In 6 hours of travel the road went from tarmac to murrum to sandy tracks with countless gates leading from one fazenda to another. We finally pulled up beneath a large grove of mature mango trees with numerous little black pig families enjoying the cool shade and noisy parrots squawking overhead. Stepping past the verandah with inviting easy chairs, we were welcomed into the cool family home with fresh fruit juices. After a lunch featuring home grown vegetables with a meat dish and tasty desserts, and a long nap, we sallied forth in the late afternoon to meet the horses. Following the “line up” we were introduced to our mounts and tack (sheepskins thrown over the saddle tree, very basic stirrups and rather severe bits). The horses were lovely to ride, very responsive, but a little reactive on the ground. That first evening we saw crab-eating foxes, pampas deer and caiman in every pool, as well as numerous exotic birds, whose names we were just starting to learn.

The days merged into each other; up at 5am to the call of the southern screamers, ride, returning mid morning, lazing the day away and another evening excursion. Sometimes we came across the pantaneros cowboys working their white cattle, lassoing, doctoring, sorting. The Pantanal is 90% privately owned and ranching traditions are proudly upheld.

Pantaneros working their cattle

This is the largest wetland in the world and when the rains come the animals are forced to move off lush green pastures to high and more arid land. All the ranch buildings are situated in these areas and many have rough airstrips since they can be cut off for months at a time. The rides take place in the dry season of June through October.

We stayed at two different fazendas, quite some distance apart, with a night in hammocks along the way.  There was a river running by the second fazenda and one of the activities on offer was boat trips. It was magical motoring along through the shallow water, stopping to photograph capybara, giant river otter and numerous kinds of kingfishers, herons, ducks and  birds that one could never have imagined. Our guide Daniel, who accompanied us on the whole trip, is an excellent ornithologist and made sure everyone was engaged and happy. This was an interesting and wonderfully relaxing holiday that could easily be shared with a non riding partner.

Written by Mel Fox

The Pushkar Fair and Diwali Festival ride combines many aspects of the ancient, exotic charm of Rajasthan with some splendid, fast riding on beautiful Marwari endurance horses. In the last 40 years since we began Equitours I have taken over a hundred rides. I have loved my gallops with the zebra in Kenya and my castle to castle rides in France stopping to taste the wine in vineyards on the way, but the magic of Rajasthan has drawn me back over a dozen times.

The rich culture, so much more ancient than that of Europe, is overpowering in its complexity and refinement. The Indian way of life is so different from ours that imaginative and adventurous tourists can’t help but be utterly intrigued. Lately India’s economy has progressed nearly as fast as China’s and society is changing rapidly, but this Korta Ride traverses a part to the country which has remained much as it was for millennia. You will visit small, remote villages where the local people tend their water buffalo, camels, goats, sheep and cows. There are dirt roads ideal for long canters and little traffic except for a few camel carts. The topography is dramatic in many places as you will be riding close to the spectacular Aravalli Hills, India’s second highest mountain range.

Aravalli Hllls

The adventure begins in Jodhpur with Diwali, the Festival of Lights, which is one of the most important Hindu celebrations when the whole town and the magnificent fortress which towers above it will be lit up in every imaginable way.  At the end of the ride you will visit the Pushkar Fair. Local people come from many miles around to sell their camels, horses and cattle. There are many festivities including camel races and dances. You will be enthralled by the colorful pageantry of these two celebrations at the start and end of the trip and the fascinating life style in the remote villages you traverse on horseback which is such a contrast with our own. This ride should be a wonderful experience you will treasure for the rest of your life!

By Bayard Fox, Equitours owner and founder

A short trip from mainland Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are home to a stunning array of wildlife. A key part of Darwin’s journey in developing his theory of evolution, the islands have long fascinated mankind. Equitours is able to organize an extension to visit the Galapagos in conjunction with a riding trip in Ecuador, as we did for a group in January, 2019. Please enjoy the slideshow of photos from their trip.

