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Four Legged Beauties

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From stout, muscular quarter horses hauling pulling carts to thoroughbreds racing down a course to sleek and elegant stallions prancing to music to ponies roaming freely in the wild, horses are truly beautiful creatures. Their humble cousin, the under appreciated donkey often toils in places where vehicles cannot go. One bray and my heart melts. As AFAR travelers have discovered, you can find these four legged beauties on every continent except one!
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Michaelerplatz 1, 1010 Wien, Austria
The Spanish Riding School is one of the most iconic attractions in all of Austria. It is absolutely unique in the world, and preserves an art so refined and courtly that it transports any viewer back into imperial times. The white horses, the...
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66 Brush Creek Ranch Road, Saratoga, WY 82331, USA

Log cabins and wood-paneled rooms are decked out with potbelly stoves or open-hearth fireplaces, wood-carved dressers, and leather armchairs, providing a snug respite after an action-packed day of western adventure. In the surrounding 15,000 acres...

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Praça São João Quadrado, Porto Seguro - BA, 45818-000, Brazil
Walk along the beaches of Trancoso and you are certain to see tourists trotting down the sand on horseback. There are a number of locals who lead horseback rides down the coast. But Etnia Club del Mar's staff works with a trusted outfitter that...
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Central Europe
Poland, perhaps surprisingly, has a longstanding tradition of breeding some of the finest Arabian horses in the world. The stables of Janów Podlaski State Stud (Stadnina Koni Janów Podlaski), pictured here, are among the most magical places on...
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Camí de Binissaida, 108, 07720 Es Castell, Illes Balears, Spain
To really get to know the Spanish island of Minorca, be prepared to sit atop a saddle. The island has a love affair with a breed of horse: the graceful, strong, coal-black Minorcan. While donkeys traditionally worked the fields, the Minorcan was...
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Jordan
A couple days after seeing the Pyramids we came to Petra and were completely blown away. The walk through the canyon only builds up the excitement and then the Treasury appears immediately in front of you. The Pyramids might have been one of the...
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Costa Rica
At the Hacienda Guachipelin Rincón de la Vieja, an eco lodge and a working horse and cattle ranch, we happily took advantage of the adventure pass that combined four activities. Adventure Tours, located conveniently at the hotel, organized the...
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Bridgetown, Barbados
One of the best days for horse racing in the islands is Boxing Day, or as it’s known in the States, “The Day After Christmas.” This past Boxing Day, I was lucky enough to be in Barbados, so I made a point to pay a visit to the Barbados Turf Club...
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05-660 Warka, Poland
“Horses were driven long before they were ridden" To successfully finish obstacle driving, drivers must weave cleanly through a narrow track outlined by "cones" with balls balanced on top. World Championship in Warka.
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Thera 847 00, Greece
Santorini should be experience by "Donkey". The sense of the Donkey wanting to either walking off the cliff or run over walking humans is so funny. Yet, so freaking scary. During the ride my donkey was moving quite fast up the stairs, the reason...
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Büyükada, 34970 Prince Islands/Istanbul, Turkey
As soon as the ferry pushes away from Kabataş ferry terminal on Istanbul's European side, you can feel the frenetic pace of the city slipping away. Sipping a coffee on the ship's bow, the beautiful scenery and azure Bosphorus waters enchant as the...
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Salzburg, Austria
This two horsepower delivery method may be old fashioned but it is still used to deliver the Stiegel in Salzburg Austria. Steps away from the beautiful cathedral "underneath" the hill top castle we came across the beer delivery while we explored...
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Iceland
Located about an hour northeast from Reykjavík and part of the famed Golden Circle tour (along with Gullfoss), the Geysir hot springs area consists of around a dozen hot water blowholes, including the eponymous Geysir. The...
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After the race in which only a fraction of the riders are serious competitors, trick riding dominates the festival. One such event involves many prayer flags being thrown out on the ground while riders gallop past and attempt to pick up as many as...
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Old Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
There are several excellent viewing pagodas to climb and watch the bloodred sunsets. It's very quiet and peaceful.
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Levant
Bedouin's refer to Arabian horses as drinkers of the wind. I had the good fortune of being taken on a private tour of the royal stables outside of Amman. A gentleman brought out one of the prized studs and he pranced and snorted like a boxer...
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Medina, Meknes, Morocco
The streets are so narrow in the medina, that the only means of transport are the donkeys. They are driven in a frenzy, careening down the pathways, and you must jump out of the way or risk being run down. I think it's a "scare the tourist" game...
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Driving along the Dingle Peninsula with no real sense of direction, my family and I learned that some of the true gems of the Emerald Isle are to be discovered off the beaten path. An internal compass guided us toward the prehistoric Dunbeg Fort....
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Hua Hin District, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thailand
Touristy and potentially overpriced, so get your bartering skills ready; but also a lot of fun (if you like horses). Especially pretty at sunset, and if you head a bit further south on the beach at Hua Hin - nearer the Hyatt hotel, then the crowds...
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6210 Lipica, Slovenia
I insisted on visiting Lipica to see the grounds and the horses since I ride English Hunt Seat. We walked from our farm stay in Tomaj to Lipica just to discover where the World Championship Carriage Competitions were being held that day! What a...
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Lindos 851 07, Greece
Our budget cruise had a full day stop on Rhodes Island. The island is certainly a favourite of mine. The old city is beautiful, but with a whole day, a trip to Lindos is a highlight. The taxi fare is astronomical, so we asked around a little and...
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Main St, Mackinac Island, MI 49757, USA
When I lived in Michigan as a child, we went to Mackinac Island a few times. I mostly remembered horses and fudge from those trips. This year I took my son and husband, met up with a high school friend and her family who live in the U.P., and...
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Machu Pichu, Peru
This month marks the hundred-year-anniversary of the "re-discovery" of this Inca citadel by Hiram Bingham. Machu Picchu deserves its clichés--'place of a lifetime,' 'bucket-list destination'...'mystical'...'amazing'... Sometimes, it's okay...
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Carova Beach, NC 27927, USA
These are the Spanish Colonial Mustangs that reside in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The horses pictures are part of the Corolla (Cor-AH-la) herd. It is a herd of approximately 136 horses, the smallest of all the Spanish mustang herds. The...
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Playa Sun Bay, Vieques 00765, Puerto Rico
We were lying in the sand in Vieques. We'd been told to watch out for horses, but nothing could prepare me for this. What a majestic experience to see wild horses free on the sands of Sun Bay Beach.
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West Bay, Cayman Islands
Grand Cayman outfitter Spirit of the West adds an extra thrill to its horseback-riding adventures. Caymanian owner Paul Rivers leads guests on a nearly two-hour trot along Barkers Beach, one of the island’s most secluded spots. After working up a...