HI Spy: What’s Your Dream Equestrian Vacation?

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    Riding on the beachIn the dead of winter, when your horse is a hairy beast, the sky is gray and your usual riding spots are covered in ice, it’s only natural to daydream about taking a vacation to somewhere else.

    There are lots of options for equestrian vacations. If you long for white sandy beaches and fruity drinks in the sun, tropical beach riding vacations are probably for you. If you want to combine an educational experience with hours in the saddle, a cross-country ride through historic European sites might pique your interest. For some horse owners, sitting around and relaxing sounds boring, but spending a week on a working cattle ranch would be the trip of a lifetime.

    Other vacation options incorporate training and instruction into your schedule so that you can return home a better rider than you left. You can even take your horse along on some holidays, whether you’re horse camping, training, or just trailering out for some backcountry riding.

    If you could plan the equestrian vacation of your dreams, what would it be? Click “Submit a Comment” below to share your thoughts. Some responses may be published in an upcoming issue of Horse Illustrated.

    One selected response may be selected by the editors to win a monthly prize! If you would like to be eligible for the prize, please include your email address in the comment form (email addresses are not publicly displayed.)

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    81 COMMENTS

    1. I’ve taken horse vacations in the deserts of Arizona, the forests of Belize, and the hills of Vermont; all wonderful experiences. My dream vacation would be an African riding safari – but I’m not sure I’ll ever have the confidence, skill, or budget to do it!

    2. I’d love to ride my horse around the countrysides and moors of Europe exploring places like Stonehenge and ancient castles.

    3. i think i would love going around England and seeing the castles and ancient sites that they have to offer. also Ireland would be fun.

    4. It might not be much of a vacation, but I would love to take my horse to a Clinton Anderson clinic at his ranch. I’m really into natural horsemanship and would love to learn directly from an expert!

    5. My dream Vacation would have to be ridding on the beaches of Hawaii. To feel that worm breeze in your hair as you canter through the beaches. The feel of warm water hitting your face as you go through it. To see the sunsets light hit my horses face in the most beautiful way.

    6. My dream equestrian vacation would be living on a farm. I don’t have any horses of my own. I only ride. I would love to be at a barn ALL the time.

    7. I would love to do two horseback tours, one in Ireland and the other here in the USA. I’d love to explore where my ancestors came from.

    8. I would wanna trailer my horse to Cumberland Park in Kentucky so we could trail ride all day and then camp out somewhere. Maybe even go for a swim bareback.

    9. It is my dream to take an equestrian vacation in Australia. I would love to explore the Australian outback on horseback and learn from Australian cowboys and cowgirls.

    10. I would trailer my horse to Florida for the winter and stay at a beautiful sunny plantation style farm. I would sleep in everyday, then go out to the barn until sundown. We would trail ride on the beach, and catch a break under palm trees!

    11. My horse vacation would be to go to europe with my horse and ride around all of Scotland and Ireland. Then ride along the beaches in Spain. Seeing all the beautiful greens in nature there would amazing. And getting pictures of all of it from horse-back makes it that more memorable.

    12. My horse vacation would be somewhere where I could take my own horse and ride every day. The place would provide training seminars to better my horsemanship skills. The food would a variety of salads, barbaque and deserts. The lodge would provide services like massages, hot tubs and drinks for when the riding and training seminars are done and it is time to socialize. My horse would have quality hay, access to pasture or a stall in a barn with a wash rack.

    13. My dream vacation would be just to spend time with my very own horse, whether we are riding across the field, or just relaxing. Just being able to have a horse of my own.

    14. My dream vacation would have to include my own horse, because it wouldn’t be half as fun without her. I would love to go to a pace rich in wildlife and with lots of wide open spaces to run. I think Africa would be amazing, wide open plains for galloping, giraffes, elephants, zebras and gazelles that you could canter alongside and a whole new culture to learn about. It would be an experience my horse and me would never forget!