Written by Kenji Aoki
I was part of a group of 6 on the Liberty ride in Sardinia, everyone had a great week and enjoyed it a lot. We were able to observe the Sant’Efisio festival in Cagliari, which was colorful and interesting. During our riding program there were great horses, and the guides and instructor had excellent knowledge. The rooms and food were also excellent!

Please enjoy these testimonials from the Samurai Ride.

For those who want an inside experience in Japan this is the trip. Everything you do is part of getting to know a foreign culture. And there are things that you will do that you will not find that anyone else has ever done, and it’s fun!! There are no adequate words to appropriately describe cherry blossom time in Japan. You have to be there to really appreciate its significance and beauty. The country also sets the high water mark for cleanliness. The first stable, in the hills, had limited land but we had loads of very good trots and canters. The second place we rode ended on a 6k beach which offered you your choice of speed. Everyone we were in contact with made me feel at home and that they could not do enough to make sure we were having a very good time. – Gitterman, 2017

My daughter and I had a marvelous time in Japan. It was a medium to well-experienced rider trail ride for a week on good quarter horses through forests of bamboo and mixed trees including the deservedly famous flowering Cherry trees. We had picnics in meadows with beautiful vistas in Mt. Aso National Park. We had lots of long gallops, including on the beach, and were always in sight of the surrounding mountains. The food and the accommodations at local inns were excellent, and tailored to our individual tastes. I heartily recommend this ride! – Duke, 2017

The Barichara Ride in Colombia  is designed especially for adventurous and inquisitive riders who want to participate in a challenging and unique experience. Here you discover the extreme landscapes of Colombia as you follow the Royal roads used firstly by the Conquistadors, the traders and later by the revolutionaries and independence fighters against their Spanish king in the early part of the 19th century. The routes will lead you from the historic lands of Boyacá to the state of Santander; explore wild and diverse landscapes, as well as historic villages bustling with a vibrant and colorful culture.  People have known hardship and adversity in the recent past but they are now emerging into the future with a sense of renewed freedom and energetic independence.

Your host and guide is Julio Pardo, an experienced horseman and Colombian national who has dedicated much of his life to breeding and cultivating equestrian athletes, first in the competitive sport of polo, then for the long distance demands of endurance racing and now for the trail of discovery. Together with a hardworking ground team, he shares with you the unique relationship of horse and rider, the physical demands of the trail and magical realism of Colombia.

Colombia enjoys a tropical climate due to its unique position on the equator and the influence from the surrounding rainforests, mountains, Pacific and Caribbean Oceans. This results in a regular temperature which remains mild year round, but with the intermittent threat of rainfall during the green season and cooling winds in the dry season. The only differences in temperature will be felt as you climb higher in altitude, in order to explore the mountain villages, before returning to the lowlands and to warmer conditions. This climate results in a near perfect situation for the growing of a large variety of tropical fruit, cocoa and sugarcane crops, as well as being one of the greatest regions for coffee bean processing and production.

Upon pickup from the Bogota airport we were transferred to a ranch in the Valley Verde area, about 2 hours outside Bogota where we would spend the first two days of riding.  From there we transferred to the town of Oiba for the first night of the Barichara ride. The only unfortunate situation was that the hotel was situated along a busy highway so rest was not easy to come by in the rooms of the hotel facing the highway. The next morning we received our safety briefing during breakfast before we set off on the fresh horses on our way to the town of Charala. The horses were quite excited to be starting the trail and all having been used for endurance were ready to go so you definitely have to be a confident rider. Up and down steep mountain trails we could appreciate the horses’ endless energy as they would be needing it for the weeks trail. We rode through lush vegetation along the hillsides and enjoyed vast views of the surrounding mountains. At our lunch stop a strong thunderstorm developed with a downpour. Fortunately we were able to wait out the worst of the storm while playing Teja, a game like horseshoes but with rocks which is played by the locals to pass time.

Playing Teja during the storm

Once the worst of the storm was over we set out again on the trail but it continued to rain for the rest of the afternoon. All of us had come prepared with rain gear and since it was a warm rain riding was not unpleasant, except that the trail became slippery. The sure-footedness of the horses was revealed and late afternoon we rode into the town of Charala and to our colorful accommodations outside the town. After a quick shower and change into dry clothes we headed out for an evening city tour before dinner at our accommodations.

