Holidays

rocky mountain trail rides, mountain trail rides, holiday with horses, holiday horse ride, blue creek outfitting, trail riding, tania millen, Crown Creek, holidays on horseback

The horses were tired and hungry, and we needed to find them good feed. We had travelled all day in the alpine, over shale ridges and snow patches, through meadows that were just greening up, and finally over a pass between two rocky promontories. Route finding had gone well, but the last trail — dropping 1000 feet down into a pass — eluded us. We ended up in the bottom of a bowl above 400 foot cliffs, taking the brunt of a nasty wind.

fort Walsh, Grasslands National Park, horse trail, trail riding, saskatchewan trail riding, prairie trail riding, horse camping

Trail riding across endless tall-grass Canadian prairie in summer sunshine, possibly through a herd of bison, was a long-term dream that drew me like an arrow to Saskatchewan. But it took the misery of a snowy six-month-long northern winter in Terrace, BC, to turn the dream into reality.

Yukon horse packing trip

Out the plane window the sun casts a golden glow on the mountains below as the clouds of pink and purple fade to black. My dream of experiencing the wilderness of Canada’s Yukon on horseback is finally coming true. Landing in Whitehorse, capital of the Yukon since 1953, I drag my bags across the street to the hotel to settle in for the night.

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.

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