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Riding Level

The following are some guidelines for the riding / fitness levels required on the horseback and outdoor vacations with Hidden Trails. These are only general guidelines, so please make sure you read carefully about the trip you are interested in. It is your responsibility to make sure you are adequately prepared.

Equestrian: Riding Levels        Outdoor Vacations: Fitness Levels


Equestrian Trips - Riding Level



A rider who has limited experience, is unable to post the trot and does not canter.



A rider who is capable of mounting and dismounting unassisted, capable of applying basic aids, comfortable and in control at the walk, moderate length posting trots, and short canters.



A rider who has a firm seat, is confident and in control at all paces (including posting trots, two point canters and gallops), but does not ride regularly.


Strong Intermediate

An intermediate rider who is currently riding regularly and is comfortable in the saddle for at least 6 hours per day.



All of the above, plus an independent seat, soft hands, and capable of handling a spirited horse in open country.


This is a critically important first step in choosing a riding holiday. For most of the trips you must have a good knowledge of the basics and some experience in riding cross-country. Some important factors to take into consideration are:

  • Do you ride in English or Western tack?
  • How much riding can you realistically do to prepare for the ride?
  • Will it be in the controlled conditions of an arena, or on trails with varied terrain?
  • What is your level of physical strength and stamina?

It is generally best to estimate on the conservative side, especially if you haven't ridden with us in the past. Almost anyone can learn to ride well enough, but one must be prepared to make the effort. If you have a particular ride in mind, but do not meet the riding criteria, consider joining an instructional program where you can gain the necessary skills and confidence.


Equestrian: Riding Levels        Outdoor Vacations: Fitness Levels

Outdoor Vacations - Fitness Level
1. Easy

These trips offer an easy pace and an average-to-sedentary level of fitness. Activities may be optional. You should be in good health and fit enough for full day of normal sightseeing and walking.

2. Easy to Moderate

An average level of fitness or some experience with the featured activity is recommended. While some activities may be optional, you may still have to walk, hike, bike or paddle for two to three hours daily. Includes less demanding sea kayaking and river rafting trips (Class I-II rapids).

3. Moderate

These active trips require you to have performed the featured activity regularly, with some periods on challenging terrain. Activities are mandatory and you may be traveling at high elevations. Includes more demanding sea kayaking trips and river rafting trips with Class III-IV rapids. Your lodging and camping accommodations may be primitive and in remote locations. You need to be in good health and physical condition to enjoy these trips, with adequate muscular strength and cardiovascular endurance.

4. Demanding

On these trips, you must be extremely physically fit and are expected to hike or ride four to six hours over steep or more rugged terrain or in elevations exceeding 3,000 m (10,000 feet), often in remote locations far from medical facilities. Includes more demanding sea kayaking trips (5-6 hours paddling a day) and river rafting trips with Class IV+ rapids. Porter/vehicle support for difficult terrain, but may involve carrying your own gear.

5. Strenuous

Prolonged hiking/biking on moderate to difficult terrain (five to nine hours a day). May include:

  • high altitude: elevations exceeding 4,500 m (15,000 feet) that may create discomfort and symptoms of illness that you do not experience while exercising at lower elevations, such as shortness of breath, restlessness or sleeplessness at night, and headaches.
  • rugged terrain: up and down mountain trails that are steep and rocky.
  • carrying your own gear may be asked in some of the trips.
  • sea kayaking (5-7 hours paddling a day) and river rafting trips with Class IV-V rapids, and otherwise challenging conditions.

Previous experience may be required. You should be in excellent health and top physical condition to enjoy such an experience.

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