The second day we continued our ride to the Valley of San Jose. We rode up and down the mountains through verdant valleys. Today was much hotter and our lunch stop at a restaurant close to a waterfall was a great reprieve. Most of us opted to take a dip in the natural pool at the base of the waterfall to cool off after lunch. Due to heavy rains in the area for the last weeks the flow of the water was quite strong so one had to be careful, but it felt so refreshing. After lunch we had a very steep climb along the hillside out of this valley and we were all amazed by the horses who made it look and feel so easy reaching the mesa above. From there we descended into the valley of San Jose to quaint accommodations with a pool. Even though it had started to rain lightly in the afternoon most of us refreshed with another dip in the pool.

Day 3 took us from the San Jose Valley via the town of Socorro to another lunch stop with a swimming pool in a park at the bottom of the valley below Socorro. The town itself lay below us as we entered on cobblestone streets. Another very warm day and we took advantage of being able to stop and have some cool refreshments at a local store; beer, ice-cream and cold soft drinks were welcomed by all. For lunch we had sandwiches in our saddle bags and extra water to stay hydrated but the owners of the lunch stop also provided us with local appetizers and cold drinks after the long morning ride. In the afternoon we reached the beautiful town of El Palmar, home to a very famous and historic Ceiba tree in the main town square. In local legend the town is said to have built up around this great tree which measures roughly 10 meters in diameter around its trunk. The night was spent at a quaint local hacienda.

The next morning we crossed back over the Suárez River by way of a road bridge and picked up the trail to the small rural village of Cabrera. This little settlement is known locally for its exceptionally preserved Colonial architecture. From here we followed the ancient roads leading us down to the plateau and the historic town of Barichara. The town is recognized as the emblematic jewel of Colombian history. Entering the town by way of a royal bridge we had some time to appreciate quaint cobblestone streets and observe its numerous ceremonial parks and magnificent old churches. The next 3 nights were spent at a colorful family owned hotel overlooking Barichara.

After a lovely breakfast at the hotel consisting of fresh fruit, the famous Colombian coffee, eggs cooked to order and homemade bread we were ready for the long ride to Chicamucha Canyon. During the ride we took advantage of the more open roads to enjoy long trots, canters and gallops. By now we had come to trust and appreciate the energy of our horses and were really thrilled with the exhilarating pace of today’s ride. This area enjoys a hotter and drier climate then on the previous days.

We visited a coffee plantation on our way to the canyon where we were able to learn about growing organic coffee in this area of Colombia and how they had to adapt their production to the climate.  We were invited to the home of the owners for refreshments and to sample the coffee they grow. Afterwards we continued along dirt roads at a good clip to make up for some of the time we spent at the coffee plantation and we still had a long way ahead of us to Chicamucha Canyon. On arrival close to the canyon we stopped for lunch and cold refreshments before walking down to the canyon, which reminded me of the Grand Canyon. On our way back to Barichara we again tried to make up for a bit of time and even though we trotted and cantered for long stretches – it was amazing how much forward energy these horses still possessed after 5 long days in the saddle – we arrived back in town in the dark, guided by the light of the head lamp Julio was wearing and trusting our horses to bring us back safely.

Upon arrival at the hotel we all showered, changed and were ready for another delicious dinner at our accommodations.

The next day we participated in a morning city tour of Barichara and had the afternoon off to just relax and explore the town after the long days in the saddle. Some of the riders took advantage of the shopping opportunities in town for souvenirs such as textiles, ponchos and pottery. Often described in literature as the “prettiest town in Colombia”, Barichara has a lot to offer visitors in such a small and unassuming place. The tranquility offered is quite unparalleled, a real national treasure with its roots deeply ingrained in the time of the Spanish Conquests. Here you discover pretty whitewashed houses with red-tiled roofs, surrounded by quiet cobblestone streets. Occasionally you will stumble across an artisanal craft shop, or perhaps the odd lovely little bar or restaurant, as well as a great many churches.

