Horseback Riding Basics

Horseback riding is simply riding a horse. The ride can be on a white sandy beach, a trail through the mountains, in a national park, to see wildlife, through the desert, in a canyon, through a forest, or even in a small dirt filled pen. How long and how far you go depends on you. Some riding is more difficult and is more intense than others. The majority of rides that tourists take are of the day or half day sort where a guide leads them through a path that is run almost on a daily basis. Other rides last for weeks. These involve camping in the wild and covering dozens of miles today and traversing a vast and sometimes difficult terrain.

Horseback Riding - Beginners

Although most can get by with no formal training to ride a horse, many prefer not to. Horseback riding lessons are an extremely popular activity at ranches. Even posh mountain resorts will give riding lessons. For the most part they aren’t difficult and with just a few lessons you will be able to ride comfortably on a horse in almost any situation. When beginners completely lack the know how of horseback riding or haven’t ridden in a long time they will often go with a tour operator to show them the ropes, not to mention provide their gear, sometimes carry it, cook their meals, and introduce them to the local people.

The majority of beginning riders stick to day trips. They are often extremely sore after a day of riding even with a great saddle, so multiple day treks is sometimes out of the question. It takes a little bit of time to get adjusted to riding a horse. They aren’t machines. They need to be told what to do and the horse reacts differently to every rider. Each person needs to spend a bit of time with a horse before they can really start thinking about trekking off into the wilderness. Day trips can be quite varied though. They can be gentle trots on the beach or a tour of a national park.

Horseback Riding - Advanced

Steeper ascents, higher altitudes, and longer trips are favored by the advanced horse rider. These hard core adventurers head to isolated locations, often weeks away from the modern world that are home to pristine terrain, rare wildlife, and little known tribes and cultures and these are often the goal of top riding expeditions. The farther away and the more remote the better. These horse junkies love GPS, maps, compasses, and gadgets and love to bring them along if it doesn’t weigh them down.

Many will even set out on their own without a guide. The thrill of survival in the wilderness and knowing the lay of the land may be part of the thrill for some. When they do go with a tour operator, they go with the best. They want the best horses, the most experienced guides, and they want to know the specifics of altitudes, the type of food, and wildlife they will encounter.