Top 5 Horseback Riding Vacation Destinations of 2013

Each year, I travel the world to experience the best in food, wine,  cultural adventure, and discover the most exciting places you must visit on your next horseback riding vacation. From well-traveled regions to lesser-known corners of the word, this year’s list represents what I hope will be some of the best horseback riding holidays.

"Il Borro Resort riding"
On a horseback riding vacation at Il Borro Resort, Tuscany, Italy

Horseback riding holiday in Tuscany, Italy

Imagine riding through the vineyards and olive groves of Tuscany, Italy on horseback.  Sound good? At El Borro Resort, Spa and Winery you may go horseback riding through the Estate and explore the Tuscan countryside in the morning, followed by wine tasting and a spa treatment in the afternoon. Sign me up!

Travaasa Hana, Maui, Hawaii on horseback

"Travaasa Hana horseback"
Ride with paniolos on a horseback riding holiday at Travaasa Hana Resort, Maui

Along Maui’s rugged eastern coastline is the sleepy town of Hana.  Considered one of the last Hawaiian frontiers, this is a place for paniolos (Hawaiian cowboys) peace and serenity.

Did you know that paniolos were one of the first to discover the islands of Hawaii on horseback? The paniolos rode the open range, as well as through sugar plantations, on the lookout for stray cattle.

In February I will visit Maui and Travaasa Hana to re-connect with my inner paniolo.  Maui is a special place for healing and re-charging, while surrounded by natural beauty. I have decided that Travaasa Hana will be my first horseback riding vacation after a total hip replacement.  I’m sure that I will be well taken care of, but if a long horseback ride proves too much for me, there are plenty of activities to keep me occupied at the resort. Of course, I plan to follow my horseback ride with a Hawaiian Lomilomi massage treatment. Aloha!

"Ranch at Rock Creek horses"
Head to Montana for a horseback riding vacation at The Ranch at Rock Creek.

The Ranch at Rock Creek, Philipsburg, Montana for horseback riding

At The Ranch at Rock Creek in Philipsburg, Montana, you can have your cake, and eat it, too. I know this to be true because a chef friend of mine was tweeting from the ranch kitchen during her visit. She was going on and on about the food.  I’ll be headed to The Ranch at Rock Creek in April for a horseback riding vacation.

I’ve always wanted to check out this Relais & Chateaux resort in Montana, but I knew I had to visit after my article on horseback riding after joint replacement. It appears that Barn Manager Val Darlington is a special needs rider and has experience working with riders who have undergone hip replacements.

You can bet your cowboy boots that I’ll be checking out the “Saddle Sore Soak” spa treatment after a day of horseback riding on the trails of Montana.

Horseback riding in Patagonia

"Explora Patagonia horses"
Ride with gauchos on a horseback holiday in Patagonia

The wild west has its cowboys and Patagonia has gauchos. Located at the southern tip of South America, Patagonia straddles both Argentina and Chile on the southern section of the Andes.

Here, nature and open grass fields merge to create challenging horseback riding holidays. If I am up for the challenge with my new hip, I’ll go horseback riding in Torres del Paine National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 1978.

Explora guides and gauchos lead the horseback rides around Lake Toro and near the Serrano River. We’ll cross the pampas and take out our cameras to capture pictures of  Mount Balmaceda. Stay tuned to see if I am able to join in a horseback riding vacation in Patagonia.

Pony Trekking in Scotland

Did you know that 2013 is officially the year of natural Scotland? What’s more natural than getting on the back of a horse and trekking through the stunning landscape of the Scottish highlands? While I haven’t yet traveled to Scotland, a horseback riding vacation in the Alladale Wilderness Reserve and stay at Alladale Wilderness Lodge would be fine with me. I’ve also been recommend to Perthshire for horseback riding on 850 acres at the five star Gleneagles Hotel.

Where will your travels take you on a horseback riding vacation this year?

Where to go horseback riding

Visit Italy

El Borro Resort, Spa and Winery

Visit Maui

Travassa Hana

Visit Montana

The Ranch at Rock Creek


Explora Patagonia travel

Visit Scotland

Alladale Wilderness Lodge

The Gleneagles Hotel

Photos lifted from websites.

4 thoughts on “Top 5 Horseback Riding Vacation Destinations of 2013”

  1. Nancy, if you haven’t been to Mongolia yet, come check it out. This is an old horse culture and horse are still a way of life here for many countryside nomadic herders. Primitive in some ways, yet beautiful open spaces to ride to your hearts content. The horses are slightly smaller than in the US or Europe, but very tough and good expedition and mountain horses.

  2. @Keith
    I have seen and read about the horses of Mongolia. My first horse was a 14.2 hand silver buckskin quarter horse. I imagine it might be a similar experience riding a rugged Mongolian horse? I would love to join you on a backcountry horse tour one day.

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