India horse riding holidays

Travel Team

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2020: 8 Mar
Accessible Overview:
This holiday is a little unconventional because, compared to a beach holiday, it requires your active participation. We are all different and an activity that’s straight forward for one person may not be straight forward for another.  There is almost always a way of making an itinerary work for everyone and over the years we have acquired considerable experience in making the impossible possible. I am delighted to say that we can accommodate physically impaired riders on any of the India rides. This would allow a wheelchair user, amputee or comparably impaired rider to join a group of able-bodied riders and enjoy the same itinerary. Please note however that these rides are not suitable for a novice rider (able-bodied or otherwise). You would have to have a couple of years’ experience and have the stamina to remain in the saddle for long periods of time.
Limited mobility:
Everything that we do is tailor-made so if you have restricted mobility we will ask you some specific questions which will facilitate us to exercise a proper duty of care. Once we have the information from you we can liaise with in-country hotel managers, stable owners or whatever is required to dot the i’s and cross the t’s.
Wheelchair:
We mainly operate in developing countries so generally speaking we can’t provide a special vehicle adapted for wheelchairs; they simply don’t exist everywhere. However, we can brief drivers to assist you getting into and out of a vehicle (so long as you’re OK with a little mano-y-mano contact?) and your wheelchair can be stowed in the back.
While exploring towns and staying in urban hotels wheelchairs can be provided as required. So absolutely no problem. However, all Heritage hotels, especially the older, historic ones such as Mehansar Castle and some of the other forts and castles we stay in, wheelchair ramps simply don’t exist, so we would have to think about something to get disabled riders up the stairs and to navigate some of the more twisty corridors, but a solution can be found. I think a rider who is 100% dependent on a wheelchair might find things very difficult, but if they can manage with crutches (and assistance) for short distances (5 or 10 metres) then we can make these rides work.
Visiting the tiger sanctuaries is vehicle-based, so no problem. Other famous sites such as the Taj, the Delhi street food tour and exploring Jaipur are all straight forward to adjust.
Blind or partially sighted:
There is no ‘one rule fits all’: please speak to us and we will run through the specifics of a given itinerary. As an example we have experience of a rider with 90% sight loss who completed a riding safari in Rajasthan. His wife accompanied him to provide an interpretation of the terrain ahead, and we paired him with an ultra-reliable horse. There was no jumping involved. Information in braille is not generally available overseas but local support from dedicated personnel is excellent.
Deaf or limited hearing:
Air travel is feasible, even for a solo travelling deaf person. Once in-country we tend to hold daily briefings which can be summarised and relayed one-to-one from group leader to specific client.
'Free from' food:
We send all travellers a questionnaire specifically asking about their dietary needs and any allergies. This is standard practice. Do please be as thorough as possible in the information you provide us.
LGBT:
There should be no issues for LGBT guests travelling in India.
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Responsible tourism

India horse riding holidays

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

Travelling on horseback has minimal impact on fragile environments. By its very nature this is a low carbon form of transport.
We ensure the form of transport that we use is taken well care of by liasing with the stables we use and ensuring that the horses are well fed and well treated; no harsh aides are used (no gags or spurs) and a thorough anthelmintic regime is followed. We ensure that rider’s weight falls within limits set by the stable and where the weight-limit is exceeded, a second horse is provided, ensuring that no horse is over-worked (each one works half a day). We ensure horse and rider are matched so that neither struggles.
It is heart-breaking to see some of the vicious bits that are used in India on horses, donkeys and mules; A lack of education means that sharp, crude and roughly filed bits are an all too common sight throughout the countryside and at horse fairs.
We operate a bit exchange programme
All the bits we receive are given to known and respected horseman in Rajasthan, a person we have been working with for more than a decade. In turn, he swaps the snaffle for the local “piece of wire” (or worse) so long as the recipient (horse trader, breeder, farmer or general horse owner) agrees to practice sympathetic horsemanship. In time, as the message circulates, suffering will be alleviated and replaced by a kinder way of communicating with horses. Last year, supported amongst others by previous BHS Challenge riders, over 80 bits were exchanged at Balotra horse fair.
The accommodation that we use along the way are temporary structures helping to ensure that the only thing we leave are footpints. All the waste produced is collected to be recycled or composted on site.

Community

We use a local supplier for the stables. Along the way the local communities are involved with and employed to put up of the camps. The entertainment and services are provided by people local to the area we stop in. Some of these areas are very remote so provide a valuable source of income and an alternative to the local people having to head to the cities for employment.
In addition the income generated from this trip flows down through the local community via specific training in horsemanship, camp management and English language training.
We provide all of our clients with a personal “Field Manual” which is a destination-specific guidebook to help each person prepare for life overseas so that a collision between cultures is avoided. This manual helps travelers engage positively and actively with the local community and learn more about them. We pass through areas which have specific cultural identities for example Vishnoi communities that live by environmental protection: the Vishnoi follow 29 principles laid down by Guru Jambhoji who turned environmental and wildlife protection into a “religion” back in the fifteenth century. We ensure that our clients know about this before they travel and treat the environment and the people with the respect due.

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