We enjoyed a farewell dinner at one of the local restaurants in town. The next day we transferred the long way back to Bogota which took us about 8 hours as traffic was horrendous coming into Bogota on a Sunday evening. In Bogota we stayed at a Marriott hotel in a business area of the city. We had two more days to explore Bogota and opted for a visit to Montserrat and a quick tour of the gold museum.

Views of riding through Colombia

I would recommend this tour for experienced trail riders who are adventurous and enjoy exploring up-and-coming countries in terms of tourism. We met friendly locals everywhere and enjoyed following the footsteps of Simon Bolivar who aided Colombia in its independence from Spain. I loved the Spanish influence of the area with the cobblestone streets in the towns and villages which date back to the 16th century. The food was fresh and nourishing and we all enjoyed the fresh juice options available daily and the home cooked meals. The accommodations were quaint and comfortable, ranging from village hotels to family owned haciendas in the area. Julio, his daughter and their support staff did a wonderful job of making sure everyone had a great time on the ride, the horses were fresh and ready to go, surefooted and fun to ride and gave us their all until the last day.

Written by Biggi Hayes

A Successful First Riding Vacation in Italy

Last week I returned from my first riding holiday. We selected the “Tuscan Villages and Vintages” in Italy. The fact that I am 62 years of age may not be exceptional for going on a riding holiday. However, what may be unusual is that I didn’t start riding until I was 57 years old.

The auther with his partner for the week

Beginning of a riding journey

This story actually began about 30 years ago. While on a ski holiday near Aspen, we saw advertisements for riding holidays in the rocky mountains. I had visions or trail riding, venturing into country accessible only on horseback, essentially sightseeing. I filed this in my memory for future reference.

The years went by. Work became busier, we raised our children. A few years ago I casually mentioned the riding holiday to my wife, Deborah. She told me that if I was serious about doing this, then I needed to learn how to ride, and ride well. She explained that a riding holiday involved more than just walking along trails, would include trot and canter, and several hours a day in the saddle.

Learning to ride was not the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. I could have taken it up at any time. My wife is a very accomplished equestrian, with 55 years of experience in both English and Western riding. She and I and horses have been together for 36 years. I had often helped her at shows over the years, and was quite comfortable around horses. Deborah currently competes in A Hunter in Ontario, Canada. She suggested that I take a few lessons on her recently retired hunter named Harmony. Following an injury, Harmony’s jumping career was over but she was still sound and very well-schooled.

So I approached Missy Todd, owner of Waymark farms near Ayr, Ontario about the possibility of a few lessons on Harmony so Deb and I could go on a riding holiday. Deb had boarded her horses there for many years. Missy was delighted and so the following summer the lessons began.

Six weeks later I was hooked! I had thought that riding would be more difficult than it actually was. There were some painful moments though when I came off the horse three times in two weeks and wasn’t sure that I wanted to continue. Nevertheless, I continued and made gradual progress. What I discovered most of all was the relationship with the horse, and how unique it was. I finally began to understand everything that my wife had talked about all those years.

Traveling to Italy

As Deborah approached her 60th birthday we decided to take the riding holiday we had talked about. Our good friends, Mickey and Kathy were able to come with us. They were both experienced riders. We selected Italy as our destination. The thought of Tuscany in the spring was very appealing after a long, cold Canadian winter.

We flew overnight to Rome and headed up to Tuscany the following afternoon. Our host met us at the train station and took us to the riding center where we were to spend the next week. At the farmhouse we met the second part of the husband/wife team of hosts, who was to do most of the guiding for the tours. A couple from the UK, Phil and Jean, joined us later that evening. The 4 Canadians and 2 Brits quickly gelled as we talked about our backgrounds and riding experiences, and looked forward to the first ride the following day.

