BEFORE I BOOK Archives - Horse Riding Holidays and Safaris


How do I know what my riding ability is?

You may have noticed that all of our horse riding holidays mention the riding ability globetrotters need to have in order to participate. We divide this into four levels: beginner, intermediate, strong intermediate and advanced. Check out the definitions below and watch THIS video to find out more:

Beginner – reasonably confident riding a horse at a walk, a rising trot, and learning to canter.

Intermediate – confident and in control on a moving horse at all paces outside an arena, but not riding regularly. Comfortable and competent using aids {you need to know what aids are} to communicate with your horse.

Strong intermediate – an intermediate rider who is currently riding regularly outside of an arena and is comfortable in the saddle for at least six hours per day. Strong intermediate riders are comfortable and competent in all three gaits; able to post or sit to the trot; have an independent seat while cantering (don’t hold onto the saddle); and can pick up the correct canter lead. They can also navigate more complex terrain, including asking a horse to sidestep and jump over a small obstacle.

Advanced – a frequent rider who is very fit, comfortable in the saddle for at least six hours per day, and has an independent seat and soft hands. Advanced riders are confident on a forward-moving horse at all paces over rough and variable ground on open terrain. They can ride over small jumps and know the techniques used to collect a horse.

Hopefully you now feel confident in describing your ability and choosing a ride that’s a perfect fit!

If you have any doubts, or if there’s a ride you’re longing to experience but you’re not sure if your riding level is high enough, don’t hesitate to get in touch! We’re always happy to clarify things and answer all your questions, big or small.

I’m keen to return to the saddle after a long hiatus, what’s the best ride for me?

We have a number of rides that are perfect for globetrotters who have been out of the saddle for a while – designed to cater to your individual fitness level and riding ability while giving you a big confidence boost.

For more information, check out our blog post here.

You have so many riding holidays, how do I choose?

We understand. It’s quite daunting to know which ride you should book on when we have over 40 different riding holidays in our colourful Globetrotting portfolio.

But if it makes you feel better, there is no wrong decision. Hand on heart, all of the riding holidays that you’ll wanderlust after on our website are superior, the duck’s nuts, the cat’s pyjamas. Promise.

In saying that, if you’re still feeling lost, why not take our nifty pop-quiz here, which will take no more than 2 minutes, and will definitely help you find a horse riding holiday perfectly matched to your desires.

Otherwise, take a read of this article, How to Choose the Perfect Riding Holiday, for some more insight as to which type of riding vacation will suit you.

Do you have riding holidays for a family?


As a mother to three young globetrotters (Finn, Birdie and Poppy), nothing gives me more joy and pride than bundling up our wanderlust-filled family and taking them globetrotting. I believe horse riding is a life skill that needs to be learned, like swimming. As I’m sure you’ll agree, horses can teach us so much from a young age – persistence, patience, courage, responsibility – and give us the freedom to explore nature’s spoils. And trail riding, whether at home or on holiday, is the perfect foundation to set kids up for a lifelong love affair with horses.

Granted, not every family has access to trustworthy horses and fun trails at (or near) home. But you can enjoy this beautiful experience on plenty of our Globetrotting holidays. We have a selection of rides around the world that will suit the entire family, no matter your budget, timeframe, holiday preferences or riding ability (including non-riders!).

So whether it’s your entire family or a mother/daughter or father/son trip, click here to view a list of family friendly horse riding holidays, including age limits and suitability.

I’m over 60, will I be the oldest on the ride?

Age is no barrier in signing up for a horse riding adventure. The majority of our globetrotters range in age from 35 right through to 72, so you’ll be in good company no matter which ride you decide to join. Believe me: if you’re in good health and want to grasp life with both hands and go on a wildly exciting adventure that will blow your socks off, then one of our riding holidays is for you.

After sixty, gone are the days of riding young horses that prance on the spot, am I right? You want to relax and enjoy the experience, knowing that you’re riding safe, responsive horses, surrounded by like-minded people, and that your creature comforts on and off the horse are delivered. THIS I can guarantee, and that’s the true benefit of booking with Globetrotting: we offer impartial advice as an agent that specialises in horse riding holidays. We can steer you in the direction of a horse riding holiday that suits your riding level, interests and budget.

If you’re riding regularly, you’ll be MORE than fine to conquer a huge percentage of our rides. And to be honest, if you’re in (or past!) your sixties and lucky enough to still be a frequent rider, you should be taking advantage of this time in your life – leave the cruise ships and the New York shopping trips for when you need a zimmer frame! This is the golden time to put yourself first; babysitting your grandchildren can wait.

