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Do you go riding on vacation?

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  • Do you go riding on vacation?

    I know this is a silly question, especially from me living on a dude ranch and all, but do you go horseback riding when you go on vacation? Most of our guests do not own horses or get to ride often which is what makes the ranch so special. So for all of you who get to ride more often (once a week or so), do you still like to ride on vacation?

    I ask because I'm planning my honeymoon and saw that one of the resorts I'm looking at offers horseback riding... I had that little kid moment where I said to myself "omagosh we could go horseback riding!"

    It just seems a little silly when people pay you to ride to pay someone else to ride their horse... but then again, it's vacation!

  • #2
    I do like to go riding on vacation. I took my now ex-fiance on a trail ride when we were in TN on vacation. He's not a horse person so this was an opportunity for him to 'ride'. For him it consisted of having the reins in one hand with a ton of slack, resting on his other hand, which was resting on the horn of the saddle while the horse followed the lead horse.

    I like to do different things with horses, so if there is an opportunity to do something that I would not ordinarily do, I jump on it. In the above situation, it was a ride through Tennessee mountains. It may also be an opportunity to work cattle, or ride along some other scenery or drive a carriage or ride a breed I would not ordinarily get to ride (such as gaited horses), etc.

    I always wanted to go on one of those Equestrian Vacations they have in Ireland where you start at one place, ride somewhere for lunch, then keep riding until you hit the next stop at night and so on.

    So, no, I don't think it's strange at all for us horse crazy people to want to ride. As a matter of fact, I will be in Knoxville, TN for the month of May and am trying to figure out how to ride while I'm down there!


    • #3
      I haven't tried one of thsoe "riding vacation" type packages targeted for real riders, where you're taking lessons with a cool trainer-- they seem really cool. (but that's not something I'd take hubby to.) And I bet your dude ranch offers a bit more opportunity for a skilled rider to actually "ride" instead of just sit on a horse.

      But the run-of-the-mill tourist trail rides are invariably disappointing. You are surrounded by total beginner riders and the horses are just following the horse in front of them. Neither the horse nor the trail guide is going to change their routine in response to your superior riding skills.


      • #4
        I'll put it this way... I was going to visit a friend in Italy, and she asked "Would you be interested in riding horses in the Tuscan countryside?"

        My response was somewhere along the lines of "Do you even KNOW me?"

        That was the continuation of a vacation where I went horsebackriding in Jamaica and got to fulfill my bucket list item of riding on the beach... but also actually got to swim on horseback. The feel of a horse swimming is pretty awesome, and apparently my horse loved it as he kept jumping off the sandbar we were supposed to walk along most of the time so he could swim more.

        I was disappointed my last vacation - I didn't get to ride because freezing rain and snow made the roads to the barn unsafe (I was going to ride w/ the riding team at my alma mater), so I had to go 11 days without riding.

        While I would LOVE a vacation where I am taking lessons from a fantastic instructor on superb schoolmasters, there's something to be said for sitting on a horse, relaxed, and all you have to do is let the horse follow the one in front of it and don't worry about training. I was lucky in Jamaica I got one of the polo horses to ride, then on another cruise I was on they gave me the horse who was on her first ride with someone other than her trainer - both were really fun and obviously far more sensitive/trained than a typical trail horse. The ones in Italy were retired competition horses, so would round and carry themselves if you asked and my friend was laughing at me for how nicely my horse was going without me really trying.
        If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.


        • #5
          Yes, I like to ride on vacation. I enjoy seeing new areas from horseback. Since I ride regularly, I do tend to seek out stables which take out smaller groups or individuals. They are usually more willing to cater to skill level and allow trotting and cantering as opposed to places which take out 30 horses nose to tail on a walking ride.


          • #6
            I don't do it very often because I get disillusioned when seeing the poor horses. Ten years ago my husband and I did a day long cattle drive in Colorado. We had very nice horses and loved every minute. We also did a beach ride at Pebble Beach; we were the only riders signed up for the morning ride, it was like a private tour. My sister did a trail/beach ride in the Bahamas this winter and was thrown from her horse, it was nasty.The horse tried to back up and kick her after she hit the ground. Luckily one of the trail guides was able to intervene.
            "You gave your life to become the person you are right now. Was it worth it?" Richard Bach


            • #7
              Yes, I do. The only reason I now own a Paso Fino was a trail ride we took in Puerto Rico. I fell in love with the gait - even though the little guy I rode was a less than impressive looking member of the tribe.
              What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!


              • #8
                I do! Or at least I would have on my last vacation if it were not for having broken my hand just the week before. I had it all booked and everything, had to cancel!


                • #9
                  I try to! Whether that's just trail riding or taking lessons, it depends. But I really enjoy it. This year I'll be in Hawaii and also Norway. I'm going to trail ride in Hawaii and take some lessons at a little barn near our cabin in Norway where I've ridden before. Its really interesting to see another country's view on training and riding - last time I rode there (quite a few years ago), I'd been jumping 2' courses at home, but they put me on this fantastic little pony and I was hopping 3' oxers... terrifying but soo fun!

                  I'd LOVE to do one of those riding vacations with trainers and galloping XC and schoolmasters and equestrian estates... drool...


                  • #10
                    Riding in Ireland and Scotland was a blast. The beach ride was pretty bad in Ireland--we both came off. It was a private beach ride. The farmer took the horses to the beach on a tractor-towed farm trailer, we had to allow him an extra hour ahead of us. Then the mare I was on unloaded me when we tried a gallop--she was a massively dirty bucker. That packed sand is HARD. Then DH came off when his horse stumbled in some crumbling sand. The girl that mucked out confided in me afterwards that we were the first trip out that season, and the mare I rode was a total bitch.

