Riding a horse is more than movement, it is a special bond between man and animal. It's an adventure you don't go on alone. To go horseback riding, you must first learn to communicate with the horse. Also, every rider must be aware that every animal has its own character. Horses are easy to fall in love with, and everyone should experience what it means to be on the back of this graceful animal at least once in their life. In addition, it is also an exciting way to get to know the nature of Latvia!
A special activity all year round
Horseback riding is an exciting adventure that is available all year round. Although we are used to seeing romantic couples on horseback riding off into the sunset by the sea in movies, horseback riding is very different. It is possible to ride a horse both in a controlled environment or an arena and also to explore forests, fields, meadows and the beach. Horseback riding is also a sport for which riders and animals prepare like real athletes, training in physical fitness, ingenuity and obedience. This industry is all about horse care and relationships.
What do you need to know before you go horseback riding?
Just like with any other activity in Latvia, horseback riding also requires preparation. For riding you should dress as if you were going to enjoy time outdoors. Clothing should be appropriate for the weather and suitable for free movement. Shoes are the most important - wearing high-heeled shoes or slippers is not recommended. Comfortable casual shoes will be the smartest choice. It is also important to take care of safety, for example, a riding helmet. Such equipment is usually taken care of by the organizers of the rides.
There is no age limit and no previous experience is required to go horseback riding. Riding instructors are always ready to tell you what to do. Horses are large and majestic animals, and it is understandable if they are awed and sometimes even feared. The instructors will also help to overcome fear by leading the horse by the hand.
Horses are big gourmands, for whom love also goes through their stomachs, so with the owner's permission, you can find out if you can bring a treat for the horse, with which you can establish a particularly good relationship at the very beginning of the ride. Animals most appreciate a fresh carrot, beetroot, apple or hard bread.
Usually the beginning of riding takes place in the basic knowledge training area, where the instructors teach you how to control and communicate with the horse, and make sure that everything is done correctly. Once the basic knowledge has been learned, riding usually takes place in a forest, meadow, or seashore.
We have made a list of a couple of the most popular places with the widest horseback riding offer. Please review them and choose the one that suits you best.
Not far from Riga is Zirgzandales, a farm with 16 horses, which offers both training and riding of various levels. According to the owners, Zirgzandales is a place where people meet horses and themselves. Here, on a horse, it is possible to go horseback riding in the forest or meadow, hike or discover yourself again, enjoy a romantic ride or experience horse therapy. The little ones can sit on the back of a pony and get their first riding experience. The instructors at Zirgzandales will not only teach you how to ride a horse, but also how to care for it and communicate with it.
The Young Riders School offers the first introduction to a horse and various leisure rides, professional horseback riding training, excursions, and it also organises competitions. In the Young Riders School, several stables, two closed arenas, two riding arenas with grandstands for 750 spectators have been built on an area of 22 hectares, and nearby there is a cosy lodge where the horse breeders stay and a sauna cabin, where conversations are held about what has been done, what is planned and what is to come.
Nearby Ķekava it is possible to meet trotters at the Horse Farm “Dārziņi”. This is a harmonious place where children and adults can enjoy interacting with animals - go horseback riding, take photos, pet and feed the animals. At Dārziņi you can go horseback riding through the forest or field. Children can also form their first relationships with the graceful animals here.
Happy Hobby Horses is run in the Bauska area, which offers pony rides for children and horse rides for adults. Riding is possible both in the arena and in the open air. What makes this place special is that the horses on the farm have been trained in recuperative riding courses, which allow both strengthening of physical fitness and rehabilitation.
Jūras Zirgi is a stable located in Saulkrasti and offers romantic and exciting rides along the sea coast and the seaside forest. The riding routes have been specially created so that you can see both the sea coast and the dunes, as well as the fishing village. The total length of the route is 5 km and it takes about one hour.
Nearby Liepāja you can enjoy the coast of the open sea on horseback at the Jura staļļi, where anyone interested can learn riding skills and go horseback riding in the area, accompanied by an instructor. At the Jura staļļi you can also ride in a horse-drawn carriage along forest paths or Grobiņa. Driving is possible both for a romantic couple and for larger groups.
Near Krāslava, at the more than 100-year-old horse farm Klajumi, you can enjoy both horse riding and carriage rides in the summer and sleigh rides in the winter. It is also possible to go on two to seven day hikes on horseback. “Klajumi” is also a place where certified rehabilitation specialists and specially trained horses work, which help patients to be treated with this special rehabilitation method.
In the Ludza area, near Lake Nirza, there is a recreational complex Zirga smaids, which offers horseback riding. It is a completely ecological way of moving and a great opportunity to see the natural beauty of Latgale “from the saddle”, as well as constant close contact with your four-legged helper. The instructors have prepared routes of varying difficulty that will be interesting for beginners and challenging for experts.
A slightly different experience, i.e., touring the Baltics on horseback, is offered by AdventureRide, which organizes and provides multi-day treks with animals. The routes wind along the sea and its white dunes, lead through forests and meadows, and across rivers and streams. It is an opportunity to get to know the beautiful nature of the Baltics like never before, on horseback, to “escape” from the daily rush and routine, as well as traditional tourist trails. AdventureRide also offers other non-traditional entertainment, such as swimming with a horse, a sleigh ride in winter for the whole family or something completely extreme - skijoring, or a ride on skis behind a horse.