Horse friendly Short Breaks
Holiday Cottages with stables – Your guide to taking your horse on holiday
One of the major drawbacks of owning a horse is trying to find someone to look after them while you have a holiday. It might be because:
- Your horse is half devil and half donkey and couldn’t be trusted with anyone else
- They might have a medical issue that needs constant care
- Maybe you have no one to turn to that can help
- Your idea of a holiday is with your best friend and you can’t bear to be separated
- Currently you’re training for an event and need to stick to the programme
- You have a young horse you feel needs to experience travelling away from home
Lucky enough there are some places that can accommodate a horse or two so why not bring them along to enjoy the fun. Check what facilities could be available, this would generally be a stable and grazing but could also include a menage or horse walker. A groom might also be available, so you are free to just rock up and ride!
If people tell you travelling with a baby means you must take the kitchen sink, then they know nothing about travelling with a horse! Firstly, there needs to be an actual kitchen sink (usually in the horse lorry) which you need masses of room to park, unload, reload and manoeuvre. The sink is generally there just for washing the blood off when you trap your finger in the clips when moving a partition or cleaning off horse poo after fitting the tail guard.
What to pack
Packing the lorry or trailer is the next major challenge – what to take, two saddles? Your general jumping saddle and the dressage saddle because you may fit in a dressage lesson if you’re feeling up to it (You’ve heard there is an Olympic rider who lives up the road!). A bridle in case they get strong being in a new place, a bridle for the dressage lesson and another bridle for everyday riding. Boots for travelling, boots for jumping, bandages for dressage, a hose boot and your own riding boots. Then the essentials, first aid kit, grooming kit, 20 rugs for each degree of temperature change, weather condition and spares as they will obviously make sure they rip at least 5 on absolutely nothing!
Feeding a horse should be simple, right? They graze and eat grass, then we throw them a few nuts to balance the work they do under saddle! If only that were the case, instead you need at least 10 supplements, one to counter the reactions to the change in grass from home grass, then a prebiotic just in case the balance is out, then an electrolyte as they’ll be doing more work than normal, then some bran to help keep everything moving after a long days riding followed by 20 bales of their own hay as they refuse to eat other perfectly good hay when away from home!
Don’t forget to check your insurance covers you for cancellation, travel away from home, for you as a rider, your horse and all the mountains of equipment.
It pays to have a good check over of your equipment as you pack, check your hat for damage, tack for signs of wear and tear as well as taking photos and marking items in case they are lost or stolen. With new surroundings you and your horse will be more alert to new experiences, sights and sounds.
Research of the area, facilities and local events, shops and ideas for making it a fantastic riding holiday. The property owner or estate manager should be able to point you in the right direction for the best local places to eat that might be horse friendly, some might even have a hitching rail so you can enjoy a drink hands free!
See our holiday homes that welcome you and your horse for a fantastic short break…..