The Best Horse Riding Holidays for the Summer
a blog post by Alexandra Uren
When it comes to riding holidays, we’re all spoilt for choice. So we’ve whittled it down to our top 5 horsey getaways to suit you no matter what sort of holiday you’re after. So pack up the essentials – your Just Jodz breeches, jodhpurs and favourite riding leggings (okay, so a hat and passport might come in handy too!) and get yourself on that plane ready for some horsey fun in the sun.
The Cowboy Experience – Bitterroot Ranch
If you fancy trying your hand at being a cowgirl, Bitterroot Ranch should be on your bucket list.
Based in Wyoming, riders can enjoy incredible landscapes, friendly horses and that Wild West feeling! Get into the swing of ranch life with riding clinics, cattle roundups, and incredible trail rides. If you’ve never tried Western riding and always wanted to feel the wind on your face as you gallop through the wilderness, Bitterroot Ranch should be your top pick. The nearest airport is Jackson Hole, and this ranch caters to all levels of rider.
Success in the Ring – Harris Horses
If jumping is your jam and you’re after the perfect mix of relaxation and incredible training, head to Harris Horses in Coutras, France. Johnny and Jackie Harris have over 35 years of experience offering top class training to anyone from total beginners to professional show jumpers.
The speciality here is show jumping, and whether you need to refine your skills over bigger fences or fancy taking on your first cross pole, their wonderful schoolmasters and incredible teaching will have you meeting (and exceeding!) any goals you’ve set yourself.
Guests stay in Johnny and Jackie’s beautiful French home in a region renowned for its incredible wine. Enjoy home cooked meals and tours of the local vineyards, as well as a whole load of jumping! Flights are easy and inexpensive from the UK – the nearest airports are Bordeaux and Bergerac.
Mastering your Dressage – Escola de Equitação de Alcainça
Dressage enthusiasts wanting to learn from the best of the best should head to Escola de Equitação de Alcainça in Portugal. Led by classical dressage trainer Georges Malleroni, riders can enjoy lessons on incredible horses – trained to advanced level dressage. This family-run riding facility caters to all abilities, with highly trained horses for experienced riders, as well as kind beginner-friendly school masters for those who want to try their hand at some fancy movements.
To relax after a ride, guests can enjoy the bar, games room and large outdoor swimming pool. You’ll feel part of the family from the moment you arrive! Plus, this stunning region is easy to get to, situated just a short drive from Lisbon airport.
A UK Break – Highlands Unbridled
If the summer of 2018 is anything to go by, you don’t need to leave the UK to feel the sun on your face (and possibly get a little burnt!). Provided the weather plays ball, a UK horse riding holiday is one of the best ways to get that horsey fix, without blowing your budget on expensive flights.
Stunning stretches of coastline, mysterious moores and hilltop castles – it could only be Scotland! Highlands Unbridled offer incredible riding holidays right in the Scottish Highlands. Experience the best of Scotland’s awesome scenery and choose from a huge range of tours – think beautiful beaches and gallops across the Highlands. The centre is located just an hour’s drive from Inverness airport.
A Luxury Retreat – Florblanca
Wellness is 2019’s buzzword, and Florblanca in Costa Rica combines horse riding with getting your mental and physical wellbeing in tip top condition. After a hard day’s riding, unwind in a spa or take part in yoga or Pilates classes. Enjoy fresh and healthy local food prepared by the chefs, and try your hand at surfing, zip lining and hiking. Tropical landscapes and stunning beach sunsets can all be experienced from horseback, and guests stay in beautiful villas on the waterfront.
This retreat is perfect if you’re travelling with a non-horsey companion and fancy splashing out. It’s a true all-round wellness experience. Tambor is the closest airport, and airport pick up can be arranged.
Packing Tips and Tricks
Packing for a horse riding holiday can be a little tricky, as not only do you have your usual holiday gear to pack – you’ve also got a whole lot of extra bits!
First the boring bit – travel insurance. Make sure you specify on your insurance that your holiday is for horse riding. It’s unlikely something will go wrong, but if it does you’ll want the reassurance of good travel insurance.
A lightweight pair (okay maybe five pairs!) of riding leggings are essential for warmer climates. These will keep you cool on the horse and are extremely affordable, meaning you can stock up before you go. They’re a comfy and fashionable post-riding option or, if you’ve got any energy left, can be worn for working out. Just Jodz have a huge range of lightweight riding leggings in a variety of bright colours.
Fleece underbreeches are perfect for colder climates (we’re looking at you, Scotland!). These will keep you warm and snug all day long, and can be worn under standard jodhpurs, breeches and riding leggings.
On your top half, you’ll want lightweight sweat-wicking materials if you’re travelling somewhere hot, and layers, layers, layers if you’re going somewhere cold. Far more underwear and pairs of socks than you’ll ever need are a holiday cliche, but if you’re spending all day on a horse you’ll want something clean to change into post-ride. These can be stuffed inside your hat and boots to save space.
Of course, riders should pack their hat and boots. If you’re a total beginner and don’t have them, speak to the owner of where you’re headed and see what they suggest, as many have some spare. Nervous riders might want a back protector, but these take up valuable room in a suitcase so it’s worth checking to see if the venue has any. If you do take a back protector, stuff your clothes inside it to save space.
Need a new wardrobe to ensure you’re stylish and comfortable on holiday? Check out our range of jodhpurs, breeches and riding leggings, designed for all types of riding and all climates. It’s time to get that summer holiday sorted!