Best Horseback Riding Destinations

Earl Hamilton
• Monday, 21 December, 2020
• 7 min read

Give your thirsty horse a drink in the reflective, glass-like lake that sits just below the aspens and conifers, framing the jagged and often snow-dusted rocky peaks. Horsing’ Around Adventures offers rides on trails that are nestled along picturesque Oak Creek with dramatic views of wine country as well as wildlife habitats.

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This former mansion of George Washington Vanderbilt has its own winery along with lovely manicured gardens, especially brilliant in the spring, as well as more than 80 miles of equestrian trails that wind through wooded Appalachian forests that surround the estate. It snakes through steep mountains slopes and lush valleys, across rivers and glistening lakes as well as passing picture-postcard beaches and rocky coastlines.

Trot right up to those dramatic stretches of sand and soaring mountains, searching for hidden coves and even sacred meeting places for fairies. This region offers some of the most spectacular horse riding opportunities with trails that meander through lush forests and colorful meadows, passing brilliant cerulean lakes, roaring rivers, gentle streams and glaciers.

Riders can saddle up on native Barb or Arabian horses, meandering along trails that wind through ancient villages, past old Byzantine churches and underground cities to valleys that are filled with the famous chimney rock formations. Trails wind through the picturesque French countryside and forests, providing views of rolling hills and vineyards as well as magnificent chateaus that feel as if you’re riding through the pages of a fairy tale.

You can bring history to life by staying the night at real castles along the way- even galloping into courtyards over drawbridges just like knights in medieval times. Rides wind through meadows with endless rows of massive sunflowers, terraced vineyards, olive groves and cypress avenues with only the sound of horses hooves gently pounding across the earth heard along the way.

This area has a wonderful stillness about it, as many of the farms and buildings have been abandoned with the increasing numbers of people migrating to the cities, while fortresses and castles, once so important back in medieval times, now sit partially in ruin, returning the land to nature. You’ll find numerous tours available, from half-day to multi-day excursions, including those based at a renovated castle, Costello di Touch, located southwest of Saint.

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It’s actually not a canyon, but the edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau, where intricately carved towers and archways of stone glisten in an impressive array of colors under the intense sun. Riders in this area can explore one of the unique places on earth, where thousands of Hoodoos dot the landscape, looking like trees of stone.

Penetrate the heart of the Bryce Amphitheater, one of a series of “breaks” eroded into the eastern slope of the plateau, and follow the tracks of famous outlaws like Butch Cassidy through scenic Red Canyon. The diversity of opportunity makes the Bryce area a wonderful choice for adventure on horseback, and you’ll find a multitude of outfitters to choose from.

Mountainside and riverside trail rides offer jaw-dropping mountain views while winding through lush forest, passing rivers and sulfur hot springs. You’ll gallop on polo ponies through one of Africa’s most prolific wildlife regions, right alongside zebras and wildebeests, passing lions, giraffes, elephants and countless other animals.

Equators offers this unforgettable trip, sharing camp with the Masai and following a route that avoids busy roads, tourist vans and lodges, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in what feels like a bygone era. And, deep in the Altamira valley of Cordoba, you’ll find Estonia Dos Luna's, where riding across its 3,000 hectares is as rugged and romantic as you could ever wish for.

Or, at 400-year-old Estonia El Bordeaux de las Lands in Santa, you can join in with ranch activities, going horseback riding with local cowboys or gauchos, as well as dine on amazing Amado or Argentinian barbecue. A horseback riding adventure offers the chance to discover the spectacular scenery of the authentic “Lawrence of Arabia, from the mountainous Petra region to the vast sand plains.

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At various places throughout the trail, you’ll view large cinder cones at the crater floor and dark rivers of lava flows. The rocky trail traverses through the rainforest climbs past bamboo, ferns and mango trees, leading toward Wailuku Falls, the tallest waterfall on Maui at over 393 feet.

Cowboys and horses have played a vital role in Jackson Hole’s history, and their presence is still a major part of its distinct Western culture. A trek throughout this region offers the chance to witness the especially striking natural beauty of the Grand Tetons along with an abundance of wildlife, like foxes, elk, bison and moose.

Here, you’ll have your pick of ranches that offer accommodations along with horseback riding excursions as well as a long list of outfitters providing everything from hourly trips to overnights. Surrounded by breathtaking Alaskan wilderness, you can explore the area on horseback while taking in dramatic views of the shorelines of Turn again Arm, the towering, craggy peaks of the Church Mountains, waterfalls, blue-tinted glaciers and dazzling valley lakes.

