Your Guide to
Horseback Riding Vacations and Trail Rides

Autumn in Montana

Horseback Riding Vacations, Trail Rides, and Cattle or Horse Drives - great gift ideas which don't fit neatly in a box.
Still, a vacation on horseback is one of the nicest gifts you can give.

The possibilities are endless.

Our horseback vacation recommendations are, with some exceptions, places we've been to, or are familiar with. But if you have a favorite vacation spot or a story to share, you can do so by clicking here. You can also see what others have to recommend.

You can spend a day or a week on horseback at a favorite spot -

Description of image Description of image Description of image
such as a horseback vacation at the ocean - or riding through the sand dunes - or a going on a trail ride out west.

or choose among many other locations and activities. We'll offer a few ideas and see if you can't find something that strikes a chord.

Horseback riding at sunset

Horseback Riding at Sunset - © Miro Schaap

The thought of riding into the sunset is appealing and there are certainly many places where you'll find beautiful sunsets.

Of course if where you view the sunset is far from base camp you may have to ride back in the dark. I wonder if anyone ever thinks of that? Still, a beautiful sunset can be a part of your experience.

Let's start in the area we know best - Montana Horse Back Riding Vacation Ideas.

and then investigate additional places and activities, -

  • such as a trip to the Texas Hill Country for a great Texas Horseback Vacation.
  • Or, head to Washington State where you can combine a ranch vacation with spectacular scenery and you're only a short drive to mountain peaks or saltwater beaches.
  • How about the Northeast? A visit to a dude ranch usually suggests a trip to somewhere between the Mississippi and the Pacific Ocean. It doesn't have to be that way. Head for Western New York and the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains where you'll discover the R&R Dude Ranch. The ranch is nestled in its own valley with over three hundred acres of riding trails,and is the perfect place to share a real 'country experience' on a working horse ranch. Plenty of activities for the whole family.
  • Try a Horseback Trail Ride or a pack trip into the wilderness for a day, a week, or even longer.
  • Visit a dude ranch or a working cattle ranch
  • participate in a Cattle Drive
  • or a Horse Drive.

3 Day Saddle Bronc School - Nationwide
Does you horse lover have (or claim to have) "Danger" as his/her middle name?
Put them to the test with a
gift certificate for a 3-day course in saddle bronc, bareback, bull riding or learning to be a rodeo clown/bullfighter.

Click on the image on the left for more information on this unique gift idea, available in many US cities.

If a guided pack trip into the wilderness, or a horse or cattle drive is in your plans make reservations early.
Participation in activities such as these is often limited and you may have to make reservations a year in advance in some instances.
This section will grow steadily as we locate quality locations and sources for horse vacations and trail rides. We're more than a little choosy here. Vacations require an investment of time and money so you'll appreciate our putting asome effort into finding the best choices we can. We're going to start close to home - locations we're familiar with and the expand out over time to other parts of the country we've visited and believe have much to offer. And of course we'll "suggest a few places where we haven't been but would like to try out.

As far as a destination is concerned the choices are limited only by your desires ( and maybe your budget). As someone said - "There's a whole wide world out there". You can ride along a seashore in Mexico, explore an off-the-beaten-path corner of the UK on horseback, take part in a horse drive in Iceland - or anything in between.

Trail Rider

Try a pack trip into the wilderness for a day, a week, or even longer. Experience a visit at a working ranch and take part in a cattle drive or a horse drive.
Sightseeing possibilities when not on horseback might also influence your final destination decision.

What to Bring

If you're taking part in planned activities, say at a guest ranch, your hosts will generally make recommendations (and requirements) as to what you need to bring. Check out our

List of Items recommended for a vacation on horseback,

designed to help get you off to a good start ( the emphasis here is on western riding so if looking the part of a cowboy or cowgirl isn't part of your plan make the necessary adjustments).

Riding Skills Required

In the pages discussing saddles, hats and boots, much emphasis is placed on proper "fit". Fit can be of a little importance here as well - you'll want to choose vacation activities that are a good fit with the experience of the rider(s) but, even for the beginning rider there are plenty of options. The page on Horseback Riding Skills Needed should help in this regard.


  • Lots and lots of information is available from the Horse Trails and Campground Directory of Horseback Riding Vacations where you'll find information about trails, horse campgrounds, overnight stay facilities, and bed & breakfasts; including ratings of horse trails and campgrounds and trail-specific weather forecasts - with much of it shared by the travellers themselves.
    Real Adventures
    Take your time, - grab a travel magazine ( horse magazines also contain some good ideas ), and start planning. RealAdventures (click the Banner) has a large listing of guest and vacation ranches to choose from. You might think of places you've been, which you enjoyed and see if there are some horsey activities in that general vicinity.


    Guide to Horseback Vacations Another good resource for adventure travel including horseback vacations, dude ranches, and more is Gordon's Guide.
    Clicking here or on the logo will take you there.

    Many thanks to the following for permission to reproduce their fine photographs:
    • Vicki S - Great Britain - Horseback Vacation on the Beach
    • Thorsen Epping - Aachen, Germany - Duin Riding
    • Johan Cloete - Gauteng, South Africa - Horse and Rider
    • Miro Schaap - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Horseback Riding at Sunset

    Back to Your Guide to Gifts for Horse Lovers Home Page