Category: Horse Riding

The best Horse Riding Weekend Getaway in Europe

Bundoran, Ireland
The wild Atlantic Way is the most popular horse riding trail in Ireland, stretching the entire length of the country’s west coast. Luckily, it is consists of many short and picturesque trails that you can take on if you’re short on time.

Donegal is the wildest and the most remote county in Ireland with hundreds of kilometers of beach and woodland tracks for both beginners and pros. There are heather-covered moorland, bogs, mountains, hills as well as rugged coastal cliffs.

Reykjavik, Iceland
Birth place of the sturdy and reliable Icelandic horse, featuring fjords and glaciers, lagoons and volcanoes, the Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun, Iceland is a must-visit of any horse lover’s bucket list.

Bundoran is an excellent base camp to discover the many Atlantic Way beach trails along Donegal’s coast. On a horse riding weekend in Bundoran, you’ll get the opportunity to canter along Trawalud Strand, Tullan Strand, and Rossnowlagh Strand, as well as combine beach riding with gentle trots in the surrounding countryside.

If you don’t have enough time to visit a larger chunk of the country on horseback, there are numerous short tours that last from a couple of hours to a couple of days. For weekend horse riding in Iceland, the most popular trips begin at the outskirts of Reykjavik going across the lava fields, and are suitable for both beginners and pros. Some tours even stop at the famous Blue Lagoon for travellers to relax and rejuvenate in the mineral-rich water.

If you’re expecting to spend two or three days in the saddle, then you can reach certain sections of the Golden Circle and visit the most famous attractions such as the Geysir Geothermal Area, and Gullfoss Waterfall.

Rila National Park, Bulgaria
If you’re searching for an affordable horse riding destination with pristine nature and colorful landscapes, Bulgaria is the one.

Get on the saddle and explore the unique terrain of the Rila Mountains, the highest in Bulgaria and the Balkan Peninsula. Riding trails will take you across serene pastoral scenery, pristine nature, virtually untouched forests, beautiful shores of glacial lakes getting the freshest air and the best views.

Horse Riding Weekend Getaway in Europe

Wales, UK

The home of pony trekking, Wales is a luxury trail riding destination in the UK. There are three national parks – Snowdonia, Pembrokeshire Coast, and Brecon Beacons – there’s no other way to discover its raw beauty, intricate sandstone tops, and Celtic ruins than by horse riding.

In the northeast of Wales, you can join a trail riding weekend to the remote areas of Berwyn Mountains, parts of which are close to the Snowdonia National Park. These trails are suggested for intermediate and advanced riders.

Brecon Beacons National Park provides some of the most amazing horse riding trails in the world. Hay-on-Wye is an excellent camp for discovering the 600 miles (960km) of tracks and bridleways for all levels of riders. By far the most spectacular trails are those that cross the remote Black Mountains.

Remember the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, which runs for 186 miles (300km) along Britain’s coastline, covering many type of maritime landscape. The entire trail makes up 35,000 (10,670m) feet of ascent and descent. But you can choose to take on certain sections of the route, some easier than others.

Alentejo and Ribatejo, Portugal

Birthplace of the famous Lusitano horse, a challenging terrain, and sunny climate, Portugal is an amazing destination for horse lovers. And what better way to discover the charming countryside in the Centro Region than on a horseback?

If you’re expecting a city break beyond the ordinary, there are many equestrian facilities available near Lisbon. Just north of the capital, there are trails that are suitable for both beginners and intermediate riders such as enjoy fantastic beach rides on the Setúbal Peninsula.

In Ribatejo, one of Portugal six historical provinces, there are numerous coastal trails, passing by sand dunes and lagoons, to explore the power of the Atlantic right beneath your feet or visit the traditional Portuguese villages and taste the fantastic cuisine and wines of the region.

Have a truly authentic experience in Alentejo as you ride through the charming forests of Grândola Mountain, with their famous cork, and pine trees. This is one of the last untouched areas in Portugal, with trails suitable for all levels.

Where to Go on a Horse Riding Weekend Getaway in Europe (Part 4)

Lombardy & Tuscany, Italy

It isn’t hard to see why Italy, the nation of romance, history, and culture is such a famous horse riding destination. The country features every kind of riding terrain one could possibly wish for, from beaches and rustic path through countryside to lakeshores as well as alpine trekking.

If you’re looking forward to spending a holiday or a horse riding weekend in Italy, you can’t miss Lombardy which is home to the Stelvio National Park, the biggest protected territory in the Alps, as well as another 25 regional parks. All of which makes the area a paradise for nature lovers.

Most popular horse riding tours in Lombardy are designed around the gorgeous lakes, hills and valleys at the foothills of the beautiful Alps.

