Riding holidays with non riders

You’ve found the perfect riding holiday destination and you would just love to bring your partner, friends or family with you. However, they have absolutely no clue how to get on a horse, let alone how to stay on. That’s fine! There are lots of destinations that keep this in mind and give you an opportunity to bring a non rider and still enjoy your riding holiday with them. In this post I’ll tell you all about the planning of these holidays, where to find them, what the possibilities are and how to create your own itinerary for the perfect horse riding holiday with a non rider!


Having lunch at a waterfall in drakensberg south africa while horses are grazing
Full day ride at Khotso, Drakensberg.
The perfect place to combine riding and other activities.

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What kind of riding holiday are you looking for?

First, it’s important to make a plan for your holiday and clearly set your goals, wants and needs. The most important thing to define is how you want to spend time with your travel buddy. By this I mean; do you want your partner to join the rides? Do you want to meet back up with them after riding and they do another activity in the meantime? Do you both not want to ride but do other horse related activities such as driving a carriage, spotting wild horses or visiting a horse event? 

If you want your partner to join you on the rides, these rides will likely be slow and centered around your partner being willing and learning to ride. If your partner is interested in learning to ride but doesn’t want to join for the long hours that you want to ride, they could come along in the morning and do another activity in the afternoon. If you’d like to both do different activities during the day but spend the evenings together, look for places that offer activities your partner might enjoy such as mountain biking, skiing, quad biking or hanging out in a spa. If you are both not necessarily interested in riding but want to spend time with horses, make sure to define what it is exactly you’d like to see and in which locations this is possible. Lastly, if you have a specific destination in mind, make sure to look for non rider opportunities there. However, if there don’t seem to be any opportunities there, make sure to read the end of this post where I explain how you can create your own itinerary when options are limited. 

horse riding holiday group of horse riders in mexico at rancho las cascadas
Rancho Las Cascadas, Mexico.
The perfect place for non-riders to relax after learning how to ride.

How to find the perfect holiday

There are several ways to find the perfect holiday that suits all your wishes. My favorite way of doing this is by going on Instagram, looking for these places and contacting them directly for options. This way usually gets you a response and is a bit more personal as they will be able to see your profile, however sometimes a company will respond and ask you to email them instead which is also completely fine. 

Another way to find your dream destination is through an agent. There are many agencies that can arrange trips for you and have lots of options for non-riders as well. In this case, make sure to contact the agency directly and they will be able to sort out the perfect holiday for you that also accommodates your non-riding travel buddy. 

Victoria falls zimbabwe with rainbow
Visiting Vic falls is an amazing activity to do while your partner is out riding!

Possibilities differ with each company

Sometimes, companies don’t immediately mention options for non-riders on their website or instagram, but you can always ask! They might be able to sort something out for you or come up with creative solutions. Also, if you’d be a solo traveler without your buddy, you do get the option to share a room now, which will help you save money on a possible single supplement. Below I will tell you how you can use this in creating your own itinerary! If you are really struggling to find the perfect place and even agencies aren't able to help you, or you want something very specific, you can always be creative and come up with your own personalized holiday. 

Create your own unique itinerary 

Make it your own! In case you can’t find your dream vacation, create your own. Below I’ve come up with some tips and tricks so that you can create the itinerary yourself, depending on how you want to spend time with your travel buddy.

  • Do you want your partner to join the rides? Your partner is willing to learn to ride and wants to join on the rides? That’s great! You can choose a stable in whichever location you’d like and look for accommodation near it yourself. Once you’ve found the stable and accommodation that you’d like to stay at, start creating your itinerary. You can do a short ride together every morning where your partner learns the basics, and you can do a faster/longer ride by yourself in the afternoon while your partner enjoys another activity. 
  • Do you want to meet back up with them after riding and they do another activity in the meantime?  In this case you can look for a horse riding holiday that allows guests to stay in the same accommodation without riding. This is where the single supplement comes into place. By saving on the supplement, you can spend on activities for your partner! You could either do activities that are offered at the accommodation or your partner can look for opportunities in the area, google maps or tripadvisor is usually perfect for this.  
  • Do you both not want to ride but do other horse related activities? For this one, the options are endless! Figure out what you want to do and see, and where this is possible, book your accommodation and go have a great time. 
inside the spanish riding school in vienna austria during training of the young stallions
Visiting the Spanish Riding School is perfect if you're both horse horsers that don't want to ride.

I will definitely be sure to make specific guides for several destinations that are perfect for non-riders.

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