This is an eco friendly and self-sufficient country. The terrain and climate of Romania contributes to making this country an excellent place to explore on horseback, especially in Transylvania where the Alps offer a unique blend of experience, knowledge and culture in this beautiful setting. Transylvania really is the great, undiscovered trail-riding destination of Europe. Romania is a real adventure for horse lovers, it’s National Committee for the Equestrian Tourism (CNTE), trains specialised guides for equestrian tourism. The Carpathian Mountains, also known as the Transylvanian Alps, make up over a third of the country.
Thanks to the writing of Bram Stoker, Transylvania is forever linked with the character Dracula in the public imagination. Visitors often arrive with visions of forbidding castles and mysterious cloaked men. While visitors will find castles, they will find much more in Transylvania, beautiful mountain scenery offers fabulous riding in a region where horses still outnumber vehicles. You will take a step back in time and witness a land rich in history, culture and wildlife. Workhorses are used daily on the many small farm holdings, ploughing the fields, pulling carts full of hay and dragging the logs from the surrounding forests. Wolves, bears, lynx, boar and deer as well as a multitude of birdlife inhabit the region. Old Roman roads and medieval trails, ruined fortresses and relics of the Habsburg era, and the areas folklore and traditional music can all be experienced during your stay.
The country has so many unrevealing secrets, our horse riding holiday allows you to taste the mysterious life of the times past. On horseback, the people used to cross the mountains, valleys and plains as a natural part of day to day life. Horse riders can rediscover Romania and it’s forgotten places, you can discover rural Romania in the saddle, at a gallop over the alpine pastures or slowly, looking for old traditions. The natural environment allows the equestrian tourism in Romania to continue through almost all areas of the land. Thus, you can discover the marks of an ancient civilisation, which has built its values within the fortified natural space of the Carpathians, where nature is so generous, and the sky is closer to the earth.
For years working horses have out numbered motor vehicles, providing transportation for people and goods and cultivating fields. Food is grown and produced locally, using age-old methods. The hardworking, hospitable people gather in close communities where family and their horses is the centre of life.
Popular breeds of horses in Romania consist of Romanian sports horses, Lipizzaner, Semigreu, Arabian, Bucovina, and Hutzul. The calm, well-mannered temperament's of these horses makes them well suited to riders of varying abilities. These breeds of horses are of medium build, adaptable, fit, and well-suited to the terrain, which can get rough in places. Popular saddles include English general purpose and endurance saddles, as well as some stock saddles, which are rather like military saddles.
The Hutzul breed (also called Hutul, Huzul, and Hucul) is the characteristic breed of the Carpathian Mountains, descended from the primitive Tarpan. The Hutzul is strong, lively, sensible, sure-footed and resistant to severe winter weather, making it an ideal mountain breed.The Bucovina breed is a development of the Hutzul, obtained by using a heavier stallion. It is the typical breed of the Bucovina region.
The Lipizzaner is one of the great breeds associated with the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Most Romanian Lipizzaner’s are chestnut and bay as opposed to the more familiar Grey (white) colour. The Arabian has been bred in Romania since Habsburg times. The excellent qualities of the traditional Arabian types bred in Romania are their characteristic intelligence, energy, and grace.
The Semigreu, medium draught horse was created after the Second World War to improve the local horse stock. The breed was created in two strains, the larger from the Ardennes is Trotter crossed with Furioso-North Star (an Anglo-Arabian derivative), and the smaller from the Ardennes is Lipizzaner crossed with a variety of local horses such as Hutzuls and even Arabians. The result was a strong, energetic, versatile breed.
Along with horse riding, Romania offers a rich tapestry of tourist attractions and holiday experiences, which are unique. It boasts medieval towns in Transylvania, the world-famous Painted Monasteries in Bucovina, traditional villages in Maramures, the magnificent architecture of Bucharest, the romantic Danube Delta, fairy-tale castles, the Black Sea resorts, the majestic Carpathian Mountains, spas and much, much more.
See our horse riding holidays in Romania below.