Horse Riding & Pony Trekking in Scotland

Explore Scotland's wild and otherworldly landscapes on a sure-footed horse or pony and make a memory that will last a lifetime. Horse riding is immensely popular in Scotland and there are stables and riding providers based all around the country where you can book a leisurely trek, an exciting hack or a professional lesson. You could even go on a horse riding holiday and learn all there is to know about caring for these intelligent and gorgeous animals.

Horse Riding Holidays

Horse care holidays

Get to grips with the day-to-day duties involved in looking after horses, from grooming and tacking up to riding out on hacks. Some great horse care holiday providers include the Scottish Equestrian Hotel, near Lanark, the Crieff Hydro Riding Centre, Crieff, and Gairloch Trekking Centre, Gairloch.

Trail riding

Explore Scotland's glens, countryside and wind-blown beaches on a long-distance riding holiday over several days. There are a variety of stables that offer this type of holiday including Highlands Unbridled, Tain, Wilder Ways Riding Adventures, Argyll, Tomintoul Riding Centre, Ballindalloch, and Newtonmore Riding Centre, Newtonmore.

Bring your own horse

Take your horse on holiday to Scotland and explore a gorgeous new environment together. We guarantee both you and your horse will love it!


What will I need to wear to try horse riding?

You don't need to invest in specialist clothing to have a go at riding. Wear comfy trousers (including leggings and jogging bottoms) and sturdy shoes with a closed toe, a smooth sole and a small heel (N.B. trainers should never be used for riding as they can slip and get stuck in the stirrup). The staff at your chosen stables will give you a hard hat to use during your lesson, trek or hack too. On warm days it's best to wear a top that covers your shoulders (though on not so sunny days a few layers and a waterproof coat could be handy too - just in case!).

How easy is it to ride a horse?

Don't worry - even if you've never ridden before you'll pick it up very quickly! Your stables will match your current skill level to the right horse/pony and together you'll be trotting along before you know it.

Can children try horse riding?

Of course! Some stables are happy to offer lessons to children from four years old upwards though others start at five or six. Individual stables and riding centres will have their own age restrictions so it's best to contact them directly.

What kinds of treks and hacks can I go on?

Scotland is famous for its majestic (and hugely varied) landscapes and there are lots of fantastic trekking and hacking opportunities available. Follow a winding woodland route and listen to birds chirping in tree canopy overhead, enjoy views of sparkling waters as you canter along the beach or explore some of the country's hills, glens and wild terrain with your sure-footed companion.

What kind of lessons are available?

Scotland's stables and equestrian centres offer a huge range of lessons that they can tailor specifically to you. They usually take place in enclosed paddocks or indoor/outdoor schools with beginner lessons focussing on building confidence and teaching you how to control your horse while more advanced riders can develop their jumping and showing skills.

Is there a weight or height limit?

Although normally there is no height limit, the horse/pony's wellbeing is of the utmost importance and your stables will have a weight limit for each of their horses/ponies. Your chosen stables will be able to advise further on this.

Can I just watch, and not ride?

It's best to check with the stables you want to visit. If you're a parent and you want to watch your child during their lesson most riding centres will let you watch (and cheer your wee one on) from outside the paddock or school. There are also lots of shows and horse events happening throughout the country where you can see top riders competing for prizes.

Native Scottish horse and pony breeds

Shetland pony

Shetland Ponies Foula

Everyone loves these little guys! Shetland ponies are famed for their docile nature (making them excellent children's ponies) as well as their tenacious and often fearless personalities. You'll find Shetlands in lots of equestrian centres and, of course, in their native Shetland islands.

Eriskay pony

The most endangered native pony breed in Europe, these hardy ponies come from the islands in the Outer Hebrides (the Isle of Eriskay in particular). The riding schools on the Outer Hebrides are the best places to meet these gorgeous ponies and you might even see some grazing in fields on the islands.

Highland pony

Strong and sure-footed, Highland ponies have been used throughout the centuries by the military, as pack carriers and often with crofters in the fields. Highlands are the largest native pony breed and are perfect for children and adults alike. Many stables are home to Highland ponies if you would like to meet one in person.

Clydesdale horse

Clydesdales at the Royal Highland Show

The only horse amongst Scotland's native equine breeds, Clydesdales are widely regarded as gentle giants and originate in what is now known as Lanarkshire (south and to the east of Glasgow). Reaching from about 16 to 18 hands (163 to 183 cm) Clydesdales are impressive horses to ride (ask your local stables if they have one you can meet) and they also make excellent driving and draught horses.

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