7 horse riding holiday locations for 2023 and beyond
Imagine combining your annual vacation with an activity you love and exploring the world by horseback. Across the globe, there are incredible equine experiences to be had, no matter what your experience level.
Not only does horseback riding offer a unique way to experience a destination but you will meet people who share your passion for these beautiful creatures. Chances are, you will get to ride breeds you have never encountered before, with many holding a special place in the country’s cultural heritage.
In this article, we’ll share with you some of the world’s top destinations for horse-riding holidays, from the wild steppes of Mongolia to the sunny coastlines of Australia. Whether you want to explore remote and little-visited landscapes or are seeking a more eco-friendly way of getting between towns and villages, we have you covered.
No horse riding adventure is complete without a comfortable place to rest at the end of the day. Online platforms like Rentola publish numerous ads and you’ll find a diverse range of accommodation where you can recuperate after a thrilling day in the saddle. It might be a rustic farm property with its own stables or a modern apartment in the city with horse-riding adventures on your doorstep.
Horseback riding has long been a way of life for Mongolians, meaning that an equine holiday here is as much a cultural experience as anything else. This Central Asian country encompasses rugged mountains and the seemingly barren terrain of the Gobi West, with enchanting steppes in between. A horse-riding vacation in Mongolia is usually camp-based, meaning you’ll get to experience life as the locals live it. Due to the harsh, cold winters, it’s best to coincide your visit with the short summer season between June and September.
With its endless beaches, wildlife-filled bushland and wide expanses of desert, Australia lures tourists with its majestic scenery. It’s for this reason that it makes such a great horse-riding destination, with an endless array of options when it comes to equestrian explorations. You can venture into the untouched wilderness of Tasmania, slowly trot through the sun-drenched vineyards of South Australia or canter along the beaches of the East Coast. Australia also offers plenty of opportunities to attend horse care training courses for those after an in-depth learning experience. If you’re a horse enthusiast looking to embark on extraordinary journeys, platforms like Daymade — a prize-winning platform can offer you unforgettable horse-riding experiences across Australia’s stunning landscapes. It allows you to win incredible prizes and experiences while supporting a good cause.
If you’re a horse-loving “foodie”, then you can’t go past Italy for your next equine escape. This boot-shaped country boasts magnificent scenery, rich cultural heritage and gastronomic experiences that are second to none. In Tuscany, you can discover rural Italian life while ambling between charming hilltop villages, terraced vineyards and olive groves. An Italian horse riding holiday is less about high-speed canters and more about enjoying “La Dolce Vita” while meandering along tranquil country trails.
Argentina’s gaucho (cowboy) culture is undeniably alluring for lovers of horses and a stay on an estancia (traditional ranch) is the best way to experience it. Whether you opt to visit the vast plains of the pampas or the spectacular landscapes of Patagonia, you’ll be completely immersed in the country’s strong equine culture. By day, you’ll be herding cattle and venturing into the mountains with hardy criollo horses while at night, you can gaze up at breathtaking starry skies as you feast around the campfire.
When you think of going on an African safari, it’s probably bumping around in the back of a jeep with your camera at the ready. But in Botswana, you can explore wildlife-filled wonderlands on horseback, offering a more peaceful (while at the same time thrilling) experience. Trek through the grassy floodplains of the Okavango Delta while spotting herds of elephants and giraffes or canter up dust as you explore the bush wilderness of the Mashatu Game Reserve. In the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, you’ll encounter wide open spaces that are a “must” for adventure seekers.
Nicknamed the “Emerald Isle”, Ireland offers unforgettable horse riding experiences backed by dramatic scenery that includes ancient stone walls and rolling hills. It’s an ideal destination for beginners who want to develop their skills, as well as offering plenty of experiences that will appeal to advanced trail riders. You can gallop between centuries-old woodlands and sparkling lakes at private estates or spend a week riding between historic towns that ooze charm. An equine holiday in Ireland is just as much about discovering the beauty of the country as bonding with the Irish over a shared love of horses.
Portugal is famed for its powerful Lusitano horses and the opportunity to ride these beautiful creatures is on the bucket list of many equine lovers. Their gentle temperament and grace have seen them perform well in dressage, making Portugal an ideal holiday destination if you’re after a formal lesson in this exhibition sport. But Portugal is also a spellbinding country to explore on horseback, with gently rolling hills, wild coastlines and centuries-old towns to discover.