Gallop Away! A Guide to Horse Riding in India
From rafting, mountain climbing to even trekking and horse riding, India offers ample opportunities for an adventurer to indulge in any of the aforementioned sporting activities. With its origins in the royal era, horse riding in India as an adventure sport activity has picked up rapid pace.
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So, it comes as no surprise that horse riding in India is often considered a royal sport. After all, it was the pageantry of Kings of Rajasthan who first conceived this adventure sport. It is now practised in several places around the world but the experience of riding a horse ride in the streets especially in Rajasthan, is unique and unforgettable.
There are several spots in India that offer the best of riding experiences. Some of them are the Pushkar fair ride, which is also called the Christmas ride, Ladakh-Himalaya Ride, the Nagaur ride and the Pushkar Camel fair.
These are just a few mentions; the experience of horse riding in India can be better experienced if you go to the right places the right time of the year. The best experiences is offered in these places along with proper training and combined safari packages. These packages usually include the training and the horse riding trials.
These packages are complemented with safaris that make the experience better. Moreover, the horses available in such destinations are well-bred and therefore easily maintainable. They are trained and do not cause any harm to the rider and all the tours and safaris are carried out with utmost care and balance.
The best places for horse riding in India:
1. Digvijay Pratishthan, Maharashtra
Digvijay Pratishthan is an institute which offers amazing scenic view and space to ride a horse comfortably. The institute focuses on making horse riding as a major sport in India. Located in Pune, Digvijay Pratishthan offers trail riding experiences for beginners and experts.
[If horse riding is not for you, experience yak and jeep safaris on our Spiti Safari tour]
The course teaches you basic riding, jumping and tent pegging lessons. The institute is operational with expert trainers and trained horses with well-equipped accessories that are necessary to indulge in the sport. Packages vary from your needs of taking the course that ranges from beginner level to expert levels.
Equitours is another popular vendor for horse riding in India. They offer the best of the equestrian adventures. All the rides are safe and carried under care. There are guards and monitors keeping a close watch over the activities and are ever ready to help.
You can take a horse ride by the vineyards and the famous beaches or through the sacred valley of the Incas. The horse rising packages in the Equitours depend on time and the breed of horses available for sport during that season.
3. Hacra, Rajasthan
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The Hacra, is a village in the Thar Desert also called the Maru Desh that organises horse riding in Rajasthan around the Ranakpur Jain Temple. This is an adventure in itself. The people here welcome you to their community; every bit of your time at the Hacra will be enjoyable as you would be treated as a part of the community and not a tourist.
The ride organised by the Hacra community is supposed to be one of the best places for horse riding in India. The Ranakpur Jain temple symbolizes the patriotism of the rulers of the state, the dynasties of the Mewar and Marwar who built some of best places in the country. And of, course the culture and the heritage of Rajasthan is what makes it today.
[Discover the rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan on a Rajasthan Village Tour]
4. Krishna Ranch, Rajasthan
The ranch organises specialised horse riding and horse safari experiences in Udaipur, Rajasthan. Riding in Udaipur is equivalent to riding through the seven kilometer stretch of rural Rajasthan and the Aravali mountain range.
[Watch breath taking forts with our Golden Triangle Tour with Udaipur]
The Krishna Ranch has been popular for organising different horse safaris in Udaipur. The best of the Marwari horses offer the best riding experience. in Udaipur. Besides, riding, the Krishna Ranch will also offer accommodation and boarding facilities within its premises.
5. Pratap Country Inn, Rajasthan
Udaipur is one place in India that needs to be visited by one and all. Every detail in this place has a uniqueness of its own. Instead of taking a drive through the town, try horse riding instead as it gives a total different feel, allowing you will to enjoy the charm of Udaipur in its authenticity and charisma. Pratap country inn located in the central part of Udaipur.
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Therefore the horse rides are organised from the area itself. There are about 20 horses reared for your trips and are of strong quality to ensure safe riding throughout the place. The duration of the ride can vary from 2 hours to half a day to even a full day.
