Winter Holidays for Horse Lovers

By Jess Hallas-Kilcoyne - It goes without saying that just about any equestrian’s dream vacation is going to include horses. But while many riders may fantasize about galloping with the gauchos in Argentina, or piaffing on Lusitanos in Portugal, the hard truth is that time and budget make such trips prohibitive for most of us. If you’d like to get away this winter, consider staying closer to home. There are plenty of wonderful getaway opportunities for the equine-inclined within Canada and the U.S.

Horse owner's vacation checklist, horse care, equine care, horse worries, keep horses safe while you vacation

You’re lying on a beach in an exotic locale, soaking up the sun, sipping on a fruity beverage, seemingly without a care in the world. But all you can think about is: Will my horse be okay while I’m gone? Is he getting his supplements? What if he’s injured or falls ill? A vacation isn’t a vacation if you’re constantly worrying about your horse. Get the most out of your getaway by following these steps to ensure your horse’s well-being, and your peace of mind.

Never wear a backpack while horseback riding – especially in 35 degree heat when you’re going for a seven hour ride through the sand-blowing desert. I learned this the hard way on the first ride of my 10-day horse safari across the Rajasthan Desert in northern India (our destination: the world’s largest camel fair) and nursed rubbed-raw-by-sand-and-sweat shoulders for the rest of the journey. But in the end, my soreness became just another element of the experience of being pushed out of my comfort zone.

The following November I would get a break from the damp and cold by giving a clinic on Hawaii’s second largest island. I was curious to see what it’s like to keep horses in a place that for most of us conjures up images of palm lined beaches and mai tais, not dressage shows.

lisa rohner schafer, Switzerland horse riding, Stelvio Pass, horse riding,

I remember reading the book Heidi as a little girl and wishing I could live my life in vast meadows beneath the rocky cliffs of the Swiss Alps. I imagined my house would be one of those little chalets, and that I’d have a pony to ride to school through the waist-high grass.

Tania Millen, Blue Creek Outfitting, McBride, BC, pack trips, holidays on horseback, equine holiday, trail riding, pack horse

On the first pack trip of the summer, three of us rode for nine days through some great mountain country in Willmore, dodging rain and snow storms. Swollen rivers on the way out caused some concern, and one horse and rider combination went for an unintentional swim! The trip definitely provided some useful lessons.

If you are looking for a relaxing but stimulating equestrian experience then Annaharvey Farm, located in the heart of Ireland, just outside the town of Tullamore, might be just what you’re looking for. With excellent horses, kind and knowledgeable instructors, and great facilities, there is ample opportunity for riders of all levels to improve their riding skills while enjoying a wonderful holiday.



RCMP Foundation 2018 Horse Auction


Riding Vactions in California with Jec Ballou