Fancy a change? Try 7 unexpected riding holiday destinations

  • If hacking through the Welsh hills or donning a cowboy hat for a ranch holiday isn’t go to cut it for you, take a look at these unusual destinations for horse riding holidays.

    1. Jamaica

    There’s a whole lot more to Jamaica (pictured above) than jerk chicken, Usain Bolt and reggae music — and swimming with horses is just one of them. At the Half Moon Equestrian Centre in Montego Bay on the north side of the island, a short ride will take you down to a quiet bay, where you can ditch your breeches in favour of a bikini and ride bareback into the sea. Not your average equestrian experience…
    Price: from £1,535 per person including flights for seven nights at the Half Moon Resort
    Visit: www.caribtours.co.uk, www.horsebackridingjamaica.com and halfmoon.rockresorts.com

    2. Peru

    Follow in the footsteps of Spanish conquerors in Machu Picchu, riding high in the mountains of Peru, exploring the Sacred Valley and following the Inca Trail through The Andes.
    Price: from £2,260 per person for 10 days
    Visit: www.equestrian-escapes.com

    3. Romania

    Take a step back in time and head to Romania, where a horse and cart is still a common mode of transport. Riding in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania you’ll pass through beautiful scenery, passing majestic castles and medieval towns, spotting wildlife along the way.
    Price: from £631 for seven nights
    Visit: www.inthesaddle.com

    4. Colombia

    Get a true Latin American experience riding from hacienda to hacienda in central Colombia through the mountain landscapes of the Cordillera Oriental, crossing the desert of La Candelaria and pulling through Cundinamara to the tropical province of Santander.
    Price: from £1,345 for seven nights
    Visit: www.farandride.com

    5. Finland

    A horse and husky safari in the wilds of Levi will take you along snowy roads, through wild forests, past lakes and over the hills and fells. You’ll ride hardy Finnish horses through the crisp snow and drive your own team of Husky dogs on an overnight safari.
    Price: from £1,545 for seven nights
    Visit: www.unicorntrails.com

    6. Namibia

    Put yourself to the test with a 10 night desert ride in central Namibia — not one for the faint hearted. During the trip you’ll take in the Khomas Hochland mountains, the Kuiseb Canyon, the Tinkas, Tumas and Welwitschia plains, Moon Valley, the seasonal Swakop River and the coastal dunes of the Atlantic Ocean.
    Price: email info@ranchrider.com for details
    Visit: www.ranchrider.com

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    7. India

    Looking to wrap culture and riding up in one exotic trip? Head to Rajasthan, visiting Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and Udaipur along the way, staying in a colourful mix of hotels, castles, camps and fortresses. Your mount for the trip will be a Marwari, a mix of the indigenous Indian horse and Arabs found only in the North of India, with their curly ears to protect them from the sand.
    Price: from £1,540 for 13 nights
    Visit: www.zarasplanet.com

    Don’t miss the travel special in this week’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine (18 February 2015), where H&H‘s Briony Reed gives her dressage a boost in Monte Velho, Portugal and we take an equestrian break at Lucknam Park in Wiltshire

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