6. Princess Trails, Rajasthan
Horse riding is the age old tradition of travelling opted by the Maharajas and Princess trails keeps the tradition alive by offering these rides to tourists and people. The horses used by Princess trails are the ancient breeds of Marwari horses; the ones connected to the Rajputs of the state.
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Horses are connected to Rajputs and you can really live a part of the connection by taking a ride on these Marwari horses through Udaipur. You will really enjoy this connection as you witness the beauty of the place while you go for horse riding in Udaipur.
7. Relief Riders International, Rajasthan
The Riders have been organising horse rides for tourists throughout Rajasthan, the best scenery a rider can get while horse riding in India. These rides were initially taken up as a part of providing relief to remote communities. The trips last for 13 to 15 days and do not include more than 12 riders.
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These rides took the horse back safari riders through the sand dune formations in the Bikaner region of Rajasthan. The rides that will be taken up by the Relief Riders International include the November 2013 Pushkar relief rides, the February 2014 Bikaner Relief ride and the February/March 2014 Chanod Relief Ride.
8. Rohet Garh Horse Safaris, Rajasthan
The Rohet Garh takes pride in keeping one of the finest stables of the Marwari house in the country, making it one of the best places for horse riding in India. Horse rides are organised for a day and some rides may go up to six days and six nights where you will be exploring the western part of Rajasthan around Rohet. The places around Rohet are a reflection of the heritage and cultural aesthetics of the country.
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Besides coming in close encounters with the culture of Marwar you will also witness some of the most famous games that have been a part of the state’s heritage. This place is also known for some species of wildlife sanctuary that take shelter here like the Black Buck Antelope, the Blue Bull antelope and the Chinkara that would come out in the areas you would ride by.
Take the following precautions while horse riding:
1. Get a Helmet: Please wear a helmet whenever you get a horse. You will be riding an animal and sometimes unfavourable conditions can make them violent, therefore it is your duty to ensure that you are well protected in case you have a fall.
2. Pay attention to instructions: Your excitement should not curb down your attention. Please listen to all the instructions and follow them strictly even if you find them silly.
3. Take your step carefully: When the instructor is holding the horse for you, step on the mounting block and place your left foot in the stirrup. Then put your hand on the horse’s neck and the lower back. Then swing your right leg around the horse and then hold on to reins as you place your right foot on the right stirrup. Do not mess around as one wrong step may lead to a bad fall.
4. Clear all your doubts: The instructors are present to help you with the ride. Do not hesitate to ask for instructors in any circumstances.
Benefits of horse riding:
It develops one's balance, helps to maintain coordination and the motor functions of the body.
It also strengthens the muscles of the riders as he/she has to hold on to the horse firmly to ensure a proper ride. It also prevents muscle cramps, improves blood circulation, improves the reflex acceleration, stimulates the sensory integration and develops the visual index of the eyes.
You can burn calories. The faster and longer you ride, the more calories you burn.
Horse riding in India allows the mind goes through a type of therapy called the nature’s therapy; nothing can release your mental stress like nature in India does.
The sensory parts of your brain get a fresh supply of oxygen which will increase your level of being alert.
Do's and don’ts on a horse ride:
- Ride only in the areas specified by your instructors.
- Wear helmets at all circumstances
- Respect other riders
- Handle the horse with care.
- Notify an official in case of an emergency.
- If you are riding on a busy street, ensure that your horse is trained to do so
- Stick to the rules provided by the authorities, they are up there for a reason
- Ride at a walk or a trot only.
- Unload the horse trailers only in the areas designated for the purpose
- Do not venture out in the open without prior permission
- Do not bring any other animal like a dog to the horse trail
- Do not try to go for stand or jump when you ride, stunts are strictly prohibited
- Do not leave your horse unattended
- Do not consume alcohol when you horse ride
- Do not take the horse to busy streets if it is not trained for it, the loud noise may scare it.
- Do not let your horse engage in behaviours like kicking or biting
- Do not tie your horse to a fence or tree, it connects with you not the tree or the fence
We hope this guide has provided you enough information about horse riding in India!