A horseback riding adventure is one of the best ways to experience Asia and the Middle East. Countries like China, Mongolia, Jordan, and India have much to offer the visitor willing to get off the beaten path — and there’s no better way to get off the beaten path than with a horse. We’ve scoured equestrian tour companies from all over the world to find the very best horseback riding holidays on the Asian continent. Keep scrolling!
Altai Mountains Ride
On Hidden Trails’ Altai Mountains Ride, adventurous equestrians can experience a part of Russia to which many Russians haven’t even been! The 15-day trip, which is available from June through September, takes place in the beautiful Altai Mountains of Siberia. With the help of sturdy horses, riders will ride over mountain passes, through thick forests, and over lush grasslands. There’s even an exciting river rafting expedition included in the trip.
Assam Tea Gardens
In the Saddle
In the Saddle’s Assam Tea Gardens ride offers adventurous horseback riders the unique opportunity to temporarily experience “a bygone colonial era” in India. Riders spend a minimum of nine nights in north east India, experiencing the sights, sounds, and tastes of the rural and lesser visited part of the country.
Beach and Desert Ride
Experience the best of both desert and ocean on Unicorn Trails’ Beach and Desert Ride. This eight-day trip consists of riding Arabian horses along the beaches of Oman before heading into the desert to experience life as a Bedouin. Besides the five days of riding, trip guests will have ample opportunity to visit some of Oman’s most beautiful and historic sites. You’ll sleep at the mountain-top resort of Jebel Shams.
Equitours offers a week-long horseback riding adventure through the geographical and historical wonderland of Cappadocia, Turkey. This unique city has hundreds of underground tunnel cities dating back hundreds of years. Riders will get to visit many of them, as well as other interesting landscapes along the way. Because of Cappadocia’s steep rocky terrain, the Cappadocia Highlights tour is best for those with trail riding experience.
Castle to Castle Safari in Rajasthan
Castles may not be what you think of when you think of India, but we bet this seven-day horseback riding adventure by Hidden Trails will help change your mind. The Castle to Castle Safari combines the thrill of an equestrian holiday with the glamor of Rajasthan’s beautiful Heritage and palace hotels. Riders will travel through the Aravalli Mountains and the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary. Both are hotspots for exciting wildlife sightings. It’s a thrilling tip from one majestic and historic palace to the next.
Caucasus Culture Trail
Hidden Trails offers the Caucasus Culture Trail horseback riding adventure through the Central Asian country of Georgia. There are eight full riding days of the 11-day trip. Travelers will get to ride in Russian military saddles through untouched landscapes, fascinating archeological sites, and historic villages that feel as if they’re from another era entirely.
Cherry Blossom Ride
The cherry blossoms of Japan are a popular tourist attraction, but few think to see them via horseback. Unicorn Trails offers the Cherry Blossom Ride, a seven-day horseback riding adventure which takes place on the mountainous, subtropical island of Kyushu. In addition to riding through the stunning natural landscapes, riders will attend a Samurai experience and the local Cherry Blossom Festival.
Fairs & Festivals
In the Saddle
Equestrian holiday goers will visit the Indian regions of Rajasthan, Delhi, and Jaipur on the Fairs & Festivals tour offered by In the Saddle. It’s not hard to see why this is one of the company’s most popular tours. Guests will see famous wonders like the Taj Mahal. They’ll also experience the huge cattle and horse fair that is Bateshwar, and take part in the Diwali Festival.
Gobi Steppe Ride
Horses have always been a vital part of Mongolian culture, so experiencing the country via a horseback riding adventure is a no-brainer. Equitours’ Gobi Steppe Ride is a 12-day adventure over the vast and empty Gobi steppe. The terrain is wild and untouched by humans, so being a confident intermediate or advanced rider is an absolute must. Trip guests will temporarily live as the nomads do, right beside their horses and the accompanying camels in the great outdoors.
The Great Trek
In the Saddle
The Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan is just starting to make its way onto travelers’ radar. As it stands, it is an excellent country to explore via horseback, which adventurous equestrians can do on In the Saddle’s The Great Trek ride. Riders will spend 8-15 days riding over mountains and through valleys of central Kyrgyzstan, all while staying in yurt camps.
