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Riding Holidays in the UK, Europe, USA

In this post, we’re going to suggest some of the best locations for riding holidays in the UK, on the continent of Europe, and in the USA.

The only real difficulty about riding abroad, apart from the cost, is deciding where to go, so we hope this guide will give you the inspiration to try one of these locations.

We published another post entitled, “Horse Riding Holidays – 10 of the best destinations in the USA”, so be sure to check that one out if you want more information about riding in America.

The opportunity to bond, to build mutual trust, and be at one with your horse whilst staying at memorable and specialised holiday accommodation is an exhilarating experience.

Best Locations for Riding Holidays in the UK

Riding holidays in the UK give you the opportunity to experience Britain at its best. They spoil you for choice and present you with glorious opportunities to be one with, not only your horse, but also with nature. Test your horsemanship at these top UK riding holiday locations for a truly memorable experience.

TM International School of Horsemanship

Located in the heart of England along the edge of beautiful Bodmin Moor, TM International School of Horsemanship offers a spectacular riding country with magical, unspoilt landscapes to explore on horseback. Take at least two-hour afternoon rides past burial cairns, quoits, Bronze Age stone circles and other prehistoric settlements.

In the evening, take relaxed rides and enjoy spectacular views on Bodmin Moor, stretching across Cornwall, Devon and Dartmoor to the sea. As the sun sets, enjoy peaceful rides on the beach before retiring to comfortable farmhouse accommodation, that offer home prepared meals and glasses of wine at the end of each day.

Free Rein Riding Holidays

Free Rein welcome riders, old and new, to explore the wilds of Wales on their fit and friendly horses and ponies,. They offer guided and unguided horse riding holidays, and trail riding breaks of various lengths. All among the beautiful Welsh hills, valleys, and coasts.

They also teach novice riders and complete beginners; leading you on gently at your own pace. You can join a group or hire your own guide. After a full day of riding along beaches, forest, or mountain trails with spectacular views, sit back and relax with a drink and a meal in a cosy Welsh pub.

Kimmerston Riding Centre

Kimmerston Riding Centre is one of the best horse riding centres North East of England. Located in the beautiful Northumberland, near the enigmatic Holy Island and rolling Cheviot Hills, Kimmerston offers a truly remarkable area for a holidaying week, or even just an afternoon of riding.

Enjoy hill rides and trail hunting around the breathtaking environs of Cheviot Hills accompanied by experienced instructors while on instructional riding and relaxed beach rides along Holy Island’s beautiful, expansive beach. Retire from a long day in the saddle to one of two self-contained holiday cottages for groups of up to six at Kimmerston. Alternatively, find accommodation at one of the excellent bed and breakfast hotels nearby.

The UK has no shortage of ideal locations for chilled and relaxed holiday riding. Pick your location and enjoy all the activities you and your horse can share at one of UK’s prime locations.

Best Locations For Riding Holidays in the Europe

There are hundreds of places to go on riding holidays in Europe, the Mediterranean, Russia, and the Near East. You are sure to find at least a few destinations that appeal to you.. The rich assortment of riding holidays in these locations will leave you spoilt for choice.

Spain is one of the favourite riding destinations for many horse riders. Spain attracts a plethora of riders due to its breathtaking scenery and rich culture. Horses in Spain have played a significant role in shaping the history of the country. While at Spain, ride with the elegant Andalusian horse, exploring the white sands of the beach, while enjoying the sea breeze.

The Catalonian trails will leave you asking for more. If fame entices you, ride in Mallorca, a destination renowned for its celebrity visitors. Madrid will provide you with a classic view of Spain that will forever be etched in your memories. The pristine trails in Sierra Nevada will provide you with a rare chance of riding in a location ignored by most tourists. A horse ride in Spain will not be complete without riding along the pilgrimage trail at Santiago de Compostella.

A riding holiday in Cyprus is another that will inspire you. With the cooling olive groves and picturesque mountain scenery, you have the opportunity to enjoy either a sunny holiday or a winter riding holiday.

A riding holiday in Iceland will do the trick, if riding in snowy landscapes appeals to you. This is a special destination, if you enjoy riding in rough terrain.

