5 Best Countries To Explore On Horseback
Exploring a country on horseback gives you a really unique perspective of its natural beauty and wildlife. Your adventure starts where the roads stop, as you traverse fields, beaches, mountain ranges and more atop an equine companion. There are many exceptional places to go horseback riding in the world whether you’re going for a few hours or a full trek. I’m counting down the some of the world's best trails to experience and the beautiful estates and farms you can stay at while you visit.
1. Alisal, California
Go for a scenic and sunny ride when you stay at Alisal Ranch in Santa Barbara’s wine region. There’s lots to see her as you have 50 miles of riding trails and 100-acre spring-fed lake to ride around. You can come here as a total novice or an advanced rider, with 100 horses to choose from, the ranchers will make sure you’re with a group that matches your abilities. There’s an option for an early morning breakfast ride where you’ll enjoy eggs, bacon, sausages and pancakes along the way. Then in the afternoon, you’ll have ample time to explore nearby wineries and also enjoy dinner at notable restaurants in the area.
2. Half Moon, Jamaica
If you’ve dreamed about riding over white sand beaches and getting in the water while on horseback there’s no better place than Half Moon in Jamaica. The on-property equestrian center has been open for 28 years and offers everything from polo to jumping to dressage to the aforementioned Turf & Surf experience. Here’s you’ll enter the water and will feel the warm Caribbean sea on your feet while your horse glides through the water. You’ll need to wear a swimsuit and have ridden previously to enjoy this one of a kind excursion.
3. Riding the Silk Road in Kyrgyzstan
This one is for experienced riders who’ve always wanted to truly traverse a county on horseback. On this trip, you’ll be like Marco Polo exploring the most beautiful passes alongside what used to be the Silk Road. Arrive in the capital Bishkek and then embark on your adventure where you experience the Juuku Pass, Kumtor Gorge and Uch Koshkon settlement which was the only Soviet settlement in the region. Along the way, you can see animals like yaks and wild ibex. Accommodations will be in tents or at shepherd’s homes, so prepare for a truly off the grid experience.
4. La Constancia, Argentina
Head to the hills near picturesque Cordoba in Argentina where you can ride beautiful criollo horses. Argentina is famous for its horseback riding culture and when you stay at this colonial house you can choose how often you want to ride, anywhere from three to ten hours per day. If riding through mountainous terrain seems daunting to you don’t worry — the horses at La Constancia were born and bred in the region and will guide you seamlessly through the hilly terrain. Even on steep slopes or crossing sharp ridges the horses here never lose their footing.
Iceland is famous for its horses which have two unique gaits specific to their breed. Experienced riders, you’ll want to book a day trip with Ishetar one of the country’s premiere riding operators to go on their Viking Tour. Ride through the stunning lava fields in Heiðmörk Nature Park for a total ride of up to five hours. You’ll take in striking scenery, and the routes are adapted to the seasons guaranteeing you’ll be taking the most scenic way. You’ll enjoy lunch on the way and have spent a great day on a unique Icelandic horse throwing in some tölt (one of their unique gaits) along the way.