Holidays

Circle Z Ranch, winter horse holidays, horse rider retreat,

The oldest continuously operating dude ranch in Arizona (since the 1920s), Circle Z Ranch in Patagonia is a 6500-acre oasis of peace and calm, perfect for a relaxing retreat. Managers Jock and Pamela Soper began visiting Circle Z in the 1980s as guests, fell in love with the ranch, land, and people, and are now in their third season as staff.

Oriane Lee Johnston, Vilanculos Mozambique africa, holidays on horseback, horse riding africa, horse riding abroad, swimming horseback, Varden Safaris horseback, Mavuradonha Wilderness, african horseback

Several years ago I googled “Africa + Horses + Volunteer” and found myself travelling solo to Mozambique for two months. I volunteered with Mozambique Horse Safari on the shores of the Indian Ocean, billed as “the best beach riding in the world.” That first trip from my home on Vancouver Island was a big leap for someone who had taken up riding later in life. It was also the beginning of a relationship with horses and Africa that continues to this day.

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.

Pushkar Camel Fair, horseback riding Rajasthan Desert in northern India, Marwari horse dancing, Indian horsback riding, World’s Largest Camel Fair

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.

horses in maui, horse riding in maui, Dutch Warmblood Horse, horses of hawaii

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.

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