There’s no better way to discover Skåne’s countryside than on horseback. Ride in the whirling winter snow, or gallop through the lush green summer forests. Take a tour on Western saddles, gallop along on a full blood, or jump on an icelandic horse. Take a two hour tour, or a day long trek along white sandy beaches and golden leaved forests.
Horseback riding in the south of Sweden
Horseback riding has always been a way of life here, inherent to a region traditionally characterized by its rich agricultural heritage. This guide gives you a head start when planning your equestrian adventures in Skåne, as well as some tips on where to stay if you travel with your own horse or would like to rent one. If you are visiting just to enjoy some of the numerous riding contests, we will guide you to the most comprehensive sources of information as well.
Equestrian diversity in Skåne
Skåne has plenty to offer the avid horse enthusiast. If you bring your own horse, there is a number of Bed & Box alternatives available to accommodate you and your horse. Virtually any type of riding activity or horse can be found on tap in this region. Western style riding, reigning, Gymkhana, Arabian studs, ponies, Shetland ponies, Icelandic horses, trail riding - you name it, Skåne has it. A good start for the first time visitor is to contact the local equestrian federation (www.skaneridsport.se) for the latest updates and information. If you are traveling without horse and want to pair your visit to Skåne with some equestrian adventure and fun, there are also several possibilities to rent horses. Below are a few examples listed, but there is a vast number of options of which you can find at this link http://hastkartan.se/Skane/turridning-hastuthyrning
Tour riding in Skåne
Aktiv Western Häst – Western style riding in the lush forest of Torup
Located in Torup, in close proximity of Malmö, this small riding school offers guided tours with western style riding in the beautiful forests surrounding the ancient Torup Castle. There are tours for beginners as well as for more experienced riders and the combination of open meadows with grazing cows and the beech forests of the area offers an experience that soothes the soul. This area is a popular destination for weekend excursions and you might want to combine your riding tour with a visit to the Torup Castle or a cup of coffee at the quaint café in the old preserved farm that is kept as a museum, Statarmuseet. Read more about Aktiv Western Häst's website
Kullabergs Islandshästar – Icelandic horses and dramatic scenery
The nature reserve of Kullaberg is famous for its beautiful views of Öresund and its dramatic nature and scenery. Kullaberg Islandshästar operates different tours on horseback in the area, suitable both for experienced riders and for beginners. One of the popular trails leads to Mölle, where you stop for lunch at a local pottery before heading back through the lush beech forest. Find more information at Kullabergs' website
Söderåsens turridning – Haflinger Horses in beautiful nature reserve
Just east of Helsingborg you find Söderåsen National Park. With deep valleys, beautiful tallus slopes and lush beech forests this is one of the largest, uninterrupted expanses of protected deciduous forest in northern Europe. For an equestrian adventure out of the ordinary, head to Söderåsens Turridning and join one of their numerous guided tours. Here you will get to know the sturdy, chestnut coloured Haflinger horse with its characteristic light mane and tail. With its calm temperament and quiet, kind nature it makes for the perfect companion when you set of to explore this impressive part of Skåne. Read more at Söderåsen's website
Bridle paths with a view
Skåne has some of the most diverse and changing terrain in all of Sweden. This is a region forged by a history of agriculture and characterized by the ever-present coastline, vast pastures, sharp cliffs, long beaches and sprinkles of forests. The variety is unique, and in Skåne you really can have it all since the distances are so short in this compact region. Traversing Skåne in any direction never takes more than about an hour and a half, even if you are towing a trailer. And to top it all off, you are actually allowed to ride your horse even on privately owned land, which enables you to experience parts of the land and nature that in most countries are off limits. This is called the Right of Public Access and it is something that is more or less unique to Sweden.
