Get back to nature, vacation on horseback

Sunday, January 20, 2008

MILBROOK, N.Y. -- If you love riding horses and you love travel, consider booking a vacation with Cross Country International, which offers equestrian vacations.

Packages offer a range of riding experiences and can accommodate all levels, from relaxed trail rides to intensive rides - including cross-country training, dressage and "hunt seat"-style rides. Guests can also choose English or Western saddle, and should expect to spend from one to more than three hours a day on horseback, depending on the package chosen.

A range of accommodations is also offered, from bed-and-breakfasts to castles, farms and four-star hotels. On some trips, accommodations change nightly as guests tour the region.

Riding vacations are offered in many locations around Europe, Central and South America and the U.S. For some trips, the company creates its own itineraries and hires the guides, but it also packages trips offered by other tour operators.

Rates vary depending on locale. A seven-day inn-to-inn riding trip in Provence offered on a variety of dates from late April through early October is $2,325 per person, double occupancy, including all meals, rides on five days, six nights of lodging, transfers from airports and train stations, and guides. (Airfare not included.)

The company, based in Milbrook, N.Y., also arranges hiking and golf vacations.

Details at www.equestrianvacations.com or 800-828-8768.

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