From the rugged mountains of Iceland to the warm waters of Aruba, you’ll find horses saddled and waiting for you on your next vacation. Drive cattle like a cowboy on a working ranch in Maui, leave hoofprints on a white-sand beach in Jamaica, and ride off into the sunset in the wild west desert of Nevada. Pack your boots and maybe even a bathing suit because your next—or first—horseback riding adventure awaits.
Wild West Horseback Ride from Las Vegas
In the distance, a coyote howls. Your horse’s ears swivel to catch the sound while it steadily walks along a hardpacked, desert trail. A road runner zips past and a jack rabbit hops through the scrub as you traverse the majestic Nevada countryside on horseback just outside the clamor of Las Vegas. With a professional wrangler in the lead, go horseback riding in the cool morning before the desert heats up and explore a cowboy town. Or choose to clop along the Ol’ Spanish Trail once ridden by mule brigades and infamous outlaws. If you want to feel like John Wayne, you can end your day by riding off into the sunset.
Horseback Riding Adventures in Iceland
Ride across the rugged landscape of Iceland on the back of a sure-footed Icelandic horse. These hardy horses travel with a smooth gait, called a tölt, making them one of the most comfortable rides around. Plus, their gentle and sweet nature makes them perfect for first-time riders. Learn about the long tradition of horsemanship in Iceland from your knowledgeable guide while horseback riding through lush mountain valleys. Pair your morning ride with an afternoon whale-watching cruise or a guided tour of the geothermal Golden Circle for a full day of Icelandic splendor.
Horseback Riding on the Beach in Aruba
The clip-clop of hooves, a cool breeze from the Caribbean Sea, and the serenity of natural beauty await you in Aruba. Look for Aruban parakeets and wild donkeys while riding through the cactus-covered landscape of Arikok National Park. Your horseback ride takes you past unique geological and historical sites and onto the white sands of Moro Beach. Further up the coast, dismount for a refreshing swim in the Natural Pool formed by a ring of volcanic rocks. Horses, sea, and sun—welcome to paradise!
Discover Gaucho Culture in Argentina
The fragrance of warm grass, leather, and horses scents the air as you ride through rolling grasslands—the pampas of Argentina. Follow your local guide, an Argentinian cowboy called a gaucho, past idyllic farmland on the back of a reliable Criollo horse. In the Patagonia region, go on a horseback riding adventure into the wilderness where you may see llama-like guanacos and emu-like rheas. Just minutes outside the city center of Buenos Aires, you can catch a game of polo—a thrilling sport to watch for any horse enthusiast.
Horseback Riding in Los Angeles
Saddle up for a horseback ride to the iconic Hollywood sign and an unbeatable view of Los Angeles. Expert guides pair you with a horse to suit your experience level before setting off on the dusty trails of the Hollywood Hills. Watch for red-tailed hawks soaring above or some of the 50 recorded species of butterflies flitting around wildflowers and bushes. At the summit above the huge white letters, you’ll find a remarkable view of Los Angeles sprawled out before you.
Explore the Andalusian Countryside in Spain
Journey into the heart of Spanish horse culture with a day trip into the Andalusian countryside. Watch horses rear, dance, jump, and prance on command at the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art—a must-see for any horse enthusiast. The clever and athletic Andalusian horses aren’t the only thing this area of Spain is famous for. Meet some impressively large toros bravos (brave bulls) on a bull ranch before heading out on a relaxing horseback ride through the La Suara nature reserve. And be sure to sample some local wine!
Swim with Your Horse in Jamaica
If you want to ensure that you don’t have a large-group, nose-to-tail plod-along, sign up for a private horseback ride in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Immerse yourself in the beautiful Jamaican scenery as your horse takes you to locations rich with history. Be sure to pack a bathing suit because on this equestrian adventure you’ll splash though cerulean ocean waters as your horse swims beneath you. Attentive guides make sure even first-time riders can enjoy this experience.
Central Park Horseback Riding in NYC
You might be in the middle of the Big Apple, but you can still saddle up and go for a horseback ride in Central Park. A long-standing tradition, people have been riding horses in Central Park since it opened more than 150 years ago. Follow the dirt bridle path as it circles the Reservoir and North Meadow. With birds singing in the trees and blue sky above, you may even forget you’re in New York City.
Local Expert Tip: If seeing an exceptionally trained mounted police horse is on your New York City to do list, you can usually find a few officers and their steeds on patrol in Times Square. Don’t be shy about asking for a photo!
Ride Arabian Horses in Morocco
Ride through the tallest mountains in North Africa on the back of a sturdy steed in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Bred by the Berber people for centuries, Barb Arabian horses possess great stamina and a hardy conformation perfectly suited to the Moroccan countryside. Traverse a variety of terrain from juniper and oak forests to rocky desert trails resplendent with scenic views of verdant valleys and dusty-red mountains. During the journey, keep an eye out for native wildlife like Barbary macaques and enjoy refreshing mint tea in the terraced mountain village of Imlil.
Horseback Riding Adventures in Maui
Aloha and giddy-up! Hawaiian cowboys, called paniolos, will happily show you around a traditional working ranch and take you on a real cattle drive on horseback. Don your cowboy hat for an authentic experience as an expert wrangler teaches you how to read the cows’ movements and herd them with your horse. You can also explore Maui’s natural beauty on a relaxing trail ride into the mountains where gorgeous waterfalls cascade. Along the way, listen to stories about Hawaiian history and watch for native species like the endangered nene goose.
Tips for Horseback Riding on Vacation
- If it’s your first time on a horse, or if you haven’t ridden recently, consider booking a shorter horseback riding tour to avoid sore muscles for the rest of your trip.
- Guides will ask about your horseback riding experience and are experts at partnering guests with horses to suit their level.
- Wear shoes with a heel, such as hiking boots. This will help you keep your feet in the stirrups while riding.
- Relax, trust your horse, and enjoy the ride!