Your Top 8
Horse Trails

21 October 2016

One of the great things about horse trails is that you can explore areas that you can’t reach by foot...

...you get to go longer distances, and there’s just that little bit of extra exhilaration that comes from having a canter up a mountainside or over an open plain.

We scoured Instagram to find some of your coolest locations to go horseriding, and where possible, some options for places that will supply horses and guides. 

 

1.  Masai Mara, Kenya

For exhilaration and sheer wonder, this is a good bet. A normal African safari is an awe-inspiring experience by itself, but a horseback safari is something else entirely. 

You can gallop across open plains within touching distance of zebra, wildebeest and buck, and get up nice and close to elephants, lions and rhino. In fact, you’ll be surprised at just how close you can get with the help of your four legged mount – perfect for those Instagram-worthy photo ops. 

 

 

2.  Hovsgol province, Mongolia

The Mongolians are some of the best horsemen in the world. The Hovsgol province includes the shores of the pristine and barely touched Lake Hovsgol, and the people of this province are one of the few truly nomadic groups still roaming this earth. 

They travel the area on horseback, moving their homes and their communities as the seasons change. This isn’t a trail for those who want first world luxury, but if you’re after real culture, extreme landscapes and far flung destinations, you can’t go wrong. 

 

 

3.  Iceland

Honestly, as if we could miss this out. Icelandic ponies are minor celebrities in the horse world after all, with their short statures, rebellious manes and easy-to-sit paces. Aside from the ponies, which are enough of a draw by themselves, Iceland is pretty notorious for its beauty. Whether you’re more into beaches, volcanic rocks, glaciers waterfalls or mountains, Iceland has it all. Don’t forget to factor in a trip to see the Northern lights – and bring the horse with you! 

 

4. Noordhoek, South Africa

Noordhoek beach is part of Cape Town, and fulfils all those dreams you’ve had of galloping along a pristine beach with the wind whipping your hair against your face. 

White sandy stretches out for kilometres along clear blue waters and the only other people you’ll see are riders with the exact same dream as you. 

At the far end of the beach you get a perfect view of the “other” side of Table Mountain and the city of Cape Town across the bay. Definitely stop for some photos before heading back for another gallop in the sand dunes. 

 

 

5.  Quebec, Canada

Canada is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Go in autumn to ride through French-inspired Quebec, where colourful fall leaves lay strewn across streams and you can ride peacefully through vast forests. 

The maple trees are a sight to behold over the autumn season. Whatever you do, don’t come back without some good, genuine maple syrup to pour on your pancakes! 

 

 

 

6.  Cappadocia, Turkey

The strange, Mars-like landscape of Cappadocia in central Turkey is famed for its ‘fairy chimneys.’ Who wouldn’t be tempted by that name? On top of that, Cappadocia means ‘land of beautiful horses’ so really, the whole area is just begging you to come and ride through. 

You can do anything from a couple of hours to days on horseback here, with the horses taking on the role of tour guide. 

They know the terrain better than anyone here, and you can fully trust your mount to navigate the steep hills and slippery rocks safely while you gawp at the landscape. 

 

7.  The Andes and Machu Picchu, Peru

The famous Inca trail must have been trodden by millions of feet – but probably by far fewer horse feet than human, as of late. 

To ride from Cusco to the famous Inca citadel of Machu Picchu aboard a Peruvian Paso is the kind of experience that will stay with you for years to come. 

Rather than going the usual Inca trail, take the road less travelled. Navigate through rushing streams, forests and steep, rocky downhill tracks (at a gallop sometimes, we’re told) and stop at fascinating local villages along the way before drinking in the history of what must now be one of the most famous views in the world. 

 

 

8.  Patagonia, Chile

South America is doing pretty well on this list! Not that we want to encourage bad puns, but as beautiful as this trail is, it can get a bit…chilly. Why? Because you’ll be trekking through snowcapped mountains, and getting up close to incredible turquoise-blue glaciers. 

That’s not the mention the significant amount of camping you’ll probably find yourself doing, so remember to pack warm pyjamas and a heavy duty sleeping bag. 

Despite the somewhat harsh elements, a week-long ride through Patagonia on board a hardy Criollo is well worth it.

 

 

 

Text by Sophie Baker

Images from Social Media