Riding on the trail

After a hearty breakfast we tacked up and set out on the trail. I had hoped to trot and canter in the sand ring before heading out as I had limited experience on horses other than my own. This was not to be however. After a couple of minutes at a walk we went straight to trot followed by canter. I had never cantered at such speeds before. Most of my riding had been gentle schooling canters in an arena, and the first canter at the blistering speed of 20 km per hour was a little unnerving as I desperately tried to remember everything that my coach had told me over the past five years. Sit up and back, heels down and feet forward! I stayed on. By day three I was enjoying the fast canters, on day four I galloped for the first time.

On the trail

Most of the week I rode a delightful 14 year old gelding named Ambrogio. We bonded very quickly. I soon discovered his quirks and he discovered mine. He was very nimble up and down the slopes. I found his trot was a little rough but his canter was very smooth. I was told that everyone who rides him loves him, and I was no exception.

Some of the rides were morning and afternoon,  some were half day and we did three full day rides. The terrain was quite varied. We rode along logging roads, through vineyards and olive groves. A lot of the terrain was quite steep and rough, stony and muddy in others. We crossed several streams. We rode to villages, castles and wineries. We had several wine tastings and visited several wine cellars. Wine with lunch and dinner. Two hour sumptuous picnic lunches overlooking some of the most magnificent scenery I have ever seen. With wine and rich Italian expresso. Medieval castles, Tuscan farmhouses, forest, vineyards and olive groves. The horses would shy when we flushed pheasant and deer. And did I mention the wine?

The spread at lunch

We had two afternoons when we did not ride and our hosts took us to visit the towns of Montepulciano and Siena. These are well preserved medieval towns with lots to see and explore. There is also excellent shopping. In addition to the usual typical tourist items, there are several stores selling unique artwork and handmade goods from the region. And plenty of wine and gelato!

The week at the farm

Some stats for the week: Total distance on horseback was 105 km. Time in the saddle was about 30 hours. Maximum speed – 24 km per hr. Bottles of wine consumed …. we lost count.

Our hosts were gracious and attentive and took wonderful care of us. Our meals were long and delicious, it is Tuscany after all. We had pasta twice daily, lunch and dinner along with salads, meats and vegetables. Fennel is a vegetable not generally eaten in North America but common in Tuscany. One night we sampled wild boar, a Tuscan specialty.

The accommodations

The weather that week was nearly perfect, with nights 10-15 degrees, and days 20-25. It was sunny every day. The pool was still cool at the end of April, but this was not an issue for Canadians familiar with cold lake water.

The farmhouse where we stayed is quite large and has been divided into several units, each with a private bathroom. There is a large common and dining area, with a kitchen. There is no television. Internet access is available.

The horses are well cared for and clearly loved. Stalls were immaculately cleaned. Both outfitters grew up riding and they are clearly passionate about it. Riders and horses were well matched. As the least experienced rider, I was given a very reliable horse with whom I felt quite safe, but was also very responsive..

Riding to the nearby castle

Prepare for your trip

Since this was my first riding holiday it will always be special and I would highly recommend it to others. However, it would not be a ride for beginners. After 5 years of riding 4-5 days per week, I had still not done much in the way of trail riding and I found the full days long.

You need to be in good physical shape for this ride, especially if you are older. I need to emphasise the importance of this. I was grateful for the many hours I spent in the gym working out. As much of the terrain is rough and hilly I found that half an hour of stretching exercise before the ride probably helped in reducing the aches and pain associated with long days in the saddle.

I would recommend this ride for advanced intermediate and advanced riders. You also need to love great scenery, great food and great wine. Get in shape. Learn to speak a little Italian. And we are already thinking about our next riding holiday!

Happy Trails!

Paul Westacott.

April, 2018.

Since Iceland has become such a tourist destination and the riding holidays we offer in South Iceland into the Highlands are so popular, but with mountain hut accommodations where one room sleeps all, we have been looking for a new riding option that offered fun riding with hotel accommodations in a different area of Iceland.

We have found a new itinerary for us which combines riding in a different area of South Iceland and also in West Iceland. There is a great variety of scenery for those who want to enjoy the comfort of hotel accommodations at the end of the day with fun and easy riding.  You will appreciate the contrast between the fertile south and the west of Iceland which is dominated by glacial views of Langjokull and Ok glacier icefields.