For those who haven’t been in the saddle for a few years and are concerned about whether your body will handle the riding hours each day, I recommend looking into our entry-level rides. And if you need to get yourself riding fit, this blog post has some very handy tips.

Meet some globetrotters aged 60+

First up, there’s Margaret Mooney, who has notched up more riding holidays with Globetrotting than we can even count, including the Maasai Mara ride in Kenya, the Arhangay Ride in Mongolia, The Sahara Ride in Morocco, The Patagonia Trail and more! This is what Margaret thought of her ride in Patagonia:
‘If riding a surefooted Criollo horse up and down precipitous mountain trails under a blazing blue sky is on your wish list, then The Patagonia Trail is for you! Experience luxurious glamping on the banks of a crystal clear river, feast on delicious asados and parillas washed down with plentiful Malbec. Ride through ancient forests to remote campsites that can only be reached on horseback to find a cold beer and delicious lunch waiting for you. Sit around the campfire in the evening, listening to the profound silence and watching the moon rise over the mountains. Swim in the icy Lake Traful after enjoying the amazing hospitality of Felipe’s home. The only thing I didn’t like about my time in Patagonia was that it came to an end all too soon! If there was just one word to sum up this experience it would be EXHILARATING!’
Not bad, huh? Margaret also did a Q&A for us a few years back, so if you’d like to learn more about her Globetrotting journey you can check it out here.

Not to be outdone is Kaye Bracken, who discovered Globetrotting late in life and has been absolutely unstoppable! At the time of writing she has five Globetrotting rides under her belt, is booked on The Margaret River Ride and the Twin Coast Adventure in New Zealand, and after that her sights are set on the Touch of the Highlands Ride in Iceland! When asked why she loves horse riding holidays so very much, she said the following:
‘Horses can give you such an insightful aspect of the country in which you are riding. Nothing beats being surrounded by nature on the back of a horse. Everything is crystal clear – the country, the smells, the colours, the season, whether it be summer, spring, autumn or winter, really feeling the sun, the wind, even the rain. Each ride has its own individual taste, which keeps me coming back and wanting more.’
Learn more about Kaye in her Meet a Globetrotter article.

But wait, there’s more! To read our full article, ‘You’re Never Too Old to Go Globetrotting‘, click here.

Can I go on my own?

Believe it or not, the majority of our globetrotters travel solo. I started my career as a single globetrotter and have made life-long friendships borne from hours upon hours of conversations in the saddle. Once you’ve completed a horse riding holiday as a single traveller, you’ll realise that it’s an absolute cinch and you’ll be signing up for the next ride (as a single) in a heartbeat.

Here is why:

You can pick the travel dates that fit within your holiday schedule rather than co-ordinating with a friend.
You can select the PERFECT ride based on your budget, time and riding ability rather than downgrading your expectations to fit with a friend who may not be as confident in the saddle as you. Or vice versa – you may be a beginner looking for an entry-level ride where you can really get your riding mojo on.

Typically, when travelling alone, you’re in a better position to meet more people and get out of your comfort zone than if you were travelling with a friend or partner. The wonderful part of a horse riding holiday is that more often than not, almost everyone on the ride is a single traveller. You’ll meet like-minded folk who all share a common love of horses and travelling. You’ll enjoy endless hours of swapping riding stories around the campfire that would bore a non-equestrian to tears!

From the get-go, we make solo travel easy. If you’re going to a foreign country, we ensure that one of our representatives is at the airport with your name on a sign (yep – you’ll feel famous) to collect you, take you to an ATM to get the local currency and drive you to your hotel.

Also, once you’ve booked your holiday, we invite you to join our private Globetrotters Facebook group, a space for all globetrotters who have ridden with us in the past or are about to embark on their first ride. It’s a great spot to ask questions and get first-hand advice. You’ll also be able to correspond with other globetrotters booked on the same ride, so you can make arrangements to meet up beforehand or share transfer costs if required.

We’ll always try our very best to secure you a private room or tent (depending on the style of accommodation) without having to pay a hefty single supplement charge. If you have to share due to ride numbers, we’ll make sure you’re teamed up with a rider of the same gender – who doesn’t snore!

So don’t put off your Globetrotting career simply because you’re flying solo – life is WAY too short and there are FAR too many riding holidays to conquer. To start you off, check out this list of Globetrotting rides that offer single accommodation with no single supplement!