Parco dell’Alto Garda Bresciano also known as Upper Garda Park has plenty of short tracks of all difficulty levels, featuring stunning views of the lake and the mighty peaks of the Bergamasque Alps. Ride the horse through beautiful valleys, vineyards, and picturesque villages to witness a breathtaking alpine backdrop will make a lifetime memory.
The province of Como offers numerous trekking itineraries. In which, riders can ride along the lakes shores for a few hours or an entire day. The picturesque Valle d’Intelvi bridges Lakes Como and Lugano offers trails on both sides of the valley, appropriate for all levels.

However, please be aware that according to Italian law, children under 14 are not allowed to ride horse on their own on public roads.

Hilly Tuscany has trails for all levels and tastes. The many stables in the region has everything one wishes to explore in the region of unspoiled natural beauty on horseback, either for a few hours or a couple of days.

Hop in the horse and take a visit to castles, vineyards, valleys and a countryside while exploring the region’s rich history, delicious food, and finest wines. You can mix these with visits to the great art towns of Florence and Siena, or the popular vineyards in the Chianti region.

Top Affordable Horse Riding Holidays (Part 2)

6 Days trip of Horse Riding in Essaouira, Diabat
Having dreamt of a Moroccan adventure? Why not turn that dream a reality by joining a horse riding holiday in Morocco?

Ranch de Diabat offers a holiday which allow you to explore the various landscape of Essaouira – Including the vast sand dunes, the deserted beaches and the peaceful fishing villages.
On this trip, walking along trails and across rivers for a minimum of 5 hours a day. In the evenings, you will enjoy traditional Moroccan meals at the bivouac as you feel the warmth of the campfire before laying on the hay in a Berber tent.
On the final day, you will be able to experience the coastline and the city of Souiri where you will have spare time to shopping or having a traditional massage before finishing the night with a lovely dinner at a beautiful hotel in Essouira.

Price: Starts at US$666 per person for All year round
Skill level: Appropriate for Intermediate & Advanced riders

4 Days Midweek Horse Riding Getaway in Queensland
Thinking about going on a quick horse riding trip during the middle of the week? Worry not. If you currently in Australia, this is the perfect excursion for you!

Situated in Lockyer Valley, Queensland, the friendly people at Fordsdale Horseback Adventures will welcome you with open arms like no other.
Lucky for you, situated just a short trip from Brisbane, Queensland is one of Australia’s top horse riding places which means that there are plenty of amazing trails for you to explore during your trip!
There are two options to choose from – The first is appropriate for beginners which includes riding lessons in the farm’s round yard in the morning and afternoons, before short trail rides. The other option is perfect for intermediate and advanced riders where they can enjoy longer trail rides with or without riding lessons

Top Affordable Horse Riding Holidays (Part 1)

This is the resource for planning your horse riding holidays with recommendation of the top destinations to take your riding skills to new heights. 

While horse riding is often considered as an activity that comes with an expensive price tag, this is not necessarily true. 

Horse riding can actually be expensive but there are lots of options available across the world that allow you to have an unforgettable and high quality horse riding trip without breaking your budget.

There are many surprising budget horse riding vacations for you and your loved ones

Horse Riding in Paradise Valley and South Desert of the High Atlas Mountains, Morocco can cost around US$150/day for group of 15 people including accommodation and meals.

Horse Riding Trip in Andalusia

If you’re a horse riding lover, you probably already dream about Andalusia which is one of the world’s top horse riding place where you will be able to explore the best of the Spain region has to offer within a weeklong horse riding excursion.

Team of experienced riders and tour guides of Horse Riding Andalusia, will offer you the opportunity to ride and bond with different types of horse breeds whichever horse you like, they are sure footed, cared and well-trained.

Each day, you will be offered at least 4 hours of riding – where you can enjoy breathtaking trails in the nature reserve situated just a mile away from any accommodation you decide to stay at. During your ride, you will encounter various local wildlife including mountain goats, deers, giraffes, eagles, and wild boars. It’s a vacation ideal for wildlife and natural fan. 

Soak in the Spanish hot sun and fresh air while experience Andalusian countryside life where things are simple, rustic but always enchanting. This group and family friendly horse riding excursion also includes a guided tour from the city of Granada. It will surely leave you wanting so much more!

Price: Starts at $69/Day for all level of skill

Availability: All year round

Best Horse Riding Destinations in Italy (Part 3)

Sardinia, the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, fills with a rich horse riding culture dating back as far as the 13th century, the last places in Europe where wild horses still roam free. Until today, there are numerous festivals, exhibitions and tournaments that honor horses and showcase the impressive skills of the local riders. 

