Where to next?
Domestic travel - US ranches and horseback adventures
The first thing that springs to mind is domestic
travel. It seems a safer bet than international travel just because things can
still change at a moment’s notice, but here in the USA anyway, travel between States has
remained fairly flexible. I have never been to any kind of western ranch or
even ridden western so this seems like a bucket list type of vacation. With
this in mind my family of four (including my two sons aged 10 and 12) have
chosen to go to Zapata Ranch for our next school spring vacation. Zapata
fulfills our desire to ride western, to see bison in large herds in open areas,
to explore a new state very different from Virginia; and to be able to ride as
a family with our own private wrangler! Zapata has comfortable ranch house
accommodation with fine food and plenty of activities for the non riders too.
For those traveling without their young
families, there are many options in the USA for those wanting an authentic
western experience on a working ranch too. Seems like something everyone should
do at least once?
Riding holidays in Europe
As my boys have been
doing school from home since March 2020, I also love the idea of spending some
time with my friends exploring new places and cultures on horseback. There are
so many places to choose from, but where to start? Perhaps a week soaking up
the warm Irish welcome at Castle Leslie with a chance to try their superb
horses on their cross country course? Or try to challenge myself with some of
their local foxhunts? Or maybe a week
perfecting the high school dressage movements at Alcainca in Portugal? I was
here in March a couple of years ago and had such a fun time working on learning
the piaffe, passage on wonderful schoolmasters and just enjoying the lovely old
town of Lisbon. We also got the chance to watch the Portuguese Riding School
train their horses one morning - such an inspiration. Europe has such a variety
of rides on offer that it’s hard to choose!
How about an African horse safari?
If you really wanted
to get away from the crowds and ride the open spaces, then I feel that an horseback safari in Africa is still the way to go.
This has been the ultimate riding vacation for many people and I
couldn’t agree more. Welcoming, knowledgeable people combined with fantastic
riding and excellent game viewing…
what more could you want? Again there is a quite a choice here
but once you have been on one you will be coming back for more, guaranteed.
Some of my favorites riding safaris are riding in the Okavango Delta in Botswana and riding in
the still very wild Hwange Park in Zimbabwe. On horseback you are able to go
places where the jeeps can’t go and this, combined with the delight of being a
part of the landscape rather than just an observer, makes a safari on horseback a
really special experience.
Some things in our
lives have changed irrevocably, but spending time with horses exploring the
beauty that is all around us reminds us that there is so much more to life than
the everyday grind of work and worry. I can’t wait to get back out there!
So where will you go once travel resumes? As always
Equus Journeys is here to guide you and answer any questions you may have..