Are you an avid horseback rider, or simply do it as a casual hobby? Have you ever thought of incorporating equestrian activity into your travels?
Whether you’re in the desert, the woods, or on the beach, riding a horse is a special way to explore your surroundings. Even though it’s a safe activity, there is some risk that comes with being at the mercy of an animal. However, if you treat your horse with respect, wear a helmet, and follow your guide’s instructions, you have little to fear.
Here are five destinations where you can saddle up on vacation.
There are so many places where you can ride a horse in Jamaica. Some tourists want the experience of riding on the sand, or even in the water.
Horseback riding is one of a variety of adventures offered by CHUKKA, which has locations across Jamaica. It has also expanded to Barbados, Grand Turk Island, Belize, and the Dominican Republic.
In the 1980s, founder Danny Melville hosted polo matches and arranged for the horses to cool off in Mammee Bay. He opened a polo and equestrian center, and from there, CHUKKA was born. The tour company’s signature equestrian adventure is the Horseback Ride N’Swim.
This state offers many opportunities to saddle up and go. You can ride on the beach, through state and national parks, and more.
Walking and hiking are one thing, but imagine viewing the beauty of Yosemite National Park on horseback.
According to Horsey Hooves, “The park has breathtaking views of mountains, rivers, forests, and wildlife. Guided rides and even trips are available at the park from spring to fall. There are trail riding stables around the park, including Yosemite Trails Horseback Adventures and Wawona Stable.”
Horseback riding is also allowed on Summerland Beach in Santa Barbara, Pismo State Beach in San Luis Obispo, and Salt Point State Park in Sonoma, among others.
From Andalucía (home of one of the oldest breeds of horse) to the Balearic Islands, you can learn how to ride or fine-tune your existing skills in Spain. In the town of Coín, close to Sierra de las Nieves National Park, is the Horse Riding Spain company.
Enjoy a guided ride through hills and past rivers. The company allows you to book accommodations on the grounds, which is a good option if you want to ride for several days. There’s a swimming pool and garden for you to enjoy, and don’t be surprised if the horses come to say hello.
Australia has vibrant cities and stunning natural features, like the Great Barrier Reef, the Blue Mountains, and MacKenzie Falls. Horseback riding is a pretty popular activity.
Rainbow Beach Horse Rides in Queensland arranges daytime and nighttime rides. Water conditions permitting, you can even ride into the surf. Moreover, you can request a personalized ride for a wedding proposal, birthday, or another special event.
On a related note, horses have played an integral role in Australia’s history.
The International Museum of the Horse notes, “The Australian Stock Horse evolved through selective breeding in response to the demands of the environment. The history of the breed began with the arrival of the First Fleet which, brought the first horses to Australia in 1788. These were of English Thoroughbred and Spanish stock.”
Equitors advises, “The Peruvian horses are much-loved, reliable, and fun to ride.” They also have a walk that distinguishes them from other breeds, resulting in a comfortable experience for the animal and the rider.
Equitor’s Sacred Valley of the Incas Ride lasts for ten nights. You’ll stay in comfortable accommodations along the way, and the adventure concludes in Machu Picchu, the lost city.
If that’s a bit too long for you, try a ride through the Peruvian Andes for three days and two nights. You’ll want to have your camera on hand (well, maybe in your pocket so you can hold the reins). The scenery and the people who call the Andes home will make your trip unforgettable.