Types of Holiday

Our website allows you to refine your search by Type of Holiday. This list might actually be called characteristics of the holiday. As with labelling of any kind, there is an element of subjectiveness but it is a useful starting point. Some of the "types" are self explanatory; others might need a little more explanation.

Beach Riding

On this riding holiday there will be at least one ride on the beach during the week. It may not be at the water's edge because that will depend on the tides and sand. The pace may be at a walk or may be an exciting canter in the water. Some riding holidays have beach riding on every day.

Camping Expedition

These are journeys on horseback, which may entail a few hardships but reward you with an experience to remember and scenery which you might not otherwise have the opportunity to see. On these riding holidays you have to take care to pack the appropriate clothing for the trip and to make sure you are fit enough for the journey. On many of the expeditions you camp in small two-man dome tents with sleeping bags on mats and limited washing/loo facilities but hopefully the views make up for that.


Many people consider a centre-based holiday to be more relaxing because you are able to unpack and settle into your room. Each day's ride normally takes you in a different direction; sometimes a centre based riding holiday is known as a "petal" ride to illustrate this. If you are not sure about your riding ability or fitness then we recommend you choose a centre-based riding holiday over a trail ride because it is possible for you to have a half day off during the week if you wish.


On this riding holiday there will be the opportunity to have lessons either at a basic level or at a more advanced level of dressage.

Fast/Challenging Rides

These may be fast or challenging and sometimes both. A slow riding holiday may be extremely challenging due to the terrain with steep inclines and descents. For these holidays you should be a confident and experienced rider, in balance on your horse and able to look after yourself.

Guest Ranch

A guest ranch is mostly likely to be in the USA, but may also be in South America or South Africa. Some are former working ranches, with cattle no longer their main source of income; others are purpose built guest ranches.

Horse Safari

Riding in Africa is truly spectacular. It's surely impossible to beat the wonder of watching a large herd of towering giraffe, as your horse quietly grazes, or the heart beating excitement of being face to face with an elephant. Some horse safaris are in areas where there is no dangerous game, so novice riders are welcome. Others are only for experienced riders in areas where you might encounter elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard or rhino - the Big Five. Accommodation on a horse safari varies from luxury safari lodges and very comfortable spacious safari tents with their own private bathroom, to simple bush camps with long drop loos and bucket showers.


This riding holiday offers instruction. Some people might avail of this on their first day, for example to be introduced to Western riding; others might build instruction into their daily itinerary.

Luxury Accommodation

It's all relative, of course, but we think these riding holidays have particularly glorious accommodation. It might include a tented camp because frankly some of these are out of this world.

Natural Horsemanship

If Natural Horsemanship is important to you, then on these riding holidays either the owners or guides are experienced horse people who are keen to share their knowledge and experience of natural horsemanship.


Fairly obvious - on this holiday you will have the opportunity to play polo. Expectations can vary so if polo is important to you, please let us know your current experience and handicap and what you are looking for from the holiday.

Short Breaks

Many riding holidays are week long but a number of ride operators are happy to accept guests for short breaks at least some of the year.

Suitable for Beginners

This is a quick way to get a shortlist of all the ride operators who will accept beginner riders. To cater for the mixed abilities the riding groups may be split according to ability or the pace of ride may not be fast.

Suitable for Children

These riding operators make specific provision to accept children under 12 years. However, that may not mean the children will be on small ponies. For example, in the USA, quarter horses may be around 14hh but are well trained and suitable to be ridden by small children.

Suitable for Heavy Riders

Please do let us know your weight before you book because even ride operators who can accept riders over 14st/195 pounds/90kgs may have only a few suitable horses which may already be allocated.

Suitable for Non Riders

We believe that these riding holidays offer lots of other things to do such as walking, fishing, biking, swimming or sights to see. However, please note that non-riding activities are rarely organised ones. On some holidays there is a reduced rate for non-riders.

Trail Ride

A trail ride is one where you will be riding from A to B to C during the week. Sometimes it's called a point to point ride. Normally you will also move accommodation each night but sometimes you move every other night. On occasions, the horses are left out on the trail and you return by vehicle to the same accommodation. Accommodation could be in hotels or farm houses.

Working Ranch/Cattle Drive

Live the dream and take yourself to the world of John Wayne. On this type of ranch holiday you have the opportunity to be a cowboy and work cattle on horseback. However, the amount of cattle work to be done on a ranch depends on the time of year and many other factors; it may not happen every week or on only half a day, so if this is something you particularly want to do please check with us first before booking.