See the world from horseback on these epic luxury horse riding holidays
1. Masai Mara, Kenya
If you don’t think ‘camping’ and ‘luxury’ are two words that can ever go together, then you clearly haven’t been on this eight-night Masai Mara safari.
You’ll never have seen tents like these before, with luxury Egyptian cotton sheets, hot water bottles, beautiful tables with mirrors and sinks, handmade soaps, and tea and coffee delivered to your bedside table every morning. Plus, there’s a fully stocked bar, amuse bouche before dinner and three-course meals all freshly prepared.
That’s before we’ve even started on the riding — your wonderful and knowledgeable guide Gordie will lead you across open plains, past big game including zebras and elephants, on sure-footed steeds.
Riding quality, well-schooled horses with beautifully fitted English leather tack (they even have custom made numnahs – aka saddle pads – to ensure their comfort), you’ll be in equestrian heaven.
Price: From £6,986 per person
2. Rock Creek, Montana, US
Set on what was once a billionaire’s playground, at Montana’s Ranch At Rock Creek, exclusivity ‘reins’ at this five star ranch. A cross between a country manor and wilderness retreat, the 6,600 acre property near Phillipsburg is a major draw for celebrities, with past guests including Lee Ann Rimes, Gwyneth Paltrow and Gwen Stefani.
The undulating alpine meadows, sage brush hillsides and slow weaving trails are just begging to be enjoyed on horseback, and you can work on your western skills in the arena with lessons in barrel racing, pole bending and roping.
Afterwards, the Granite Spa will banish any saddle sores. Sleep in the Deluxe Trapper Tent, half wood cabin and half ‘safari style’ canvas — and after feasting on gourmet western fare in the Granite Lodge, you can cosy up around the wood burning stove and listen to the relaxing sounds of the rippling stream.
Cost: From £4,282.63 per person
Book with In the Saddle
3. Mashatu Reserve, Botswana
Travel to the little-known Mashatu Reserve in the Limpopo area of Botswana for a horseback safari where you’ll spot elephants, large cats and more from the comfort of your mount. The Limpopo river is also a haven for eland, impala, wildebeest, kudu, waterbuck, giraffe and zebra.
You will need to be an experienced rider to join this trip with In the Saddle, which provides a variety of long and short canters and rides through the bush, with as much as seven hours a day in the saddle – you’ll be reassured to know there will be regular breaks!
Accommodation is in a series of luxury wilderness camps, where you’ll be able to hear the chorus of Limpopo’s wildlife close at hand.
Prices: From £2,100 per person
4. Los Potreros, Argentina
If you’ve ever read Jilly Cooper’s Polo then you’ll have dreamed of playing polo in an Argentine estancia yourself. So why not make that dream a reality?
Los Potreros was previously voted one of the top 100 hotels in the world in Sunday Times Travel Magazine, so a luxury and stylish stay is assured — with great local wine, of course. Spend two to three hours learning how to stick and ball, with a mini-tournament at the end of the week, and your afternoons relaxing, swimming or sightseeing. Rest and riding in equal measure!
Price: From £309
5. Tuscany, Italy
Ride, spa and wine — could there be any words that go together better? Add in ‘a castle in Tuscany’ and this holiday really does have it all.
With four days of riding, you can choose between lessons and hacking round beautiful trails once used by Italian outlaws — whatever suits you. Afterwards, relax in the pool or just soak in the sun and stunning scenery.
Breakfast and dinner are included, as is a trip to the local natural spa and winery — and there’s even the option of a two-hour Italian cookery lesson. Fantastico!
Price: From £1,195 per person