Belarus offers fun rides, equestrian escapes, horse riding lessons, and hippotherapy (therapeutic riding)…
Horse riding is a great way to spend holidays in Belarus. Picturesque nature, a possibility to enjoy fun rides almost all the year round, and old equestrian traditions are among the reasons for the growing popularity of equestrian tourism in Belarus.
Belarus has dozens of horse riding schools and clubs offering a variety of services, like fun rides and horse riding lessons…
Fun rides and britzka riding (britzka is a type of horse-drawn carriage) are offered in many rural tourism estates, ethnography museums and zoos. Carriage excursions are also available in Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park.
Tourists can choose one of many interesting routes designed for one or more days. For example, the Golden Horseshoe route (Glubokoye District, Vitebsk Oblast) passes through the former estate of Count Molet and the Belarusian Versailles, which is a landscaped park in the village of Mosar. During the ride tourists have an opportunity to learn about a traditional way of life of Belarusian peasants and try Belarusian dishes at rural tourism estates.
Rural tourism estates specializing in equestrian tourism offer a variety of tours for beginners and experienced riders. These tours combine horse riding and sightseeing. There are also camping tours and riding competitions.
Hippotherapy is gaining ground in Belarus. Equestrian schools and clubs and horse breeders offer rehabilitation programs for children suffering from severe diseases.
The National Olympic Training Center for Equestrian Sports and Horse Breeding in the village of Ratomka near Minsk (Republican Centre of Olympic training for Equestrian Sports and Horse Breeding) has been the major ground for providing professional training for Belarusian riders and horses for many years.
The center was set up in 1996 at the Dovator national junior Olympic training school and a stud farm that were established back in the 1960s.
Since 1998 Ratomka has been hosting international horse trials of the one-star and two-star levels. It 2006 Ratomka was granted the right to hold three-star events.
In 2007 the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) awarded Belarus the right to host Eventing World Cup Series for the first time. Today Belarus is the only country in Eastern Europe to host this large-scale tournament.
Every year the Ratomka center hosts international and national championships in equestrian sport: eventing, show jumping, and dressage. Visitors to the competitions can see demonstrations by the best Belarusian and foreign equestrians and participate in entertainment events.
Today Ratomka is not only a venue for tournaments and a training ground, but also a large tourism center.
It offers tours, fun rides, riding lessons, hippotherapy, spectacular festivals, and celebrations. The services include:
The tour takes visitors to the Belarus sports achievements museum and a stud farm named after Lev Dovator that breeds the Trakehner horses.
In Ratomka there is a hotel, a sport and recreation facility, cafes, other facilities for recreation and sports.
Address: 136 Koritskogo Street, Ratomka, Minsk District
You can get to Ratomka from Minsk by car or by public transport:
Pedigree horses have been valued in Belarus from down the ages, and thousands of merchants from around Europe flocked to Belarusian trade fairs.
One of the most renowned was Annensky Kirmash (St. Anna Fair) in the Belarusian town of Zelva (second biggest behind Leipzig Trade Fair), which, starting from the 18th century, has featured not only big sales of horses but also various competitions.
The fair has been revived to once again become an annual gathering in Zelva (Grodno Oblast). The fair, which is held every August, displays numerous shopping stalls, spectacular concerts, master classes, horse exhibitions and shows, carriage rides.
Different cities of Belarus host fabulous medieval festivals where one can enjoy knight tournaments and historical battle reenactments with the participation of horses:
Minsk hosts an international horse show that gathers breeders and representatives of the equestrian industry from Belarus and abroad. The program of the exhibition includes demonstration of horse breeds, competitions, costumed riding, a racers’ show, reenactments…