Italy is a destination that draws lovers of food, wine, art, and culture. There is ample spectacular scenery for the horse rider. With everything from coast to mountain, from forests to Alpine trails, there is plenty to explore. Ride in the hills of Tuscany to experience the timeless beauty. While in this scenic landscape, you will have the chance to visit the historic towns and cities of Florence, Pisa, San Gimignano, Lucca, and Volterra. The val D’Orcia Trail will also charm you with its beauty.

Another destination that promises to capture your wildest spirits is among the islands of Greece. Known as the Land of The Gods, it welcomes visitors with its mountainous landscape and the deep blue sea. Reconnect with nature as you ride your horse while appreciating a land blessed with beauty. Some of the destinations renowned among horse riders include the trails in Crete, Kephalonia, and Santorini.

The diversity of France in terms of culture, climate and scenery, will thrill any riding enthusiast. Ride along the coastline at Bordeaux, and explore castles along the Loire. France has a variety of destinations that will fascinate you.

Riding Holidays in the UKBest Locations for Riding Holidays in the USA

People who are interested in riding holidays in the USA have a wide range of options to choose from. Which is no surprise given the size of the country, and the range of environments. This vast country offers unique and exciting activities that will meet and exceed your expectations.

Most destinations are suitable for families with children. The vacations are usually very enjoyable and quite educational. Trail guides are knowledgeable and friendly. Riders find that they remain cheerful even after long hours in the saddle. The horses are trained well and are safe to ride, even for novices.

Good food is provided at camps and the sites are clean and well maintained. There’s a range of accommodation types for every budget. You could participate in an authentic cattle drive.

Experienced cowboys usually lead the group of riders. This was a very important and profitable business venture in the days of the Wild West.

Arizona and Wyoming are popular locations for this type of riding holiday. These states boast some of the wildest and most beautiful land in the West. Arizona is rimmed on the north by the magnificent Grand Canyon. Riders will get to live like cowboys as they drive cattle across challenging canyons and open flatlands.

Two famous National Parks are located in Wyoming. These are the Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Teton National Park. The State has diverse and beautiful wildlife. Riders in Wyoming are likely to encounter deer, elk and moose, while herding the cows.

Speaking of the Grand Canyon, why not try a Grand Canyon Riding Tour?.

Visitors may participate in a one day tour through one of the most breathtaking landmarks in the world. While touring the Grand Canyon on horseback, travelers will be led through trails used by Texas Ranger Elijah Moore and Butch Cassidy. Guides tell stories of the exploits of these men.

Of course, the Grand Canyon offers spectacular scenery. The power of water, over millenia, shaped the canyon. Many different layers of sedimentary rock exist there. All these were formed by water and ice. Riders will see shell fossils, red wall limestone cliffs and ancient drawings.

Receive Dressage Instruction

Excellent dressage instruction is offered on the east coast of the United States. While California and Massachusetts have some of the best riding schools in the country. Students are assessed before they can begin a training programme.

Classical dressage lessons in New England are systematic. Students are taught techniques that help them to improve their seat. Students usually have two lessons per day.

Riding schools in California have lessons and camps focused on competitive trail, endurance, and dressage. Some facilities train beginners and advanced riders in Western and English styles. A few have jumping clinics throughout the year.

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10 US Horse Riding Holiday Destinations

Anyone who loves to ride horses also has a penchant for adventure. There’s something about the creak of a leather saddle and the companionship of a trusted equine that gets our blood pumping. Going exploring on horseback is still one of the most fun ways to see the country, so we’ve compiled ten suggestions for a horse riding holiday in the USA.

Ouray, Colorado

Nestled into a majestic mountain pass and filled with warm, friendly locals, Ouray is rightly nicknamed the Switzerland of Colorado. A tiny town with only windy mountain roads leading in or out makes it a cowboy’s dream, and horse-friendly trails and campsites abound. There are a few stables that offer guided rides, but if you bring your own steed you’ll want to make sure that he’s sure-footed and sound enough for difficult mountain trails. Because of the high elevation, the best time to ride here is midsummer, when the wildflowers are in full bloom and the bright sun makes nearby snowcaps shimmer.

