This week is all about our love for horses and ponies here at Preloved! To celebrate these beautiful creatures, we caught up with Sarah Caplan, the managing director of Equestrian Escapes to talk to her about their selection of fantastic holidays to give you some inspiration when thinking about your summer holidays.
Equestrian Escapes is a tourism company specialising in equestrian holidays across the UK and in Europe. This selection of unique holiday destinations is collated and managed by a group of knowledgeable horse riders and instructors who take pride in selecting holidays and short breaks where you will gain valuable riding experience, in glorious locations. Do you want to do something a little different for your annual break? Intrigued by what Equestrian Escapes have to offer? Then keep reading!
Preloved: Where did the idea for Equestrian Escapes come from?
Sarah: I have been riding horses for almost all my life, starting at the age of 5. I have taken part in many show jumping competitions and became an instructor for the British Horse Society when I was 18. Over my lifetime I believe I have owned up to 60 horses, so my love horse riding runs deep. The British Horse Society accredit many stables around the UK and with riding holidays becoming quite popular across Europe, the idea to create a UK tourism company of the same nature started to emerge. Our key objectives when choosing holidays are:
- High quality riding instruction
- Flexibility to follow vacation trends – you can go for as long or little as you like
- Highly accessible – horse riders of all levels can take part in our holidays
Preloved: Have you been on any of the holidays yourself?
Sarah: All of our holidays are picked out and inspected either by myself or Lindsey Bennett (Travel Consultant and Equestrian Specialist) so we are confident our holidays will offer a first class holiday and horse riding experience. We only add a few holidays each year, and are very particular about what we would like to offer. It is not just about ensuring the horse riding instruction is high quality, but also ensuring the location is highly desirable.
Preloved: How can horse riding be beneficial to a person’s lifestyle?
Sarah: There is quite a lot of research that supports that spending time with any animal can benefit a person’s wellbeing in regards to general lifestyle and mental health. Horse riding in particular is a great way to get you out of the house and into the fresh air of the countryside. The British Horse Society have various schemes including inner city schemes that provide all the benefits of horse riding to children and to those who may not otherwise have the opportunity. These types of schemes have had recent boosts in funding after our horse riding success at the London Olympics, meaning that these schemes are becoming more frequent and more popular. There was a great programme on Channel 4 about three teenagers who experience the harsh realities of training at the National Jockey School…you should check it out here!
Preloved: What advice would you give to a first time rider or someone wanting to own a horse?
Sarah: First things first, before committing to owning a horse, you have to learn how to ride and care for a horse. Get yourself along to a BHS (British Horse Society) or ABRS (Association of British Riding Schools) accredited training centre where you can start learning the basics. Secondly, you have to ask yourself whether you have time to own a horse. It is hugely demanding owning a horse or pony as they take up a massive amount of your time. You have to want to live and breathe horse riding in order to care for your horse well, and make the most of the time and expense it will cost you.
Preloved: Thank you for taking the time to speak to us today…just one last question, what was the name of your first horse?
Sarah: Well, my first horse was a turbulent little pony called Tomboy. After a few weeks my parents decided that perhaps he was not the right pony for a 9 year old, so quite soon after I owned a pony called Camino…suitably named after one of the Maltese islands after a family holiday!
If you feel an equestrian holiday or break would make the perfect holiday or short break for you this summer, then don’t miss out on the chance to WIN a holiday in our up and coming competition!
If you are looking to sell, loan or buy a horse or pony, then drop by our Horses and Ponies section on Preloved where you will find loads of great horses and ponies for new homes.
For more information on Equestrian Escapes visit their website www.equestrian-escapes.com.