Monthly Archives: September 2012

Win the holiday of your dreams at The Riding Holiday Show!

The Riding Holiday Show is being brought to equine adventurers by travel experts In The Saddle this November, and promises an action packed day full of inspiration and information for all horseback holidaymakers.

Visitors to the Riding Holiday Show will have a rare chance to speak face-to-face with guides from destinations across the globe, as well as attend talks and discussions from various equestrian and travel experts including six times Olympic event rider Mary King. In The Saddle is also offering guests the opportunity to enter exclusive competitions worth over £7,000!

Prizes will include holiday must-haves such as riding apparel and travel accessories, a short break for two people at the beautiful Los Alamos in Andalucia in Spain worth up to £1,390 and a headlining prize of seven nights on safari for two people at the breathtaking Motswiri Camp in Botswana worth up to £5,880!

Motswiri is a luxury tented camp on the northern edge of the Okavango Delta in Botswana and provides guests with a truly flexible holiday, offering horseback riding, game viewing on foot with guides, canoe safaris and game drives in vehicles.

Ideal for experienced riders wishing to experience the exhilaration of a horseback safari, as well as their non-riding partners or friends who wish to enjoy game drives or walks, Motswiri provides a once in a lifetime experience with the opportunity to get close to wildlife such as herds of elephant, antelope, lion, zebra, cheetah and wild dogs!

Taking place at the Royal Over-Seas League, near Piccadilly, in London on Saturday 3rd November, all visitors to the Riding Holiday Show will have the chance to enter these one-off competitions, as well as gaining access to exclusive show-only offers on trips and riding holiday packing essentials.

Sign up for your FREE ticket today at www.ridingholidayshow.com or by calling 01299 272 997 and get one step closer to discovering more about the horseback holiday of your dreams.

Visitors to the Riding Holiday Show will have the unique opportunity to win a holiday for two to Motswiri, Botswana

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Olympic medalist Mary King talks travel, teams and training!

In The Saddle is proud to present the Riding Holiday Show 2012, which will showcase many of the breathtaking destinations that equestrian travellers can embark upon around the world. Joining the show, to inspire with tales of her own equestrian adventures, is Olympic medalist, Mary King.

Having travelled across the globe in many capacities, from Olympic games, to horseback safaris, Mary King is one of the world’s most idolised event riders, with fans worldwide admiring her equine achievements and approachable attitude. Mary will be visiting the Riding Holiday Show to share her success stories and talk to visitors about her experiences over the years.

As a huge fan of travel herself, Mary is the perfect figure to enthuse and motivate visitors at the Riding Holiday Show. Her most recent equestrian adventure was to Macatoo in the Okavango Delta, Botswana where she spent a week on safari. “The trip was wonderful for so many reasons,” she states. “Being so far away from modern life felt like a real escape and I saw it as a privilege to be amongst wildlife going about their daily lives! Seeing the world by horseback and getting so close to animals such as elephant, giraffe and even lion was a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget!”

The Riding Holiday Show takes place at the Royal Over-Seas League in London, on Saturday, 3rd November 2012 and is the only event dedicated to riding holidays worldwide. Visitors will get the chance to meet riding guides and experts from various destinations to get a taster of some of the culture and experiences available, receive exclusive show offers, enter competitions, talk to likeminded travellers and listen to talks by guests, including Mary King.

The event is open to all, from regular travellers to aspirational horseback holidaymakers. There are riding holidays to suit all levels of rider, from beginners looking to relax and unwind with some leisurely trekking, to experienced equestrians searching after an exhilarating adventure. With around 30 exhibitors from around the world, the Riding Holiday Show is the perfect place to start turning travelling dreams into reality. Brought to you by the UK’s leading equestrian travel company, In The Saddle, admission to the Riding Holiday Show is free of charge with a pre-booked ticket. To register for tickets and for more information visit: www.ridingholidayshow.com or tel: 01299 272 997

Mary King enjoying a horseback safari at Macatoo, Botswana

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Five of the best… European Riding Holidays

You don’t have to stray too far from home to experience the thrill of an equestrian adventure, Europe has many hidden gems that are just a short plane ride away. Here we have put together our favourite destinations for riding holidays that you won’t forget…

Los Alamos, Spain

Where? The Atlantic coast of Southern Spain plays host to an exhilarating and exciting horseback holiday combined with the perfect dose of relaxation. Situated on the edge of la Breña National Park, when riding at Los Alamos you will enjoy views of the Cape Trafalgar beaches and across the coast to Africa!
Why? Los Alamos offers some of the best beach riding in the world with well-trained horses and a relaxed atmosphere giving visitors the chance to escape areas of mass tourism and experience the relatively un-touched rural Spanish lifestyle.

Chateau Chazelles, France

Where? This beautiful ancient ‘chateau-fort’ is situated in the Haute Loire department of the Auvergne region on the Massif Central, which is home to medieval French towns, gastronomic cuisine and historic monuments, making this holiday ideal for experiencing the local area and enjoying some fantastic riding. Why? Ride well schooled, quality horses along tracks through wooded valleys, past Roman villages, onto open pastures and through gorges – the terrain is varied and gives travellers plenty to feast their eyes on.

