Horses and Riding

How much riding experience do I need to have?

You should be confident and in control on a fit, forward going horse at a fast canter, over rough and variable ground.

Can you supply horses?

Yes. We work with trusted local suppliers of high class hunting horses, ranging from large Irish hunters to thoroughbreds to smart but smaller cobs. We will carefully match you with a horse depending on your height, weight and taste in horses.

Will my own horse cope on Dartmoor?

If you’re bringing your own horse, the breed isn’t important as long as it’s fit, sure-footed, and calm when riding out with other horses. In our experiences, horses like this really thrive on a trip to Dartmoor. Our rides aren’t races or time trials – we’ve designed them all to be taken at a reasonable pace which is relaxed and enjoyable, though with plenty of places for long canters.

What’s the normal daily riding time?

This can vary on each ride depending on which holiday you choose, and on bespoke rides it can be tailored to suit you. But on group rides like the Horse & House Party or Mary King ride, we are usually out for 4 to 5 hours a day with a good break for a dismounted lunch.

We’ll send you a detailed itinerary, and if you have any questions or special requirements, just get in touch.

Do you accompany each ride?

Yes. All rides are accompanied by a local guide and Liberty Trails representative, to navigate, tell you about the history and wildlife, and to keep you safe. Dartmoor bogs are very real! Our ground crew are also on hand to provide support, and they may meet rides at certain points with a brilliant picnic lunch and refreshments, depending on which options you choose for lunch.

Who has primary responsibility for the care of my horse?

If you bring your own horse you’re responsible for care of your horse, saddlery and other belongings. The Liberty Trails crew will take care of the stable work, overnight security and early morning feeds, but it’s your responsibility to make sure your mount is ready to ride out on time.

If you hire a horse as part of your Liberty Trails experience, we’ll take care of it and will make sure it’s ready to mount up on time.

What are the overnight stabling arrangements?

We work with a variety of private yards and farms around Dartmoor which all offer a high standard of secure stabling in roomy boxes with a paddock where horses can have a stretch and roll at the end of each day.

We can offer a range of beddings and unlimited hay or haylage but recommend you bring your usual hard feeds with you. If you’d like overnight grazing for your horse, please let us know when you book.

Is there a vet and farrier I can call on if needed?

Definitely. We also suggest you bring a spare set of shoes for your horse with you, pre-fitted by your usual farrier.

Do I need insurance?

You’ll need to have both Public Liability Insurance and Personal Accident cover in place for you and your horse. If you’re a hiring a horse, you’ll only need personal accident cover.

Is there a minimum/ maximum number of riders

The minimum is generally two riders; in exceptional circumstances we may be able to accommodate a solo rider, so please enquire.

In group rides such as the Horse & House Party, there are never more than 10 participants. The annual Dartmoor Derby is capped at 30.

What is the ideal group size for a bespoke booking?

A bespoke holiday  based from a cottage, hotel or lodge works best with between four – 12 people and this can include a couple of non riding partners willing to share a double occupancy room. In group rides such as the Horse & House Party, there are never more than 12 participants and the group is sub divided into smaller rider groups. The annual Dartmoor Derby is capped at 30 and sub divided into smaller rider groups.

Do you have a weight limit for riders?

Yes, but there may be leeway depending on the height and experience of the rider. If you are over 13 stone, please drop us your mobile number so we can discuss this with you by phone.

Can you take children?

That again depends on the size and experience of the child. Our horses are not generally under 14.1hh, and since a Liberty Trails ride takes you far and fast out into the moors, riders need to be quite strong and experienced. Generally we cannot help children under the age of 11.

How hard is it to drive a trailer or lorry on Dartmoor?

We will send you lorry-safe directions that involve no narrow bridges! Further, a Liberty Trails representative usually meets you at a service station from the nearest A road and leads you to your yard, on the day of your arrival. We also lead you to all the ride start points in the same way.

What happens if me or my horse becomes ill or injured before our holiday and cannot attend?

Please view our booking conditions about cancellation policies HERE.

If your horse is unable to come away with you it is usually possible to hire a horse for you to ride instead. If you are unable to come though injury or illness, the booking conditions apply about refunds and it’s important to have travel insurance for this eventuality.


Who arranges guest accommodation?

We do that for you, working with a range of hand-picked high end venues. Our offer includes boutique hotels, exclusive use luxury lodges, charming cottages and rustic farmhouses or, if you prefer, B&B in ancient Dartmoor Inns on different parts of the moor.

Riding Equipment

What riding equipment do I need?

It’s essential that you have your own to the following UK/ European safety standard: PAS 015 (1998 or 2011) and VG1, with BSI Kitemark.

You will also need riding boots or boots and chaps (boots to have a heel and no laces). Breeches or jodhpurs are definitely the comfiest riding wear, and you are most welcome to wear a body protector or air vest, though this is not a requirement. Thereafter, we send a suggested packing list to guests with advice on layers etc.