Rajasthan is one of India’s most beautiful and interesting regions, and adventurous equestrians can explore it via horseback when they book a spot on Equitours’ Korta Ride. This 11-day riding holiday consists of six days in the saddle of a Marwari endurance horse. The group makes its way from remote village to remote village, all the while experiencing the “real” India not often visited by foreigners. Trip extensions to Jaipur and the Taj Mahal in Agra can also be arranged.
Footsteps of Lawrence
In the Saddle
Lawrence of Arabia has captivated generations of readers and filmgoers. On this horseback riding adventure from In the Saddle, equestrians can follow in the “footsteps of Lawrence” through the beautiful country of Jordan. The nine-night trip consists of:
- six days of riding through the Wadi Rum desert
- visiting historic sites such as the “rose red city” of Petra
- sleeping under the stars in a tent.
Great Silk Road
On Unicorn Trails’ Great Silk Road horseback riding adventure, riders will spend eight days (of the 14-day trip) trekking and camping their way through valleys, passes, and canyons of the Pamir Alai mountains in Kyrgyzstan. The trip follows a section of the Silk Road, and includes some of the most remote (and beautiful) landscapes in Central Asia.
Himalayan Monastery Trail
Bhutan is a major bucket list country, and a horseback riding vacation in Bhutan might just be the thing of which dreams are made. On the Himalayan Monastery Trail horseback riding adventure offered by Unicorn Trails, riders will spend six of their 12 days riding through the Himalayas, visiting mountain villages and ancient monasteries. When not in the saddle, travelers will be sightseeing. Nights are spent in a variety of campsites, farm houses, and hotels.
Jewel of the Arabian Gulf Ride
High Pointe Tours
High Pointe Tours offers the Jewel of the Arabian Gulf Ride. Highlights of this five-day horseback riding adventure include trekking across the Wahiba desert and visiting Bedu homesteads. Participants will tour such places of interest as the Muttrah Souq, the seafaring town of Sharquia, and the mountain village of Mibam.
A sense of adventure is a must, but both novice and experienced riders can be accommodated on the unique Kazakhstan Explorer tour offered by Unicorn Trails. The 17-day trip includes 12 days of riding through some of Kazakhstan’s most remote and untouched regions. Pack horses come along to carry supplies, and nights are spent camping.
The Kham Riders (Shamalong Festival)
The Kham Riders horseback riding adventure by Equus Journeys is a two-week pack trip through Tibet. Guided by a local horse expert, riders will meet Tibetan nomads, camp in beautiful remote locations, and even attend the colorful and exciting Shamalong Festival.
The Lost Kingdom of Mustang
Despite its name, this horseback riding adventure offered by Equus Journeys has nothing to do with the famous wild horses of the American West. Rather, adventurous equestrians will spend 20 days (11 of which are in the saddle) exploring Mustang, the ancient kingdom of Nepal. This “forbidden” kingdom only opened to foreigners in 1992, and is full of fascinating sites.
Mongol Horse Trail
In the Saddle
Unlike many other Mongolia-based tours, which limit themselves to one region of this massive country, In the Saddle’s Mongol Horse Trail allows riders to experience two vastly different types of Mongolian terrain. Riders will spent eight days riding through the Khan Khentii Special Protected Area, where they’ll trek over the famous treeless steppes and then through lush mountain forest.
Mongolia Horseback and More Ride
High Pointe Tours
If you are keen to explore Mongolia both in and out of the saddle, then High Pointe Tours’ Mongolia Horseback and More Ride may be just what you’re looking for. With the help of sturdy Mongolian horses, riders will spend their mornings riding out over many trails through the Steppe. In the afternoons, there are non-horseback activities such as Bodgar (traditional Mongolian evening festivities), Orkhon River kayaking trips, and visits to historical sites like Karakorum and Khar Balgas.
