There are moments in life that call you to step towards the edge.
And do something that scares you.
Quite often, you’ll know when this type of journey is needed.
You may have gone through a separation.
Received a diagnosis.
Said goodbye to a loved one.
Marked a significant birthday.
Or been swallowed into the black hole of everyday meh.
Somewhere along the way, you’ve lost yourself.
This is when you need an Edge of the World ride.
A ride that pushes you mentally and physically.
A ride that will scare you and exhilarate you at every turn.
Not a safe choice but a BIG, BOLD choice.
Where you’ll quite possibly go to the edge of yourself.
Where you’ll stretch yourself to feel the totality of your life.
Where you’ll be forced to feel small in a big landscape.
Where you’ll take a step out of your comfort zone to get to know yourself again.
You’ll know when you know.
Globetrotter Lizzie Cullam, after beating cancer, knew without question.
She had to tölt the vast lunar landscapes of Iceland,
And then climb the dunes of Morocco on a desert horse.
This was her time.
And how glad she was.
Kate Gordon knew.
Mother of three.
2am in the morning she emailed me, with a deeper knowing.
She booked The Patagonia Trail in Argentina.
Rode the Pass of Tears.
And went to the edge of herself.
You can watch the replay of my live chat with Kate Gordon about Edge of the World rides above – and I highly recommend it.
But to cut to the chase, these are my top eight life-changing, soul-searching, bolder-than-bold horse riding holidays.
The Patagonia Trail, Argentina
If you want to ride on the top of the world, come to Patagonia. You’ll journey through one of the most beautiful, rugged and jaw-dropping landscapes in the world, along trails that few ever have the privilege to tread. Crossing the Pass of Tears on a surefooted Criollo is a rite of passage if ever there was one (don’t forget your hip flask!) and you’ll be in the safe hands of one of our best-known and best-loved guides, Jakob von Plessen.
Wilderness Expedition, Iceland
Where else can you ride alongside a herd of 70 free-running horses?! Over seven days, you’ll traverse the diverse, otherworldly landscapes of the Land of Ice and Fire – think bubbling geysers, sweeping valleys, alpine plateaus, hot springs, volcanoes and lava fields. The Icelandic horse‘s unique gait is as smooth as a travelator, and your guides bring over 40 years’ experience and centuries of horse culture to the table.
The Sahara Ride, Morocco
Every aspect of this ride sings to us as globetrotters: the desert-bred Barb mares, the ancient Berber culture, the ethereal lure of the Sahara, the nights spent beneath a shimmering blanket of stars. The Sahara gives the gift of space: space to reconnect with yourself, space to stretch out into free-flying canters, space to breathe. After a week spent riding through this mystical landscape, you’ll be transformed.
Namib Desert Safari, Namibia
Does the prospect of an epic endurance ride across a vast, windswept desert set your heart on fire? Because that’s exactly what you’ll get on this ten day, 400 kilometre ride across the vast Namib Desert. Not for the faint of heart, this holiday requires you to be both physically and mentally fit – the days are long, dusty and hot. BUT if you’re up for the challenge, you will be rewarded a hundredfold.
Big Horn Cattle Drive, USA
Run away with the cowboys for a dirt-under-your-fingernails, wind-in-your-hair adventure. Every year from June through to September, the Kerns family move their cattle across Big Horn National Park. It’s an authentic, 1880s-style cattle drive where you’ll ride side by side with wranglers who were born in the saddle. Think all-weather riding, nifty Quarter Horses, campfires, teepees and real-deal cattle work.
Okavango Delta, Botswana
For a seriously wild adventure, you can’t go past a horse riding safari in the Okavango Delta. Arguably Africa’s last unspoilt wilderness, it’s a never-ending meadow filled with flood plains, marshes, forests, islands and more game than you can poke a stick at. This trip will truly knock your socks off in terms of both the sheer quality of the experience and the breathtaking, adrenaline-filled wildlife encounters.
Maasai Mara, Kenya
Kenya’s Maasai Mara, an immense national reserve in some of Africa’s best big game country, is another must if you’re looking for the BEST of African safari experiences. Crossing the Mara River is undoubtedly a highlight – but you’ll be hard pressed to isolate one mind-boggling, jaw-dropping moment from the next, be it looking into the eyes of a bull elephant or racing a zebra herd across the plains.
Khovsgol & Arhangay Rides, Mongolia
Mongolia is the spiritual and ancestral home of the horse, and riding with the nomads is an indescribably magical experience. The untamed steppe is a place of contrasts, where storms blow in and away like feathers, unfathomably vast lakes give way to forested mountain passes, and locals smile in welcome from huts smack bang in the middle of nowhere. The experience will be etched in your heart forever.
Which of these rides is calling you, globetrotters? Which one gives you goosebumps?
Listen to your heart – I promise you won’t regret it.