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Dartmoor Riding Holidays invites you to join this exciting holiday in Devon, England, UK. You will enjoy challenging horse rides in a spectacular countryside on well-trained and sure-footed horses, guided by experienced Dartmoor guides who know the moor intricately. You will also have the chance to enjoy a unique local attraction or agricultural and equine show during your stay. Get a thrill out of totally unique horse riding experience over fantastic country unlike anywhere else in Europe!
You will stay in an en-suite room with color TV and Wi-Fi provided. All accommodation will be at the excellent Castle Inn and is on a half board basis arranged by Dartmoor Riding Holidays.
Among the eight days and seven nights of your holiday, you will enjoy five days' riding across Dartmoor plus one day out of the saddle. You will ride around Dartmoor for 15 to 20 miles each day (about four to five hours), stopping at fabulous moorland hotels or B&Bs. You will be guided through some of the most spectacular ridings anywhere in the UK. Moreover, you will also be stopping en-route for either a packed lunch or lunch at one of many welcoming moorland pubs.
Dartmoor Riding Holidays normally rides in western style. However, they can provide English saddles if you request. You will need to be a reasonably fit and at least strong intermediate standard or better rider. The terrain will involve crossing streams, shallow rivers, undulating ground, and up and down steep inclines which would not be suitable for novice or inexperienced riders. Dartmoor Riding Holidays' style of riding is very much akin to natural horsemanship. They like you to be relaxed and ride with soft hands.
Please note that Dartmoor Riding Holidays is not a riding school and they do not give tuition. Typically, the riders' age range from 18 to 65. Experienced 14 to 17-year-olds are accepted if accompanied by a riding parent / guardian. The upper age limit is discretionary depending on the rider's fitness and experience (you may contact Dartmoor Riding Holidays for more details). Kindly note that the maximum weight is 15 stone (95 kilograms). In addition, all guests have to wear hard hats and individual body protection is optional.
A strong intermediate rider must have ridden several different types of horses and can independently manage a horse care. Your seat is secure if you are able to control a horse at a walk, trot, canter, and do not apply unintentional aids to the horse when you lose balance or become unseated. You must know how to rise or post to the trot and ask for and obtain a specific lead or change in the lead as well as capable of riding a less experienced horse and helping in that horse’s training. You must also be able to train / compete at a more advanced level with a trainer’s assistance and has the knowledge about different horse breeds and disciplines. Last but not least, you also have to know the basic horse conformation and can detect lameness issues.
All the guides will be local moor men or women who know the moor well. They know where the best crossings are and where to avoid as there are areas where it could be unsuitable for horses. Some of the guides are members the Dartmoor Rescue Group and some are range clearers for the army on the moor. All are excellent horsemen or women and are first-aid trained.
Dartmoor Riding Holidays has a selection of fantastic Quarter horses with their calm attitude and appetite for work. All are western-trained, fit, forward going, very sure-footed, and a pleasure to ride. Dartmoor Riding Holidays also has a selection of Irish hunters (some western-trained and some English-style), all are a pleasure to ride and able to cross the terrain with ease. The heights range from 14:3 to 16:2 hands.
Dartmoor Riding Holidays usually start and back their own horses to suit their type of work - all must be sensible with good manners. They have a selection of other horses that they can match to the guests. Your horse will be matched to you as far as possible. Dartmoor Riding Holidays has a good selection, but it is important for them to know your ability first.
Each week will include a day out of the saddle to visit a local attraction or a local agricultural and equine show. If you join the ride in August, you will be visiting Chagford Show and if you join the ride in September, you will experience a visit to the Widecombe Fair.
This retreat will take place at Dartmoor in Devon, England, UK. Dartmoor is a fantastic place to ride. It’s one of the UK’s last wilderness and is best viewed through the ears of a horse. Here, you will take in the peace and sample the atmospheric beauty Dartmoor has to offer.
Your breakfast will either be at the Castle Inn or the farm while the lunch will either be at the farm, a packed lunch, or en-route at one of many fabulous local pubs. Your breakfast and lunch are all included in the package. You will also be served tea and cakes after the ride. Unfortunately, Dartmoor Riding Holidays do not do the evening meals. You are free to make use of the Castle Inn’s excellent restaurant or eat out elsewhere in the evening at an additional cost.
Please book your flight to arrive at Exeter Airport (EXT). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request.
If you don’t want to bring a car (you do not need one during your stay), Dartmoor Riding Holidays offers a shuttle service from and to Exeter Airport (EXT) at a nominal charge.
You can arrive at Devonport in Plymouth. Transfer from and to the dock is available at a nominal charge.
You can arrive at Exeter St. Davids train station. Transfer from and to the station is available at a nominal charge.