Starting the trail

On the first day I was picked up in the town of Hella where I had spent the night and was transferred to Sydra Langholt for the first ride to the Secret Lagoon. We rode along through rolling hills with idyllic farmlands where young horses, sheep and cattle graze in endless green fields. We arrived midday at the Secret Lagoon where I enjoyed soaking away the weariness of traveling after a light lunch in the cafeteria or a picnic lunch out on the trail, depending on the weather conditions. Afterwards we returned back to the farm from where we transferred to the accommodations at the Hotel Fludir which is a lovely 3 star hotel. The small town thrives on mushroom production and growing other vegetables in the greenhouses of the area. 3 nights are spent at this hotel, which is located in the heart of the Golden Circle route with easy access to features such as Gulfoss waterfall and Geysir and Thingvellir National Parks.  The hotel is only 100 km from Reykjavik and features a garden area with hot tubs and an elegant restaurant. This makes it a great option for non-riding companions.

After breakfast on the second day the ride headed out from the farm into the highlands, riding underneath the basalt columns of Hreppholar with views of the Stora-Laxa river and the canyon. We enjoyed a picnic lunch by the sheep paddock of Hrunarettir before continuing on over the hills to Hvitardalur farm where the horses spent the night and we transferred back to the hotel for dinner at the restaurant. There is also a small restaurant across the street which is a little bit less pricey but meals in general are quite expensive in Iceland, which is something to consider since they are not included in the price of the ride.

On day 3 a ride into the uninhabited wilderness north of the valley of Tungufellsdalur brought more of the feel of riding in the highlands as we climbed onto a high mountain plateau, following tracks made only by sheep and horses. Along the way, distant glaciers came into view while we enjoyed the freedom of riding in the mountains.

Transfer to West Iceland

The next day started with a vehicle transfer to West Iceland via Thingvellir National Park, a site of historical, cultural, and geological significance, and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Iceland. The park lies in a rift valley that marks the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the boundary between the North American tectonic plate and the Eurasian. To its south lies Þingvallavatn, the largest natural lake in Iceland. As the weather had turned sunny and dry the transfer took us via the Kaldidalur Highland route which begins a bit to the north of Thingvellir National Park and to the west of the volcano Skjaldbreiður, which means “broad shield.”  The track continues between the glaciers Þórisjökull and Ok and leads up to the north. To the east of Reykholt the road comes out near Reykholtsdalur to Húsafell. Connecting South and West Iceland – what a stark contrast of landscape – it actually reminded me more of a moonscape with hardly any vegetation and remnants from volcanic eruptions everywhere.

After the 3 hour drive I checked into the luxurious hotel at Husafell, tucked away in a lush valley. The area around Husafell is a natural playground and perfect base to explore nearby Langjokull glacier, the highlands and Snaefellsjokull National Park. There is a geothermal pool adjacent to the hotel, a golf course and surrounding hiking trails. A tour into Langjokull Glacier and a visit to the world’s largest lava cave Vildgelmir showed what this area has to offer even for non-riders.

In the afternoon we met the new horses and the guides at Sturlu Reykur. From the farm we rode to Deildartunguhver, Europe’s most powerful hot spring.  By providing 180 liters per second of 100 C hot water it has the highest flow rate of hot springs in Europe, and pipes carry this water all the way to Reykjavik for part of their hot water and heating supply. The route took us along a river and its valley, a lovely and peaceful afternoon.  Afterwards the transfer back to the hotel was early enough that we could soak in the hot tubs and pool before dinner.

The owners of the farm have been successfully breeding and showing Icelandic horses for many years and export horses to many European countries. They have also been running these trail rides for many years. The horses are fun to ride and to really enjoy a good tolt.

