Equestrian tourism requires much more preparation and meticulous organization than cycling, so it is logical that there are much fewer people who want to spend a vacation “just me and the horse”. It is difficult to calculate exactly how much, since the concept of “equestrian tourism” includes not only traveling in the saddle (lasting more than 24 hours), but also rest, implying any equestrian movement, be it performances (although equestrian theater in Russia is still widely known only in narrow circles, you can join the art in Moscow, St. Petersburg and many other cities of Russia), races or small walks.
In Europe, equestrian tourism is most popular in the UK, Germany and France (for example, the total number of members of equestrian clubs in France is 700 thousand people). About 2% of pilgrims, by the way, make their way on horseback.
If you are going on an equestrian tour, then you do not need any license exams or driving certificates: it is enough to be over 14 years old, have a certificate of good health and medical insurance. The choice of routes is quite diverse both on the territory of the Russian Federation and in different European countries. An instructor guide will be with you throughout the trip, and overnight accommodation will be booked only in places with special services and service for animals. So, perhaps, due to the complexity of organizing such a tour independently, preparing for a horse-riding trip can become the least energy—consuming and exhausting – tourists have no choice but to trust the organizers.
By the way, about the overnight stay. Not all travelers prefer to stay in campsites, because due to the growing popularity of itinerant tourism, a night in a tent costs about the same as a night in a hostel, but at the same time you have to drag with you, in fact, a tent, foam, sleeping bag, pots and food.
That’s why many people — and also out of a desire to get to know the culture of the host country more deeply — choose couchsurfers and apartments rented on Airbnb.
Do we really need slow tourism?
There are also no serious statistics about the degree of satisfaction of slow tourists. Personal experience suggests that many travelers after the fact enthusiastically talk about the number of kilometers traveled per day on broken roads, overnight stays in dubious rural areas and share photos of villages, but on their next vacation they go to lie on a chaise longue on the coast of Turkey.
Someone admits that he went on such a trip with the aim of finally not rushing anywhere, but he was even more tired than after trips “galloping through Europe”. It’s one thing to want to stop running somewhere forever — and another thing is to really learn not to run.
But personal sampling is still not an indicator. And to plan such a trip, you need information, preparation, suitable company and mood, and these factors do not always coincide. In words, everyone prefers a healthy rustic lunch made of fresh products to fast food, but they still grab a cheeseburger, shawarma or something similar fast, cheap and satisfying for a snack.
Vacation is still not rubber, not everyone has the opportunity to afford to take their time. Moreover, one of the attributes of constant fuss is dependence on the Internet and social networks.
Judging by the number of photos (measured in hundreds of thousands) under the hashtag #slowtourism or #sustainabletourism, most vacationers do not rest at all from smartphones in the hope that selfies against the background of rural expanses or waterfalls get even more likes than photos of thighs against the background of the sea.