1. RIDING ABILITY
We have horse riding holidays for all levels of riders, from complete beginners to professional riders. Some are fast paced and only suitable for experienced, fit and confident riders. Others will take complete beginners and teach them to ride in exotic locations. Like learning to ski, you will be surprised how much you can do in a week. Unicorn Trails is all about enabling everyone to see the world from a different point of view. For each ride we have tried to give as accurate an indication of the minimum ability required as possible, however there is no substitute to discussing it with someone who has actually been there and we encourage you to contact us and discuss your needs and expectations for the holiday. That way we can offer our experience and give you impartial advice to match you to a suitable destination.
On most rides there is a weight limit due to the size/strength of the horses. In general this limit is 15 stone/ 95 kg / 250lb, however it may be more or less depending on the horses available at a particular destination. This is indicated for each ride on our website. The limit indicated may well be higher for experienced riders. It is more difficult for a horse to carry a beginner than an experienced rider who sits in balance. If you are an experienced rider over the weight limit please contact us as there may be a suitable horse available.
These activity holidays are quite different from your usual package destination and many people travel alone. We only cater for small groups so you soon get to know others on your particular trip. You are sure to meet like minded people and make new friends. On most holidays there is no single supplement if you are prepared to share with someone of the same sex. These activity holidays are a great way to meet other adventurous active people. If you are still hesitant we can usually put you in touch with someone who has been there alone, so you can talk over your concerns with them. Our horse riding holidays are very suitable for single travelers.4. SAFETY ON THE RIDES
Horse riding as a sport has some inherent risks which is why safety is a priority with us. All our destinations are regularly visited and assessed on the quality and temperament of the horses, maintenance of saddlery and equipment, safety briefing for riders, training and attitude of guides/teachers, trail principles in force, communication skills of leaders and first aid/medical care available. Only those rides adhering to stringent safety procedures are featured in our program.5. FITNESS LEVEL NEEDED
This depends on the ride selected and number of riding hours each day. If you choose a ride based in one place, it is possible to have a day off if you are feeling stiff or tired. The point to point trails require a a certain amount of riding fitness - even when the pace is not fast you may be spending 5 hours in the saddle. If you do not ride on a regular basis, we suggest you go for a few weekend riding breaks or full day rides to get fit for a trail. It is important to ride for 4 hours+ in one session, preferably twice in the weeks before your holiday. You will enjoy your horse riding holiday a tremendous amount more if you are fit. For those who are not regular riders we also recommend taking a seat saver along on your holiday - the Heather Moffat type with a suede covering and memory foam inner are highly recommended.6. BOOKING A HOLIDAY
Before booking pease check availability on your chosen dates, either using our web site availability check or by contacting us on +44 (0)1767 600606 in the United Kingdom or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can pay for your horse riding holiday by (internet) bank transfer, cheque, debit or credit card. There is no charge for payment by (internet) bank transfer, UK bank cheque or debit card. There is a 2.5% charge for credit card payments (1.9% for Amex) and a £7 (in 2015) charge for cheques drawn on a non UK bank.
We accept all major credit cards including Visa, Mastercard and American Express. All credit card payments will be taken in £ sterling and converted to your home currency (if different) by your bank.
8. PAYING IN EUROS OR US$
Anmälningsavgiften anges långt ner till VÄNSTER på fakturan DEPOSIT och angivet betalningsdatum. Där ser du också slutbeloppet och när det ska betalas. När deposit är betald, kommer din slutfaktura skickas till dig med angivet betalningsdatum. Slutfakturan betalas 8 veckor före avresa.
Holiday insurance is mandatory for all clients. You must check that your insurance covers you for the type of riding activity that you are going to participate in. We offer a comprehensive policy designed to cover the holidays we sell fort UK residents. Please ask for a quote or check our horse riding holiday insurance page. Please note this insurance is only for UK residents due to repatriation issues. We will require written details of appropriate insurance cover otherwise we reserve the right to cancel your holiday. We can advise you where to obtain appropriate insurance if you do not have your own.11. FINANCIAL SECURITY
In compliance with the UK Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tour Regulations 1992 Unicorn Trails is fully ATOL bonded for flight inclusive packages. In addition Unicorn Trails has an insurance policy with Travel and General Insurance Services Ltd to protect the monies paid in respect of the non flight inclusive travel arrangements offered and to cater, where necessary (and subject to the terms of of the insurance policy), for a refund of such monies and/or your repatriation to the UK in the unlikely event of our financial failure. So your money is completely secure.12. FLIGHTS
International flights from your location to the meeting point are not included in the prices quoted on our website unless otherwise indicated. Internal flights may or may not be included, check the "What is Included" and "What is not Included" section on our website. The flight guide indicates the type of rates that can be found through flight booking websites such as www.skyscanner.net or www.opodo.com from London return. You have the opportunity to arrange your own flights if wanted.
We are fully ATOL bonded and would be delighted to book your flights for you, or assist you in ensuring flights are suitable for the package booked. Many of our clients prefer to book their own flights in Europe with the low cost carriers. A flight guide is included to give you an idea, prices vary depending on the time of year. Wherever possible we offer direct flights with national carriers. These may not be the cheapest fares but give you complete peace of mind in the event of an unexpected problem.13. WHAT IS INCLUDED
All our prices are per person and based on two people sharing. Except where otherwise indicated, accommodation, meals, a horse and tack, the services of a guide, all camping equipment and transportation of a reasonable amount of luggage from point to point is included. Some holidays include drinks, which means reasonable quantities of local soft drinks, spirits, beers and wines. It does not usually include imported spirits or wines. Each ride has a detailed section with what is and is not included.14. ACCOMMODATION
The accommodation varies from camping under the stars to luxurious hotels and private mansions. The prices reflect the level of luxury. In Europe, most of the accommodation is in twin rooms which means 2 separate beds. Where a double has been requested we can usually arrange this but it needs to be specifically requested and cannot always be arranged. If it is possible, it will be confirmed in writing to you. Most of our rides do not charge a single supplement if you are prepared to share with a person of the same sex. On some rides it is not possible to arrange single accommodation, so always check your choice of accommodation is available when booking.
A full passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your return travel is essential for all the horse riding holidays. It is important that you if you need any visas with the relevant consulate or embassy prior to travel. We will give you general advice and point you in the direction of embassies and their websites but ultimately you are responsible for obtaining the correct visas as these matters can change quickly. For convenience you may choose to use a visa agency.
If you are a UK resident you are entitled to free, or reduced cost, state provided healthcare when visiting a European Union (EU) country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.
We strongly recommend that you wear a hard hat when in the vicinity of horses. A few of the horse riding holidays have a selection, but it is always best to take your own to ensure a good fit. We recommend you purchase a wide brimmed cover for protection from the sun before you leave the UK. Whilst riding or in the vicinity of horses, you must comply with the instructions of your guide. Your guide is entitled to ask you to dismount or refuse to allow you to ride if for any reason they consider that you may endanger the safety or welfare of the horses or any person. There are inherent risks involved in horse riding and you are asked to familiarise yourself with them and take every precaution to ensure your own safety.
Unicorn Trails is always looking out for great new rides for our large client database. Unicorn Trails is not an internet listings service rather a travel agency with first hand knowledge of all the rides. We visit all new rides to assess how we can best market them and undertake complete marketing and booking service. If you have a ride that fits in or fills a gap in our line up and interested in a long term partnership please click here.
If you'd like to know more about setting up a riding holiday, consider buying the book co-authored by Unicorn Trails' MD
The most important question to ask yourself first. Horseback adventures are for people looking for something different. You need to be adventurous and want to get away from a large tour group. You will be spending a varying part of every day outdoors and with horses, so those with allergies to sunshine and horse hair may have a difficult time. You do not need to be able to ride well, be exceptionally fit or rich to enjoy these great holidays!
WHO IS COMING WITH YOU?
LEVEL OF RIDING EXPERIENCE AND FITNESS
Generally speaking Europe is at its best in the summer with a shorter season in the middle of summer for the northern parts. Some parts of the Mediterranean are very hot in July and August. Safaris in southern Africa are at their best in May to September with dry and sunny days and cold nights. Kenya has rains in April but makes a good Christmas break. The migration of the wildebeest may be seen in July or October. For South America (Chile and Argentina) the season is from October to April as it is too cold the rest of the year. Peru has a rainy season from December to April, just the opposite to Mexico which is at its best from October to April. Working cattle ranches in North America see the majority of their cattle work in the spring and autumn, with northern mountain destinations like Canada and Montana being best in the summer and Southern states like Arizona, New Mexico and Texas are at their best in winter. It can be complicated so make sure you get good advice to ensure the experience you want is available at the time you want!
BASED OR POINT TO POINT
TYPE OF RIDING HOLIDAY
SPECIFIC CONDITIONS HOT / DRY / SUMMER
COLD / WET / WINTER
NICE TO HAVE EXTRAS
It has gained fame as a kind of Trivial Pursuit question: which is the deadliest wild creature in Africa? Answer: the mosquito that carries the malaria parasite.
If malaria is treated rapidly your chances of avoiding sever illness are much better, so always be on the alert for the onset of malaria symptoms within the first few weeks after your return from a malaria area. The symptoms to look out for are:
Pregnant women and small children (under 5) should avoid malarial areas if at all possible. Women carrying an unborn child risk many complications, including stillbirths and spontaneous miscarriage. They are also more likely to get malaria and get it badly - they are 4 times more likely to die of it. Babies cannot cope with the prophylactic medication and are more likely to have severe illness. Best to keep children under five away from malarial areas.
A few myths: