The world is a big and beautiful place, yet many travelers will miss its beauty as they hurry from one country to the next by land, sea or air. It seems these days that tourists don’t have the time to fully discover the culture and environment of the country they are visiting. In this article we champion taking the time to explore a country on horseback and experience the world not as a tourist but as an adventurer.
There are many countries that are famous for their equine culture. CNN posted a list of 15 countries that have great horse treks. The list ranges from game reserves in Botswana to national parks in Spain. One exciting highlight of exploring a country on horseback is that you get a better understanding of its culture. For example the second point on the CNN list is the Hovsgol Province in Mongolia. CNN states that the riding trek is “the rare chance to experience one of the last remaining nomadic horse cultures on the planet.”
Seeing the world on horseback has an authentic feel that travelling by train or plane doesn’t offer. There is a sense of adventure, of seeing the world the same way our ancestors saw it before the locomotive. A prime example of this is Alex McNeil who traveled from one coast of the USA to the other on horseback. Speaking to Equitrekking about his trip McNeil said: “you’re right up against all the challenges of a trip, which is what life is all about…it’s really about people, staying with people and meeting new people.” While we don’t suggest you embark on such an adventurous trip, what McNeil is saying clearly demonstrates the unique opportunities that come around travelling by horseback.
If riding horses doesn’t appeal to you then perhaps watching horses may. Many countries have their own equine event and it is a great way to get a deeper understanding of their culture. Italy, for example, has the Palio di Siena that takes place twice a year and is considered the countries most famous sporting event. Although the actual race only lasts an average of 75 seconds the rich history and culture surrounding it makes it perfect for experiencing Italian culture. The race was recently featured as the backdrop to the James Bond film Quantum of Solace. If you are visiting the UK during April then you may wish to experience racing done the British way. The Grand National is called “the biggest in jumps race in the UK” by horse racing specialists Betfair and is one of the most prestigious equine events in the world. To experience the Grand National live is to embrace the UK’s strong sporting heritage.
Travelling the world has become a global occupation and finding experiences that are your own is harder than ever. Travelling on horseback, whether it is for a few days, a couple of weeks, or a year or more is the perfect way to have adventures that most other travelers wouldn’t dare take on.