10 Tips To Be An Ecologically And Socially Responsible Rider On Your Horse Riding Holiday

To all our adventurous and Earth-loving riders

Being more environmentally- as well as socially-conscious is something we all strive to be at home and in our daily lives. But when travelling, on holidays, or whenever we step out of home, there are also some simple things we can do to be a more responsible traveller and rider. At SaddleTravel.com we believe that trail riding goes hand in hand with protecting our planet and the people on it, so read on to find our top 10 tips to make your horse riding holiday an eco-friendly and socially conscious one.


1 – Choose your transportation wisely

The best way to reduce your carbon footprint is to travel to a close by destination and to travel by train, coach or by car (sharing with other travelers). If you wish to travel further and pursue your dream of an African Safari or Latin American adventure, prioritise direct flights and fly with airlines that use renewable energy and have carbon emissions offsetting schemes, financing reforestation projects for example.

2 – Travel light!

We know… Easier said than done! But your luggage’s weight has a surprisingly big impact on your carbon footprint, so try to pack light, plan on re-wearing the same clothes throughout your holiday, pack lightweight clothes and you can always ask us whether your next riding destination offer a laundry service.

3 – Leave no trace

Just like you would at home, it is important to get rid of waste in a responsible way when you’re travelling. Of course this means not leaving any rubbish behind you in nature when riding out, but also trying to reduce your waste: reuse and recycle as much as possible, bring your own toiletries for your trip and if you’re travelling to a country with a poor recycling system, consider bringing back some of your waste (batteries for example) so that they are properly recycled.

4 – Support the local economy… smartly

Going on a horse riding holiday with us means you help support the local economy of your host country. Your hosts and guides are almost always from the country where they operate and they work hand in hand with other local players and entrepreneurs to make your trip special. On your trip, be mindful of how and to whom you spend or give money, especially in the poorest countries where you don’t want to be supporting begging or child labor.

5 – Pick a destination that supports sustainable tourism

You can check the Environmental Performance Index to pick the country that will host your next holiday, as this indicates how sustainable and environmentally-friendly your next destination is as a whole. European countries usually rank high and many of our favourite horse riding destinations such as France, the UK or Iceland are in the top 15.

6 – Be mindful of your consumption of natural resources

When you’re travelling be mindful of your electricity and water consumption: don’t overdo it with the AC, keep your showers short and turn off the lights. This is even more important when travelling to countries where natural resources are scarce. If you’re off on a camping trip, make sure your soaps and shampoos are biodegradable so that they don’t pollute the environment and the unspoilt rivers, lakes or waterfalls where you’ll be lucky to bathe and swim!

7 – Avoid single use plastic

We strongly encourage all our partners to offer plastic-free options on the trails, but you can also contribute with very simple habits: bring and use your own reusable water bottle, if you’re off to a camping trip, you can bring reusable cutlery, etc. On your flights, bring your own reusable mug, sleeping mask and headphones if you can and refuse those offered by the airline company, which are always wrapped in single-use plastic. These small things really help!

8 – Respect local wildlife and protected areas

This may sound obvious, but it’s always good to remind our fellow riders and travellers! Never buy any product nor pictures coming from wildlife exploitation. Do not bring any souvenirs from protected areas, and be mindful of local laws. In some countries like Mozambique, it is forbidden to take sand or shells out of the country.

9 – Learn and respect local culture & traditions

Being a responsible rider also means respecting the local people and culture. Read about the local culture and history and learn basic phrases in the local language. Be mindful of local customs, such as tipping etiquette, usual greetings, etc. At SaddleTravel.com, we only work with trusted partners and make sure that your hosts treat their horses with respect. However, keep in mind that in many countries, horses may not be treated the same as in Western countries. Be open-minded and understanding of cultural differences when riding in such countries, this is also part of the journey!

10 – Start at home!

Last but not least, everything starts at home! Apply all the above tips in your daily life at home, so that they become habits and you can keep them when travelling as well. Travelling and riding responsibly is something we can all aspire to do – and don’t hesitate to share your own tips with us on email or through social media!