Whether you are a thrill-seeking daredevil or a committed
“Happy Hacker”, there is sure to be a riding holiday to suit
The choice of country and terrain is enormous and you can
opt for a blissful week of escape from the family in beautiful
and unspoilt surroundings. Alternatively, make it a family
treat – even if some of the clan are totally non-horsey.
The first thing to consider with any riding holiday is your
true level of riding ability and stamina. A weekend-only novice
will be neither safe nor happy on a mad three day gallop across
Botswana. Similarly, a week trekking with beginners at walk
will not appeal to experienced jockeys. The large number of
riding holiday providers generally accept the following as
sensible summaries of riding ability;-
Beginner: A rider with very limited experience, is
unable to mount and dismount unassisted, and unable to post
to the trot or canter.
Novice: A rider who has some riding experience, is
able to mount and dismount unassisted, is in control of a
well-behaved horse and confident for short periods of rising
trot and canter.
Intermediate: A rider with all of the novice skills,
has a firm seat, is comfortable at all paces and capable of
riding for several hours at a time. The intermediate rider
is also able to tack up a horse if required.
Experienced: A competent and regular rider who is
capable of adapting to different horses in different environments.
An experienced rider has soft hands and is able to control
a spirited horse in open country.
Other points to consider.
Some riding trips have a weight limit which generally appears
to be approximately 95 kilos (around 15 stones). In most cases
you will be provided with a bigger horse and in some instances
there will be a surcharge but it is always wise to contact
your holiday provider as there may be a limited number of
horses available for guests exceeding this weight level.
Depending on the trip, children may join the ride. Discounts
may be available in some cases. It is definitely worth checking
even if the kids are staunchly anti-Equestrian as many of
the holiday providers can accommodate non-riding guests.
This is an absolute must for any holiday and should be an
important consideration in booking your trip.
Preparing for your holiday
Once you have determined the riding experience, age and ability
of the group members, you can go ahead and book your holiday.
Whether you are experienced riders or not, you are still likely
to be spending considerably longer than usual in the saddle
on a daily basis so expect some aches and pains!
Many repeat riding holiday enthusiasts go on several short
riding weekends prior to a longer holiday so that they can
really get the best out of the experience on every level.
With riding holidays available in England, Scotland Wales
and Ireland, we have plenty of choice on our doorsteps but
there is a huge choice of trips in France, USA, and even Africa
and Asia. The choice is yours….
About The Author
Helen Hobbs writes for http://www.horseprimer.com,
a website offering information and advice for lovers of all