Barry’s Trail Rides will take you into an area that’s only accessible via horse where you can get up close to bald eagles, see where they nest and watch them feed. While on the shores of Resurrection Bay, you might spot humpback whales, orcas, harbor seals, porpoises, otters and sea lions.

Doing travel research on your own can be daunting, so we enlisted the help of the people behind Equip Supermarket, and they gave us some suggestions on where to spend your next horseback riding holiday. The venue also offers many other activities to provide a complete holiday experience including hiking, rodeos, white water rafting and clay pigeon shooting.

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You can opt for a 10-day riding holiday which lets you explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas and gives you a once-in-a-lifetime perspective on this important site. The Three Bars Ranch in Alberta can be found between the Glacier National Park and Ban ff and offers amazing horse riding trails for the family through the Canadian Rockies.

This family-friend destination can be reached by flying in to Calgary, and offers access to Alberta and British Columbia, including Ban ff, Lake Louise and Buffalo Jump. Families and experienced riders alike can enjoy this region where you can ride mountain passes, medieval paths and Roman roads.

Steeped in equestrian tradition, Mongolia is a stunning horse riding destination complete with steppes, mountains and its amazing equine history. You can take part in a 14-day riding tour where you will experience mountains and lakes, rivers and valleys and get the chance to stay in a nomadic encampment.

The venue also offers plenty of other leisure activities including Jacuzzi pools to help you relax and soothe tired muscles after a hard day of riding. “Just went on my 2nd ride with Kelly from Equine Escapes last month, and I am already planning my next visit.” In 35 reviews.

11432 Upper Preston Rd SE, Issaquah, WA “They get a lot of barns and riding time, this time it's more fun and games type riding than they get to play games in a log cabin, sleep in bunks, and have a pancake breakfast.” In 2 reviews.

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“ Sarah brought out two glistening white, chubby little ponies (one was Pegasus and one was a unicorn).” In 2 reviews. “I have two pygmy goats that I also keep at the barn, and Frankie takes care of them and makes sure they are happy and healthy.” In 5 reviews.

44809 SE Mt Si Rd, North Bend, WA “I have been taking lessons here for almost 2 months and I have learned so much from Tom.” In 2 reviews.

22216 Sweeney Rd SE, Maple Valley, WA “However..... Reindeer has created a wonderful environment for you to experience the joy of moving in your body.” In 2 reviews.

“ Riders are held accountable for taking care of their assigned horses all the way from tacking up to cooling them down at the end of the lessons.” In 3 reviews. “I would highly recommend them as a barn for the serious competitor through the person just wanting to start out.” In 4 reviews.

“Bracken hollow Stables is a wonderful place to learn to ride, sharpen your riding skills and learn how to care for horses.” In 4 reviews. “I've ridden at gold creek for almost 2 years now and my trainer has never abused her own horses or the school horses.” In 4 reviews.

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“The cabins for the younger kids are quite “posh” (nice bunk beds, indoor bathrooms and showers, decks with fire pits to make 'stores by at night).” In 2 reviews. “It has been a wonderful opportunity for my daughter to learn more about her passion and ride in a beautiful setting.” In 2 reviews.

“There are a lot of places close to us near our home in the May Valley area, but nothing felt right until we stumbled upon NW NHC in Fall City.” In 3 reviews. “My daughter has been learning from Adana for about two years now, and she loves it.” In 3 reviews.

“I've been riding at PTR for over a year now and it is the best barn I've ridden at.” In 4 reviews. Loved the haunted house, and the various animals you can pet as well as horse rides!” In 2 reviews.

“In addition, Carol will be teaching two separate weeks of intensive riding camps for children this summer.” In 4 reviews. “Our daughter has been going to Phoenix Farm for a few years now, and we only have good things to say about Teri and her team.” In 4 reviews.

“ Katherine goes out of her way to improve her students, she is an inspiration to all the students.” In 3 reviews. “My 12 years old started private lessons with Lynda few months ago, and she loves everything about it.” In 3 reviews.

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8635 SE 68th St, Mercer Island, WA “The only real downside of this place is there is an l-o-n-g waiting list to get a stall in the barn.” In 2 reviews.

“It has been awhile since I rode with Lisa, but I can tell you not only did I learn, but had the time of my life.” In 2 reviews. “I recently started riding with her, given the fact that the facility had a small group of owners and was very quiet, I moved my horse to the here.” In 2 reviews.

14907 159th Ave NE, Charlotte wood Equestrian Center, Joinville, WA “ Maya works hard with all her students and takes great care of all ponies.” In 2 reviews.

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