Tips on finding a horseback riding holiday that is right for you

Do you have a passion for ponies? Then it's time to book your first horseback riding holiday. Before you reserve an equine vacation, it's important to understand the differences in horseback riding holidays available in Canada today.

Tips on finding a horseback riding holiday that is right for you

Choosing a horsey holiday

The following are some of the different types of equine vacations being offered by Canadian ranches:

Pack-in trips

  • If you want to head deep into the wilderness, a pack-in trip is the way to go. During this trip, your gear, food and tents will be carried by horseback to a new location each day.
  • This type of holiday is best suited for experienced riders who are comfortable with covering rough terrain and riding for many hours.

Cattle drives and round ups

  • On a cattle drive, you will spend long days in the saddle driving a herd of cows many miles from, say, their wintering grounds to their summer range.
  • For this holiday, you will typically be roughing it in tents and enjoying meals by a campfire. This is another ride best suited for an experienced rider.
  • During a round up, riders are tasked with locating cows in a nearby location and then bringing them back to the ranch for various reasons, including branding and to separate calves from their mothers.
  • Accommodations for a round-up are typically on the ranch. This type of riding holiday may be suitable for novice riders.

Inn to inn

  • As the name implies, you will be riding from one inn to the next on this type of riding holiday.
  • Although accommodations are usually very comfortable, you may have to spend long hours in the saddle, which makes this vacation more suitable for experienced riders.

Dude ranches

  • This holiday is the best for beginners and novice riders as the amount of time spent in the saddle can be more easily tailored to your individual needs.
  • Accommodations are on the ranch, and there are usually non-riding activities available for guests, as well.
  • Always be honest about your riding skills.
  • If you say that you have more experience than you actually do, you could end up being paired with a spirited horse that may be more than you can handle.
  • Horses are very good at assessing the skill levels of their riders and have no qualms about taking advantage of a poor equestrian.
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