Your Very Best Horse Vacation

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I don't know about you, but I'm unable to separate "horse" and "vacation" in my life. As in, if I'm going to go through the time, trouble and expense of setting aside my daily life to go do something recreational, it's going to involve horses in some way. I may write about them for a living, but my being a horse nut preceded any thought of getting a paycheck for it.

Not for me a trip to some tropical isle, where the idea is to lie on a beach and sip umbrella drinks. Way too slothful, and besides that, I look better in chaps than a bikini. I have no desire to go on a cruise and then battle the post-trip weight gain that friends have moaned about. I'd think about vacationing in the Big Apple, but only if I got to go horseback riding in Central Park--every day. I have similar thoughts about a trip to Europe. If the plan were to go horseback trekking from castle to castle, I'd be first to sign up! But the idea of touring the great capitals of the continent doesn't ring my bell as loudly as, say, touring the great horse farms of Kentucky (which I've done--complete with posing for pictures alongside Secretariat).

That was a memorable horseperson's vacation, definitely high on my list of the alltime faves. At the top of the list, as my very best horse vacation? Winner of that category is the week-long trip I took with Triple O Outfitters ( to retrace Lewis and Clark's route across Idaho's Bitterroot Mountains. That wasn't just a vacation--it was the adventure of a lifetime. It mixed mountain-savvy horses, breathtakingly unspoiled country, nights under the stars, a palpable link to history, and great comradeship with a complete and utter escape from the digital fetters of modern-day life. I was a whole new person when I got home, refreshed in a way that's hard to describe. (Saddle-sore, too, for a valuable reminder that I exist below the neck as well as above it.)

Seeing as how we're barely halfway through the worst of the winter months, vacations are nice things to think about right now. How about entertaining me with some details of your very best horse vacation? If I can't get down our steep, icy driveway with the horse trailer right now, I still can join you in my imagination.