And finally, here are some words of encouragement from other solo globetrotters:

“If you are toying about the idea of travelling on your own, maybe you’re a bit worried, don’t be…JUST DO IT! I had such an amazing time and met the most wonderful people who I anticipate riding with again. Thank you Globetrotting for all your help.” – Carolyn Francis, The Patagonia Trail, Argentina

“‘Just hurry up and do it!’ would be my quote to any fellow horse lovers who, like me, followed all of the Globetrotting posts for over a year but never actually booked one. When I finally did, I just wished I had done it sooner! I attended as a single rider, not knowing anyone when I arrived, but I now have a group of brilliant friends to book with for our next Globetrotting adventure!” – Anne Smerdon, Glenorchy Back Country Ride, New Zealand

“I travelled alone and was thrilled to find that many in our group were also solo travellers, so don’t be afraid to go it alone! We were all there for the same reason and have made some excellent friends from all over the country.” – Susen Wettenhall, Craig’s Hut & High Country Ride, Australia

“Absolutely enjoyed the trip. Everyone in our group had a blast (half of them were solo travellers like me). We became fast friends because of the passion for horses. This was the first time I went out to travel as a solo traveller and I really felt relaxed and pampered, the whole atmosphere felt like a big family.” – Terri Yang, Shell Wyoming, USA

“This was my third ride as a solo globetrotter and it won’t be my last. Such an incredibly grounding way to travel.” – Lucy Dyball, Glenorchy Back Country Ride, New Zealand

“As a solo female traveller, I felt safe and fully supported by Christian, Laura and the team throughout the journey.” – Jenny Horner, Craig’s Hut & High Country Ride, Australia

What is a good entry-level ride?

If you’re considering dipping your toe into the addictive world of horse riding holidays, you may want to consider one of our entry-level rides to see if horse riding while seeing new landscapes is your cup of tea. Pssst: we know it will be, but you might be wondering if you’re riding fitness is up to scratch, if the horse quality is as good as we say it is and if the people on the rides are as nice and like-minded as they sound.

Rather than jumping head first into a 10 day riding safari across the Namibian Desert where you’re in the saddle for 7 hours, you might want to start off with something a bit more mellow, maybe in your own country.

Our entry-level rides are perfect if you’ve been out of the saddle for a while, are a tad nervous, travelling solo, or if it’s your first horse riding holiday.

Click here to see all of our entry-level ride recommendations.

My partner is a beginner rider and I’m an intermediate rider – do you have rides that will suit us?

Okay, so you’ve been riding since you were a tot, you consider yourself an intermediate to advanced rider, and you’re desperate to sign up for a horse riding holiday. Except you have ONE problem: your partner either doesn’t ride or is a beginner rider who can barely post to the trot.

You have three options here. You can…
a) leave your partner at home, book your dream riding holiday by yourself and meet up with like-minded globetrotters on the ride
b) invite your horse loving friends to join you, rather than your partner
c) if your partner is keen to brush up on his/her riding skills, you can bring them along on a riding holiday that caters for everyone from beginners to advanced riders.

‘Is that possible?’ I hear you ask. ‘A riding holiday where I can still enjoy a canter and my partner won’t feel like they’re holding me back? A riding holiday where my partner can also improve their riding ability in a safe environment?’

I’m pleased to say, yes! We have quite a few riding holidays that fit the bill. To see our recommended rides, click here.

What credit card fees will I be charged when paying for my ride?

When booking on a ride, accepted payment is by credit card only. Depending on the ride you choose to book and your country of residence, there will be a 1.2% to 2.9% surcharge as outlined below.

(a)               for payments made in USD, CAD, EUR, GBP: 2.5% surcharge.

(b)               for payments made in AUD using a domestic card: 1.2% surcharge.

(c)               for payments made in AUD using an international card: 2.9% surcharge.

(d)               for payments made in NZD: 1.3% surcharge.

What happens if I need to cancel my saddle seat?

Should you or any member of your party need to cancel your riding holiday once it has been confirmed, the party leader must immediately advise us in writing {email}. Your notice of cancellation will only be effective when we receive it in writing at our offices. As we incur costs from the moment we confirm your booking and may be unable to resell your saddle seat, cancellation charges will be payable. If you cancel your saddle seat prior to your departure, you will forgo all monies paid to date upon receipt of the email.

Depending on the reason for cancellation, you may be able to reclaim these cancellation charges (less any applicable excess) under the terms of your travel insurance. We recommend ALL Globetrotters to take out travel insurance the moment they confirm their saddle seat with a completed booking form.

