When you think of “adventure travel,” what crosses your
- White water rafting?
- Scuba diving?
- Something as sedentary as a cruise ship or land rover
Those ideas lose their “adventure” status when you compare
them to galloping on a horse in Africa with a zebra and wildebeest
racing along side you, or quietly observing the elephant and
How can a traveler visit the remote parts of the world's
most beautiful and interesting places while...
- Practicing a fascinating sport
- Avoiding polluting
- Keeping in harmony with history and nature
- Being free to explore exotic locations
- Making friends in remote places, and
- Sharing the experience with a willing animal?
Have you ever considered the tremendous advantages of adventure
travel on horseback? A horse can take you to beautiful and
remote places which are difficult to reach in any other way.
At the same time, you can practice a challenging sport which
has been a favorite of mankind for millennia.
Destinations like Africa, Asia, Europe and South America
offer a wonderful variety of adventure tours on horseback.
Though comparatively little known to Americans, the British
and particularly the French have highly developed the riding
tour concept in many parts of the world. In many locations
in the United States rights-of-way for horses have been lost,
but many still exist in other countries.
Horses and horseback riding are deeply woven into the culture
and history of most cultures from Argentina to Ireland. This
is how our ancestors traveled and for those with a sense of
history there is no more appropriate way to go. If you arrive
in a foreign place on horseback, you will most likely be enthusiastically
greeted by locals with waves and smiles which greatly facilitate
meaningful contacts. Those who arrive by bus, on foot or on
a bicycle are usually ignored. Horses are a great introduction
and ice breaker almost anywhere.
If you seek a wilderness adventure, then horses are the way
to go unless you want to walk and carry your equipment. Riding
tours can take you from inn to inn, castle to castle, palace
to palace or from one comfortable camp to another. Costs are
very reasonably compared to biking or bus trips.
Horseback riding adventures vary widely in the skill and
experience required to handle them safely. Most of these tours
move out at all paces and include some good gallops so that
one can cover 15 to 35 miles in a day. Beginners need several
days of instruction before attempting even an easy trip, but
those who are reasonably fit, not too overweight and have
open minds can catch on very quickly. A week of intensive
riding with good instruction can easily prepare most people
for the less demanding adventures.
One of the enormous advantages of travel on horseback is
that you are sharing the adventure with a willing animal who
is also interested in the sights and sounds and who loves
a brisk gallop on a beach or open plain as much as you do.
A day in the saddle is also great exercise and riding is an
excellent way to keep fit while having fun. It is far more
interesting and satisfying than sitting confined in a bus
or land rover all day which really isn't adventure travel
at all. Another dividend is the keen appetite you develop
after a day in the saddle for the delicious food you will
On an African ride, a good horse can outdistance an irate
Cape buffalo or elephant and keep you safe. Comfortable camps
are set up for you each night, the food is excellent and the
service superb. Or try a horseback tour visiting the castles
of the Loire Valley and ride into the courtyards on your horse
like a knight of old. You can gallop along forest tracks where
the French aristocracy once chased the wild stag. There is
a broad spectrum of possibilities available for horseback
If it appeals to you to travel in harmony with nature without
using polluting, noisy machines or an unresponsive bicycle,
then you should look into horseback riding tours.
Copyright 2005 Bayard Fox and Equitours, Ltd.
About The Author
Bayard Fox has been riding for 70 years on six continents
and has ridden enough miles to circle the globe several times.
He is owner and founder of Equitours Worldwide Horseback Riding
He and his wife also own the Bitterroot Dude Ranch http://www.bitterrootranch.com
where they raise horses.