Horse riding holidays advice

Where you’ll lay your head
Lulu Perry, from our leading horse riding holidays supplier, Wild Frontiers, shares her horse riding holiday advice:

Where you’ll lay your head

“From trip to trip, accommodation totally varies. In Mongolia we take two-man dome tents with us and pitch our camp as we go; in Jordan it’s the same – in Wadi Rum, we have a back-up crew that will go ahead and set the camp up. Last time I was in Jordan though, none of the clients even wanted tents, so we just slept on mattresses out in the desert under the stars. In somewhere like India, riding through rural Rajasthan, the places where we stay are mostly noble houses that we’re invited to stay in along the route that have either been converted into hotels, or that belong to families.”
Go with the flow

Go with the flow

“In Georgia, we were riding up a mountain path and came across a couple of shepherds who spoke no English, so we mastered a sort of sign language between us. They invited us into their shed and got out their bread, cheese and drinks for us all, and we sat, having a feast of bread and cheese and drinking the local chacha – which is their version of moonshine – with them. It wasn’t planned, but we were there for a good two hours; things like that that can really make a holiday.”
Age is a number

Age is nothing but a number

“There is absolutely no age restriction on our horse riding trips; I have had people in their 70s come on a trip with me who have coped far better than people in their 30s. Participation in and enjoyment of a horse riding holiday comes down to two things: physical fitness, because you do have to be relatively fit to ride for long stints daily, and a love for it.”
All experience levels welcome

All experience levels welcome

John Williamson, from our supplier Zavkhan Trekking, with some tips on horse riding in Mongolia:
“We cater to all levels of experience, even those who have barely been on a horse, but that doesn’t slow the pace. Experienced riders can separate off and gallop as fast as they wish whenever the terrain allows, while less experienced riders (and those who want to enjoy the scenery) travel at a relaxed pace in a core group. Part of the attraction is the remoteness of the area, a three-day drive from Ulaanbaatar. For us it’s vital to get well off the beaten track to where there is no tourism development. People are often pleasantly surprised that there’s plenty of galloping action. When you've travelled all the way to Mongolia you really should be able to gallop across the steppe with the wind in your hair, letting out a yee-ha!”
Culture & cuisine

Culture & cuisine

“Mongolia is uniquely suited to small group horse treks because the culture is so welcoming. We make sure that there are plenty of opportunities to meet local people along the way – often our wranglers’ friends and family. There are lots of things to remember such as not pausing in the doorway of a ger (that might suggest you are questioning the family's hospitality). But everyone is quite relaxed, and our guides are there to help. Most people have low expectations of Mongolian cuisine, fearing they will be eating endless boiled mutton. That is certainly the mainstay of the herders’ diet in the countryside, but we can provide meals more suited to a western palate. We can cater for vegans, coeliacs etc, as long as they are not fussy eaters.”
Naadam Festival

Naadam Festival

“Naadam is an annual celebration of Mongolian culture. The opening ceremony at the central stadium is a spectacular procession of dancers in national costume, cavalry, and singers. Lots of tasty traditional food such as buuz (steamed mutton dumplings) and khuurshuur (fried mutton pancakes) will be on offer. There is fiercely contested wrestling and archery, and horse racing takes place outside the city at a special course, with young boys riding distances of up to 30km. It is traditional to try to touch the sweat of the winning horses in each event, which can lead to exciting and chaotic scenes at the finish line. Best to keep well clear. If the huge crowds of the main stadium get too much, there are concerts and other events happening elsewhere. Even a wander around town is rewarding, as people are all out and about in their best traditional costumes.”

Our top Horse riding Holiday

Catalan horse riding holiday in Spain

Catalan horse riding holiday in Spain

Horse riding in the beautiful Catalan countryside.

From €700 to €1150 8 days ex flights
Tailor made:
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Helpdesk
Hello. If you'd like to chat about Horse riding or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

riding tips from our holiday reviews

At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travellers are often... other travellers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do – and opinions about what not to.

