Riding Vacation Prep

If you plan to go on a riding vacation with your horse, first narrow your site selections to the top 10. Then ask questions to determine whether the place is right for you. Here's a sampling.

ABOUT THE BUSINESS

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Can you provide references?
  • Do you offer a written satisfaction guarantee?
  • Do you have a state license and, if applicable, a permit for riding through private and/or public land?
  • Do you have any age restrictions?
  • What are your equine-health requirements?
  • Have horses at the stable had any recent bouts of illness that could be contagious?

ABOUT RATES & DATES

  • What are your deposit, refund, cancellation, and payment policies, including the types of payments accepted?
  • What are your rates, and what do they include?
  • What extras are available, and what do they cost?
  • Do you offer discounts for seniors, children, groups, non-riders, off-season dates, etc.?
  • Which dates have enough open spaces to accommodate me and my travel companions?
  • Do you have a minimum-stay requirement?
  • How far in advance should I make reservations?

ABOUT ACCOMMODATIONS & SERVICES

  • What type of lodging do you offer?
  • What’s your meal plan?
  • How close is emergency medical assistance?
  • How close are veterinary and farrier services?
  • What are the horse accommodations like?
  • Is feed available on the premises?
  • Are feed, stabling, and stall-cleaning extra or included in the rate?
  • What non-riding activities do you offer?
  • Do you offer childcare?

ABOUT THE RIDE

  • What’s the usual ride itinerary?
  • How many hours per day will we ride?
  • What’s the terrain like?
  • What’s the ride pace?
  • What are the challenge level and skill requirements?
  • What’s the weather like?
  • What equipment do I need to bring for my horse and myself, and what will you provide?
  • Are riding trails on the property? If not, can I easily ride to them or do I need to trailer to them?

This article first appeared in the March, 2002 issue of Horse & Rider magazine.

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