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According to Ranch Rider, now there could be even more reason to book your brood on a riding holiday, as a recent study* has revealed that riding horses boosts memory, problem solving and learning in children.
Scientific researchers from the Toyko University of Agriculture discovered that the vibrations created by horses while being ridden activates the area of the brain known as the sympathetic nervous system. This means, while your child is sat in the saddle, their cognitive ability may be greatly enhanced.
Ranch Rider offers a wide range of family friendly ranch holidays across North America and a selection of cattle farms, wilderness tented camps and luxury lodges in South Africa suited to those with kids in tow.
Stay between 14 May and 11 June and save over £420pp on deluxe accommodation at Arizona’s White Stallion Guest Ranch. Located in Tucson, children as young as five are allowed to ride across the dusty desert trails, while tots are able to enjoy guided horseback adventures in the arena. The real Western deal, there’s always time for a hayride and an evening of line dancing. Seven nights from only £1,275pp (two sharing) and from £956pp (two to 11 years) including accommodation, meals, most ranch activities, taxes, transfers and gratuities. Excludes return flight from £879pp and from £765pp (under 12 years). Any day departures. Full price £1,702pp (two sharing).
Also based in Tucson, why not enjoy a £192pp discount on the normal weekly rate at the neighbouring Tanque Verde Resort Ranch. Pint size, John Wayne’s and Calamity Janes will have the opportunity to saddle up - those aged six and above heading off on trail rides and younger children riding in the arena. The ranch's supervised children’s programme runs year round and is open to kids aged from four to 12 years. The perfect excuse for some "me time," parents have the option to book treatments at the on site, La Sonora Spa. Seven nights from £1,159pp (two sharing) and from £1,155pp (four to 17 years) including accommodation, meals, ranch activities (including riding), taxes, transfers and gratuities. Excludes return flight from £890pp and from £775pp (under 12 years). The offer is valid on departures from 01 May to 31 October. Any day departures. Full price £1,351pp (two sharing).
Alternatively, saddle up in South Africa’s malaria free, Waterberg region and stay at Ant’s Nest. The whole family will be able to view a wide variety of game on horseback including the majestic rhino, while pony rides for beginners or under fours, ‘Bug & Spoor’ walks (where younger guests can learn to become a ranger) and horse riding lessons are also available. Save upwards of £330pp with Ranch Rider’s special offer of seven nights for the price of six. Departing 01 May – 09 July, 01 Sept – 31 Oct and 01 Nov - 14 Dec. Seven nights from £1,990pp (two sharing) and from £965 (four to 11 years) including accommodation, meals, drinks (including alcohol) activities (including riding, game drives), use of facilities and taxes. Excludes transfers from £410, gratuities left to discretion and return flight from £890pp and from £775pp (under 12 years). Any day departures. Full price £2,320pp (two sharing).
* The study, which was published in Frontiers in Public Health, involved asking children to complete simple response and mathematical tests, before and after taking part in horse riding.