Mongolian Classic with Naadam Festival
While the Gobi Steppe Ride (profiled above) covers just Mongolia’s vast steppe, the Mongolian Classic Trek covers three must-visit places and experiences:
- the Gobi Desert
- the Blue Khentii Mountain
- the Naadam Festival
Riders will spend the first few days of this amazing horseback adventure riding through Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, highlights of which include:
- lush meadows
- lakes and waterfalls
- an impressive collection of wildlife
Riders will then head to the capital city of Ulaanbaatar for Mongolia’s most famous celebration, the Naadam Festival. Finally, adventurers will head south to experience the rarely visited Gobi Desert. To experience all three, riders must book the trip for early July when the festival takes place.
Mongolian Eagle Festival
The last of the Mongolian tours to make our list of the best horseback riding adventures in Asia is Unicorn Trails’ Mongolian Eagle Festival. This unique experience is in September of each year. It includes a trip to the Eagle Festival where hundreds of nomads gather to show off their hunting skills. Other days will be spent sightseeing this unique region.
Nagaur Fair Ride
The Nagaur Fair Ride is a 14-day horseback riding adventure offered by Equitours. The guided tour takes guests to India’s authentic and traditional Nagaur Fair, where tribesmen have been coming together to trade horses, cattle, and camels for hundreds of years. Riders will experience the colorful festival first hand. Participants will also spend six days in the saddle riding through farmlands and rural villages, and over sand dunes in India’s Rajasthan region.
In the Saddle
In the Saddle’s Orkhon Valley horseback riding adventure is yet another option for getting to ride through Mongolia. On this nine- or 12-night trip, riders will spend time with a nomad family in the Orkhon Valley. Each guest has the option of riding the wilderness-rich Ger Trail, or the more adventurous Camping Trail, complete with packed yaks to carry the gear.
Pamir Mountain Explorer
If you’ve never thought of Tajikistan as a vacation destination, then we bet Unicorn Trails’ Pamir Mountain Explorer trip will make you think twice. The 14-day trip includes eight days of riding. It’s an adventurous trek through this Central Asian country, and is therefore best for fit riders. Guests will experience some of Asia’s most remote regions, and stay with local families along the way.
Petra, Dead Sea, and Wadi Rum
You can probably guess where you’ll go on this 10-day horseback riding adventure offered by Hidden Trails. Adventurous equestrians can follow in the footsteps of the Bedouins as they experience the very best that the country of Jordan has to offer. Highlights of the tour include:
- viewing the Holy Land from atop Mount Nebo
- bathing in the Dead Sea
- a full day at Petra.
Equitours’ week-long Samurai Ride takes adventurous equestrians to Kyushu Island, one of Japan’s southwestern-most islands. Kyushu is known for its incredible natural features, including volcanoes, hot springs, and beaches — all of which riders on the Samurai Ride will get to experience. The trip’s guide is from one of Japan’s oldest western riding ranches, which has strong ties to Samurai traditions.
Spirit of the Reindeer Herders
The Tsaatan people of Mongolia are nomadic herders who keep reindeer for horns, milk, meat, and transportation. On the Spirit of the Reindeer Herders horseback riding adventure, equestrians can spend 17 days exploring Mongolia with these authentic — and increasingly rare — nomads. When not with the reindeer herders, trip participants will visit the capital city of Ulaanbaatar and ride along the shores of Khuvsgul Lake.
Tibetan Adventure: The Shamalong Race Trek
Every year in early August, the Tagong Horse Race Festival takes place in the remote mountains of Tibet. Those who book a spot on Unicorn Trails’ Tibetan Adventure have the unique opportunity of experiencing the festival and riding throughout the hillside alongside nomadic herders.
In the Saddle
Riders will get to check Israel off of their travel bucket list after experiencing In the Saddle’s Tour Israel horseback riding adventure. This equestrian holiday — which can be either six or eight nights — leads riders all over the northern and southern regions of this beautiful and historical country. Riders will get to:
- travel through many fascinating areas
- experience the Israeli people’s famous hospitality
- visit historical sites
- spend a day exploring Jerusalem on foot.