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.
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. 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. 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. The country’s largest wildlife refuge, Cotopaxi National Park, can be found here, surrounded by vast haciendas and ranches.
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.
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. From horseback safaris in Botswana's Okaying Delta to riding through the landscapes of Cappadocia, Turkey, here are some of the best equine-themed treks across the globe.
After riding, tour agencies can provide sun downers, candlelit dinners and unique tree house or luxury tent accommodations. Horse- riding nomads still travel the vast grasslands, mountains and river valleys with the changing seasons, moving their homes and caring for their herds.
You can visit locals who choose to remain in this isolated region, like the Satan families who herd domesticated reindeer. Riders should be prepared for extreme terrain in far-flung locations and the rare chance to experience one of the last remaining nomadic horse cultures on the planet.
The jagged peaks of the Andes Mountains contrast with the wild pampas, Chile's soft grasslands, in Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia. You can camp out under the stars or stay in family-run pensions and cool cave hotels, feasting on tasty local cuisine and strong Turkish tea.
Their unique way of moving, called the told, allowed Icelanders to use these horses as their sole mode of transportation for centuries. You can combine riding with visits to Iceland's top sights, including the mighty Gallons waterfalls and hot springs.
The canyon is filled with a sea of pink and red hoodoos, bizarre rock spires that over time have been eroded by the elements into peculiar formations. Cowboy guides recount the history and distinctive geology of this spectacular national park, as you ride among bristle cone pine trees, one of the oldest living organisms on the planet.
The native horses of Central Asia are the perfect companions for a tour along Silk Road routes next to the giant Tangshan and Pamir-Alai Mountains bordering China and Tajikistan and on the shores of the world's second-largest alpine lake. Ashen, Elmira and Rash, the owners and operators of Shepherd's Way Trekking, have been guiding horse rides in the Tangshan range for more than 17 years and offer an authentic view of Kyrgyzstan's nomadic, herding culture.
From their base at Bassoon village (350 kilometers east of Bishkek) you can take in eagles, ibex, mountain goats, petroglyph and sip fermented mare's milk, YYZ, in a yurt. Beach riding can also turn rainforest adventure to see howler monkeys, colorful macaws and red-eyed tree frogs.
You can be inside the crater of a volcano one day and riding through a lush rain forest the next in Haleakala National Park. Various vantage points along the trail reveal large cinder cones at the crater floor and dark rivers of lava flows.
To get to the remote Kahului section of Maui for the rain forest portion of Haleakala, visitors must first brave the Road to Haney, a winding scenic highway of more than 600 bends that runs along the stunning Northeastern coast. Off the road in the rain forest, rocky trails climb past ferns, bamboo, mango trees and lush vegetation.
With no vehicles allowed, walking or riding horses are the best way to experience the beauty of the Rocky Mountains in Canada's oldest national park. Riders can pack into Ban ff, where trails through dense woods are juxtaposed with openings that reveal striking snow-capped peaks, rushing rivers and turquoise-colored, glacier-fed mountain lakes.
This trail is a good pick if mountain scenery and the chance to spot wildlife, like black bears, elk, and deer appeals. You can have both if you head along the popular Sunshine Coast through tropical rain forest trails and into the bush to round up cattle with your guide, Olympian Alex Watson, on his agile Australian Stock Horses.
You may spot wallabies, koalas, kangaroos and colorful parrots and visit historic gold rush towns on this unusual trek, suitable for beginners and advanced riders. Located on the coast of Southern Spain, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Guadalquivir River Delta, Donna is one of the largest parks in Europe.
You can ride through thick forests of pine and rolling Mediterranean scrub lands, breathing in rosemary, red lavender and thyme. Endangered species, such as the Spanish imperial eagle and the rare Iberian lynx, can be spotted, as well as myriad birds that stop to rest at this strategic location between Northern Europe and Africa.
From the grand colonial house and gardens of Casey Tribe hotel, guests can set out on horseback to explore the surrounding landscape of coffee plantations and mountainside, sugar and macadamia farms, and Angostura Lake, with a local vaquero to guide the way. Ride, western style, through the long grass of the Córdoba hills, passing by rural homesteads, churches and schools, before stopping off at a swimming hole, or learn how to lasso and help the ranch’s gauchos round up their young horses.
The Garden Route is a picturesque strip of paradise, a coastal stretch of forested mountainside, lagoons, salt lakes and sandy bays, dotted with chocolate-box towns and exotic birdlife. For a real treat, ride out on one of Finch Kenya ‘s ten beautiful horses into the surrounding valley past abandoned sugar mills and plantation houses.
Trails through Porous, a remote 16,000 acre high-country property, lead through lush native beech and exotic forests, across Hanuka covered hills, open grassland and gentle streams. With its crystal clear waters and pristine white beaches, this corner of paradise in the balmy Indian Ocean is the perfect place to relax and unwind.