Are you a horse riding traveler? Or you’d like to become one? Once you embark on horse riding holidays, it’s true, you can’t live without! You discover a new world made up of long days in the saddle, unspoiled nature, and a contact with the animal that is very different from what you experience with lessons in a riding school. You may feel the desire to do something more, to face a rewarding challenge. Experiencing horse riding holidays, i.e. horse trekking of several days, you discover the true meaning “Horse Riding Tourism”.
How does it work? Read our ultimate guide to horse riding holidays.
A holiday suitable for everyone?
We have to say it: a multi-day horse riding trip is not an activity recommended for newbies and complete beginners. If a simple horseback ride of a few hours does not necessarily require top-notch skills, and even beginners can afford to try, when it comes to a trek of two or more days on horseback, things change. If at the end of the first day you can still feel good and fit, you will realize the next morning how much your body has been working… and getting back on the saddle will be much harder. It is therefore necessary to be well-trained and in good physical shape! In addition, it is necessary that you have good horsing equipment like a western saddle or a Leather halter!
In addition, a horse trek of several days usually unwinds on paths of medium difficulty. When you cover many kilometers in the saddle, you’ll be riding mostly on mountain terrain, such as in the Dolomites or the Apennines. Even the islands offer some truly spectacular multi-day horse riding holidays, but even here you need some riding experience, because you’ll ride on scenic cliffs overlooking the sea (or the mouth of Etna) and steep dirt climbs. Horseback riding skills, ability to govern the horse and strong nerves are really paramount.
How do horse riding holidays work?
In order to organize a multi-day horse riding holidays, you need very good organization skills. You need to know the trails inside out, organize meals and overnight stays, plan a loop tour or, alternatively, arrange for vans to take your luggage or trailers for the horses. It’s not a piece of cake, for sure! The good news? HorseTouring is your ally in creating the perfect match to combine the best stables, farm holiday centers and lodging options.
There are definitely two ways to approach this type of experience: the “wild” way and the “very, very wild” way, let’s say!
The first implies a higher level of comfort and is recommended for those with less experience in multi-day horse riding holidays. It is an extremely organized trip, with fixed stops at farmhouses, local restaurants and other historical landmarks. You ride a few hours, without needing to carry much except lots of water and a packed lunch, and in the afternoon you stop at the designated place for the night, where you will eat dinner and breakfast, take a shower and sleep in a nice soft bed.
The “very, very wild” mode, on the other hand, is much more complex: riders will have to carry things for the nights because your accommodation will be outdoors, in a tent under the starry-sky! Comfort is less, of course, but this is a truly intense and unforgettable horseback riding experience!
There is also the middle way: sometimes in some hotels or B&B farmhouses and sometimes in a tent camping outdoors. There is as well a crew following the group in a jeep: before the arrival of the horse riders at the destination, they will go on site to set up tents, prepare meals, etc. When the group departs in the morning, they will dismantle everything and gather at the next location. In short, all the beauty of the wilderness experience but with all the comforts!
Are you ready for your first time?
If you’ve decided to go on horse riding holidays, you’re about to discover one of the coolest activities in the world! Once you’ve chosen the type of experience, you need to prepare!
On the one hand, there is the physical preparation: it is advisable to practice horse riding as often as possible. Before, during and after the trek, do as much stretching as possible to loosen up the muscles and stretch out aching joints.
In order to reduce the strain on the body, there are special saddles, the trekking saddles, which are particularly cushioned and comfortable. Alternatively, surely better the comfort of the American saddle than the English one! And try to dress comfortably, with good quality riding boots and pants, that’s half the battle!