To view Globetrotting’s terms and conditions, click here.

To read how our T&Cs apply during the COVID era, click here.

What happens if I need to change my booking?

As per Globetrotting’s terms and conditions, you agree that you will, at least 60 days prior to your departure date, provide us with written notification (by email) of any changes to your booking. If you change your departure date, your new departure date must be booked with the same supplier that you originally booked with. The new departure date must fall within 12 months of the date on which we receive notification of your request to change your booking.

For example: you have booked a ride with a departure date of 31 December 2022. You notified us by email sent at 5.05pm on 30 October 2022 that you wish to change your departure date, which we received on 31 October 2022 at 9.01am. In this situation, you will be able to choose a new departure date, subject to the original supplier’s availability, that falls before 31 October 2023. If we are able to accommodate the change(s) that you have requested, we may charge an administration amendment fee of $200 AUD per person in the currency of your ride invoice. Additional supplier fees may also apply where a booking is changed. Where we incur any liability for a supplier cancellation fee for any booking which you change or cancel, you agree to indemnify us for the amount of that fee. Any change requested within 30 days of the original departure date may, at our election, be treated as a cancellation and the cancellation fees set out in clause 6 below will be payable.

To read Globetrotting’s terms and conditions, click here.

The riding holiday I want is already sold out. Can I put my name on a wait list?

Good news! We now offer waitlists for rides that are 100% sold out! Just visit the ride page and click the ‘Waitlist Me!’ button in the departure dates & rates section. You’ll then be notified via email if a space opens up on any departure date for that ride.

If the ride you’re keen on isn’t completely sold out but the particular date you’re after is, your best bet is to ensure you receive our emails and follow us on Facebook and Instagram – if a saddle seat becomes available, we’ll re-advertise it via these channels. And then it’s simply first in, best dressed.

To join our email database, click here.

How do I know that the horses are well looked after?

We wouldn’t dream of recommending a ride that doesn’t treat their horses well. We road test each and every ride or ride partner that we offer and seek feedback from globetrotters on a regular basis to ensure that horse welfare is of the highest standard. Horse culture differs between each country that we operate in, but we believe that all horses should be treated with respect and be well cared for. It’s paramount to us.

What is the group size?

The group size depends on the individual ride’s popularity and capacity. On every ride page, we specify the minimum and maximum group size for that particular holiday.

The maximum group size with any ride that we recommend is 16 guests plus guides {with a ratio of one guide per five guests}. To be clear, you won’t be riding with 16 guests each day; instead you’ll be split into smaller sub-groups so that everyone can ride at their preferred pace. You will meet the other groups for meals and off-the-horse activities.

That said, most rides have a lower maximum group size, with some offering as few as four saddle seats per departure.

How do I know the horses won’t be slow, old and dull?

We understand your concern. But rest assured we road test each and every ride and seek feedback from our globetrotters on a regular basis to ensure that the horses have a mind of their own and are forward-going and alert. We believe that the quality of the horse is paramount to a top-shelf riding holiday. Nine times out of ten, if you’re mounted on a horse that you enjoy riding then your riding holiday will be a success. When road testing rides, we make sure to ride a variety of the guest horses to ensure that they are well schooled, well mannered and a pleasure to ride. We can safely say that all of the rides we promote have top-class horses – our globetrotters often tell us they wish they could bring their steeds home!

Here are the characteristics and traits that we look for in a guest horse.

Get to know some of our Globetrotting guest horses here.

Can non-riders come on your riding holidays?

Yes, we offer a variety of riding destinations that cater to both riders and non-riders. On each individual ride page, we specify whether non-riders are welcome.

We’ve also made a list of the best Globetrotting holidays that cater for non-riders – check it out here.

If you’re still unsure, feel free to check in with us, and we’ll confirm whether the ride you’re interested in is suitable for non-riders.

I’m an experienced rider and don’t want to be held back by beginners.

Not a problem, we specialise in catering to experienced riders. On each ride page you’ll find the riding ability required to participate in the ride {beginner, intermediate, strong intermediate or advanced}. On rides that cater for all abilities, you will be divided into groups according to your riding level, so those who wish to can enjoy a faster paced ride when the terrain allows, while those with less experience can go at a pace they are more comfortable with.

You can filter our horse riding holiday portfolio by ‘level of experience’. You can also check your riding ability here. And if you’re still unsure which rides would be best suited to your ability and interests, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

That’s what we’re here for, to find the perfect ride for YOU.

