In the equestrian world we have enjoyed a beautiful summer and many people will have started riding this year as well. However, with nights quickly drawing in a lot of us are dreading when the rugs and thermals need to be unpacked…
Unfortunately, feeling the warmth on your skin in winter is impossible unless you venture abroad on a holiday. Equestrian holidays really are the best way to experience another culture, cuisine and sheer beauty of a country whilst looking between the ears of your trusty steed.
Going abroad in winter can bring a welcome respite from awful British weather and can offer you a brilliant opportunity to improve your riding or have your perfect horsey holiday, be a rancher for a week or learn from classical dressage instructors to get you ready for the competition season to begin.
We have joined up with In The Saddle holidays who offer incredible equestrian escapes, they offer as much or as little of the ‘equestrian element’ as you like, so perfect for the families who can’t all agree on the subject of horses and ponies.
These holidays are easily graded for every experience level or rider from novice to advanced with non-rider options thrown in to help you experience everything that’s to offer.
Beginner or Novice Rider
This includes those who are learning to ride and those with limited riding experience.
Confident and in control on a forward going horse at a steady canter in the open over even ground.
Confident and in control on a forward going horse at a fast canter in the open over rough and variable ground. There are likely to be long stretches of fast riding and/or you will be riding in areas with potentially dangerous game.
So here’s a few of our favourite ‘horsey’ holidays from around the globe!
Beginner or Novice Riders
Learn to ride in one week in the beautiful Azores; perfect for the active family or those who just can’t do lazing by the pool.
The holiday takes place in São Miguel which is the largest island in the Azores, the islands are volcanic in origin and this volcanic activity has created a spectacular natural beauty of vast craters, glistening blue lakes, black cliffs along the shore, lush green rolling valleys, rugged mountains and hot mineral springs and geysers.
The riding is over a week and you have ten hours of riding lessons either in the riding arena or out on trails with the aim that by the end of the week you can join the spectacular 5 hour full day ride to Sete Cidades.
As well as the riding you might like to get up early and go for a whale and dolphin watching trip from Ponta Delgada. The Azores is one of the best places in the world to see whales and dolphins. The trips have a 95% record of seeing dolphins and 50% chance of seeing whales. You will also get to visit the historic and interesting town of Ponta Delgada, experience Lagoa do Fogo and have a swim at the Caldeira Velha (a warm waterfall at a hot sulphur spring) - a perfect way to relax after a good ride.
Los Alamos - All the things equestrians dream of!
Now this is really a treat and in popular demand at In The Saddle. For those who aren’t aware Spain has always been historically well known for its beautiful horses, primarily the Andalucían, and this holiday has a few of them.
Along with the Andalucían’s, Los Alamos have Spanish-Arab crosses and a couple of sturdy Cobs. To go with the beautiful horses you will also find a diverse environment so you can be galloping through the forests and next splashing along the coastline with the sea breeze through your hair. You get around 4 hours in the saddle each day so plenty of time to enjoy to horses, location and hospitality of this stunning country.
Out the saddle, activities include a visit to the Royal Andalucian School of Equestrian Art in Jerez to see a display by the stallions and carriage driving, followed by a visit to the school's carriage museum and stables and have a traditional tapas lunch and sherry tasting. If you fancy a spot of fishing I hear there is plenty of Bluefin tuna to be caught nearby too!
Botswana - Macatoo
You’ve never seen a safari like this! Being on horseback gets you closer than you could ever imagine, pass through herds and get to see some of the most vulnerable animals on the planet including the big 5, but exactly where they belong - in the wild!
Although one of the worlds most incredible holidays, this is for experienced riders! You need to be in control at trot and fast canter over rough ground, sounds intermediate? Don’t forget the fact you are surrounded by wild game, oh and if you can only manage a couple of rounds of rising trot in the school you may not be fit enough as this ride involves 4-6 hours in the saddle a day!
This is HARDCORE and INCREDIBLE!
For those who don’t fancy the high life in the saddle or need a day off from the adrenaline, Macatoo offers boat trips, fishing and game drives.
The SD Equestrian Holiday Gear Guide
HELMET! - In Britain we have a strict sensible ‘wear a helmet’ rule, other countries may not. Firstly most holiday insurance companies won’t cover you in a fall if your not wearing a helmet, and more importantly it’s not worth not wearing one.
No such thing as being too careful whilst riding, so you may also be interested in taking your own hat, with hats from £18 and with BS EN compliancy, you know your covered!
Click here to view our riding hats
Boots - You could take along a comfortable pair of boots especially if your going to be spending a few hours in the saddle. Ensure they offer enough support but that they’re not too tight, as dead toes can be pretty irritating!
Click here to view our riding boots
Jodhpurs - Take a few pairs of jods with you, we’re all secretly members of the ‘dirty jodhpur club’ so you won’t need a pair for every day but be prepared to dry them out after a session in the sea or after gallops through the Botswana flood plains.
Click here to view our Jodhpurs
Sunglasses - A must for any sunshine riding holiday, as well as keeping the glare off they will also keep dust and sand out your eyes when at full gallop.
So whether you’re a happy hacker, a learner or the next big thing in the equestrian world, we all need a holiday so ditch that all-inclusive by the pool and opt for something incredible. Discover the world from In The Saddle and keep that price down with us from SD Equestrian.