Whether you are a seasoned horseback globetrotter and want to embark on your next adventure, or if you have always fancied jetting off to a far land and exploring it by horseback but never quite got round to it, make a decision now that 2013 will be the year you fulfill your dreams! If you still need a little convincing then read our blog to hear our top ten reasons for making it happen…
1. Look at life from a different angle
We often go on holiday and explore on our feet or in cars, however seeing the world from the back of a horse gives a totally new perspective on things. The relaxed pace and feeling at one with your steed gives you time to reflect on your surroundings and really absorb the sights, sounds and smells around you. And quite literally, when you are on a horse you see things you may have missed when on the ground – even simple things like peering into a beautiful garden is easier from horseback!
2. Exercise without trying
It is proven that exercise has a multitude of benefits, from improving your health, to reducing stress levels. Many people come back from a vacation feeling less healthy than when they left, however when you come back from a riding holiday you will feel rejuvenated and refreshed! Horse riding uses various muscles and you may find that you will tone up your upper thighs and calves, strengthen your core muscles and improve your balance and posture all at the same time! You will be exercising without even knowing you are doing it – surely that can only be a good thing?
3. Take a deep breath
For many of us we spend more time than we should indoors and stuck in a stuffy office – this can have detrimental effects on our health and make you feel less than perfect. Spending hours in the saddle out in the fresh air has many benefits which include; helping your digestion, blood pressure and heart rate, strengthening your immune system and cleaning your lungs! In addition, your brain needs 20% of your body’s oxygen to function at it’s best, so being out in the fresh air can help bring greater mental clarity and improve your concentration, all of which has a positive effect on your energy levels. It is also proven that fresh air will make you happier due to the increase in serotonin levels stimulated by oxygen. So what are you waiting for?
4. Culture shock
An Italian film director once said, “a different language is a different vision of life” and we couldn’t agree more! There are many places in the world where the horse still remains the main method of transportation and meeting the people and learning the culture that surrounds these people can be life altering. From meeting the inhabitants of a remote Andean village in Peru or rounding up cattle with Cowboys in Montana, to finding out what life is like for the Mongolian nomads who invented horse riding – learning and experiencing different cultures can enrich your life and teach you more about yourself than you thought possible.
5. A break in the weather
We can all get bogged down by the weather in our own home towns, whether we live in a hot climate and get sick of the humidity, or a cold damp climate where all we wish for is some sun! Escaping from your normal weather system can give welcome relief to the mundane climate we are accustomed to and this in itself can give us a boost. Enjoying a hack through olive groves in Italy with the sun on your back, or wrapping up and setting off on an Icelandic Horse to feel the biting cold of winter on our cheeks, experiencing the elements on a horse allows you to embrace whatever weather nature decides to offer you!
6. Leave technology at home
Technology and life at home can often leave us feeling frazzled and without time for ourselves, however if you pick the right riding holiday you can literally leave your mobile phone and laptop at the airport. Be free from wi-fi hotspots and telephone signal to remind you what real life is all about! Get in touch with nature and realise that life around the world continues regardless of a late deadline or missed conference call. Just for a short while allow yourself the indulgence of being free from technology and enjoy communication of a different kind – with your four legged partner!
7. Get in touch with nature
If you are a nature lover and want to get up close to local wildlife and beautiful fauna then a horse is far less intrusive than a car! Animals accept horses as part of the scenery, are feel far less intimidated and less likely to make a dash for it, meanwhile, being able to take tracks through wild flowers on a horse gives you a privileged access that no vehicle could undertake! There are some places where you can really feel like part of nature, galloping alongside giraffes on an African safari, ride amongst wild horses in the French Camargue or through the beautiful dovecots made in the Turkish cliffs of Cappadocia. Whatever wildlife experience you are hoping for, a horse can bring you closer than you might think!
8. Try a different breed
There are so many different breeds of horses around the world and escaping on an equestrian adventure gives you the opportunity to ride them in their natural environment! Experience the speed and stamina of a true Arabian horse through the Jordanian desert, tolt across snow and icy tracks on the back of an Icelandic Horse in the land of ice and fire, enjoy the thrill of riding the forward going and fun Marwari horses in India or embark on an adventure on a Tibetan mountain horse – known for their famous strength and surefootedness. The personalities of these horses all around the world are what makes a riding holiday so unique and we defy anyone not to fall in love with at least one of them during their trip!
9. Challenge yourself
It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner rider who wants to have a taste of riding across new terrain, or if you seek the adrenalin buzz of a gallop across sand dunes, it is good for all of us to push ourselves out of our comfort zone every once in a while! A riding holiday can be as challenging or relaxing as you wish it to be so you can choose the level you wish to partake in. You may find that pushing yourself beyond your normal comfort levels allows you to realise that you are capable of more than you think and it is the perfect way to give your confidence a boost!
10. And last but not least…
Above anything else, a riding holiday is exceptional fun! The excitement of visiting a new country, meeting new people, seeing new sights and living in a different way is all enjoyable and that is what horse riding is all about!
If you are inspired and want to find out about the riding holidays available visit www.inthesaddle.com