                    We stayed at an Irish B&B and rode the cross country course they had on site. The owner's husband had a fabulous gelding suitable for my 6'4 then SO. We have hacked cross country and also taken hunting tutorials, and of course foxhunted. DH took the Galway trail ride in the '80's.

                    In Scotland we rode nice big clyde cross geldings and the snarky little girl that guided us warned us off the restaurant we ate at that night, where we had the best meal we have ever had in our travels, anywhere. Hmmm.. don't ask 14 year olds for restaurant advice! Also do not assume a Scottish horse is used to riders taking raincoats off--more bucking.

                    There is something incredibly cool about riding Akhal Teke stallions, unguided, across the desert terrain of Turkmenistan.

                    My bucket list contains riding Andalusians in Spain and a wine tasting tour and stag hunting in France.


                    • #11

                      I look at it like hiking with the horse doing the walking

                      Rode with DH in the Molera Ntl forest, ending up down by the ocean at sunset.
                      Also rode through London streets & Hyde Park with 2 girl guides from Kensington.

                      IMHO, it's a great way to see any city or country you are in.
                      And the bonus is a trail ride where you are not worrying about how your horse may react
                      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                      • #12
                        yup, I even enjoy doing the all walk trails with my family, its the only way I can get my mom on a horse, she asks for the one that is old and slow

                        did two beach rides with some cantering on the beach, one ride in the mountains with family and a stop at a waterfall and one ride w/ DH then BF, that was boring b/c we both rode and it was walk only but that would have been fine but the secenery was really really really boring


                        • #13
                          My husband and I went to Jamaica on our Honeymoon and we did a honeymoon ride on the beach package where we rode to the beach, swam with the horses, and had a picnic dinner and wine. Sounds fancier than it was, but it was definitely memorable and we had a great time. I dont think it's weird at all to ride on vaca


                          • #14
                            I would love to go on an equestrain vacation. Somewhere that had nice horses (as in good quality, trained and well fed).

                            The ones that have a pack string of skinny, sad horses that just follow one another isn't on my to-do list.
                            Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.


                            • #15
                              Yup! One of the best things about traveling alone-I don't have to convince anyone else to shell out $40 for a trail ride.

                              The last one I went on was in Costa Rica in the pouring rain. It had been raining the entire week and I decided that I was just going to get wet, and have fun anyway. So I rode, hiked, and ziplined in the rain (and had fun anyway!).
                              "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

                              Phoenix Animal Rescue


                              • #16
                                If at all possible, i definitely will go riding on vacation.

                                Sometimes it's just a trail ride, but occasionally if I've done research beforehand i may line up a lesson if possible.

                                When I was younger we had a house in Hilton Head Island sc and would go down there about 4x per year. My parents wouldn't pay for a trail ride EVERY time, but about twice a year id go on one.... At the same barn every time, usually the same trail route!! I was easy to please!

                                I was also shy about taking lessons with strangers when I was that age, so I stuck with the trails. Now id be more inclined to pay for a lesson if I could.


                                • #17
                                  If there is a place within reasonable distance, yes.

                                  A few years ago, my husband and I went on a beach ride in Amelia Island, FL. My "non-horse" husband actually enjoyed it and was swatting flies off his ride.
                                  We could all take a lesson from crayons some are sharp, some are beautiful, some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they still learn to live in the same box. Unknown.


                                  • #18
                                    Depends on what kind of riding I would be doing. If its just a trail ride at some rent a horse place, I would not be interested. I ride enough that walking on some overused mule is not going to make my trip.
                                    however if wherever im going is a legitimate riding place, i jump at the chance. In fact, some of my favorite memories have been riding on vacation.
                                    as a bit of a side note, one of my favorite things to do when I go anywhere is go to the local tack shop. I just like talking to people who share my passion and I think its fun to learn about the local horse community. the horse world


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by oliverreed View Post
                                      Yes, I do. The only reason I now own a Paso Fino was a trail ride we took in Puerto Rico. I fell in love with the gait - even though the little guy I rode was a less than impressive looking member of the tribe.
                                      I just got back from Puerto Rico and rode a Paso Fino in the rain forest! Our horses were pretty nice and I really enjoyed the scenery and a breed of horse I had never ridden. So obviously the answer is yes!


                                      • #20
                                        I did a week long riding vacation in southern spain back before I married Mr. Twisting. I loved every minute of it. Spent the mornings cuising through the forest and along the beach. Boy did those andies know the "gallop spots". They would jig and prance as soon as we got close to the fire burms they were allowed to run on. There was no stopping them, it was controlled chaos till they galloped themselves out.

                                        The afternoons were spent laying on the beach and enjoying the little mom and pop resturants that lined the boardwalk. One of the best vacations I've ever had.

                                        I've ridden in Hawaii too, when we popped over to the Big Island for the long weekend. Hubby and I were the only ones on the trail ride so the guide stuck with my non-horsey husband and his babysitter mount and let me have a bit of a canter over the field on my slightly more livley equine.

                                        Jumpthemoon16 mention going to Hawaii this year. If you're going to go riding on Oahu I'd reccomend the Polo Trail Rides. The polo team offers trails rides on their non-training/game days. You get to ride the polo ponies and they have some lovely horses. I keep my horse across the street from the field and I still want to go on one of their rides before I leave the Island. If only to get to ride some of their horses.

                                        They also offer polo lessons as well, and every Saturday during the summer there are polo games followed by live music and a bar. Everyone parks their trucks around the edges of the playing field and tailgates during the game. (Did I mention the field is about 40 feet away from the ocean?) The "halftime show" usually involves sky divers from the nearby airport. Tickets are very reasonable. I think last year they were $15? I would highly reccomend catching a game to any horsey family coming to the Island. Even my non-horsey husband enjoyed it.
                                        For the horse color genetics junky