    15. My vacation would forever remain a dream. The horse I would love and would take belongs to someone else. All we’d do is trailer out to a remote area and gallop through the fields. No one would be telling me to keep my toes up, heels down, there’d be no restrictions. Just me and my not-really-never-will-be-mine horse.

    16. If I could go on a vacation with my horse, I’d take him to the trail riding barn at the camp ground I go to near the Rocky Mountains. The trails are great, and even when you’re in the trees, the roots aren’t uprooted enough to be dangerous for the horses to trot. A lot of open trails to canter on, and we always to an outride, following a wagon, and its an all-speed free ride for anyone who’s up to it. It would be a great break from the jumping lessons and shows that happen in the summer, and he’d probably be addicted to it.

    17. If I could go on a horsey vacation, I have always wanted to do to the FEI World Equestrian Games & see as much as possible, but most definetly the dressage parts! If it was with my horse, I want to travel to a professional dressage trainer with some fancy clean barn. I have also wanted to go to New Zealand or somewhere & gallop horses along the beach, and I have also wanted to do a month long trail trip with camping & trail riding to new campgrounds everyday & just enjoying the horses & nature. All in all, any vacation involving horses would be fine with me!

    18. It would be in the Spring before it gets too hot. My wife and I would take our two wonderful horses on a 3 or 4 day cattle drive, beginning at a ranch in the Texas hill country. Chuckwagons, outdoor cooking … the whole scene.

    19. I would love to go to Germany! I would love to take my mare up there and learn from some of the most educated instructers in the world!

    20. My dream equine vacation would be somewhere out west where we could trek into the mountains or gallop at full speed across the open prarie. Somewhere with beautiful scenery would be nice too.

    21. I would take my horse, Fed-ex, and travel the world with him. We would go to all the horsemanship clinics we could find, attend equestrian events, and go trail riding all over. Then, we’d ride on the beach. That’s the 1 thing I want to do so badly. Even though I’d like to travel the world with him, as long as I’m with him, where we are doesn’t matter.

    22. I would love to go around the world to each place on my “Top 24” list. That includes Iceland, Lanai, southern Siberia, Austria, Peru, and Argentina. Basically, anywhere that most people don’t expect, especially places people don’t expect horseback riding. After all, how much fun would it be to get to say that you rode across a South American mountain range?

    23. I would love to take my Mountain Horse Bobby out west and ride from one end of the Rockies to the other, camping out of a nice horsetrailer wherever we felt like stopping for the day! I would love to share this with my horsey friends and my mom and her horse. I rode out there once as a child on a trail horse and the views were just so breathtaking! I would love to see those views between my own horses ears!

    24. There are many horse related vacations that I’d love to expierience but I must say that the top three trips on my list are riding on a tropical beach and going swimming on horseback in the ocean, a cross country hack in Ireland, and a safari ride in south africa. Who know if I’ll ever get to go to any of these places but I’m perfectly happy at home with my horse.

    25. I have two equestrian dream vacations…one is to go to a beautiful beach somewhere and ride along in the sand for miles, occasionally getting in the water and getting off to wade. I would love to ride bareback and gallop down the shore. The other is to go the the Rocky Mountains and ride and camp for a week with horses. I would like to have a really good, surefooted trail horse to ride and go with a few friends or family members. We would ride all day and camp in the woods at night. I have been to the Rockies before and they are just beautiful to look at- I can’t imagine how amazing it would be to ride horses through them!

    26. My dream horsey vacation would be to ride the trails in Ireland, not the hunter short of thing just riding peacefully along enjoying the scenery. I would also like to ride in the small towns there to. Maybe I will get to Ireland some day!

    27. Well, money bieng no object, I would get my horse a space suit and go riding on the moon. I wonder how high my horse could jump up there? And how he would react to seeing the earth far below him. It would probably freak him out, but horses have that natural understanding of things. He might know just where he is!

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    28. My dream horse vacation would definitely be packing/riding/camping on a week-long trail ride with friends. Seeing nature from the back of a horse is a great way to “disconnect” from the modern world and feel pressures melt away.

