For horse racing fans, spring time might be all about the Cheltenham Festival and the Grand National. But for those looking to take things a little slower, it’s also an opportunity to plan the next horse trekking holiday.
There are countless landscapes and destinations on offer out there to choose from. The perfect trekking location depends on the individual, with something for everyone available.
Here are five of the most spectacular horse riding destinations to consider this year.
Few places boast the unworldly feeling that Iceland does. Explore volcanoes, lava fields and incredible waterfalls that make up a truly unique landscape.
Wrap up warm and climb aboard an Icelandic horse, a breed smaller than you might be used to. What they lack in size they make up for in substance, with a special talent amongst them.
While elsewhere you might be able to trot or canter throughout your trek, but only on an Icelandic horse can you experience the tölt – a fifth gait that only this breed possesses.
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Described as “Africa’s last eden” the Okavango Delta is the final destination of the mighty Okavango River. After making up a sizeable portion of the Angola-Namibia border, it flows onto the plains of Botswana.
With water comes the drinking source for wildlife. In doing so, this presents the area as a magnificent location for a safari. And while a “standard” safari is a great experience, doing on horseback raises the stakes a little.
Experience the majesty of the African elephant, the speed of the cheetah and the size of the rhinoceros from the saddle and you’ll never think about climbing in a jeep again.
The rolling hills of the Tuscany region of Italy bring out emotions of warmth and homeliness. The autumnal colours of medieval towns like San Gimignano and Siena juxtaposed with the vineyards and olive groves of the countryside is a wonderful thing.
Taking to horseback to enjoy these sights and sounds (and maybe tastes) is just the ticket. What’s more there’s no reason why you can’t break up your ride with a glass of Chianti at one of the local producers or a traditional Tuscan lunch along the way.
While the variety of choice of settings a trek in Portugal has on offer is a major plus point, the horse is the star of the show here. The Lusitano is the breed of choice for many of the dressage professionals highlighting the elegance in which they move.
Exploring beach settings in the Algarve, some of the country’s vast countyside or the charming villages that line the way. Doing it on the back of the graceful Lusitano just adds to the wonder.
Rocky Mountains, Canada
“The Roof of the World” is a perfect way to describe the Rocky Mountains. The reflections of the snow-capped peaks glisten in the reflections of the area’s lakes while the imposing spruce trees line the way.
Apart from the potential cold, there is little to dislike about a trek through the Rockies. Explore Banff or Jasper National Park from horseback, crossing streams and keeping an eye out for wildlife, and it will be an experience you will never forget.
If you’re heading overseas, don’t forget your horse riding insurance.