Four resources for horse-crazy travelers

I grew up riding horses, and though now that I live in a big city I don’t get to ride as often as I’d like, I still love the feeling of galloping on horseback to the rhythm of hoof beats. I’ve ridding with the gauchos in Argentina, through coffee fields in Honduras, over rolling green hills in Hawaii, and on the five-gaited four-legged teddy bear of an equine that is the Icelandic Horse. If you love horses and are looking to plan an equestrian vacation, here are four resources to get you started.

Equitours, “America’s largest and oldest horseback riding vacation company”, offers packaged tours for avid equestrians. With tours in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, Europe, America, and the South Pacific, they pretty much cover the globe by horseback. The site allows you to search by experience level, location, length of tour, and date. Trips range in cost from $800 to $2900 and include riding, accommodations, meals and transfers, but not flights.

Hidden Trails Equestrian Tours offers packaged vacations, but goes beyond the standard trail rides. In addition to vacation treks, they offer cattle and wild horse drives, riding clinics, covered wagon treks, riding safaris and pack trips in over 40 countries. Specialty trips include ride and cook, ride and fish, woman only, and gaited horse trips. Rates range from $600 to $3000 and include riding, accommodations, meals and transfers, but not flights.Equitrekking works with local riding companies to offer equestrian vacations throughout North and South America and Europe, with few options in South Africa, India and Nepal. In addition to offering links to the individual companies and their tours (which range in price, riding ability required and length) the site also offers advice and information on equestrian travel, travel tips, and clips from episodes of the Equitrekking TV show.

Nancy D. Brown, a travel writer and the lodging editor at, details horseback vacations around the world on her new blog, Writing Horseback. Detailing everything from full-service ranches and resorts to equestrian vacations and companies offering trail rides, her site covers destinations from California and Oregon to Antigua, Norway, and Hawaii. It’s not a fully comprehensive list of everything that’s out there (the site is quite new) but if you are open to suggestions for a destination, want to plan a trip to a resort that caters to riders, and prefer first-hand reviews, this website is a great resource.

Adventures on the Geronimo Trail

Way out west, in the Black Range Mountains of New Mexico, there is a quiet little ranch tucked away in the thick pine trees, where cowboys still ride the trails and rustic bunkhouses give guests a place to lay their head at the end of a busy day. That place is the Geronimo Trails Guest Ranch, an adventure resort that lets us live out our wild west dreams on horseback in a pristine setting.

Located four hours from both El Paso and Albuquerque, Geronimo Trails falls well off the grid. The ranch is 85 miles form the nearest stop light, with all power generated through the use of solar panels and water supplied from nearby streams. The area is so remote, that visitors may as well turn off their cell phones when they arrive, as coverage ends 70 miles back down the road.

This eco-conscious approach helps to give the ranch a quiet, serene setting, allowing guests to rest and soak in the rustic atmosphere. And when they’re done relaxing, there are plenty of things to do as well. Situated on one of New Mexico’s designated scenic byways, Geronimo Trail gives access to plenty of outdoor adventure. Whether you’re on horseback or hiking on foot, you’ll be able to follow in the footsteps of Billy the Kid, Butch and Sundance, and even Geronimo himself, while exploring mountain meadows and beautiful, wide open vistas. There are even Native American ruins to discover, with ancient cliff dwellings and caves with wall paintings to give travelers a glimpse into what this part of America was once like, before the settlers came west.

The laid back setting extends to just about every area of the ranch, which has a fully stocked library and plenty of swings and hammocks to curl up with a good book in. Meals are served up in the mess hall, ranch style of course, with guests gathering around picnic tables to share their daily adventures. Nights are spent around the campfire making s’mores and telling stories, while the more energetic amongst the visitors can take part in cowboy sing-alongs or go line dancing well into the wee hours of the night.

For a true cowboy experience in the untamed old west, few experiences compare to a few days stay at Geronimo Trails Guest Ranch. Just be warned, it won’t take long to get settled in, and you might not ever want to go back home.