Frequently Asked Questions
Do you offer a pick up or transfer service?
For some rides, we can offer a pick up service from Aberdeen or Inverness. Please get in touch with us to discuss options.
Do you have a weight/height limit?
Yes, our weight limit is 15st which is 95kg or 210lbs. We do not have a height limit.
Do you have an age limit?
We do not have an upper age limit for our rides. For children, please get in touch to discuss individual circumstances and route options.
What is your maximum group size?
We prefer small group experiences so for this reason, we limit our group sizes to 8 riders.
Do I need to be a professional rider?
We require all our riders to be comfortable and competent with stopping/steering their horse at all gaits. Riders should be comfortable and balanced in a rising trot and canter at minimum and comfortable with 5+ hours in the saddle each day. That being said, we definitely don't require you to be a professional rider! As long as you are balanced, comfortable and respectful of our horses, you will have a great time. We get plenty of rusty riders who haven't ridden in a few years and we are happy to accomodate this type of rider! Let us know if you have any concerns about your riding fitness at the time of booking and we can advise you on the most suitable ride for you on the best ways to prepare!
Do you offer self-guided rides?
Due to the ever changing weather as well as difficult terrain and specific agreements with the landowners, we do not offer self guided ride itineraries.
Do all the riding holidays start from your centre?
All our centre based riding holidays (2 or 3 days riding and day rides) will start from our centre near Aboyne. Most of our long distance riding holidays do NOT start from our centre - please ensure you have confirmed the meeting point for your chosen route BEFORE you book your arrival transport.
Can I choose the horse that I ride?
We pair you with your equine partner based on your height, weight, previous riding experience, medical concerns and any other info you put on your booking form. Ensuring safe and suitable horse and rider partnerships is our number 1 priority and it is for this reason that we do not allow riders to chose what horse they want to ride based on colour or breed. We know our horses inside and out, please trust our expertise in pairing you with the best horse for your riding adventure.
How do I book a ride with you?
We take bookings via email only. We do not currently have a phone number available for bookings. Please contact us through the contact page on the website with all the relevant information such as your height, weight, previous riding experience and preferred date/route.
My preferred riding holiday is fully booked, is there a waiting list?
We do not currently run a waiting list, we fill our cancelled spaces on a first come, first served basis. If you'd like to be notified of any spaces that may become available, please sign up to our mailing list as this will be where we will announce any spaces that become available due to cancellations.
How much cantering will we do on the rides? Can I gallop?
We do have some routes on our riding holidays where we gallop such as the North Coast to Coast ride which includes a beach gallop. We always take the terrain, weather and rider experience into account when doing anything at speed to ensure our horses welfare and rider safety. We will never endanger our horses - this may mean there are points where we will be unable to canter should the terrain be too slippery or hard or should the weather be too hot for the horses to canter comfortably. Due to the rocky and boggy nature of the remote places we ride on our long distance riding holidays, we are restricted to walk and trot in certain areas.
Do you carry a mounting block?
We do not carry a mounting block with us on the trail as we have limited space in the trailer. However, we are masters of finding what we like to call 'natural mounting blocks.' It is better for us and better for the horse to get a boost when mounting up, especially if we are on and off multiple times in a day, Your ride leader will always point out the best natural features that can be used as a mounting block such as large rocks, logs or small mounds.
What saddles do you use?
We put horse comfort first so we use a wide variety of saddles - it just depends on what fits each horses shape best! We mostly use Podium endurance saddles and english endurance saddles. Our stirrups all have wide footbeds for comfort and are all fitted with a safety toe cage.
What if I've only ever ridden Western style?
A lot of our US guests have only ever ridden western, this is usually not a problem and we find that most riders adjust after a day or two. We do require riders to be capable of a rising trot - so best to practice this before your holiday with us.
Can I bring my own saddle?
Each of our horses has their own saddle professionally fitted by a master saddle fitter. Correct saddle size and fit is incredibly important when riding over these sorts of distances so for this reason, we do not allow riders to bring their own saddles to ride in.
Can I bring my own seat saver?
A lot of our saddles are fitted with wool seat savers already and we usually aim to have a stock of gel seat covers with us for anyone who starts to feel a little saddle sore. You are welcome to bring your own though keep in mind, some styles of seat savers may not fit the saddle you will ride in. If that happens, we will always try to have one on hand!
What can I bring with me during the days riding?
Your horse will have saddle bags on the pommel where you can store small items you might need during the day such as camera, sunglasses, sunscreen etc as well as your packed lunch and water.
What happens to my luggage during the riding holiday?
Your luggage will be transported between hotels each day whilst you are on the ride. Please note that Highlands Unbridled doesn't take responsibility for any damages or losses to your luggage so we do recommend taking our travel insurance that covers you for this.
What if I need to use the bathroom during the ride?
We pride ourselves on finding the most spectacular trails to ride on in Scotland and often these are quite remote. This means that we aren't often passing a public bathroom! For this reason, toilet stops will be 'au naturale.'
Can I bring my own horse?
We run a closed herd which means we do not allow our horses to come into contact with horses outside their herd. This helps to minimise biosecurity issues as well as potential injuries. Our horses are trained to be able to handle every eventuality that we might meet on the trail, from loose sheep, cows and tractors to rocky terrain, river crossings and rough footing.
Do your hire helmets/riding boots?
We sadly cannot provide helmets or boots for your riding holiday. We can provide helmets for those joining us on a short break, day ride or hack.
What is the best month to ride?
Each time of year has it's own benefit, it all depends on what your priorities, goals and personal comforts are. April - May are brilliant weather to ride in usually though can be cold on the hill trails, often drier but no guarantees. There are usually less issues with midges/flies and ticks in spring and the it is quieter on the trails. June - August is peak season and the daylight hours are long which is great for our more remote rides. The heather is in bloom which is beautiful however there are higher chances of rain (though temps are usually warmer.) Flies, midges and ticks can be a concern this time of year. September - October is again usually quieter with less fly and bug problems however again can be colder and windier. This is a great time of year
to see the leaves changing on the trees and hear the stags roaring in the glens.