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Horse riding in Devon

The open moors of Exmoor and Dartmoor are perfect for exploring on horseback, or ride the miles of bridle paths through some of Devon’s loveliest countryside.
Horse riding in Devon is suitable for beginners or more experienced riders. From gentle hacks across open moors and trotting along bridleways to cantering along the beach, there is something to fulfill every rider’s dream. Devon has a network of traffic-free bridle ways that are a wonderful way to explore the countryside. You can cover much greater distances on horseback than walking and get a great view of the surrounding countryside from your elevated position.

Even if the weather is hot you should wear long trousers and boots or sensible shoes with a small heel for riding in comfort and safety. Here are four of the best ideas for you to consider:

Beach Rides at Woolacombe

Woolacombe Riding Stables are highly accredited with BHS qualified staff supervising treks through 200 acres of gorgeous North Devon countryside. The stables at Eastacott Farm, Woolacombe offer a variety of rides but possibly the most exciting is the beach ride along three miles of sandy beach.

Riding on Dartmoor

Cholwell Farm and Riding Stables is a long-established family business in Mary Tavy offering rides and treks on Dartmoor. Easy to reach from Devon holiday cottages in Tavistock or Okehampton, the location offers direct access onto the moor. Rides are available for all ages from 5 to 85 and they vary according to the experience of the riders. The well-trained horses range from Shetland ponies to Shire horses, who are all at home on these scenic moors.

Dittiscombe Equestrian Centre

Those staying in holiday cottages around East Portlemouth and Slapton will know how beautiful and unspoilt this area of the South Hams is. There are few better ways to experience it than on horseback. The Dittiscombe Equestrian Centre near Slapton offers gentle hacks along quiet lanes and bridleways for novice riders as well as more challenged rides for those with more riding experience.

Tor Royal Trekking at Princetown

Tor Royal Trekking Stables are on top of the world, or so it feels when you drive to Princetown, the remote moorland village close to Dartmoor prison. Book a trek from these family-run stables across the open moorland or take a lunch ride and stop for lunch at one of the moorland pubs. If you want to try your hand at grooming your pony under expert guidance before a ride, that is available too.

As with any visit to Dartmoor the weather can be changeable, so bring a waterproof jacket just in case. Rides take visitors past some historic sites including Fox Tor Min and along Tinners Way. Riders also visit locations made famous from the filming of Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse” and Sherlock Holmes’ exploits in “The Hounds of the Baskervilles”.

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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