Horseback Riding in Israel

Vered Haglil horseback riding israel sea of galilee

Hurry up, Lola! I yelled, swinging my legs around.

I didn’t kick her; I’m too much of a softie when it comes to animals and I didn’t want to hurt her. But, I certainly wanted her to get her ass moving before the sun set.

Ughh.. I groaned, go faster!

She continued to trot along at a leisurely pace up the hill, so I sighed and leaned back in my saddle.

Vered Haglil horseback riding israel sea of galilee

At least the view wasn’t anything to complain about.

As I swivelled my neck to the side I was met with a panoramic view of rolling grassy hills, funnelling down the valley of Ginnosar toward the hazy blue Sea of Galilee, all bathed in the warm light of a fiery setting sun.

I couldn’t believe that I was in Israel.

Vered Haglil horseback riding israel sea of galilee

Vered Haglil horseback riding israel sea of galilee

It was my first time on a horse and it definitely wasn’t a bad place to start.

When horseback riding first comes to mind, you probably don’t immediately think of Israel. In fact, if you think for about ten minutes, you probably still aren’t thinking of Israel.

But, let me clear this up for you–Israel is an incredible place to ride a horse, whether you’re a professional or a first-timer like myself.

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The landscape around the Sea of Galilee in particular rivals that of an iconic Western film set and perhaps trumps the real life alternative.

Rolling hills strewn with volcanic boulders and layered with wispy dry grass make up the immediate foreground giving way to fading mountains and the Sea of Galilee itself.

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The ride began with instruction and practise up at the barns at Vered HaGalil Guest Farm. We met our horses, including the stubborn Lola and set out for our adventure.

It all began very “single file” until we grew comfortable with our new four-legged companions and decided who was going to get away with the most attitude.

I wasn’t going to let Lola run the show.

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We hit the trails and fanned out among the rocky pathways going down the mountain.

Riding a horse was much easier than I had imagined. Pulling left took us left, pulling right took us right and pulling back made us stop.

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Lola and I pulled away from the group and went exploring up grassy ridges and back down rocky hills.

We sped up on the open fields and (one of us) tried to stop for a snack on the edge of a picturesque lookout point.  It wasn’t me.

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Eventually, it was time to head back to the stables.

I knew it, Lola knew it.. and perhaps that’s why she ambled along behind the rest of the group, stalling for time and soaking up the open space.

We took one last look out at the fading valley and turned back toward the farm.

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This trip was made possible by the Israel Ministry of Tourism.
All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Have you ever been horseback riding?

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16 Responses to “Horseback Riding in Israel”

  1. acn
    October 21, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

    It’s just a terrific–would love to try it

  2. Kellie @ The Fundamental Alchemist
    October 22, 2013 at 12:30 am #

    Great idea! Really never thought of horse riding in Israel but I’m going there next year and this would fit right in. Great photos.

    • Seattle Dredge
      October 22, 2013 at 8:30 am #

      Try to do it at Vered HaGalil if you can–the hotel there (private cottages) also makes my top 5 accommodations list, so you should stay there if you can 😀

      • Kellie @ The Fundamental Alchemist
        October 22, 2013 at 8:42 am #

        Good to know! Depends on price but I’m saving money on part of my trip by staying with a friend in Tel Aviv so perhaps I could splash out a bit for the other part :O) I’ll look into it.
        Kellie @ The Fundamental Alchemist recently posted..Disney Sea: A Wet Beginning

        • Seattle Dredge
          October 23, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

          Maybe you and your friends could pool together if it’s over your price range. I wish I has stayed there with friends!

  3. nicole | the wondernuts
    October 22, 2013 at 1:29 am #

    a long time ago when I was a kid, I went horseback riding. And I kept saying “woah” because I was scared. And the horse kept slowing down to a stop. I could not figure out the correlation.
    nicole | the wondernuts recently posted..What Travel is About: That “Wow” Moment

    • Seattle Dredge
      October 22, 2013 at 8:31 am #

      Haha I can just imagine that 😀 Have you been since then?

  4. Muza-chan
    October 22, 2013 at 2:21 am #

    Great photos 🙂
    Muza-chan recently posted..Food-serving Karakuri doll

  5. CNJ
    October 22, 2013 at 6:07 am #

    Looks like fun

  6. Alfred
    October 22, 2013 at 6:16 am #

    What an adventure!

  7. moncler jakke
    October 22, 2013 at 6:18 am #

    Of course, this looks amazing

  8. Jennifer
    October 25, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    I love horseback riding! My parents had horses when I was young but had to sell them. So I never miss a chance to go riding when traveling. And those views are gorgeous!

    • Seattle Dredge
      October 25, 2013 at 9:55 am #

      Aw, it must have been awesome to have them in the first place, but sad to sell them. That sounds like a cool travel theme though.. searching for different places to ride horses around the world

  9. Stephanie - The Travel Chica
    October 29, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

    Nice photos! Mine are always crap when riding a horse 🙂
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..Simple luxury, natural balance

  10. Nancy D. Brown
    December 6, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

    Hi Seattle,
    We met in Biloxi, Mississippi. My blog theme is on searching for different places to ride around the world. I have not yet ridden horseback in Israel. Would you be interested in a guest post?

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