Before You Book Your Holiday
Get to know a little about the trails and our minimum age/experience requirments
Your riding ability
On our long distance rides we will be travelling many miles a day in the saddle, riding up/down hills and over rough terrain so you must be capable of riding in a balanced manner for your horses sake! Our horses health and happiness is always a priority to us and because of the long days in the saddle, we require all riders to be competent in riding with a light seat (i.e posting the trot and light seat in canter) to minimise stress on the horses back. We will be crossing rivers, galloping along beaches and may need to jump small natural obstacles, like ditches or fallen trees - nothing too big, but you need to be a capable rider and able to control a horse at speed. It is also important that you are practised in leading a horse over difficult terrain as there may be times when this is necessary. We require all our riders to be at basic walk/trot/canter level. To ensure this, we request that all riders send us either video footage or ridden photographs with their booking form. You do not need to be an expert rider but we do expect you to be able to ride in a balanced seat and mount/dismount. The first half day of your ride will be treated as a formal ride assessment and you may be asked to perform simple ridden tasks such walk, trot and canter as well as stopping, steering and dismounting. If at any time during the ride assessment you are deemed unfit to ride for whatever reason, your guide reserves the right to ask you to leave the ride.
Our long distance rides are mostly for the experienced adult rider. You must be over 18 years old at the start of your holiday unless you are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Our minimum age for long distance trails is 12 years old, and the same riding ability level as discribed above applies. However on our petal rides and daily picnic rides we can cater for unaccompanied young people over 10 years old. For the petal rides, although youngsters can ride unaccompanied, we cannot provide accommodation for unaccompanied under 18's at present. Riders on petal rides whatever age must have a good level of riding competence. On the daily picnic rides, we can tailor the rides to suit the ability of the group, although we do not recommend a full days ride for complete beginners!
Due to the tough nature of our trails and the distances covered per day, we have a maximum weight limit of 15 stone (210 lbs or 95 kilos) however, we only have a couple of horses that are capable of carrying this weight over the steep hills and rough terrain at present. For some of our smaller horses and ponies, 14 stone (200lbs or 90kilos) is the maximum weight. Any of our trail horses and ponies will carry 11 stone (154lbs or 70kg) easily.
If you have a medical condition, we must be made aware of this at the time of booking. You must ensure that you bring enough of any medication you may need to see you through the duration of the entire ride, as you may not be able to get what you need locally.
Other important stuff
You will be expected to help take care of your horse during the ride, just basic catching, feeding, watering, grooming and tacking-up. If you are unsure of how to do any of these things please make us aware and we will show you and help you until you feel comfortable doing them yourself - if you have a condition or problem that means you cannot, then please let us know and we will happily assist you. At certain times on the trail rides, you may be expected to dismount and lead your horse where we feel it might be unsafe to ride, or it would be unreasonable for the horse to be expected to carry you.
Please note that we visit some incredibly beautiful and unspoiled parts of Scotland and this means that mobile reception and Wi-Fi may not be available in all places.