They are exceptionally alert, with big bright eyes, large nostrils and neat little ears. They have silky straight hair, known as feathers, around the fetlock and a long flowing mane and tail.
Fells are black, brown, bay and gray, with a little white on the forehead acceptable. Also known for its courage and intelligence, the Dales pony was a reliable ally for the British Army during both World Wars.
The Risky pony is a Scottish breed with a dense, gray waterproof coat. Originating from the Western Isles of Scotland, the breed had to adapt to harsh living conditions involving limited food supply and rainy weather.
The Risky pony was often a domesticated breed used as a children’s mount and for light work. Capable of withstanding rough weather conditions, it is a hardy breed with excellent stamina.
It is Britain’s oldest breed of native pony and dates back to around 50,000 BC. The Ex moor almost became extinct during the Second World War as many were used as target practice by trigger-happy troops.
It is very reliable for jumping, trekking and all-round activities due to its stamina and ability to carry weight. Known for its prodigious speed, the New Forest pony has been a regular racing breed for decades.
According to breed standards, New Forest ponies may be of any color except for piebald, skewbald, or blue-eyed cream. It is a very strong and sturdy pony used as a workhouse during the Industrial Revolution, mainly to pull carts, carry coal and plow farms.
It can be seen in almost any color but is mainly black, chestnut, bay, gray, palomino, dun, roan, cello, and silver dapple. The breed was exported to the US in the 1880s and the arguably more refined US counterpart is now commonly referred to as the American Shetland pony.
The Welsh pony is a breed that traces its origin back to the Middle Ages. Known for its stamina, it is also a very popular choice for trekking, trail riding and jumping.
Some people who go against all conventions have been known to create uncountable partnerships with a horse that everybody else would avoid at all costs. A sensible and sound older horse is far more likely to help you progress with your riding that a flighty, wobbly youngster will.
A horse that is friendly and affectionate, respects your space, and pricks its ears when it sees you coming; is far more rewarding that one that is impossible to catch and bites. Equally, Warm bloods and horses bred more for the show ring than the local woods, can prove too much for a first time buyer.
Cob ‘type’ horses are all round good-doers, especially when it comes to novice owners and riders. You can never be sure that the current owner is not hiding a temperamental blip with firm, knowledgeable handling.
Sometimes asking around the local equestrian community where the horse is currently located, can give you an insight into any positive or negative behaviors. It might just save you the embarrassment of thinking the horse you have bought is an angel at a show only to discover that it is in fact the opposite.
Another major box to tick is your time, do you have the spare hours in the day to muck out, turn out, feed, stand with the farrier? A full examination will highlight things you might not pick up on, such as a pelvic asymmetry or a slight soreness somewhere that may lead to lameness at a later stage.
The passport will give you some indication of age and breeding, as well as previous owner records and vaccination history. It is a good idea to ask again about things such as lots of different owners, vaccinations, why the horse is being sold, lameness, illness, injury etc.
Some of the most beautiful areas in the country are perfect for a horse riding holiday and just as suitable for experienced riders as total newbies. One of the most idyllic places in the UK for exploring on horseback is Dorset, situated on England’s mild south coast.
The region is blissfully verdant, ranging from pine forests to heaths to brilliant panoramas of the Jurassic Coast. Turning inward, Dorset offers as many as 1700 different bridleways and other trails that wind through the unspoiled landscape making horse riding the perfect means of exploration.
The northernmost parts of the UK unsurprisingly provide the wildest and unique landscapes for horse riding. With such varied terrain and great networks of paths and bridleways, you’ll be able to discover more of Scotland on horseback than you ever could with a vehicle or on foot.
Known as the adventure capital of the UK, it should come to no surprise that the Lake District with its idyllic scenery and rural countryside is ideal for a horse riding holiday. These north-western national parkland hold some of the most beautiful lands in the country, packed with peaceful lakes, forests and fells.
If you’re still looking for accommodation in any these areas, our concierge team can help you find the coziest cottages and grandest manors in the UK to make your holiday complete. With the guide of expert riders, different equestrian activities and delicious meals to recharge your batteries, it’s a unique experience you’ll surely enjoy like no other.
Considered the rugged backbone of England, it connects Middle Top in Derbyshire, Peak District, South Pennies, Yorkshire Dales and Cambria. Ride along the Mary Toweled loop, which is part of this trail, where you can see the industrial tradition of the South Penning.
If you want, you could also do all four at once but try to find a place to spend the night or make sure your horse riding holiday offers accommodation along the way. Once an important harbor for the surrounding mines, the Atlantic Coast at Portrait is where this historical trail starts and travels all the way until Devon.
Many of these buildings have been conserved and are now a wonderful backdrop for riders who want to relive the golden mining times galloping next to the original railways used to transport the ore. Considered Britain’s oldest road, it consists of many terrains from open grassland to cooling towers and woodland.
It is surrounded by fascinating prehistoric sites, especially the stretch from Ashbury to Become Bassett which has plenty of ancient views over the Thames Valley. In the South Downs National Park, this beautiful trail of 100 miles (160 km) travels along grassy tracks on rolling downland.
The scenery includes the impressive white cliffs of Eastbound, the historic Winchester hill and some of England’s finest countryside with plenty of wildlife and picturesque villages. The bridleways are perfectly marked and it normally takes about 2 to 3 days to complete, which makes it ideal for a weekend horse riding holiday in England.
Some parts of the trail could be challenging, but the ride is totally worth to see the spectacular views from the top of the hill. An easier ride of 50 miles (80 km), Pedals Way is an old Roman footpath that crosses Norfolk and takes you through low cliffs and sandy beaches.
An excellent option for beginner riders who want to experience the off-road adrenaline, this trail will take you, without much hassle, through the beautiful moorlands of the Breaks and allow you to see peculiar fauna such as the golden pheasant. Pedals Way has alternatives for full-day excursions to suit the more experienced riders who want to follow the hoof prints of the ancient Romans.
You can expect difficult treks along the rugged characteristic landscape of Scotland, but there are a few stretches for exhilarating gallops across secluded beaches; you can even spot one or two seals in the shallows! Whether you want a leisurely, relaxing ride, challenging terrain, spectacular scenery, or simply good pub pit stops, we've picked out ten of the best places to go exploring with your horse.
With plenty of attractive wildlife, pretty villages and fine pubs, the chalk downland provides good going, even after rain. Well-marked and largely off-road, this historical trail offers a variety of riding, from gentle rolling landscape through to more challenging hills.
Often called the rugged backbone of England, there's opportunity to experience some of the finest upland riding on the UK's first National Trail, designed especially for horse riders, mountain bikers and walkers. Connecting the Peak District, South Pennies, Yorkshire Dales and Cambria, there're 200 miles of fantastic riding to be enjoyed.
Ride out on the open moor and really stretch your horse's legs, or follow woodland trails and bridleways for a gentle trot. With three miles of sandy beaches to enjoy there are also cliff top rides overlooking the impressive Dorset coastline and around Old Harry Rocks.
Separate riding and walking routes are available and there's something to suit every rider, from short hacks to longer full day excursions. Ride out along the coast in an area of outstanding natural beauty or visit tiny flint villages and quiet streams.