Choosing a riding holiday | Far and Ride

Far and Ride


Choosing a riding holiday

Is it for you?

Horse riding holidays offer adventure and ‘something different’ from ‘regular’ holidays and can be  enjoyed by everybody, not just the rich and famous or serious horse riders.  We offer a wide range of holidays, from complete beginners, who have never sat on a horse before, to the experienced rider, looking for a tough adventure or a relaxing time, enjoying their hobby in a country of their choice.  You need to be of an adventurous nature, with a hands on approach and have an interest in outdoor life, experiencing a variety of varying terrains and beautiful sites on horseback.

 

Travelling alone, with family or in a group.

Far and Ride offer rides for single travelers, families and groups.  These groups may all have different needs and requirements and not everybody needs to be a rider to go on or enjoy a horse riding holiday.  Many of our rides offer other activities for the rider and non-rider; including hiking, biking, quad bike tours, shooting, spas, massages, local vineyards, swimming pools, bird watching, historical monuments, site-seeing, big game safari tours, cooking and  fine local golf courses.

 

Riding Ability

An important first step in choosing a riding holiday is to be acknowledge your own riding ability. Most holidays indicate what experience they can cater for and at Far and Ride we can advise you if the holiday you choose will suit your riding experience. As a basic guide we categorise our riders as follows:

  • A beginner is a rider who has limited experience and is unable to post at trotting and does not canter. 
  • A novice rider is capable of mounting and dismounting unassisted, capable of applying basic aids, comfortable and can trot and canter for short distances.
  • An intermediate should have a  firm seat, is confident and in control at all paces (including posting trots, two point canters and gallops), but does not ride regularly.
  • A strong intermediate rider will riding regularly and is comfortable in the saddle for at least 6 hours per day.
  • An advanced rider often has their own horse and is comfortable in all paces for several hours in the saddle.They will have a good seat, soft hands, and capable of handling a spirited horse in open country.

 

It is always best to be totally honest, even modest, about your riding experience and this honesty extends to your weight. There are rides for heavier riders and we are more than happy to advise you. It is vital to be straightforward so that a suitable horse can be found for you. Your hosts will certainly not allow you to ride if you exceed their weight limit or you have not be truthful about your experience.

 

Choosing your holiday destination

This task may be daunting to those not having been on  riding holiday. At Far and Ride we are happy to spend as long as you want talking you through your various options. There is a vast choice so you may need to answer some questions.

Perhaps you are a beginner and are looking for a centre that can teach you to ride or you may ride occasionally at a riding school and are looking for some instruction in the sun. It might be that you are looking for a holiday with a group of friends with some easy riding in the forest or along the beach

You can book a family riding holiday where perhaps only one or two may ride so you will want a centre with some other activities to ensure the whole family are happy. If so, you may be looking for just a bed and breakfast option as opposed to full board

You may be an experienced rider looking to improve your riding and wish to have some dressage or jumping lessons.

The more ambitious of you may wish to experience a safari. Far and Ride are very happy to talk you through the options. Safaris are not always for the experienced rider. Non riders may also enjoy some of our safaris – often jeep safaris are offered where the whole family may meet up at lunchtime.

Do you prefer to ride in English or Western tack? You do not have to go to the USA to try riding Western.

Many of our destinations offer a combination of  tuition  and trails – we are happy to advise.

Some trails are point to point meaning you will stay in different accommodation every night. Some trails are based so you may leave your horse at the end of the day and be taken back to the stables. This may be easier for some as you are able to return to comfortable accommodation without having to pack up for the day.

On some of the based rides you will ride out in a different direction every day and return home along with your horse. Sometimes you are able to choose how much riding you wish to do.

Our ranches often have a family programme and creche facilities. Ranches vary hugely in what they can offer  - we do have working ranches where riding is all important and there is definitely no nose-to tail riding.

Many of the trails ride over rough terrain and climb mountains – you may need a head for heights to enjoy these rides. Some cover long distances every day so for these you need to very fit and healthy and be able to walk beside your horse if necessary.

Short breaks can be fun and may introduce you to riding holidays and give you some idea of what to expect. Most are taken in Europe but bear in mind that it is possible to take a short break in South Africa because of the time zone.

We are able to advise you on budget destinations as well as luxury rides. A budget destination does not mean you have to compromise on well kept horses – at all our destinations, the horses will be kept in excellent condition. Sometimes a budget ride means you may have to share your accommodation perhaps with a few nights under canvas and you may be eating your supper around a camp fire. Sometimes you may have to take care of your horse. Perhaps you will stay at a locally owned house without all the modern conveniences you are used to but at all our budget  destinations you will be made very welcome.

An important factor  is to choose a destination at the right time of the year. Europe has some ideal weather conditions between May-October but July and August may prove very hot and riding may be curtailed and the hours of riding adjusted. Between June and September it is against the law to ride along the beach in Spain but this is the sort of advice Far and Ride are  able to help you with. Many of our European destinations are open all the year around and offer some wonderful Christmas and New Year breaks. You may not get a sun tan in the winter but in Portugal, for instance, the weather is temperate all year around and it will still be sunny and warm. May to September is a good time to take a safari in South Africa because the days are dry with sunshine and the nights are cool.

Some of our African destinations can offer a fantastic Christmas and New Year breaks. In Argentina and Chile the season is from October to April. It can be very cold at other times of the year. Mexico is best at this time but is definitely an all year around destination.Working ranches in North America offer the best cattle work in May & September. The ranches will vary in their opening times depending on where they are based in the USA. Arizona can be unbearably hot in mid summer and ranches here and Texas are best visited in the spring or winter. Far and Ride will advise you on your choice of ranch.

Lastly please remember to check that your intended destination is covered by adequate insurance and that they have been visited by a representative of the company who sells you the holiday. At Far and ride we check our rides regularly and we  get feedback from our clients  so we know that the high standard we expect from our holidays is maintained. All our holidays are covered  and Protected by Total Payment Protection Policy (topp) under policy no FRAL/topp/07/01 In the unlikely event of financial failure, subject to the terms and conditions of the Policy, customers’ prepayments for non flight inclusive packages will be reimbursed. Where return travel to the UK is included in the package purchased, customers will be repatriated to the UK. TOPP is underwritten by Travel & General Insurance Company plc, and authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

At Far and Ride we pride ourselves in spending time with clients helping them choose a holiday destination so we never mind answering any questions and supplying information. It is very important for us that we are able to help you book a fantastic riding holiday and we always look forward to hearing from you on your return.

 

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