What level of riding experience do I need?

This depends on the individual ride. We have rides suitable for beginner to advanced riders. On each ride page, we specify the riding level required, and you can also filter our list of horse riding holidays by riding ability. If you’re unsure of your riding level, click here to find out. And if you’re still unsure which rides are best suited to your ability and interests, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

There are also a variety of rides that cater to riders of all levels. We often have couples, friends or families where one guest is an experienced rider who would enjoy a fast paced canter and one is a beginner rider who is more comfortable at a trot. You can read about our rides that cater to all abilities in this article.

Can I bring my own horse?

The answer is no (unless you have the cash to fly your horse to Kenya!) Our portfolio of holidays involve riding the horses provided by the ride outfitter. A lot of riders prefer to ride their own horses as they know them inside out, but we can assure you that you’ll be truly satisfied with the horses on each and every Globetrotting holiday. They are truly top class – our globetrotters often tell us they wish they could bring their steeds home!

Before you arrive, we send the outfitter information about your riding ability, riding history and the type of horse that you prefer. This enables the outfitter to match you with the perfect horse according to your ability and preferences. In the unlikely event that you’re not happy with your pairing, there is always the option to swap horses if need be.

We personally road test each and every ride {and thus each herd of horses}. Here are the characteristics and traits that we look for in a guest horse.

Get to know some of our Globetrotting guest horses here.

Why would I choose a guided Globetrotting ride?

We’ll start by saying that all our rides are guided, but every now and then we run Globetrotting guided rides where alongside the local ride outfitters, we also guide the holiday. A lot of clients prefer the safety net of a Globetrotting guided trip to ensure they are well looked after from start to finish. It takes the guesswork out of travelling so that you can truly relax and enjoy every moment. Another bonus is that typically, the day before the ride starts, we will spend a day or two visiting the tourist attractions of the capital city as a group. With limited time to explore, we know the best restaurants, artisans and authentic cultural experiences in town. No to mention, if you have any problems on the ride, it’s our job to fix them.

The guided component also includes a digital album of your riding holiday, photographed and filmed by your guides and a Globetrotting safari shirt (very stylish!).

Each year we schedule guided group rides to Africa, South America, Mongolia and other far-flung destinations (usually countries that we feel solo globetrotters wouldn’t be likely to visit by themselves, where they would prefer the safety of a guide) led by either Kate & Steven Pilcher, founders of Globetrotting, or Globetrotting guides Laura Rae or Angus Johns, who have both ridden extensively around the world.

To learn more about our guided rides this year and next (think the USA, Kenya, Botswana, Tanzania, Madagascar and Italy!), click here.

To read more about the benefits of signing up for a guided Globetrotting ride, click here.

Why do I need Globetrotting if I can book directly through the outfitter or online?

It’s simple. We road test our rides extensively and continually to make sure that the standard is second to none. We make sure the horses are well looked after and that the riding outfitters are legitimate and professional. It gives our clients peace of mind knowing that we’ve experienced their ride ourselves. It’s our job to be unbiased and work for you, the client, to ensure you have the riding holiday of a lifetime. We provide 100% impartial advice.

If you choose to book direct, you don’t really know if what you see on your screen is what you are really going to get. With our first hand experience of each and every holiday that we offer, we can honestly assure you of the best memories you could ever hope to create.

Not to mention, you can pick up the phone and speak to us, and we’ll be able to find you the perfect ride to suit your riding ability, budget and holiday time. We offer friendly, personal service, right from your first inquiry. We can answer all your questions – even the questions you didn’t know you had!

We’re here to help horse lovers turn their dreams into reality. We can give you personal service right down to the very last details, from what type of camera you should take to a packing list compiled specifically for your ride. We cover all bases, from organising flights and transfers to hooking you up with the right travel insurance so you can breathe easy and focus on your time in the saddle.

Your trip matters to us. The details matter. And you matter, because when you go on one of our rides, you become part of the Globetrotting family. As soon as you book, you’ll gain exclusive access to our Facebook community where you can connect to a worldwide network of globetrotters.

If you book direct with providers, you won’t get that. And you won’t with anyone else.

We also guarantee that you won’t get your trip cheaper anywhere else. We are so confident of this claim that if you happen to stumble on a unicorn and find the same ride for less, we will refund you the difference. How is that for peace of mind?

And yes, we delight in the funny and quirky, and hearing our globetrotters’ tales from their trips is what fuels our fire.

That is a good thing, because let’s face it: from the back of a horse, life is never boring!