Langjoekull glacier

I was especially looking forward to the next day’s ride through dense birch woods along a small river that comes out of the Hallmundarhraun lava field, which is Iceland’s oldest. The lava flowed from the north western rim of Langjoekull glacier and entered the Hvita river. Afterwards we had lunch at the cafeteria by Hraunfossar and Barnafoss, both of which were spectacular.  Back at the hotel I prepared myself for the tour into Langjoekull glacier by putting on winter gear. This tour is booked through the hotel and takes about 3 hours. First a bus picks everyone up from the hotel and transfers the group to the base camp from where they take one of the biggest snow coaches I have ever seen to the beginning of the tunnels into the Glacier. This is an opportunity of a lifetime to enjoy one of the world’s greatest wilderness areas from the inside. Never before the Langjokull ice tunnels had anyone been able to see the beautiful blue ice at the heart of an ice cap glacier.

On the last day of riding we visited the little village of Reykjholt, following along the river valley where we had great opportunities with a fresh set of horses to experience the fast tolt.  Reykholt is one of Iceland’s main historic sites, a cultural center past and present. Snorri Sturluson, a famous medieval historian, politician and chieftain settled in Reykholt in 1206 and was killed there in 1241.

The most distinctive antiquity in Reykholt is the pool of Snorri Sturluson, called Snorralaug. The pool and the water conduit, leading water from a nearby hot spring, date back to the 10th century and are maybe the oldest preserved constructions in Iceland.

The Church of Reykholt represents a cultural and medieval center. The church was consecrated on July 28th, 1996. It is known for its good acoustics and has old church bells, Frobenius­organ, from the cathedral in Reykjavík, award-winning stained-glass windows and a soapstone baptismal font, which was a donation from Norway. The font and an altar from an older church in Reykholt are from around 1500, now the property of the National Museum. The old church in Reykholt, built 1896–97, was in use until 1996. It is now under protection of the National Museum and is open for all visitors. After a leisurely picnic lunch on site we rode back to the farm again along the river valley. Too soon we returned and it was time to say goodbye to the horses and the owners of the farm who showed us around this lovely valley.

This would be a really good riding option for couples who want to experience two different parts of Iceland but also have non-riding options available to make their visit to Iceland an all-around experience.

Written by Biggi Hayes

The amazing story of our organizers of the Beach Safari in Mozambique was recently featured on CNN. Watch the three sections below for in glimpse of how they made the journey from Zimbabwe to settle themselves and their horses on the Mozambique coast, as featured in their book, One Hundred and Four Horses.

Part One: A Horse Odyssey
Land redistribution programs in Mugabe-era Zimbabwe saw Pat and Mandy Retzlaff pushed off their farm at the turn of the century. With their animals and those abandoned by their neighbors, the Retzlaffs set off for a new life in Mozambique with 104 horses in tow.
Part Two: Big dogs with big teeth
To the people of Vilankulo on the coast of Mozambique, the Retzlaffs’ horses were a new proposition.
Part Three: A new life for Zimbabwe’s rescued horses
Pat and Mandy Retzlaff’s horses now enjoy beach life in Mozambique.

Recently Mel Fox accompanied a group of Equitours guests on a new riding safari in the Serengeti ecosystem, offered by the same wonderful outfitter who organizes our other rides in Tanzania. Although the weather was not in their favor on this trip to see the vast migration by horseback, they still enjoyed fantastic wildlife viewing by vehicle and some excellent riding. Please enjoy the photo slideshow from this trip, below!

In February 2018 Mel Fox took a group of Equitours guests on the Nile Safari in Uganda. The outfitters have run this successful business for several years, and this was the first time Equitours joined one of their rides, followed by a gorilla trek. We are pleased to offer this unique perspective of Africa, and hope you enjoy the photo slideshow below from Mel’s trip!

Riding in Brazil’s Pantanal

The Magic of Rajasthan

Visiting the Galapagos Islands

Sardinia’s Riding at Liberty

Riding in Japan

On the Trail in Santander, Colombia

You’re Never Too Old!

Exploratory Ride in South and West Iceland

Mozambique featured in CNN’s Inside Africa

The Serengeti by Horseback

Equitours’ Exploratory Ride in Uganda

Scenes from Moroccan Agadir Sable d’or Ride

Loading Articles...