When you think of
"adventure travel," what crosses your mind?
- White water rafting?
- Scuba diving?
- Something as sedentary as a cruise ship
or land rover safari?
Those ideas lose their "adventure" status
when you compare them to galloping on a horse
in Africa with a zebra and wildebeest racing
along side you, or quietly observing the
elephant and giraffe.
How can a traveler visit the remote parts
of the world's most beautiful and interesting
places while . . .
- Practicing a fascinating sport
- Avoiding polluting
- Keeping in harmony with history and
- Explore exotic locations
- Making friends in remote places, and
- Sharing the experience with a willing
Have you ever considered the tremendous
advantages of adventure travel on horseback? A
horse can take you to beautiful and remote
places which are difficult to reach in any
other way. At the same time, you can practice
a challenging sport which has been a favorite
of mankind for millennia.
Destinations like Africa, Asia, Europe and
South America offer a wonderful variety of
adventure tours on horseback. Though
comparatively little known to Americans, the
British and particularly the French have
highly developed the riding tour concept in
many parts of the world. In many locations in
the United States rights-of-way for horses
have been lost, but many still exist in other
Horses and horseback riding are deeply
woven into the culture and history of most
cultures from Argentina to Ireland. This is
how our ancestors traveled and for those with
a sense of history there is no more
appropriate way to go. If you arrive in a
foreign place on horseback, you will most
likely be enthusiastically greeted by locals
with waves and smiles which greatly facilitate
meaningful contacts. Those who arrive by bus,
on foot or on a bicycle are usually ignored.
Horses are a great introduction and ice
breaker almost anywhere.
If you seek a wilderness adventure, then
horses are the way to go unless you want to
walk and carry your equipment. Riding tours
can take you from inn to inn, castle to
castle, palace to palace or from one
comfortable camp to another. Costs are very
reasonably compared to biking or bus trips.
Horseback riding adventures vary widely in
the skill and experience required to handle
them safely. Most of these tours move out at
all paces and include some good gallops so
that one can cover 15 to 35 miles in a day.
Beginners need several days of instruction
before attempting even an easy trip, but those
who are reasonably fit, not too overweight and
have open minds can catch on very quickly. A
week of intensive riding with good instruction
can easily prepare most people for the less
One of the enormous advantages of travel on
horseback is that you are sharing the
adventure with a willing animal who is also
interested in the sights and sounds and who
loves a brisk gallop on a beach or open plain
as much as you do. A day in the saddle is also
great exercise and riding is an excellent way
to keep fit while having fun. It is far more
interesting and satisfying than sitting
confined in a bus or land rover all day which
really isn't adventure travel at all. Another
dividend is the keen appetite you develop
after a day in the saddle for the delicious
food you will be served.
On an African ride, a good horse can
outdistance an irate Cape buffalo or elephant
and keep you safe. Comfortable camps are set
up for you each night, the food is excellent
and the service superb. Or try a horseback
tour visiting the castles of the Loire Valley
and ride into the courtyards on your horse
like a knight of old. You can gallop along
forest tracks where the French aristocracy
once chased the wild stag. There is a broad
spectrum of possibilities available for
horseback riding vacations.
If it appeals to you to travel in harmony
with nature without using polluting, noisy
machines or an unresponsive bicycle, then you
should look into horseback riding tours.