If you plan to go on a riding vacation with your horse, first narrow your site selections to the top 10. Then ask questions to determine whether the place is right for you. Here's a sampling.
ABOUT THE BUSINESS
- How long have you been in business?
- Can you provide references?
- Do you offer a written satisfaction guarantee?
- Do you have a state license and, if applicable, a permit for riding through private and/or public land?
- Do you have any age restrictions?
- What are your equine-health requirements?
- Have horses at the stable had any recent bouts of illness that could be contagious?
ABOUT RATES & DATES
- What are your deposit, refund, cancellation, and payment policies, including the types of payments accepted?
- What are your rates, and what do they include?
- What extras are available, and what do they cost?
- Do you offer discounts for seniors, children, groups, non-riders, off-season dates, etc.?
- Which dates have enough open spaces to accommodate me and my travel companions?
- Do you have a minimum-stay requirement?
- How far in advance should I make reservations?
ABOUT ACCOMMODATIONS & SERVICES
- What type of lodging do you offer?
- What's your meal plan?
- How close is emergency medical assistance?
- How close are veterinary and farrier services?
- What are the horse accommodations like?
- Is feed available on the premises?
- Are feed, stabling, and stall-cleaning extra or included in the rate?
- What non-riding activities do you offer?
- Do you offer childcare?
ABOUT THE RIDE
- What's the usual ride itinerary?
- How many hours per day will we ride?
- What's the terrain like?
- What's the ride pace?
- What are the challenge level and skill requirements?
- What's the weather like?
- What equipment do I need to bring for my horse and myself, and what will you provide?
- Are riding trails on the property? If not, can I easily ride to them or do I need to trailer to them?
This article first appeared in?Horse & Rider magazine.