Are you one of those riders who is constantly on the lookout for logs, fences and hedges to pop over? Then keep reading, because we’ve got a handful of horse riding holidays that offer superb jumping with horses that are happy to fly. From holidays with a focus on cross country to point-to-point rides with spontaneous jumping opportunities scattered throughout, it’s a cracker of a lineup.
Castle & Estate Ride, Ireland
Pictured above is one of the 200-plus cross country jumps dotted across the magnificent 1000-acre grounds of the Irish estate where this ride is based. Needless to say, the scenery is drop dead gorgeous! The cross country trails wind through fields, forests, lakes and streams, and the itinerary can be customised to suit your riding desires. There’s an indoor arena where you can hone your technique with expert instructors and if the included three hours of riding per day aren’t enough for you, there’s always the option to book more riding hours (at an additional cost). On top of this, you’ll have a big herd of schoolmaster sport horses to choose from and you’ll be housed like royalty in The Lodge – said to be some of Ireland’s finest accommodations. Non-riding guests are also welcome, with a plethora of activities available to ensure their holiday is as fun as yours!
Cross Country in Tipperary, Ireland
The perfect complement to the Castle & Estate Ride, this itinerary is situated in the beating heart of Irish horse culture – County Tipperary. We designed it to appease the die-hard jumpaholics among our globetrotters! You’ll spend four full days in cross country heaven, with Irish Sport Horses, Irish Draughts and Thoroughbreds at your disposal, not to mention two top-level coaches with decades of experience. Even if you’re relatively new to jumping, as long as you’re an intermediate rider or above (if you’re not sure of your level, click here) you will THRIVE on the learning environment at this equestrian centre. Off the horse, you’ve got a full day of sightseeing and cultural experiences, culminating in a night at ‘Ireland’s Best Pub’! Your accommodation is nothing less than a 300 year old Georgian mansion, where your hosts will have you loosening your belt buckles in no time.
The Thirlestane Castle Ride, Scotland
Continuing the theme of luxurious estates, fine horses and rich cultural experiences, we proudly present The Thirlestane Castle Ride in the heartachingly beautiful Scottish Borders. Another exclusive Globetrotting holiday, we created this one with the intention of providing an epic Scottish experience that’s open to riders of all abilities – as well as non-riders. It’s named after the 16th century castle that you’ll call home for the week, where the five-star South Wing apartments, sumptuous catering and fascinating history will knock your socks off. The scenery here is mindblowing, and your guide Susy will ensure you have plenty of chances to point your horse at hunt jumps. The November departure coincides with the Lauderdale Hunt, an absolutely thrilling experience for cross country lovers! Fear not, though – if you don’t like the look of a jump, you can always ride around it.
Trans Wales Trail, Wales
It’s a tough competition for best scenery on this list, and Wales is a serious contender. We fell in love with this point-to-point ride because it starts on the eastern border of Wales and twists and turns its way to the west coast – it’s literally a cross-country ride! Those of you who have a need for speed, look no further. The Trans Wales Trail is for advanced riders only, as you’ll traverse several mountain ranges and some challenging terrain, with plenty of canters and gallops. On the wide open moors, you’ll let your fine, fit Welsh Cob have its head as you fly over obstacles and ditches. This could quite possibly be the most thrilling, fun-filled adventure you ever have on a horse! En route, you’ll stay in comfortable lodgings including a 17th century Welsh longhouse, a boutique country hotel and a local pub. Prepare to be totally immersed in the colourful, quirky charm of Wales.
Maasai Mara, Kenya
Jumping certainly isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you picture the expansive wilderness of Kenya’s Maasai Mara, but the talented horses on this safari love nothing more than a spot of cross country! In fact, champion British equestrian Lucinda Green says this particular ride is one of the best cross country clinics in the world. You’ll never forget leaping over fallen trees pushed over by elephants and thorny ‘boma’ fences built by the Maasai as you ride amidst a Garden of Eden of animalia. The team of guides here are incredibly skilled at maintaining everyone’s safety while getting you up close and personal with Africa’s wild game. Picture yourself swimming across the Mara River while hippos blow bubbles upstream, cantering alongside herds of wildebeest and eyeballing larger-than-life elephants. Seriously, this ride HAS to be on your bucket list.
Do any of these holidays tickle your fancy, globetrotters? Would you be game to try jumping on your next horse riding vacation? Let us know in the comments!