Horses and the Right of Public Access
To many foreign visitors, the Swedish freedom to wander about almost anywhere you like in the flora and fauna comes as a surprise. Ancient traditions and the Right of Public Access allow anyone access to land, nature and beaches with very few restrictions, and more often than not this applies even if you are on horseback. But while you may take yourself and your horse almost anywhere, there are some rules to take into consideration. Use common sense, respect and courtesy and you will have checked most boxes. Be cautious to not cause any damage. Choose roads and tracks that are robust enough to support the weight of a horse and avoid soft grounds that are easily damaged. If you are planning to ride regularly in a specific area you might want to ask the owner of the land for permission, but if you are just passing through the area there are in general no limitations. Just respect people’s privacy and do not ride close to any houses as they may be someone’s home. Avoid riding on sensitive grounds such as pastures, plantations, meadows and fens. Read more here
Flyinge – the equestrian center of Sweden
Flyinge is the largest and best-known breeding station in Sweden and one of the world’s oldest studs, dating back to the 12th century. Flyinge is considered the epicenter of the Swedish riding community and it is the home of a number of equestrian educational programs as well as a breeding ground for new talents. The vast grounds has long been a working royal stud farm as well as a noble mans’ home for generations. Crossing the courtyard of the main building of Flyinge Kungsgård gives you a sense of history and a feeling of grandeur. Even though the royals have left the building, the trust now in possession of Flyinge has kept with its rich equestrian heritage. Flyinge of today is the epicenter of education, research and training, all related to horses, riding and competition. Visitors with horses are welcomed and a limited number of boxes are available for short-term rent. Human visitors are of course welcome to stay on the premises in the summer months, depending on availability (please check the website). A vast number of good Bed & Breakfasts are also located a short distance away.
Horseback riding trails in Skåne
As you probably have picked up by now, the possibilities for fun, varied and adventurous horseback riding in Skåne are almost endless. Here you can spend the morning in a shadowy forest, noon amidst sunny meadows and fields and then finish your day on a beautiful sandy beach. Below are just a few suggestions of good equestrian trails in Skåne. Check in with the local town’s website to get in touch with the right people for exact information. Below you’ll find a few examples of scenic routes in Skåne to be enjoyed on horseback.
Hovslingan – Open fields and dense forests
This area contains two riding trails of 8 or 12 kilometers in length and is located just south of Hässleholm in northern Skåne. The scenery provides a variety of experiences through beautiful open fields and the dense forests surrounding ancient Hovdala Castle. Car park with room for trailers is provided. There are also paddocks for visiting horses to relax in and barbeque spots for hungry riders. Visit Hovslingan's website for more information
Järavallen – Rich in flora and Fauna
Excellent hiking area open to horses as well. This is a short trail, only 2.5 kilometers long, but the proximity to the coast and open sea makes it well worth a visit as the trail passes through wetlands home to a multitude of rare birds and costal plants. Järavallens hiking area is located between Malmö and Landskrona and easily accessible from the surrounding thoroughfares. Click here for more information about Järavallen
Snogeholm – A ride through history
Around the old royal Snogeholm Castle you will find horse riding trails winding through fields, pastures and forests. As Snogeholm is a working farm, grazing cows will occupy the gated fields. Make sure your horse gets along with other animals and that you are prepared to open and close gates when needed. Plenty of parking for trailers as well as easy unloading and loading is provided. Read more about Snogeholm here.
Riding competitions in Skåne and Southern Sweden
The abundant availability of riding possibilities all over the region are too numerous to list. There are literally hundreds of events going on throughout the year. The best way to keep updated is to get in touch with the regional riders’ association www.skaneridsport.se for the latest and the best. Below are listed a small selection of the biggest events of the year.
Falsterbo Horse Show
With almost a thousand horses and riders, fifty different disciplines and over six hundred people working in the crew, Falsterbo Horse Show is not just any ordinary event. This huge event usually takes place in the first week of July and is well worth a visit. www.falsterbohorseshow.se
If you bring your own horse to Skåne, there are several possibilities for appropriate housing with various degree of service and amenities. Check the list below for a selection of nice stays for you, your family and your horse.