How to Choose the Perfect Riding Holiday

mongolia

I’ve put together a list of considerations for first time globetrotters who are looking at dipping their toe into the addictive world of horse travel. In this day and age time is precious and holidays are like gold dust. Especially if you only have a couple of weeks a year away from your desk you want to choose the very best holiday to spend your time and money on. It’s a no brainer for me, if you love to ride, you’ll love to explore different regions, cultures, faraway lands from the back of a horse.

We have a portfolio of over forty rides and this list continues to grow. Our riding holidays are road tested first hand to make sure they tick every box in terms of quality. I can understand when viewing our rides, you may get overwhelmed at the number of choices and what best ride would suit your ability, budget and expectations so I’ve put together this post to help make your decision.

  1. Riding experience

First things first, your riding ability will dictate what rides are available to you and those that aren’t. If you’re an intermediate to experienced rider, (confident at all gaits – walk, trot, canter – have ridden as a child or for a number of years and ridden a range of different horses in your riding career) all of our rides are available to you, from Kenya through to Tasmania, Chile through to Mongolia – to name a few.

If you’re a beginner rider, (you’ve got limited riding experience, aren’t confident in a trot or a canter), then the rides I would consider are our Australian-based rides, Mongolia, Argentina and Wyoming, USA.

**For experienced riders reading this, you might be thinking I would prefer not to have beginner riders on the same ride as me, as I would like to trot and canter. Rest assured, our guides will split the ride, if more experienced riders are wishing to canter or trot.

masai-mara.guided

  1. Budget

You need to ask yourself how much you want to spend on the ride itself, and remember our rides don’t include travel insurance, flights or tips at the end of the ride. BUT what they do include is absolutely everything while on your horse riding holiday from unlimited riding, food, accommodation and a bloody good time.

Kenya and Botswana are our premium, blue chip riding destinations and deservedly so. They offer the X-factor that no other destination offers – up, close and personal encounters with wild game – while being enveloped in white glove safari luxury. Mongolia on the other spectrum is extremely cost effective, and if you have a good sense of adventure, happy to erect your own tent, eat hearty, camp food and appreciate that itineraries don’t always go according to plan, this is a winner as well. Our Aussie and New Zealand rides fall around or under the $3000 mark for six days, all-inclusive, which is very good value for the level of riding, accommodation and horses. Canada and South America is also a very cost effective ride for most of our globetrotters.

watson's mountain. for book 17

  1. How much time do you have?

If you’ve only got a week including travelling time and you’re based in Australia, our native rides are great for an equine mini-break. If you’ve got more than 14 days up your sleeve – consider an overseas riding destination. Riding holidays in Africa, South America, Japan, Canada, Mongolia, your spending a bit of cash on flights, so make sure you block out two weeks plus to squeeze in a 7 or 10 day ride and travelling time either side. Try and give yourself one or two nights in the country before the ride begins so you have time to re-cover from jet lag before starting your riding holiday.

namibia-desert-ride-waterhole

  1. What time of year are you looking at travelling?

This is a big factor. Some of our rides are only available six months of the year and depends if you’re choosing to travel in the northern or southern hemisphere.

Here is a breakdown of the rides available throughout the year:

All year round rides: Sunshine Coast, Botswana, Namibia, Kenya, Sumba, Goomboorian Campdraft Ride

October through to April: Margaret RiverTasmania, Craig’s Hut & High Country ride, Japan, South Island New Zealand (Glenorchy Back Country) and  South America (Argentina, Brazil & Chile)

June through to October: Mongolia, Canada, USA (Wyoming and Montana), Barossa Valley

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  1. Do you want to stay in a lodge and ride out each day or would you like to ride from A to B, staying in different locations every night?

There is a big difference between the two. So our lodge based rides gives you the comfort of a hot shower every night, a comfortable bed, no need to pack and un-pack every second day and you stay put while exploring your local surrounds. All of our lodge rides give you plenty of hours in the saddle, where most days you’ll take a saddle-bag lunch and spend 6 to 7 hours in the saddle so the scenery is diverse.

These rides are Tassie Tiger Trail,Margaret River RideBritish Columbia, Canada (they also offer pack-horse trips), Japan, Sierra Chicas (they also offer pack-horse trips), Argentina, Northern Patagonia, Estancia Adelaida, Chile.

Our A to B rides are when you’re moving camp every second day to a new camping spot or hotel/estancia. What I love about our moving rides is you feel like you’re riding with a purpose and I love getting to a new camp site. Quintessential moving rides are your Maasai Mara, Mongolia, Namibia desert ride, Torres del Paine, Chile, Okavango Delta, Botswana.

namibia-desert-ride

  1. Rustic versus Glamping?

If you’re the kind of rider that loves a gin & tonic handed to you while your horse is whisked away to be unsaddled you’ll prefer our ‘glamping’ style rides. These riding holidays you do not lift a finger from start to finish. I’m not kidding – your boots will be polished for you, washing done, three course meals, wine – all the bells and whistles.

Or if you’re comfortable with a swag underneath a canopy of stars, or wrangling with tent assembling at the end of ride, than you won’t mind our rustic rides.

Whatever tickles your fancy, we have both.

Personally, I like both!

I think I’ve covered everything to consider when choosing the perfect ride for your needs. Did I miss anything?

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