Icelandic Horses
Equestrian Life

Preparing Your Horse Husband For An Equestrian Vacation


How Do You Get Ready For An Equestrian Vacation with your Husband?

A few months ago I wrote a post entitled, Who Needs a Horse Husband. It outlines how I balance my relationship with my non-horsey husband and why it works for us. So imagine my surprise when lo and behold Jason comes to me with a suggestion for our wedding anniversary. A dude ranch in Colorado! I mean, what? It’s totally on my bucket list.


Equestrian vacations in Colorado

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I can’t imagine anything more fun than traveling out west with my sweetie, and learning how to be a cowgirl for a week. Bending poles, sorting cattle, and driving a herd…..but I was a little shocked that he suggested it. My husband is not into horses at all, and would prefer to hike on foot than trail on horseback.


Husbands make wonderful cowboys


Sadly, Colorado didn’t work out. I’m still hoping to do it one day. But most guest ranches require a full week stay and time is something of which these busy working parents don’t have a lot. The kids are still in school this time of year so we decided to stick closer to home. Plus, my husband would not last an entire week on a horse. That is something he needs to build up to.

I hopped on and and found some beautiful ideas here on the east coast. So many looked great, but we decided on a visit to the Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm.  It is within driving distance and we have never been to Vermont outside of winter. My friends have visited Iceland and teased me with tales of the personable nature of this sturdy breed, as well as their unique gait, the tolt. Something I have been itching to try.


Preparing my husband to ride a horse on vacation
Icelandic horses are a sturdy, gentle breed that have a unique gait called the tolt. They are the only horse breed existing in Iceland.


Icelandic horses are a sturdy, gentle breed that have a unique gait called the tolt. They are the only horse breed existing in Iceland.

Here is the thing, my husband has been on a horse perhaps twice in his life. Due to skateboarding and snowboarding injuries, he is contention for being more robot than man. And on top of that he has had two back surgeries due to disk disease. There is no way that he would be able to survive long days in the saddle. At least not without months of working up to it with riding lessons. Something he is just NOT interested in.

Instead we’re going to try out a nice short trail ride through Vermont’s Mad River Valley assuming the rain stays away. He’ll still need the hot tub afterward, but it’s a better fit for his first big trail ride. Now we’ll have time for some amazing farm-to-table local fare and wandering around the gorgeous grounds of our bed and breakfast at The Inn at Round Barn Farm.

So what will I pack for an equestrian weekend with my husband?

Comfortable Driving Clothes

The Mad River Valley is about a 6 hour drive from where I live in New Jersey. Road trip! I’ll be packing some snacks and drinks. But I will likely be wearing my most comfortable non-pajama clothing. Although I’m not ruling pajamas out.

Riding Equipment

Well of course I’ll be bringing jeans and boots, along with my helmet. Jason will just have to borrow a helmet there. Safety first! Right now the weather looks a little cool and damp. Jason tells me he still wants to go unless it’s down pouring, so that means lots of layers and a waterproof coat. I’d rather have too many layers than two little and freeze.

Insect Repellent

I’m planning on bringing my handmade insect repellent. The ticks are bad this time of year and I really don’t know how overgrown the trails are in the valley. I’d like to do without a tick bite, thank you very much.


Pain Relief

A few hours on a trail is a whole lot of fun for me, but Jason will definitely be sore. As much as I know  my natural anti-inflammatory spray will work wonders, with Jason’s back it’s a good idea to have Advil on hand as well. After all, I want him to be as comfortable as possible and have a great experience.

Dinner Clothes

We love food. Rustic, farm-to-table food? Well, I already drooling. So I have to make sure to bring a nice dress and shoes with me. I don’t often get to be dressed up due to the nature of my job. After all, who am I going to impress- the horses and dogs? That’s just asking for a cold nose up my skirt. So a romantic anniversary weekend seems like just the time to wear a dress and heels.


Spring yields amazing color and I’ll be bringing my Nikon DSLR to memorialize the trip. For the trail ride you can bet I’ll be taking photos and videos on my iPhone of Jason like a proud equestrian wifey.

We’re on our way as this posts and I’ll be sure to note how the hubby likes his equestrian mini-vacation. After all, we’re going to the home of Ben & Jerry’s! It would be a shame not to stop by and say hello.