Equus Sylvania, Romania

Where? Explore the Carpathian Mountains and Transylvania, the only place in Europe, west of Russia, where widespread populations of wolves, bears and lynx roam.
Why? Embark on daily adventures amongst the breathtaking and un-spoilt countryside, armed with saddlebag picnics and excitement for the day ahead. Riding fit, well-trained horses along gorges, through forests, across alpine meadows and into remote mountain settlements will give you a taste for the lifestyle of this beautiful country.

Iceland
Where? Experience magnificent views, from snow capped mountains and volcanoes, to lunar landscapes and waterfalls. Catering for a variety of riding standards, combine relaxing in northern Iceland with sightseeing, or challenge yourself on adrenalin fueled trail ride in the highlands.
Why? Iceland is home to the traditional Icelandic ‘tolting’ horses, which offer a unique experience that every rider should experience at least once in their life! Their willing attitude and strength provides riders with tremendous fun and the tolt is a fast gait that is comfortable and enables the horse to cover great distances.

Cilento Ride, Italy

Where? This delightful hilltop farm is situated in I Moresani, south of Naples and overlooks the beautiful Cilento National Park. This area on the coast of Italy, provides views out into the sea in a series of dramatic headlands and broad sweeping bays.
Why? With four itinerary choices there is a holiday to suit all equestrian enthusiasts, from the Campania Relaxed Ride, which integrates early morning rides with relaxed afternoons by the pool, to the Cilento Journey, which takes you through the breathtaking National Park. For something a little different, combine your riding holiday with cookery classes to learn the art of delicious Italian cuisine.

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Handling horses safely, on holiday and at home!

As horses are unpredictable animals it is always better to be ‘safe rather than sorry’ when it comes to protective measures. This doesn’t just mean wearing a hard hat and sturdy boots – there are a number of different precautions you can take when spending time with horses to help avoid any nasty accidents or injuries.

These guidelines don’t just apply when you are on a riding holiday – these are relevant whenever you are spending time around a horse. Many of these suggestions are simply common sense but even the most experienced of riders can occasionally slip up and come a cropper so don’t hesitate to give yourself a refresher.

Horses have two ‘blind spots’ – directly in front and behind – so always approach them from the side and speak to let them know you are there. Try not to make loud noises or sudden movements and remember to always leave plenty of room if you have to walk behind them.

When you are working around a horse, whether grooming or tacking up, stay close to them so that in the unlikely event that they kick out you will not receive the full impact. If you are in any way nervous or not happy carrying out any tasks, such as picking up hooves, then do not hesitate to ask for help. It is far better to seek assistance than to struggle and cause a problem.

When leading a horse, never wrap the lead rope or reins around your hand and if you are turning them out into a field or paddock, always turn the horse’s head towards the fence before taking the headcollar off. If more than one horse is being turned out leave plenty of room between each of them and ensure everyone removes headcollars at the same time! You never quite know the reaction you are going to get when ‘setting free’ a horse, especially when egged on by their friends! If you are leading a horse into a stable always turn the horse towards you at the door before taking the headcollar off – that way you aren’t in any risk of being squashed against a wall, or backed into a corner.

 

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Safely does it, from head to toe!

It may seem obvious but just because you are in another country doesn’t mean safety equipment should go out of the window! It can be tempting in warmer climates to forgo the hard hat and feel the wind in your hair, but even on the safest horse you should be prepared for unexpected circumstances.

We recommend that you wear a hard hat whenever you are riding, whether at home or on holiday. Even if your guide or other riders are not wearing a hard hat, this should not influence your decision. Check that your hat meets the current safety regulations, for the most up to date British safety regulations check out the BETA guidelines.

Hard Hats don’t have to be hot and sweaty, look for a well-ventilated, lightweight helmet, which will keep you safe, cool and comfortable even in the warmest of climates. Shop around to find the hat you like best, and always make sure it has been properly fitted to your head, most tack shops offer free fitting advice. We personally like the Troxel Riding Hats, available from Performance Equestrian.

Footwear is important and wearing appropriate, specifically designed equestrian boots will offer you safety, protection, comfort and help you stay stable in the stirrups. Flip Flops and trainers do not match well with heavy horse feet, so make sure whenever you are spending time around horses your feet are well dressed!

There are lots of products available on the market made from technical fabrics rather than traditional leather, many with lightweight but durable soles, ventilation and breathable linings to prevent overheating your feet. We are big fans of the Ariat collection, in particularly their Endurance styles for comfort and durability. Visit their website to see the many styles available and find your local stockist.

While you may wish to look glam and accessorise when on holiday, bear in mind that jewellery, especially earrings, rings and necklaces, can easily get caught and could break, or worse, cause an injury. When you are choosing your outfit make sure that any loose clothing can be buttoned or zipped up to prevent flapping and frightening your horse.

One of our resident equestrian travel experts, Olwen Law from In The Saddle, on a riding holiday in Cappadocia, Turkey, wearing a Troxel Helmet and Ariat footwear.

 

Categories: Equestrian Safety, Equestrian Travel, Horses & riding, Travel advice | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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