Guidelines:

Beginner

Novice

Intermediate

Strong Intermediate

Advanced

A rider who has limited experience, is unable to post the trot and does not canter. A rider who is capable of mounting and dismounting unassisted, capable of applying basic aids, comfortable and in control at the walk, moderate length posting trots, and short canters. A rider who has a firm seat, is confident and in control at all paces (including posting trots, two point canters and gallops), but does not ride regularly An intermediate rider who is currently riding regularly and is comfortable in the saddle for at least 6 hours per day. All of the mentioned abilities, plus an independent seat, soft hands, and a desire to handle a spirited horse in open country.

Matching your riding ability with the demands of a ride is a critically important first step in choosing a riding holiday, both for your own safety and enjoyment and also for the safety and enjoyment of your horse and other members of the riding group. For most of our trips you must have a good knowledge of the basics and some experience in riding cross-country. Important factors to take into consideration as you choose a ride are:

  • Do you ride in English or Western tack? Would you feel comfortable switching?
  • How much riding can you realistically do to prepare for the ride?
  • Will you ride in the controlled conditions of an arena, or on trails with varied terrain?
  • What is your level of physical strength and stamina?

We have rated trip options according to the level of equitation skill and physical fitness required to participate, as well as the pace. There are always variables involved, so when in doubt about how your riding ability measures up to the rigors of a ride, call or send us an e-mail. One of our ride consultants will gladly discuss it with you. It is generally best to estimate on the conservative side, especially if you haven’t ridden with us in the past. We do our utmost to ensure that our guests have fantastic experiences and that no one feels pushed beyond their limits or held back by other riders.  Please help us by being realistic about your own ability. The trek guide has full authority to exclude a rider from a trip for inability to ride or behavior which endangers the other riders or the horses.

Almost anyone can learn to ride well enough, but one must be prepared to make the effort. Equitours offers some great riding programs worldwide that cater to guests wanting to work up to more challenging rides in the future. If you have a particular ride in mind but do not meet the riding criteria, consider joining an instructional program or less challenging ride where you can gain the necessary skills and confidence. One great option for less experience riders to consider is the Bitterroot Ranch in Wyoming. The ranch is the home base of Equitours and offers a lesson program in addition to trail rides that provide hours in the saddle. This combination helps to develop riding ability in a safe and friendly environment. Many ranch guest feel more comfortable on the international riding trips with the added experience from the ranch under their belt. Part of the joy of riding is the lifelong opportunity to learn and improve. We look forward to helping you take part in riding adventures around the world.