A horse riding holiday is one of the most memorable holidays you can have - but the very idea can put off many people who don't ride. But here's the good news - it shouldn't! Riding holidays exist to suit all levels - and while some of the most spectacular riding holidays are only accessible to seasoned riders, there are masses of great riding experiences to be enjoyed by complete novices. For the full low down on what to expect, read Claudia Flisi's excellent introduction, Adventures on Horseback.
Some riding holidays are residential - that's to say you stay on a farm or ranch and ride out every day - while others go on a journey, staying somewhere different every night. Whichever way you do it, and however experienced you are, a riding holiday will give you an incredible experience. As a way to see the landscape and feel in tune with nature, not much can beat it - it's a real alternative way to enjoy the great outdoors, to get closer to wildlife. One of the best destinations has to be riding in the United States (where you can enjoy the whole ranch experience) - though for the more adventurous, riding adventures in South America or going on a riding safari in the Okavango are hard to beat. Check our our list of great riding specialists.
There's something primeval about riding, too. For the historically minded, horse-riding can remind us - put us in the saddle as it were - of our ancestors, for whom the horse was often the only means of transport. The three great agents for the spread of civilisation throughout the centuries (and before the invention of trains and planes) have been the written word, rivers - and horses. So get in tune - and saddle up!