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365 Days in Horse Country – Planning a Riding Vacation

Blog by Michael Stuart Webb | December 12th, 2013

365 Days in Horse Country – Planning a Riding Vacation



Riding vacations are designed for everyone from beginners to advanced equestrians.  Some destinations provide a horse for you to ride, and others require that you bring your own.

Some riding vacations are hosted by resorts, and they offer other activities besides riding.  Others are serious horseback adventures that include hours of trail riding per day, or concentrated periods of intensive riding lessons.

To plan your riding vacation, start researching the different types of opportunities available:

Mixed bag: Vacations offering one-day trail rides use a resort or dude ranch as home base, and they provide guests the options of spending a day riding in the local countryside, taking riding lessons in an arena, or engaging in another nonhorse-related activity.  If you are an inexperienced rider looking for an introduction to horses as well as the option to participate in swimming, fishing, or another activity (or have family members who don’t want to ride), a resort or dude ranch-based vacation is a good choice.

Riding Adventure: If you are serious about taking an extended holiday on horseback and want to see wilderness areas or other remote places where access by car is difficult or impossible, sign up with an equine tour outfitter.  Outfitters specializing in horse vacations provide detailed itineraries for horseback treks, which usually include camping or overnight stays in facilities along the way.  Make sure you take a few months of riding lessons to get yourself in shape before you embark on one of these vacations.  Otherwise, you’ll spend much of your holiday feeling stiff and sore.

Learning vacation: Some horseback vacations are devoted solely to study.  For riders wanting to spend hours a day perfecting their skills, these vacations are a real treat.  The facilities are often luxurious and located in beautiful rural areas.  Scenic trail rides are often part of the curriculum.

Bring your horse: Some vacations are for horse owners who want to spend time with their horses.  These holidays are usually in rural areas with great trail riding.  Accommodations are often rustic, and guides are a part of the package.

Whether you want to roam new terrain, add riding to the eclectic array of activities, or spend time with your horse, you can find a riding vacation that’s right for you.  Riding vacations companies have a strong presence on the internet.  A quick search will yield many options.