Featuring approximately 1850 kilometers of beautiful coastline which make Sardinia an amazing holiday spot for riders who enjoy watersports and chill beach vacations. The clear-water beaches on the south part of the island are perfect for romantic sunset getaway, while the green pastures located over cliffs and crags in the north and east part are ideal venues for gallops.

The trails that are more appropriate for beginner riders exploring the south-west coast through pinewoods close to the sea by golden dunes. On the way, riders might discover small yet beautiful fishing villages and a pat of pink flamingos.

Sardinia cost line

More experienced riders can take spectacular trails ride to the center of the island where the scenery changes from valleys covered with golden wheat growing fields to forests of pine and rugged mountain with canyons, caves and ancient ruins.

Due to the deep-rooted traditions that horse breeding still is an important part of the island’s culture, with the create of diverse horse riding holidays. In this part of the Mediterranean Sea, riders might find horse riding holiday to suit every preference, from pony rides for children and beginner to beach or countryside rides and demanding tours.

How to get there:

The biggest and most modern airport on the island is in Cagliari (CAG), which is also the best option to fly if you plan your holidays are in the southern part of the island. In the north of Sardinia, the best airports for arrival are Olbia (OLB) and well-known budget airlines is Alghero Airport (AHO). The island is also well accessed by domestic flights to all major Italian cities such as Naples, Bologna, Rome, Milan, Turin or Venice. Although Sardinia has well developed public infrastructure and transportation, the most suitable option to reach remote locations is by car.

Basic riding techniques you should know

In the opinion of the teachers, the basic riding technique in general is quite difficult. Because they don’t just depend on the will of the rider. It also depends in part on how to capture tips to control the horse.

Therefore, to be able to ride a horse for the first time, you should keep in mind the following main points:

Climb on horseback

When you climb on a horse, you need to stand beside the horse and hold the reins in your left hand. You then put your left foot on the pedals of the saddle and then turn the right foot to climb. While climbing, be sure to lower yourself down to the saddle to avoid startling.

Keep your feet balanced

Often, many first-time horsemen use the method of riding their feet on the side of the horse. However, this is completely wrong because they will affect the horse control. Therefore, it is best to gently touch the side of the horse with the foot. At the same time, your knees should be bent and the heel lower than your toes.

Balance sitting technique

The next horse riding technique that you need to grasp no matter what condition is sitting on balance. If you do not know how to sit properly, it is difficult to contact the horse. Moreover, the horse will find it more difficult to carry you on your back.

Therefore, to be effective, sit upright and create a 90-degree angle and heel on the pedal. If you find it difficult to recognize, you can imagine having a straight line behind you. This will help your body distribute your weight more evenly.

Wear protective gear before riding

The equestrian technique is also one of the interesting issues about how to ride without falling and how to choose a pure horse when riding without harming you. So how to make love cards to see if it is good for you or not to find a suitable mate for you is not a difficult problem. Simplicity requires you to persevere.

Besides, when riding horses, you should limit your spine to be bent. At the same time always give yourself a relaxed, happy and stress-free mood. Because when you sit improperly and your mood is tense, the horse is also nervous. From there they will not control the speed and can run faster at the beginning.

Best Horse Riding Destinations in Italy (Part 2)

Often known as Italy’s green heart, Umbria features a fresh green landscape which is popular as even more authentic than its neighboring Tuscany. You’ll be breathless by this region’s stunning panoramic hilltop views despite being small in terms of area. There are countless number of attractive relaxing horse riding trails that allow riders even beginners to explore the whole region in a short period of time.

Umbria boasts plenty of trails passing through soft rolling hills, olive groves, terraced vineyards and quiet wood paths where you will explore with the local expert guides and a well-trained horse best suited for your skill level.

As a rural region, in Umbria horses is companion to locals, the means of transportation; hence, you can rest assured knowing that the horses you’ll ride are well-groomed and cared for.
More experience riders will absolutely enjoy discovering Umbria’s hilltop castles and monasteries, beautiful valleys covered with wild poppies and small villages located around the tranquil Trasimeno lake. Within close distance easy to reach on horseback, you’ll be able to visit the cities of Spoleto, Assisi, Perugia and Orvieto.
Some extra activities must-include are truffle hunting, visiting the vineyards and tasting the exquisite local wines and hand-made cheese. 

Tip: Arrange time to visit magnificent Cascata Delle Marmor, the world’s highest man-made waterfall built by ancient Romans, managed by the power plant and being turned on and off a few times a day to demonstrate to visitors about its spectacular full flow.

How to get there:
The best airports to land on are Rome (FCO and CIA) and Perugia (PEG) which are well reach by train to Spoleto, where there are various riding centers offer pick-up and drop-off services. Due to the close distances to Rome, visitors might want to combine horse riding adventure with sightseeing in The Eternal City before or after the trip.