Horse Riding on Dartmoor
‘Horses lend us the wings we lack’
There is something very liberating about thundering across the landscape on horseback; the wind in your hair; fresh air in your lungs; leaving hills, rivers, people behind with every leap; at one with nature; at one with animal.
If you love to ride horses, Dartmoor is the place to do it: for the dramatic scenery; for the challenging routes; for the open skies and the peacefulness; for the elements all around. You may be a beginner on your first trek or an experienced rider embarking on another adventure; either way, Dartmoor is hard to beat. You can ride out on to the open moor, trot along woodland trails and bridleways, or follow in the hoofprints of Dartmoor’s forefathers along historic byways.
If you don’t have your own horse, or are a novice in the saddle, there are some excellent stables listed overleaf, offering tuition and an experienced guide.
For riding purposes Dartmoor can be divided into three
The South-East of Dartmoor:
For those new to Dartmoor this could be the best place to start. There are a good number of easy rides, taking in gentle slopes, valleys and undulating moorland. The scenery is spectacular, and for those that wish to make a weekend of it, there is an abundance of excellent accommodation and refreshments available nearby.
The South-West of Dartmoor:
For the more experienced riders, the High Moor is the place to go. There can be a good deal of blanket bog in the centre so plan your route around the edge. Remote wilderness at its best! Stop and have a drink at a welcoming inn or stay overnight and make it a real adventure.
The Northern Half of Dartmoor:
Wild and spectacular, but only the most experienced riders should consider “going it alone” in this area, as many parts are inaccessible and the central part is a large bog. The Ministry of Defence also uses this area for training; visit the Dartmoor Ranges website for further information.
Dartmoor – a real welcome
Many public houses on Dartmoor welcome horse riders, providing tie rails or paddocks, water for your horses, and convenient picnic tables from which you can keep a watchful eye on them. Try not to leave horses unattended – even on a tie rail.
A variety of accommodation for those wishing to bring their horses to Dartmoor for a longer stay is also available. Prices and facilities for the horses do vary, so be sure to ask for information that is relevant to your requirements. There are also riding centres offering more formal livery, with perhaps bed and breakfast or hotel accommodation nearby.
Dartmoor – a rider’s paradise for the well-prepared.