We have selected some of the most useful horse riding holiday tips that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your trip – and the space inside your saddlebags.
By travelling on horseback we were completely in harmony with the local traditions of transport by foot or horse and cart…Excellent
- Jane Henderson
“Book a car. The owners are really good about giving you lifts, but it can be difficult to get back in the evenings. We ended up having to cadge a lift with the son of a friend of the restaurant owner one evening, which was an experience. The itinerary on the website is (presumably) all possible, but they don't assume that's what you want to do. We arrived expecting a structured "today we will do this", but it's very much more "what would you like to do today?"” - Vanessa Richards on a Catalan riding holiday

“Get fit beforehand and take very good boots for riding which have good ankle support for walking. Read up about Transylvania and the Saxon towns at least, as very little information is given on the tour - you need to find out for yourself. I enjoyed my holiday. I travelled on my own and was part of a very friendly group. The horses were lovely, the food excellent and the setting fantastically beautiful and unspoilt.” - Lorna Newbrook on a Romania riding holiday

“Take plenty of suncream and bite cream and a neckerchief to keep the sun off your neck. The minor discomforts, mishaps and moments of exhaustion - all to be expected on a fast ride some distance from "civilisation" - are worth the pain many times over…By travelling on horseback we were completely in harmony with the local traditions of transport by foot or horse and cart…Excellent - with a real sense of achievement for having stood the distance!” - Jane Henderson on a Romania riding holiday

“I went on this holiday in early February in the hope that I would be able to ride the horses through snow. For the first part of the week it was like Spring, with not even a hint of a snowflake. We did some very enjoyable rides through ancient forests - so peaceful - and across fields that resembled open savanah. Then on the Thursday morning we woke to a foot of snow and the place was transformed into a magical world - a bit like Narnia. Cantering through soft powder on sure-footed horses who obviously enjoyed it as much as we did was amazing! We ate cheeses and meats produced in the village, drank liquors made from local fruits, and the pigs got our left-overs!” - Glenys Howarth on a Romania riding holiday
We did some very enjoyable rides through ancient forests - so peaceful - and across fields that resembled open savanah.
- Glenys Howarth
“I enjoyed riding in unknown rural France with horses up country tracks and beneath trees in occasional woodland, meeting other riders and brushing up my French whilst the instructor brushed up my riding skills! The other memorable thing was the stunning location and the amazing hospitality of the owners. Nothing was too much trouble for them and I felt really well looked after and entertained. You may need to hire a car if you want to visit some of the places a bit further afield but there is plenty to see and do around the guest house if the weather is good, which it usually is.” - Liz Beaven on a horse riding holiday in France

“This trip is for the ultimate adventurer - camping in the wild with great people looking after you. Research carefully if it's what you really want - I'm two months off my 70th birthday and I loved it but I'm a tom boy and it's what I always wanted.” - Anne Connors on a Mongolia horse riding holiday

“Undertaking a progressive ride is a very special experience - getting to know and understand your horse, learning new riding skills, exploring differing landscapes, discovering your accommodation for the night - from an eco-lodge deep in the mountains to a small hotel in the heart of Kotor, encountering challenges and overcoming fears. For me though the most important part is the relationships I developed with my fellow travelling companions – two and four legged.“ - Diana Henry on a Montenegro horse riding holiday

“Be honest about your riding ability. Don't pretend to be more experienced than you really are, as you won't last beyond the first day of riding. Also, all new groups of riders are assessed when they first mount and ride around an arena and non-riders will soon be spotted and could be asked to join a less-experienced group. The welfare of the ponies is paramount, so tell the truth about your weight too. Icelandic ponies are sturdy, but there are limits to how much weight they should carry.” - Annette Musker on an Iceland horse riding holiday
Written by Rob Perkins
Photo credits: [Page banner: Di Jones] [Where you’ll lay your head: Free-Photos] [Go with the flow: Hanna Norlin] [Age is nothing but a number: daveynin] [All experience levels welcome: McKay Savage] [Culture & cuisine: Jeanne Menjoulet] [Naadam Festival: Pia Waugh] [Reviews Intro: Mike Prince] [Jane Henderson Quote: Kitty Terwolbeck] [Glenys Howarth Quote: Virginia State Parks]
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