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Giddy Up: Vacations for Horse Lovers

by Carley Wade

Sep 2, 2018

© Kushnirov Avraham | Dreamstime.com

Listicles

Love horses? Pony up your holiday dollars and head for the farm or the field. Whether you want to just get away from it all in the city or hightail it in true luxury, there are plenty of once-in-a-lifetime equine options.

 

Explora Patagonia

Patagonia’s gaucho cowboys are legendary, and you can travel with and like them in style at Explora. The only lodge inside Torres Del Paine National Park, Explora Patagonia offers 16 different equestrian adventures. Each is a half-day or full day, from 2.3 to 21 miles, and all riders are accompanied by guides to set up equipment, ride alongside and discuss culture and local life. Treks include steep ascents across bridges for lake views, wetlands routes with opportunities to canter and trot and rides across Las Chinas River.

 

Ride in France

Get regal in Gallic style when you stay in a castle and sip wines after a day of gallivanting. There are a few choices of tours: eight days in the Loire Valley, holidays in Allier at an intimate castle (with modern accouterments) and eight days in Bordeaux with vineyards. There are tours suitable for novice and advanced riders with three gaits (walk, rising trot, suspended gallop) on a varied terrain, and in open spaces. Trips are all-inclusive and include exclusive small groups, and each one’s expert guide will provide historical commentary on UNESCO sites. There are all sorts of breeds to bond with, like Franche Montagne, Arabic and Lusitanian.

 

Horses roaming near Angers, France © Elisa Locci | Dreamstime.com

 

Eqitours

Ever dreamed of cuddling up with diminutive Icelandic horses and trekking through glaciers, galloping with zebras in Kenya or evading a monkey in Costa Rica? Equitors takes the hard work out of it, with international equine vacations curated by Montana ranchers. The Fox family has organized international tours for four decades and owns about 170 horses of their own. Ecotourism is a large component of the business and, since owner Mel Fox worked in Africa in the 1970s, a large part of the business’s mission is to help with horse rescue efforts in regions they operate in.

 

The Ranch at Rock Creek

Get your inner cowboy on with year-round horseback riding lessons and, in winter, horse-drawn sleigh rides. With 6,600 acres of Montana wilderness, there’s room to spare and your room will be in either a historic (but luxurious) barn, log cabin or main lodge. There’s also canvas luxury cabins for the truly adventurous. Other sports include sporting clay shooting, geo-catching, hiking, biking and bowling.

 

Broadmoor

Do the whole City Slickers thing in Colorado and go light or extreme. Wilderness Experiences packages at Emerald Valley Ranch offer deluxe accommodations and an outdoor hot tub to relax sore muscles after either taking a lesson for beginners or trying to lasso a steer. More intense cowboy cattle drives bring you to a working ranch to wrangle and relax — the 3,200 acres on Johnson Ranch offer pristine beauty with Aspens and pink-granite cliffs.

 

Triple R Ranch Outfitters

Grab your hat — as home to the Derby, Kentucky’s basically the epicenter for U.S. horse fanatics. Triple R Ranch Outfitters in McKee, in the southeastern part of the state, offers unspoiled wilderness and three different levels of fun: trail rides for beginners through advanced levels; guided rides and camping (bring your own horses); and pack trips for adventurers. Daniel Boone National Forest beckons those who want to get away from it all with all-inclusive trips for campers including fishing, Dutch oven cooking and horse training.

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