Horse Riding & Trekking
photo © Discovering Finland
One of the best ways of experiencing Finland’s unique landscapes and nature is on a horse riding holiday. One of Europe’s last wildernesses, the country is covered with endless forests and lakes, and much of Finland is utterly unspoilt, making it ideal for horse riding and horse trekking.
On horseback you get the chance to penetrate the depths of these forests and to venture into part of the unspoilt landscape that may be too challenging to reach on foot. In these old forests live owls, woodpeckers, grouse, elk, bears, wolves, lynx and wolverine. From horseback you will get the closest views of this wonderful wildlife as well as the opportunity to ride over rugged ridges and river valleys, rapids and canyons, thick forests and fens.
In Finland there are very dramatic contrasts between its seasons, and both summer and winter in Finland offer unique experiences for the traveller. With Midsummer skies filled with up to 24 hours of daylight, horse rides can be of great length, while the frozen landscapes of the winter months are almost magical in their purity. And of course you can combine an equestrian holiday in the Finnish winter with lots of other unique experiences, like visiting Santa in his village, or enjoying a sleigh ride pulled by reindeer.
The Finnish Horse is a strong, steady, good-tempered animal, with excellent endurance and character. This breed was the all-round workhorse on Finnish farms, used for everything from riding to hauling logs out of the forest. On a riding tour you will get the chance to know your horse well, as well as the unspoiled wilderness that might be too challenging to reach on foot.
You can find horseback treks and horse stables all over Finland, although northern and eastern Finland, like Oulanka and Koli, are the most popular territories for horseback treks. Most of the horse stables are concentrated in southern and central Finland. Ypäjä in southwestern Finland is said to be the equine capital of Finland.