During a women’s only week at a ranch in Southern New Mexico, I was launched into roping, team penning and barrel racing. Attempting these feats is challenging and exhilarating enough, but toss in a haphazard group of eclectic gals from across the nation and the games really get started.
A broad range of new choices for travelers - including riding trips for single travelers, women only vacations, family trips, tours based around local customs and celebrations and many more theme based vacations – are popping up to entice even the most discriminating traveler. You can please your family or group on a riding vacation.
Here are a few ideas to spice up your riding life…
Go back to Camp
Cowgirl Camp, Cowboy College, training camps or just camping out. Many ranches and outfitters offer special women’s and men’s only vacations, meaning you can celebrate a special occasion with your best friends on horseback or go it alone and make new friends on the trails. There are trips for riders of all skill levels. There are many other ways to “camp,” ranging from pack trips in Yellowstone and other national parks or to taking some time off to attend a training camp and brush up on your riding skills.
Ride a Native Horse in its Native Land
Want to know what it’s like to ride a Peruvian Paso in Peru or an Icelandic horse in Iceland? There is nothing like riding and seeing these breeds in their native lands and feeling what external influences helped give your favorite horses their special attributes. I learned why the stout Icelandic Horse is so powerful and hardy, as I rode through Iceland’s rugged lava fields with the wind whipping across the rocky terrain.
Take a trip back in time by riding in a historic area or joining an organized historic trail ride. Historic rides are not only educational, but will give you a chance to feel what it’s like to ride in someone else’s hooves, as you gallop through the Old West, plod through Colonial Times or dig up ancient eras. Be creative and investigate. Historic rides and trails abound at ranches, resorts and with local riding clubs and organizations– even in your own backyard.
Celebrate on Horseback
What better way to celebrate the holidays, a special occasion or local culture than on horseback! Head to Chincoteague’s 80th Annual Pony Swim and Auction held in July on Chincoteague Island, Va. You’ll experience the excitement as the wild Chincoteague ponies swim the channel from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island, while enjoying the festivities of this small fishing village. These adventures will help you get in the spirit along with the locals or your loved ones.
Take a Training Trip
This is a trip that anyone can use and reuse. Take a vacation to learn to ride or get better at your specific riding discipline. Brush up on your jumping skills in Ireland or learn cowboy skills at a ranch in Colorado. Not only is horseback riding fun, but it’s a challenge.
With more choices in travel, there’s no reason why your specific and perfect, riding adventure can’t be a reality. So giddy-up cowboys and gals and start planning your creative escape!