Mar 07 2012
Why go horseback riding?
It’s environmentally friendly and green (in more ways than one)
Like petting a dog, riding a horse out on the beach, the open range or through a river in Mexico makes your blood pressure go down. I’m not a doctor, but I play one on this blog!
Horseback riding vacations are a great way to bond with your girlfriends
Top 10 best places to ride a horse
The high desert of central Oregon has some of the best horseback riding along mountain rivers like the Deschutes, offering up a picture perfect back drop with the Three Sisters mountain range. Sunriver Resort is where the Brown family spends our summer vacation. I head to Sunriver Stables for my horseback riding vacation, along with a visit to Sunriver Resort’s Sage Springs Spa.
British Columbia, Canada
Remember the Marlboro Man commercials? Those television commercials were filmed in the wide open spaces of British Columbia, Canada. From back to basics open range riding at Big Bar Guest Ranch to the luxurious Echo Valley Ranch & Spa, Clinton, Canada is an excellent place to ride a horse. Clinton, Canada is outside of Kamloops, British Columbia. You’ll find lots of cowboys and cowgirls here, with plenty of horseback riding vacation options to suit every budget. Heck, you can even sleep in a tee pee at Big Bar Guest Ranch.
With steep hillsides and mountainous terrain, it’s good to be riding a sturdy and confident horse. There is no better horse than a Fjord horse when it comes to horseback riding in Norway. One of my horseback riding vacation highlights was a trip to Bergen, Norway and Øvre-Eide Farm.
Cruise ship to Bergen, Norway
Did you know that you can leave your cruise ship in Bergen, head to town for a horseback riding adventure with Øvre-Eide Farm and make it back to your cruise ship in time for departure? What a trip!
Big Island, Hawaii
Imagine riding a Paso Fino horse on the Big Island of Hawaii with whale plumes spouting in the distance. With Hawaii Paso Finos this dream may become a reality. Owners Joe and Kelly Vitorino, originally from Northern California, decided it would be a good idea to bring Paso Fino horses to the Big Island. The couple now call Hawaii home and want to share the island’s history with guests on this unique Big Island horseback riding vacation.
Saguaro cactus jut from the rock hard earth as far as the eye can see in Wickenburg, Arizona. This is not the place where Buffalo roam. Instead, look for Red tailed hawks, bobcats, road runners and the occasional feral burro wandering the Sonoran desert. Rancho de los Caballeros, in Wickenburg, Arizona is where multi-generations of families come for horseback riding vacations. This all inclusive ranch also offers team penning opportunities for girlfriend getaways and a trip to the spa at the end of the day.
Nothing says an amazing day of horseback riding like riding on the beach with the wind in your hair, the smell of the sea in the air and waves crashing in the distance. If you find yourself in Monterey, California, you might not get to go horseback riding with the original hombre, Clint Eastwood, but a day spent at the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center is well worth your time. You’ll go on a horseback riding vacation to remember, from trotting through Del Monte Forest, to walking by golf carts on the way to 17 Mile Drive next to California’s Pacific Ocean.
Big Sky and Darby, Montana
Montana is all about wide open spaces. What better place to go on a horseback riding vacation than Montana? I was fortunate to ride in the Bitterroot Mountain range of Darby, Montana. Triple Creek Ranch owner Barbara Barrett hosts the Klicks for Chicks endurance ride. If you love horseback riding during the day, combined with luxury lodging, gourmet dining and wine tasting, you will want to sign up for this adult-only horseback riding vacation adventure outside of Missoula, Montana.
Texas is known for its oil wells, cowboys and horses. The Wildcatter Ranch, 90 minutes northwest of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, is the place for horseback riding vacations alongside the Brazos River. This Graham, Texas guest ranch takes riders on trail rides in the North Texas Hill Country. If you make it to Wildcatter Ranch make time to stop and feed one of their Longhorn Cattle.
Santa Barbara, California
You love horseback riding, but not all of your travel companions share your passion and love of horses. No worries! Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort is a full-service guest ranch for couples, families and family reunions. Trust me when I say that there is something for everyone at The Alisal Ranch.
Los Cabos, Mexico
Sometimes people think of under fed, tired horses wasting away in the hot Mexican sun when they think of horseback riding in Los Cabos, Mexico. I was over-the-moon with excitement when I arrived at Cuadra San Francisco Ranch in Cabo Real, Mexico for a horseback riding vacation. The father/son duo of Francisco J. and Vallente F. Barrena demonstrated their horsemanship skills with Andalusian, Lippizaner and Lusitano horses. Vallente even danced with his horse!
Great places to ride a horse
There are so many great places to take a horseback riding vacation. Where are your favorite places to ride a horse? Leave a comment and I’ll try to visit sometime.
Top photo courtesy of Florian Pass, Sucandi Farm. Hawaii Paso Finos photo courtesy of Winston Welborn. Rancho de los Caballeros photo courtesy of Melanie Bess Hogan, Saddleback Photography. Cuadra San Francisco photo courtesy of their Facebook page.