Today we’re going to be talking about why India needs to be on your bucket list of places to ride horses, if it’s not already. India is the land of Marwari horses, palaces and fortresses. We’re going to talk about the best horse riding in India, top travel tips, places to see and of course where you can book your next horse riding expedition.
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Horse Welfare is Priority
Before I get started, I just have to make a disclaimer. Be sure that when you’re booking a horse riding trip anywhere, make sure you check horse welfare. This is the NUMBER ONE priority you should be checking. Please do your research. We actually verify stables, if we’ve physically been there and seen that the horses are happy and healthy. You can find these stables in our Horse Riding In Every Country catalog. There are thousands of stables around the world, in 180 countries. It’s physically impossible for us to verify each and every one.
So if it’s important to you to find a verified stables, go ahead and grab a copy of the book. That way you can travel to the verified stables. Otherwise, do your research and make sure the horses are happy and healthy. You can join our Facebook group Equestrian Adventuresses where you can post in there and ask people if they’ve been there and seen the horses.
India is one of those countries that is extremely unique, you have to see it to believe it. You’re going be overwhelmed. All of your senses are going to hyper-activated by the smells and sights. The things you are going to see and experience… it can’t be explained. It’s one of those experiences that the only way to really see India is to GO to India. You’ll never find another country on this planet like India.
EQA Founder Krystal lived in India for 2 years working with horses in a variety of stables and even started some riding clubs. She has a lot of experience in India, so she can say that if you haven’t seen the Marwari horses, you need to. They’re not allowed to be exported from India. So if you want to ride a Marwari horse, you’re gonna have to go to India! And they are ADORABLE! Their cute little curved ears that touch at the top, I mean they are adorable! Not just that, the Marwari horses are extremely unique. The horses are not too big, they’re a bit small and short. Very compact, very sturdy and great for endurance riding. They are ideal for long distancing and covering ground.
The Marwari horses actually came from Persia and were war horses, so that’s why in India you can find sports like tent pegging. These are all war games that they’ve developed and now they play it as an actual sport. So if you go to India, definitely watching a tent pegging match is well worth it. These guys are extremely skilled at stabbing a little peg with a spear while their horse is galloping full speed, which is pretty spectacular.
India Will Broaden Your Mind
Krystal’s reasons for why she wanted to see India are exactly that. It’s just one of those unique places that is unlike anywhere else on earth. She really felt like she would learn a lot… and that she did. On a spiritual level, on an emotional level, on a mental level. India challenges you. It challenges the senses, the digestion, but it has very friendly, good people. It’s one of those places that again is just incredibly unique.
It’s a very hustley and bustley kind of place. Krystal wanted to go there for the change, for the shock to her senses and to kind of step out of the comfort zone. Krystal is from America, and she wanted to experience a culture which is extremely colorful. One that is completely different to how she was raised. India definitely achieved that. The great thing about India is you are going to experience jungles, deserts, mountains, forests, colorful cities, palaces, fortresses, the Taj Mahal. There’s a never-ending list of terrains you can visit.
When to Go and What to Expect
India is a hot and humid place so definitely make sure that you have t-shirts. You want to wear t shirts that are covering your shoulders because it is a Hindu country. They also have Jainism and Sikhism. Indian’s are very culturally religious people, so you want to dress respectfully and modestly. Have a polo shirt or a loose button-down type shirt. Something which breathes, something that’s cotton. Then of course your normal riding breeches are completely fine.
There are two seasons in India: Hot and Hot/Wet (monsoon season). In monsoon season it can rain a lot, and rain quite heavily. You probably don’t want to travel there in the monsoon season. However, in the summer it’s extremely hot. If you’re in the desert, like the Rajasthan region, you’re just not going to be able to ride in the daytime. Not in the heat of the day.
The best time to ride is between October and March. If you want options about places to ride in India then the Horse Riding in Every Country catalogue is definitely for you. It’s kind of like a phone book or directory. You can find it on Amazon worldwide and basically if there’s a country, we found horses and we put it in this book. It’s massive, you’re never going to get bored. If you want information on places that you should visit and must-see destinations and top travel tips then I would say the World Travel Guide for Equestrians is for you.
Top Locations to Visit
Some highlights that you do not want to miss out in India: If you’re flying in via New Delhi then you want to go and see the Akshardham Temple. It is just outside of the city. You can actually get there by Metro. If you’re a woman you can ride in the ladies only carriages which is great. I think it’s the first couple of carriages. Essentially if you see a bunch of ladies go on that one then that’s it.
It’s actually really good for safety, especially if you’re travelling alone and you’re little bit nervous. Then I would highly recommend that you ride in the ladies carriage. Or of course and take a taxi or whatever is most comfortable to you.
India is a very affordable country to travel. It’s not too expensive and if you know how to ride the metro you’re going to save a lot of money. The reason we recommend the Akshardham Temple is because it’s massive. It has beautiful carvings, it’s a bit of a newer temple. You’re not allowed to take photos inside but it is a very beautiful architecturally speaking. Krystal really enjoyed when she went and saw it.
Taj Mahal and the Colorful Cities
Another thing, of course, you have to see the Taj Mahal. It’s not very close to Delhi, it’s a couple hour’s drive. Depending on what suits you best, they do have a bullet train now so you can take that. Or you could book a journey to the Taj Mahal through an agency or contact your horse stable outfitters and ask them to see the Taj Mahal.
You are never going to run out of palaces and fortresses when you’re exploring around. Rajasthan in my opinion is way better to see from horseback anyway. You’re never going to run out of things to do and see. There are Pushkar camels, the pink city Jaipur and the blue city Jodhpur. Udaipur is a gorgeous city definitely worth a visit. There is a plethora of things to do in India and to be honest one lifetime is simply not enough to see everything. You might have to plan a few trips to India!
Solo Traveler? Nervous? Here’s What to Do
If you’re interested in travelling the world on a horse. But you really don’t know if you’re a confident enough rider. Or you’re a solo traveler and a little bit concerned for your safety when you go abroad. Maybe you’re unsure of your riding abilities. Or maybe you don’t necessarily have a sticky butt and little bit worried that you’re in your 50’s and you don’t really want to fall off just yet because you know… you don’t want to go to the hospital in India (which is fair!).
If that sounds like you, and you want to become a more confident rider in the saddle and develop your skills, then I would highly recommend you check out our Equestrian Adventuresses online courses. We have a women’s travel safety course, speaking the horse language course and more. All of these will help you achieve your dreams of confidently crossing the globe by horse.
Now, for a deeper fully loaded book about how to ride horses in India, I would recommend that you grab a copy of our World Travel Guide for Equestrians. This is a fascinating book. It has India in there of course, as well as some places you can book your trips and ride. You can find this book on Amazon worldwide. If you are like me and you like paperback books, this is definitely one of those coffee table kinda books that you have to have. If you’re a bit of a nomad and a paperback is not really an option for you, then don’t worry. You can grab a copy of our free digital ebook.
Women are doing incredible things all over the world. Meet the first formally trained horse dentist in India, who happens to be a woman.
Feeling inspired to follow your equestrian travel dreams to India? Listen to our podcast episode that gives all the inside details about how you can get your work travel visa for India.
I love riding whenever I am on holiday. The Cavago app lets me book amazing horseback adventures wherever I go in the world. The process is so simple that it takes barely any time to make the booking.