So, you love horse riding and you love holidays! And, it’s that time of year when our thoughts turn to booking a holiday so, what could be better than matching the two up and going on a horsey holiday? We agree, and there are some amazing adventures and experiences to be had out there from safaris, dude ranch holidays, working cattle ranches, expeditions and instructional breaks, you need to ask yourself a few key questions before you take the plunge!
Here you go… a starter for 10!
- How good a rider are you really? Be honest with yourself here as a week of being overfaced by wild cattle ranching with crazy cowboys might just knock your confidence and ruin your hols. There are riding holidays that cater for all levels of riding experience, so make sure that you choose a ride that matches your expectations and riding ability.
- How long do you want to be in the saddle every day? Some riding adventures involve many hours of bum-aching trekking –not always on comfy cushioned saddles! Can you cope with that? Are you going with anyone else, and if so, does their love of riding and their riding experience match yours?
- Do you want to get away from it all and enjoy riding through unspoilt countryside? Remember unspoilt means no facilities, no people and often long hours in the saddle!
- Are you a comfort bug? Do you need a shower every night and a comfy bed to sleep in; or are you happy to wash in mountain streams and sleep under canvas?
- Can you travel light? Often your belongings are carried by yaks or pack horses so you may need to pack to a minimum and not worry about the luxuries in life! This could make or break a holiday for some!
- How physically fit are you? Some holidays involve long riding expeditions and need you being as fit as possible before you travel by doing plenty of walking, running, cycling or swimming.
- Do you love the idea of reaching a new destination each day or would you prefer to unpack and ride out each day from the same place?
- Consider the climate and time of year at your chosen destination–a safari or ranch holiday in summer might be sweltering or you might be bombarded by flies – going in the Spring might be an altogether more comfortable option.
- Do you want to improve your riding skills or try a new style of riding? Remember that often instructional holidays such as dressage might involve hours spent practicing in an arena –do you want that or do you want to be able to gallop free along a beach or climb high into the mountains?
- Have you asked enough questions? 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.
Most of all have a fantastic time wherever you chose to ride in 2017!
With thanks to Joanne Verth from www.equus-journeys.com