Maybe we’ll make an equestrian of him yet and can do extended equitreks in future. Colorado, Ireland, more? After all, his wife and daughters all ride. Wouldn’t it be great if Daddy can join us?

Want to know how our Vermont trip went? Read all about it.




  • Kamira Gayle

    I used to live in Colorado. When you go one day I think you’ll love it. Sunny days and mild temperatures with beautiful mountains as a backdrop. Not bad at all. Glad you enjoyed Vermont though. I have to put that one on my bucket list!

  • Sonja

    Aw… would LOVE to do something like this but REALLY bad allergies to horses in this household. It’s such a bummer. I wonder — how would I carry my 3.5 pound dog on this adventure?

    • Heather Wallace

      Allergies certainly cause a problem. I’m sorry to hear that. But I’ve seen quite a few people ride with small dogs! When they are that small they basically sit in your lap. Or a saddlebag. 🙂

  • Beth

    Oh, this sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate your anniversary! I hope that your husband enjoys the trail, and I think it is incredibly romantic that he suggested a dude ranch since he isn’t a horse person!

    • Heather Wallace

      I completely agree! It was so romantic that I was instantly suspicious. But we had an amazing time and I’ll be sure to share the story.

  • Jana Rade

    I have a complicated relationship with horses. I always thought horses was amazing. But my first direct experience with an actual, real horse was less than positive. There were a number of factors at play but I lost my confidence and desire to deal with them.

    • Heather Wallace

      You are not alone. They are large and can be quite intimidating. My first time around a horse I got scared, jumped off, and then proceeded to talk to him for an hour. But I found my confidence and am so glad that I did.

  • Karen

    I’ve always loved horses, but haven’t had much riding experience. Sounds like fun, but it’s going to be rough on your husband. He is going to big lengths to make it happen, very cool of him!

    • Heather Wallace

      So far, he’s not very sore. Icelandic horses have to be one of the most comfortable breeds I have ever ridden. He definitely wins husband points for even suggesting it!

  • Kia

    Aw, how sweet of your husband to plan something that’s on your bucket list 🙂 Hopefully y’all get to visit there one day. I’m glad you found somewhere else that is just as nice and fits your schedule. Parent life can be a struggle with the kiddos and just life in general for sure. I hope you guys enjoy your trip and Happy Anniversary! I wish you guys many more years of love and happiness and that your hubs starts to love riding more 🙂

    • Heather Wallace

      Thanks Kia! We had an amazing, but slightly rainy weekend. It’s pretty hard to come back. Now I have to plan my packing for Blog Paws. 🙂

    • Heather Wallace

      I’m not much of a hiker, but on horseback it’s a completely different story. Trail rides are one of my favorite things to do. I’m just glad I could share it with my husband.

    • Heather Wallace

      Thanks! It was a blast. It was Jason’s 3rd time on a horse spaced over about 30 years. But he did a great job and really relaxed into it.

  • Robin

    I can’t wait to see the photos from your trip! It is wonderful that your husband is willing to get out of his comfort zone to do what he knows will make you happy. It sounds like it will be a great time. 🙂

  • Sweet Purrfections

    I never thought about insect repellent while horseback riding, but it makes sense. I loved riding horses when growing up, but with a neck injury (from falling off a horse 30 years ago), I’m a little hesitant to ride now. I did ride my sister’s horse this past Christmas and loved it.

    • Heather Wallace

      True, neck injuries are no joke. I hope you are okay. Falling can be very scary, trust me I know. Especially as I get older. Luckily I have more experience now, but there was a period I was falling a lot. Luckily it’s been a few years. Hopefully I’m not due.

  • Sadie

    Thank you for sharing these travel ideas and tips! Unfortunately, my husband is not a horse person due to allergies. We found this out when we went horseback riding on the beach in South Africa. My husband and the tour guide sneezed the entire trek, and the ride back to the hotel.

    • Heather Wallace

      I’m sorry to hear about your allergies but it sounds like you still have some great memories! Riding on the beach is on my equestrian bucket list.

    • Heather Wallace

      It definitely makes it a little more difficult having such different interest. Luckily I know that my girlfriends will come with me in a pinch. You should definitely get on a horse again if you miss it! A lot of people come back to it as an adult, just like I did.

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