    29. My dream vacation with the horses would be to getaway from the shows and training, just relax and trail ride. Which we do anyways, but maybe to visit a large cattle ranch or horse hotel and go on some new trails, explore new places, and camp. I’ve always wanted to take my horse camping… 🙂

    30. I have no desire to go anywhere away from my horse. I am perfectly content just to spend time with her in the winter and compete in the summer. She may be a fuzzball right now but I love her anyway.

    31. My dream vacation with my horse would be to bring my retired 23-year-old Morgan pony to campsite so he can explore, have endless grass and meet new buddies. It would be a good reward for him, after giving me such a good showing year! And as for me, well, it would be a nice get-away!

    32. My dream vacation with my horse would be to bring my retired 23-year-old Morgan pony to a campsite so he can explore, have endless grass and meet new buddies. It would be a good reward for him, after giving me such a good showing year! And as for me, well, it would be a nice get-away!

    33. Definition of Dream Equestrian Vacation: Wide, grassy trails as far as the eye can see. Gaiting the perfect fox trot or corto for miles on end. Puffy clouds decorating the sky. Red and orange maple leaves dotting the landscape. Family around the campfire. Snoozing Fox Trotters, Paso Finos, Tennessee Walkers and Quarter Horses in the corrals next to our campsite. A coyote’s howl of in the distance. Sound, sound sleep getting me ready to do it again the next day.

    34. My dream vacation would be to ride on the beach untill sunset. Then ride for miles and miles on a flat plain and maybe chase some deer and rabbits.

    35. My dream vacation would be to take my horse with me and my mom to South Dakota. He could stay in the hotel rooms with us, go everywhere with us, etc. He loves being our companion in everything we do, so he would love it. Plus, we’d make sure he’d get plenty of grass and apples at picnics!

    36. My dream vacation would be going to Hawaii, except I could bring my horse with me! We would laze in the sun, gallop over the beautiful sunny countryside, and for fun splash through waves to get cool. And If we got bored we’d go to a super-great trainer and take lessons for free (can’t afford them or a vacation now).

    37. My dream vacation is going to a white beach and galloping my black horse bridless up and down the waves on day one. I can stay on – I just need the beach. Then we’d relax for day two in a lonly field. On day three we’d head to Nevada and drive cattle all day. It would be nice to ride with other western people since I ride by myself. Hopefully we’d see those wonderful mustangs on the drive. Day four would find us hauling back. All things considered I’ve covered it all since I’m claustrphobic (fear of inclosed spaces) and trail riding in a dense woods isn’t for me.

    38. Ever since I went to Colorado to climb some mountains, I’ve wanted to take my horse, park the trailer and just ride. Do a pack trip, some day rides, and enjoy the simple pleasures of the rugged beauty and pure air, made so much more enthralling from the back of a horse.

    39. I have ALWAYS wanted to take a riding vacation in Ireland. I ride hunter- jumpers, and would love to go riding cross country out in Ireland and get to experience all of the scenery from horseback!

    40. I recently taught my paint team penning mare to jump as well. She’s also incredibly calm so I would love to take her someplace where we could foxhunt!

    41. My dream horse vacation would be a trip overseas to train with an Olympic dressage trainer for the summer. I’m 13 and live in a “dressage-void”, so that kind of oportunity would probobly be the highlight of my life! So if you’re an Olympic trainer, just give me a call… ;D

    42. I would love to gallop on the beach on a beautiful black Andalusian. If money was no object, I would fly to Portugal right now and do just that. To tour Portugal via horseback is my dream.

    43. I dreamed of galloping on the beach, splashing with a horse through water, cantering through cornfields, and relaxing on scenic trails. Until I did some of those things with other horses I didn’t realize all I needed was my sweet gelding back home at the barn for a dream vacation.

    44. I dream of just galloping through a field with the mustangs, not messing with them one bit, but having the greatest sense of freedom.

    45. My dream is to go to Hawaii and ride my quarter horse May Bell on the beach splashing through the water on the north shore and i hope that some day I will do just that and I hope that you have your dream what ever it is come true.