Bryce Canyon, Utah

Words aren’t really enough to describe Bryce Canyon. It’s a beautiful, otherworldly maze of hoodoos and steep rock walls. What makes Bryce more hospitable to equine adventurers than nearby Zion is its primitive style, fewer crowds and higher elevation. Guided horseback treks into the canyon are a popular tourist activity, and while individually owned horses are not allowed in the canyon, there are beautiful trails all over the park.

Big Bend, Texas

No Western-centric list is complete without a nod to the Lone Star State, and Big Bend National Park didn’t exactly eek its way into our list. It’s an imposing 800,000 acres of mountain, desert and prairie in southwest Texas, with miles of trail and plenty of horse-friendly primitive campsites. It also includes 118 miles of the Rio Grande river, the natural boundary between Mexico and Texas, and a boon for horseback adventurers, since the climate is hot and dry most of the year. Horses are not allowed to graze in Big Bend, but if you’re willing to pack in your feed and rough it for a few days, it offers an incredible, truly Texan horseback experience.

Sonoma, California

While known for its wines and quaint, touristy towns, Sonoma County has some of the best environments for riding. The weather is perfect – usually mild year-round and boasting an almost constant light breeze, a great relief when you’re trapped in jeans and boots. Several wine-country trails make for beautiful weekend strolls, or head to the local redwood groves for a longer overnight excursion amongst the giant trees. Plus, you should stop for some wine tasting on your way out of town. It is Sonoma, after all.

Amelia Island, Florida

About a 40-minute drive from Jacksonville, Amelia Island is a beautiful glimpse at unspoiled Florida. The state park protects over 200 acres of beach, salt marsh and coastal forest along the southern edge of Amelia Island, and is one of the few parks in the country that offers horseback riding on the beach and along the shoreline.

The park has partnered with an outfitter to guide these rides, and boasts that horseback sightseers see more wildlife than anybody else on Amelia Island. Riding on the beach has a romance that can’t be denied – doing so in Florida’s welcoming weather on a protected coast. It doesn’t get much better than that.

White Mountains, Arizona

While the Grand Canyon gets most of the tourist love in Arizona, many people miss an incredible mountain playground close by. Only a few hours by car from Phoenix or Tucson lands you in an utterly unique slice of Arizona. The White Mountains are dotted with guest ranches, B&Bs, and campsites, nearly all of them welcoming to you and your four-hoofed companion. Majestic mountains, high-elevation meadows, great fishing lakes, and frequent summer thunderstorms make the White Mountains the perfect “Home on the Range” destination.

Natchez Trace Parkway, Mississippi and Tennessee

Even though the Natchez Trace Parkway covers 444 miles of scenic roadway, horses are only allowed on a few 5 to 30 mile sections of designated trail – all of which must be ridden as day rides, since horses are not allowed in the campgrounds. Don’t be discouraged, however, as it’s definitely worth trailering in.

The lush vegetation, changing topography and frequent hitching posts make these trails a delightful weekend getaway. Plus, nearly all the trails start close to a Southern hub like Jackson or Nashville – so after you work up an appetite there’s always fried food available to curb your hunger.
horse riding holiday usa

Custer State Park, South Dakota

If you love the West, you’ll love Custer. Deep in the Black Hills, Custer is 71,000-acres of mountains, lush meadows and wild forest. The park is also home to one of the world’s largest publicly-owned bison herds, nearly 1,500 head, which are rounded up every September by local wranglers. It doesn’t get much more like the Old West than the hearing pounding feet of a buffalo herd rumbling by, but even if you don’t come to watch the round-up, the horse-friendly campsites and gorgeous scenery will make you feel like an old cowpoke anyway.

Central Park, New York

OK, so it may be expensive, and not exactly a trek nor anyone’s first choice for a US horse riding holiday, but what horse enthusiast hasn’t dreamed of riding in Central Park? Rides are offered all summer and are a once-in-a-lifetime chance to ride in one of America’s most iconic places.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

We had to finish out this list with the most American of serious treks. A multi-day pack trip in one of the nation’s oldest National Parks is an incredible way to see the back country and experience Yellowstone the way Teddy Roosevelt did – with plenty of creaking saddle leather. With more than 3,740 square miles, Yellowstone is so huge that many of its treasures remain unseen – unless you’re on horseback.