Horseback riding adventures
Horseback riding in the wilderness in remote regions of North America, Patagonia, Australia, New Zealand or Kyrgyzstan to mention some, it is not only about the activity but learning about the culture and history of ancient paths. Partaking in a guided horseback ride will make visiting a region an unforgettable experience.
Why do it? Be able to experience a unique and deep connection with nature and horses. Spending time with the horses, studying them when they are riding, resting, eating. It’s not just about moving, but about establishing a true relationship between horse and man.
How to start? Before heading on a horseback adventure we would strongly suggest that you try riding first. Most cities in Europe have riding associations. Only after, think about to start planning a riding adventure. Go with an open mind, not only to ride, but also to be open for spending time with horses. Riding a horse is not like riding a bike or driving a car, it is about establishing a connection with the animal. Both fear or a relaxed mood for example, pass into the horse and strongly influence the riding. The rider needs to get confident and gain the confidence from the horse. It is a relationship of mutual trust and respect.
Physical Intensity: intermediate. We advise a good level of muscle flexibility.
Risk Level: intermediate. You are dealing with an animal with a lot of power and character. Getting confident with it takes time and mutual trust.
Do I need a certification? No
What to buy? strong, preferably leather pants, for crossing all those valleys and walking through the bushes. We would also recommend buying riding boots, to have a good protection of the ankles. Other gear is mostly provided by horseback riding companies offering the experience.
“They are always right. If something wrong happens it is due to humans making the wrong choice and not being observant of what the horse is telling us, always."
Carol Jones, Horseback guide, Patagonian Founding father descendant from North Patagonia (Bariloche, Argentina)
Get prepared for horseback riding
What are the benefits of centered riding?
Centered riding is an innovative way of learning classical principles of riding, using body awareness, centering, and imagery. It is about learning a language that allows clearer communication between horse and rider. Centered riding was developed by Sally Swift.
It is a technique based on knowledge of human and horse anatomy, balance, movement, and on understanding how the mind affects the body and how both affect the horse. It uses centering and grounding techniques from the oriental martial arts, along with body awareness, mental imagery and sports psychology. Through increasing body awareness, inhibiting old patterns, and replacing them with a more balanced, free, and coordinated use of self, both horse and rider can move more freely and comfortably, and develop their best performance.
What can centered riding do for you?
Centered riding teaches you how to help your body do what you need to do in order to ride well. It promote suppleness, stability, and clearer aids, making riding more comfortable for both horse and rider. As you learn and experience the principles through your horse's motion and responses, you and your horse tune in to each other and work together in harmony. These techniques can increase confidence and enjoyment and release tension in horses and riders, making training easier. They also help people cope with old injuries or chronic conditions that cause pain during or after riding.
Horseback riding: Stretching, meditation and yoga
Before heading to a horseback riding adventure, we strongly recommend having a good level of muscle flexibility. Stretching and yoga are perfect. You will spend many hours on the horse, balancing your body with it’s movements, adapting to different terrain conditions. A flexible body will help a lot!
"The ultimate goal of centered riding is not to be a discipline unto itself. It must go forward in its purest and least complicated form so it may be integrated into all forms of riding."
Sally Swift rider, coach and writer developed the principles of centered riding
Best places for horseback riding adventures
We have compiled a list of places and regions that we consider best for experiencing amazing horseback riding adventures!
Patagonia (Argentina & Chile)
Vast extensions of uncivilised and untouched land, no people and a strong culture around horses. We would recommend riding experiences around Bariloche and El Chalten in Argentina and Torres del Paine in Chile.
Hovsgol Province (Mongolia)
On the steppes of Mongolia, life is dictated by the elements. Large extensions with nobody, will transport you to the bronze age. We recommend starting from Khuvsgul Lake.
Golden Circle (Iceland)
Iceland's distinctive small horses glide through lava fields here. Their unique way of moving, called the tölt, allowed Icelanders to use these horses as their sole mode of transportation for centuries. We recommend starting from Hafnarfjordur.
Bryce Canyon, Utah (United States)
The canyon is filled with a sea of pink and red hoodoos, strange rock spires that over time have been eroded by the elements into peculiar formations.
Cardrona Valley, Central Otago (New Zealand)
The Wanaka region offers some of the best horse trekking in New Zealand. Ride through working stations, see farming in the high country first-hand, pass by amazing lakes, cross mountain rivers and discover the history.
"Freedom, Sancho, is one of the most precious gifts heaven gave to men; the treasures under the earth and beneath the sea cannot compare to it; for freedom, as well as for honor, one can and should risk one’s life, while captivity, on the other hand, is the greatest evil that can befall men."
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes