A six day riding holiday in three distinct regions in Oregon Valley covering vineyards, mountain forests and Pacific Coast beaches. Riding through the lush fertile vineyards, traversing rugged pine clad mountains and fast riding along beautiful golden beaches in small, intimate groups. Riders need to be experienced as there are some long trots and canters - with the emphasis being on riders with recent riding fitness.

There is a temperate Mediterranean feel to the weather, with dry cloudless summers, cool evenings and low humidity, perfect for riding as well as the grapes! The horses are well trained and English saddles are used. Accommodation along the way is a mix of cosy guest houses. Fresh local and often gourmet meals are provided and two vineyard trips are also included.

Please Note: The opinions expressed in these reviews are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unicorn Trails Ltd. These reviews are "directly from the horses mouth" and unedited. Unicorn Trails may make additional comments for clarification clearly identified in red.

Review received from TN of Hellerup on 31/08/2018

Ride Summary

What was your overall impression of the holiday
Excellent.
The riding holiday last week was probably my best holiday ever. Justin and Lindley are great in every way: their professionalism with horses is incredible. I really like Justin’s style of instructing. He’s not a soft hug, but his instructions work and he really knows his horses. Lindley is also a true professional. The lunches, dinners and accommodation were also very high quality.
I’d recommend this holiday to anyone, who’s an advanced rider. I’m probably going again next year. So glad I did it
Unicorn Trails sales staff
Professionalism     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Friendliness     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Speed of response     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Efficiency     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Knowledge     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Other(please specify)     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Riding tour leader
Professionalism     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Horsemanship     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Pacing of Ride     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Concern for Safety     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Leadership     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Friendliness/availability     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Knowledge of local Culture     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Knowledge of local Flora/Fauna     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Concern with Environment     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Language skills     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Additional Comments

Horses and Tack
Condition of Horses     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Condition of Tack     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Performance of Horses     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Additional Comments

Meals
Meal Quantity     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Meal Quality     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Meal Punctuality     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Accommodation
Camping Equipment     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Hotels/Lodges/Inns     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Hygiene standards     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Miscellaneous
Transfer arrangements     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Other office staff     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Other ride staff     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Weather     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Was this trip accurately described to you beforehand?
    (   ) NO     (X) YES
Please give more details to explain your response:

Was there anything you should have known and were not told?     (X) NO     (   ) YES
Please give more details to explain your response:

What could we do to improve this ride?
Everything was perfect.
How would you rate the difficulty of this ride out of 10 where 1 is very easy and 10 is very advanced?
7
Please explain why you scored it as you did:
This ride is not for the beginners. You need to be advanced and rather brave in order to keep up. However it wasn't the most difficult one for me.
Would you recommend Unicorn Trails to your friends?
    (   ) NO     (X) YES
Please give more details to explain your response:

May we use you as a reference for other people wishing to go on this ride?
    (   ) NO     (X) YES
Any other comments:

Unicorn comments: Fantastic review! Many thanks and glad it was superb :)

Day 1
We recommend an overnight in Portland (airport hotel if arriving late) or McMinnville(if arriving early) the night before day 1 if travelling from far or outside the USA. Please contact us to arrange this if needed.

Meeting at the ranch for 11am for the start of your adventure over the coming six days - please be dressed ready to ride.  After meeting your horses, today's ride will wind its way through the vineyards and wine valleys of this region, crossing rolling hills in the picturesque valley of Willamette stopping at one of the vineyards to sample the fruits and labours of this local winemaker.  Tonight you will stay in McMinnville, in a beautiful Colonial Style home, decorated with antiques and art. The bedrooms are individually and tastefully furnished with ensuite bathrooms.

Day 2
After a good nights sleep and fabulous breakfast, get ready to saddle up for two days riding in the Coastal Range Mountains.  These mountains are at once rugged and mellow, forested by groves of deciduous trees lining the waters of the Nestucca River along with towering Douglas Firs.  This is Oregon's oldest forest. A picnic lunch will be brought to the riders out on the trail. Another night at McMinnville and dinner is in downtown McMinnville.

Day 3
Riders will be picked up outside the accommodation at 10:00am, with bags ready to load into the truck to drive to Carlton Hill Vineyard to start the day's ride, enjoying wooded trails and views of vineyard land in the foothills of the Coastal Range. Lunch will be on the trail. Finally after the ride, travel one and half hours to the coast, where the horses have a field they overnight in. The next two nights are in lovely beach side condos in the quaint village of Neskowin.

Day 4
Breakfast for the next two mornings is anytime between 8:00am and 9:30am. Riders will be collected from their accommodation at 11:00am and after saddling the horses at the field they will be trailered to Bob Straub State Park for a day of riding the sand dunes, Nestucca River trail and beach riding. Picnic lunch will be brought out to riders in the park. Horses and riders will be transported back to Neskowin, the horses are stabled in a field across from the village of Neskowin.

Day 5
After breakfast riders will be collected at 10.30 to start the day's riding on the expansive Neskowin beach where there are some great sea rocks and caves.  Lunch will either be in your apartment, at the field or on the trail depending on the weather. After the afternoon ride you will be driven back to the valley to your accommodation for the next two nights in Carlton in Wine Country Cottages. 

Day 6
The final day's riding will be in the rolling terrain and vineyard countryside and riders can enjoy their last views of the spectacular Willamette Valley.  After lunch there will be another wine tasting with the opportunity to purchase some wine.

Day 7
Breakfast in your accommodation and depart for your onward journey.

Reading List

We're avid readers here at Unicorn Trails and have selected several books connected to this ride. If you're interested in reading more about the area before you travel, or want to get into the cultural background, here are some suggestions that may inspire you.


Oregon-Trail-Oxford-Worlds-Classics  by Francis Parkman Jr
 
Explorers-Guide-Oregon-Wine-Country  by Sherry L Moore, Jeff Welsch

Insiders-Guide®-Oregon-Coast-Guide 

Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.

Horses & Riding

There are a wide variety of horses, they vary from Irish Connemara ponies, Connemara cross, Mustang, Belgian cross, Thoroughbred, Draft cross, Fresian cross, Halflinger and Sporthorses. All are ridden in English saddles and are well trained excellent trail horses. The riding is in three distinct areas, rolling vineyards, mountain ranges and Pacific Coast beaches.


Rides marked 'for advanced riders only' may included younger and/or more lively horses, and different horses may be used throughout the week, meaning riders should be prepared to ride a number of horses. These dates are more exploratory in nature, trying out new routes with longer days, trickier ground to cover and the potential for faster riding and jumps when the opportunity arises.

Rider requirements

This ride is suitable for strong intermediate to advanced level riders capable of walk, trot, canter and gallop on a variety of footings, in and out of an arena and be comfortable in the saddle for five hours at a time. Riders should be capable of riding in two-point position (standing canter/gallop to keep the weight off the horses back while remaining balanced). Riders need to have some recent riding and have at least five years experience. Please be in good physical condition/fitness. Riders may have to dismount on the trail, assistance to re-mount is available but being able to mount unaided is preferable. The upper age limit is a strong and fit 75. Riders should be able to and willing to canter down the beach!

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 16 st/225 lb/102 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

Accommodation is in small Inns, Bed and Breakfasts and rental condos or homes at the beach, all with generous hospitality with a great feel for the Pacific Northwest. Bedrooms have double beds, so if two people want to share and not share a double bed, will have to have a triple room, supplement for extra bed applies, please see detailed prices.


The meals are fresh, often gourmet and two wine tastings are included in the holiday as are picnic lunches. Alcoholic drinks are not included.


Vegetarians, pescatarians and gluten free diets are catered for, vegans are more difficult and should check before booking that their requirements can be met.


Suggested accommodation for the night before the ride:

Tuscan Estate B and B - this is you will stay the first two nights of the ride, a very nice b and b walking distance to the town.

McMinnville Vineyard Inn (similar to a Quality Inn), clean and affordable

McMennimans Hotel Oregon is a historic hotel right in downtown, funky and cool vibe, inexpensive, but small rooms, some have a shared hallway bathroom, often the private bigger rooms get booked far in advance.

Third Street Flats are nice flats downtown, each flat comes with local bottle of pinot and handmade chocolates.

Transfers from any of these can be arranged for the morning of Day 1.

Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. If Visa’s are required the requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country. Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate on request.

General information:

All travellers are required to provide details online 72 hours prior to travel. For more information, and to apply online please visit the following website at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. Electronic travel authorities once obtained will be valid for a period of two years, or the validity of the travellers passport (whichever is shorter). There is a $14 charge for this service (2015). Travellers who have not registered before their trip are likely to be detained and sent home.

On 5 January 2004, the US Authorities introduced the US-VISIT Programme. This means that all those aged between 14 and 79 travelling to the US are now finger-scanned and digitally photographed on arrival at passport control.

There are British consulates at many locations in the US, please check with the Foreign Office website for your closest one. In the UK the British Foreign Office gives travel advice on 020 7008 0232/0233 or see www.fco.gov.uk

Climate Summary

Temperate rainforest. Mediterranean type climate with dry hot summers, cooler evenings. Season is May to October, with May and June having fresh springlike weather and chance of showers but it is definitely greener in May and June. July, August and September can be hotter, in the 90's during the day but still cool at night. Autumn comes in September to October and October can be showery.

Climate Chart
Health

No specific health precautions are required for visits to the USA.

Medical treatment can be very expensive; there are no special arrangements for British visitors. The British Embassy and Consulates-General cannot assist with medical expenses.

Comprehensive travel and medical insurance is essential; at least $1,000,000 cover, which includes hospital treatment and medical evacuation to the UK, would be wise. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake including horse riding.

For up to date information on specific health concerns please contact the Medical Advisors For Travellers Abroad. Their website can be found at www.masta.org

Health (ride specific)

No specific health requirements.

Electricity

The voltage is 110V in the USA and you will need a flat blade plug and possibly an adaptor depending on the appliance. Check the voltage input required for mobile phone and digital/video cameras before leaving.

Film and Camera Equipment

Batteries need to be bought beforehand but possible to charge phone and cameras in the evenings with suitable adaptors.

Packing List

• Riding Helmet - we strongly recommend that you wear a properly fitted riding helmet of the current standard which is PAS015 or BSEN1384. A limited number of helmets are available at the stables if you do not have your own with you. A protective vest if you wear one normally.
• Jodhpurs - jodhpurs, breeches or other comfortable trousers (jeans may rub and can also be quite hot)
• Raincoat - it is always a good idea to pack a waterproof/ windproof jacket!
• Riding Boots - it is important to have correct shoes or boots for horse riding. Jodhpur or ankle boots with a rubber sole are recommended but sturdy shoes with a definite heel are acceptable (such as walking boots)
• Half Chaps - these are great when worn with ankle boots and help prevent the stirrup leathers rubbing against your legs
• T-shirts and long-sleeved shirts
• Sunhat
• Sunglasses
• Fleece - for cooler weather
• Warm layers - at times the evening temperature drops significantly
• Casual Clothes - for evenings.
• Water Bottle and tie strings - it's very important to drink a lot of water when it's hot, especially when doing physical activities
• Personal Items - toiletries, any medicines you require and please be sure to take insect repellent and plenty of sun cream
• Camera and Spare Batteries/Charger - an absolute must! It is also a good idea to take a camera case you can strap around your waist or onto a belt for whilst you are riding

Programmes

6 days/6 nights/6 days riding on set dates, up to 5 hrs riding per day, groups on request.

Departure Dates

2019: 27 May; 10, 24 June; 8, 15, 29 Jul; 12, 26 Aug; 9, 23 Sept; 7 Oct.

Pricing
Single supplement must be paid if booking alone.
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
20187d/6n6double pp, full-board2,099
20187d/6n6single supplement435
20187d/6n6Separate bed supplement199
20197d/6n6double pp, full-board2,099
20197d/6n6single supplement435
20197d/6n6Separate bed supplement199
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
20187d/6n6double pp, full-board2,349
20187d/6n6single supplement489
20187d/6n6Separate bed supplement225
20197d/6n6double pp, full-board2,349
20197d/6n6single supplement489
20197d/6n6Separate bed supplement225
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description $
20187d/6n6double pp, full-board2,689
20187d/6n6single supplement559
20187d/6n6Separate bed supplement255
20197d/6n6double pp, full-board2,689
20197d/6n6single supplement559
20197d/6n6Separate bed supplement255
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
20187d/6n6double pp, full-board24,345
20187d/6n6single supplement5,055
20187d/6n6Separate bed supplement2,299
20197d/6n6double pp, full-board24,345
20197d/6n6single supplement5,055
20197d/6n6Separate bed supplement2,299
Wildlife

Seals at the beach, bald eagles and sometimes elk in the mountains and forests.

Other Information

Fast riding through three distinct regions of mountain forest, beach and vineyards for fit intermediate to advanced riders. Suitable for non riding partners who can hire a car.

Other Country Information

The USA has 4 main times zones - Eastern Standard Time (EST), Central Standard Time (CST), Mountain Standard Time (MST) and Pacific Standard Time (PST).
Vermont is on EST, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah are all on MST, California is on PST.

Weights and measures are imperial although weight is always expressed in pounds, not stone. The US gallon is 3.8 litres in contrast to an imperial gallon which is 4.2 litres.

Mobile telephone: In 2015 3G is widely available throughout the US in cities, towns, villages and along main highways with AT&T having the best overall coverage and T-mobile offering better speeds in cities. 4G is beginning to be available in cities. There are still a few rural areas which have no GSM reception but do have the older CDMA telephone networks. To be able to call from these areas we recommend buying a cheap Verizon phone from eg Walmart (from $13) and topping up with credit. Almost all hotels and airports offer free wifi connection.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
McMinnville, Oregon at the ranch for 11 am on Day 1. A transfer from Portland can be arranged - approx. 1.5 hr journey.
Transfer:
Can be arranged from Portland airport/hotel at an extra cost of approx. $140 per car.
Flight Guide:
Portland (PDX)
£650-£850 return from London
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