This sun is on its way – or at least we hope so – so why not treasure every last ray in picturesque locations, where you can get your horse involved too?
You may be stuck in your ways of circling an arena for hours trying to squash in your horses’ exercise, or blazing trails you know like the back of your hand, but that surely can’t be exciting.
Riding your horse will begin to feel like a chore you try and avoid, as opposed to the privilege that it truly is.
There are countless trails where you are able to gently canter and soak up all of the delightful British scenery, alternatively there are vigorous routes running through rolling hills that will put your riding skills to the test.
The UK is such a beautiful place, whether everybody recognises that or not, so we have compiled a list of a small handful of our favourite trails, from the North borders of Scotland, all the way down to the South of England.
Brecon Beacons National Park
The Brecon Beacons National Park is a special place in Britain – and the perfect location for horse owners and horse lovers alike.
The mountain range in South-Wales spans roughly 520 square miles and it is comprised of six main peaks – but there is so much more to the Beacons than mountains and grass!
The Brecon Beacons is a hub of activities, particularly so for all of the horse riders out there. There is in excess of 600 scenic miles of bridle paths, wildlife in abundance, a sense of serenity and some of the most spectacular views you will find.
There are numerous trekking centres situated in various spots throughout the Brecon Beacons, each covering a variety of routes suited for riders of all abilities from beginners, improvers and advanced trekkers.
You can take part in forest rides, river rides and holidays you and your family or friends can be a part of. Ride for days and each night stay in delightful, horse friendly, B&B accommodation.
Pennine Bridleway is fast becoming one of the most well-known and most-loved riding trails in the UK. The purpose built bridleway is one of the newest National Trails, and built with horse-riders in mind – although walkers and bike riders are more than welcome to enjoy the scenic route.
Regularly referred to as the rugged backbone of England; the Pennine Bridleway stretches 200 miles from Derbyshire’s High Peak Trail to Byrness in Northumberland, winding in between the Peak district, South Pennines and Yorkshire Dales as it goes.
Nene Valley Park
Nene Valley Park is nestled in Cambridgeshire, close to Peterborough, where you can find unspoilt villages, charming cottages, and delightful countryside views.
Nene Park is 2000 acres of woodland, lakes and water meadows, which reaches all the way from Peterborough to Wansford.
Unlike the challenging peaks and troughs of Brecon Beacon and Pennine Bridleway, Nene Valley Park provides a much more relaxed and easy-going environment, where you can completely tailor the walk to suit you.
You can think of it as a relaxing weekend, improve on your fitness or riding skills, or build up confidence if you are a new rider; the thrilling route offers it all.
There is plenty of accommodation in the surrounding areas, meaning you can try and soak up as much of the stunning countryside as you can in one day, or spread out the entire Nene Valley Park over a number of days.
The New Forest
There is no better way to explore The New Forest than on horseback. Whether you are an experienced rider or learning to ride for the first time, The New Forest is the perfect location.
You’re able to venture through the forest, trot in flowing streams, or take a relaxing hack in the midst of the rolling hills.
Not only will you witness picturesque views for the duration of your time in The New Forest, you’ll discover the some 3000 roaming ponies that The New Forest is famed for.
Alongside country pubs and accommodation that boasts livery facilities, we can’t think of a reason not to visit The New Forest this summer.
Strath Bora, Sutherland
Different from many other trails, the distinctive landscape views of the Scottish highlands provide the opportunity to witness red deer and osprey, roaming the stunning backdrop of Scottish hills and banks.
On the Strath Bora route, your horse can take a paddle in the loch or you can have a gentle hack across the bank before heading into an unexploited Scottish woodland trail.
There is array of accommodation options to choose from, of course all horse-friendly or you can book a thrilling trekking holiday with a local centre.
When travelling with your horse, it is important to remember certain safety measures.
When transporting your horse to a location, you should always use a set of travel boots that will offer maximum protection of your horse’s legs, such as these Mark Todd Travel Boots. These boots are made of both hard wearing and dirt repelling materials, three wide hook and loop straps so they are quick and easy to use, and scuff plates have been built in the base, ensuring all is done to prevent fraying and injury to the coronet band.
Another vital item we would strongly recommend when travelling with your horse is a tail guard and bag, or a tail bandage. This Kentucky Tail Guard and Tail Bag is made from closed cell neoprene and designed ergonomically so your horse’s tail is protected and tidy in transition.
When travelling at night, you must make others aware of yours and your horse’s presence, particularly when manoeuvring down roads that motor vehicles may also use. The easiest way to ensure you are visible is through wearing reflective wear.
Break old habits and make horse riding interesting again.