horsemanship skills on a ranch holiday in USA, practice piaffe and passage on a dressage holiday in Spain or experience the thrill of jumping cross country fences on a riding holiday in Ireland.

There are riding holidays that cater for all levels of experience, please make sure that you choose a ride that matches your expectations and riding ability. Ask as many questions as possible about the pace of the ride and how many hours you will be riding for. Speak to a member of staff who has been on that ride, so they can tell you from personal experience  Let your riding holiday company guide you, they will help you choose the right holiday based on your experience, fitness levels and what you want from a holiday.

This article was provided by riding holiday company, Equus Journeys. To find out more about the range of riding holidays available or to speak to a member of the experienced team about what kind of holiday would suit your party, visit www.equus-journeys.com or call 01905 388977.

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