HOW AND WHERE TO CHOOSE AN HORSE TREKKING
Trip that enriches you both mentally and emotionally
After taking the first steps in a riding school nearby your home, and having acquired basic technique and practice riding for a while, take lessons and horseback riding of few hours, at the beginning, and of one-day then, it’s time to find out what is A JOURNEY ON HORSEBACK.
Let’s learn to choose!
- Estimate your level: beginner, intermediate, advanced. If you still find it difficult to establish your level, ask your riding trainer.
- Think about where you would like to go. For instance, in Italy, there are countless proposals made by the various stables or horse riding clubs that, in order to start this adventure, also offer equestrian trekking for 2 or 3 days.
- Browse the internet in search of equestrian tourism, and find sites always updated on the proposals. (I did my first horse trekking in this way).
- Once you have chosen, for example, a 3-day equestrian trekking in Tuscany, call the organizers, talk to them, make inquiries, specify your riding level, and do not be afraid of asking everything you need. Get more information by email on the things to bring, on the weather, or on what you still do not buy, like the “helmet” which is usually not one of the things you purchase. You can also borrow it from the owner of the riding school. What kind of riding they do, English or American?
- Better to find people who advice against a higher level of horse trekking than yours rather than those who, in order to sell, declare a beginner level of all participants. Be aware! It is not always easy to find such honest people!
- Costs vary from country to country, from a place to another, and depend on where you accommodate and where you eat.
- In Italy, the holiday farms’ cost vary from a region to another. In Tuscany, for example, where people go in for trial riding, the costs are quite modest.
- Gather information about everything – i.e. the specific program, the timetable –, and do not let yourself be found in difficulty. I always recommend to arrive the night before and to book at a cheaper nearby place to lodge, so in the morning everything will be more relaxing.
- There are horse trekking tours with tent overnight accommodation. Unless you are not used to this type of vacation, I do not recommend it at the beginning. It is tiring to ride for hours, especially if you are not used to it. So, better unsaddle, firstly follow the amazing procedures of horse’s accommodation, and then, a nice shower and an evening with your fellow-adventurers in the tent.
Trekking a little more challenging. – Anywhere in the world
- There are “Tour Operators” specialized in horseback holidays, they do it all aver the world in all periods of the year.
- You can find everything: from Iceland, America, South Africa to the Far East, Argentina or Mozambique … sea, mountains, historical sites, etc. For example, there are cross-country courses in Ireland, dressage in Spain etc.
- Anyway, you are spoiled for choice. It’s all up to you of how much time you can stay away and how much you want to spend.
- They are tour operators with thirty years of experience, most of them non-Italians, but with branches also in Italy. Their reliability should not be underestimated. If you do not have the right skills, they do not introduce you in the tour. They are in touch with people all over the world, so their tours usually are full-booked two months before.
- These abovementioned tour operators are very expensive because their global organization and due to the dangerous feature of this sport, the tour operators safeguard themselves and offer only full insurances.
- There are also riding schools everywhere that promote their tour directly on-line. You can browse them by typing: “riding holidays” adding the country, for instance, “in Spain”, “in France”, or “in Ireland”, etc. On their websites, you can find various offers and read the “Feedback” – reviews of who has been enjoyed their tour, with the possibility to contact them directly. From my personal experience, I tell you that I did my first horse riding holiday in the desert and I found it very nice, so I definitely recommend it.
- Warning! After you choose the type of trekking, it is important that you make questions! Ask, ask, ask and do not be afraid to ask stupid questions … You need to know everything before your leaving in order to be able to prepare everything. Get someone to help you with suggestions on the most comfortable and cheaper flights, and on overall trip – I can do it for you: please ask me by email
- Watch to the insurance!Not all insurances cover certain sports such as riding, so before leaving, make sure you have taken out an insurance policy that cover the complete holiday and travel period.
La FITETREC-ANTE (Italian Federation of Equestrian Tourism) is the only association (together with FISE – Italian Federation of Equestrian Sports) recognized by CONI.
As you know, the CONI recognizes only one federation for sport discipline, and FISE is directly associated with EIF, and is involved in the Olympic-type sports (English riding usually complete S.O. dressage and cross). So, associating FITETREC-ANTE and FISE allows to CONI to recognize the first too. Moreover, it deals with TREC for western working equitation.
Why there are so many differences?
FISE and FITETREC-ANTE have had a long lawsuit, for the assignment of the sport-types; the fact is that now the complete western-work riding style, except for the reining, is subject to FITETREC-ANTE.
These first concepts of equestrian trekking (in-depth analysis afterwards, infra) make us understand the differences from a holiday by the sea; there are many details to considered and understood well. Once you have chosen the equestrian trekking holiday, your dream, as mine, comes true.
To meet people from all over the world, to see places from quite different perspectives than we are used to, to share this wonderful passion, and to bring home, besides the memories of what has been experienced, the acquaintance of people with whom share a new horse trekking holiday and much more.
Distinguish and relate with different breeds of horses – How marvelous! Total symbiosis!