    46. I learned on Facebook about the Connemara Trail in Ireland. I can’t imagine a better way to explore a new country than on horseback!

    47. I’d love to visit Europe one day with my mare! We’re avid field hunters, and the hunting there seems fabulous, compared to the lack of hunt clubs we have here in Texas.

    48. After my friends went their, I would really love to go Iceland and ride the sturdy Fjord Pony through the mountains. A beutiful, scenic tour…on a adorible, mountain climbing pony!!! What could be better?!

    49. My dream riding vacation would be to the moors in England. I love the hills and the people of Jersey, but room to gallop is hard to come by. Cross country jumping, too! I would love to learn how to do cross country.

    50. Going riding in Ireland is on my bucket list, although it wouldn’t be the same if I couldn’t bring my own horse. I would like to take my horse to the Bahamas and ride along the beach, and maybe go swimming with him. That is, if I can convince him that water is fun and is not going to eat him.

    51. I have 2 choices.1# I really would love to go to the smokey mountains. It is SO beautiful. Me and my mare would ride through every stream and creek I could find.2# Me and my friend decided that we didn’t care when we got married if are husbands didn’t want to, we were MAKING them go to the Bahamas to ride horses in the sea.

    52. I would probably ask him if he enjoyed me spending time riding him. I might also want to ask him which gait he prefers walk, trot, canter, gallop, or (e) all of the above?

    53. I am a jumper, so if i could take my horse with me i would love to go to the summer olympics and watch the jumper and hunter compitions. ( maybe even get some tips from the experts)!!

    54. well i was watching RFD-TV show “best of america by horseback” and the Leatherwood Mountain Ranch Resort in the lovely Blue Ridge Mountains in NC sounds like heaven!

    55. If i could go anywhere on a horsey vacation then I would probably go to Iceland. I would see where all of the great Icelandics came from and ride them at the smooth tolt. But the best vacation is at my house, spending time with my two babies that live in my backyard.

    56. My biggest wish is to take my horse, Reba, (and maybe my husband) to Ireland. To go trail riding through or just past the castle ruins would be amazing and beautiful. You don’t come across that kind of scenery in the states.

    57. A year before I turned 50, I started saving for a vacation at a ranch I saw written up in an equine magazine in Arizona. By the time my birthday arrived, I couldn’t find that magazine article anywhere. I also had no one to go with, so I still have my pennies saved up for just the right place.

    58. My dream equine vacation is to travel with a group of people and horses to a horse campground with access to miles of trails and a horse-friendly lake!

    59. If I could go anywhere, I would take my horses and family to Ireland. I’d love to ride in the old countryside and along the beach!

    60. Definitely riding cross country in Ireland, it’s so beautiful there! The big, open green fields and the breeze, it sounds heavenly! If I could I’d take my horse there and ride bareback through the plains.

    61. My dream equestrian vacation would be to take my horse and ride on the beach. To feel the breeze and the crash of ocean waves right beside you. If i could i would ride my horse along side the shore line like there was nothing in the world stopping us.

    62. I would love to go to the Spanish Riding School where they train Lippazaners. It has always been my dream ever since I saw a special on TV! I don’t have a horse now, but hope to get one soon. Until then, Horse Illustrated has made it seen like I have my own horse! Thanks for being a great magazine.

    63. I would love to go to the Spanish Riding School where they train Lippazaners. It has always been my dream ever since I saw a special on TV! I don’t have a horse now, but hope to get one soon. Until then, Horse Illustrated has made it seen like I have my own horse! Thanks for being a great magazine.

    64. I would love to pack my horses and ride across America!! There are so many beautiful places to see that you can’t find by car!! Over the mountains and across the plains from sea to shining sea!!

    65. It’s always been a dream of mine to take lessons at the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art in Jerez Spain. I may as well dream big! Then my second choice would be to take my horse across the great United States and ride all the beautiful places! Nothing like seeing a region by horseback!

    66. my dream vacation is to drive coast to coast with my horse in the trailer, and spend several days in each state I pass through with Ruby and me checking out the local trails.

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