Hi. Zara and Jill here, to tell you how for nearly 20 years, Zara’s Planet has been helping people like you to enjoy horse riding holidays of a lifetime.
From ranch holidays in the USA to safaris in Kenya, playing polo in Argentina to trekking trails in every continent of the world, we’ve seen countless happy people experience horseback heaven – and we look forward to doing the same for you.
Our range of horse riding holidays has been carefully vetted and selected, to ensure that what we offer you is the best selection of the best holidays available anywhere. We offer them at a guaranteed best price too. If you find the same holiday on offer at a lower price through another operator, we will refund you the difference.
Browse our selection of horse riding holidays, and you will find much to tempt you, no matter what your riding ability or experience.
If you are an experienced rider, we can offer you absolute adventure on top-class horses, as we work with the very best operators in the world. Or if you’ve never actually been in the saddle before, that’s no problem, as many of our centre-based rides cater for absolute beginners.
That means you’ll also find your perfect holiday here if you’re an experienced rider with a novice rider travelling with you. Other activities in family-oriented locations mean that partners and children can have a great time too, even if they never get in the saddle at all.
We bring you unrivalled service and knowledge at all times, as either one of our team or one of our trusted experts has experienced the horse riding holiday of your choice. It means that any detailed further information you need on any of our holidays, or even advice on choosing which one is right for you, is just a phone call or e-mail away. We pride ourselves in offering such in-depth personal expertise of the horse riding holidays and the countries you visit.
We and the rest of our team all share your love of horses. We come from competitive riding backgrounds, and you can contact us through our UK and Irish bases at any time. We’re always happy to talk about anything horse-related, and specifically the travels we’ve enjoyed and how you can enjoy them too.
We look forward to hearing from you, and to sending you on a great adventure!
Zara has always had a passion for travel and at last count visited and lived in 40 countries. She grew up with show ponies often breaking, schooling and riding ponies in for a top UK producer. After school she worked on stud farms in Belgium before settling into corporate life where she worked in IT and Travel for Irish companies for over 15 years, most recently as MD of a $500 million travel agency in New York. In 2005 she established Zara's Planet and moved back to Ireland. Zara's three girls, their ponies & horses keep her busy when she's not in the office or travelling. Zara's youngest daughter Sunnibhe (14) currently competes at the 1.20m level on her gorgeous little horse Echo with showjumping Ireland. You'll often find Zara & Sunnibhe hacking for hours through the Dublin mountains if there is a quiet weekend with no competitions! Sadhbh (20) is an accomplished rider having pony evented up to FEI level when younger and now produces young show jumping horses in her spare time, she is at Uni but helps out with the business when she can and last summer worked in Mozambique, South Africa and Botswana helping out our partners. Saoirse (22) is an avid traveller and has worked as a back up rider in South Africa, Botswana, Argentina and Chile. The only member of the family who doesn't ride is her husband, John, he does love wildlife and is a good test dummy for trips that offer options for non riders! Exploring and visiting incredible countries on horses is part of the job and Zara has been lucky enough to ride with some wonderful clients who have become firm friends through Africa, Asia and South America. In 2021 she managed to ride in Sicily with a group of friends and can't wait for 2022 with a big ride to Namibia and Botswana planned!
'Zara’s Planet and riding holidays are my absolute passion. It doesn't feel like work as there is nothing I prefer than planning riding adventures for my clients. I love the hands on aspect and being able to provide a personal service. Combining my passion for horses, people & travel is just such a privilege.'
Jill and her family are heavily involved with horses on a day to day basis, competing regularly in showing competitions across the country. The family's biggest win to date was 'Horse of the Year Show' in the nineties with their 15hh Show Hunter, 'Mr Pemberton'. Most recently Jill campaigned her son Alfie's lead rein show pony Barkway Minstral and had a very successful year in 2015, by qualifying for the Royal International Show at Hickstead, followed by Horse of the Year Show in October 2015 where they took 8th place - we think this was outstanding as they were the only amateurs in the class. Jill's other passion is travel, and when the summer months of competition are over she chills out by travelling to far off and distant places to check out new rides. Jill is very social and each year brings together private groups of friends and clients to travel off on riding adventures, before COVID, there was a last private group escape to ride along the Coffee Trail in Colombia and prior to that an expedition ride that led her and her group across the Andes from Argentina to Chile, there is a great hour long film of the adventure which can be found on the Argentina Over the Andes ride page. In 2022, making up for 2020, even more group trips are afoot, including the Desert Trail in Nambia, Coconut Trail in Brazil and some Classical Dressage training in Seville - and more if possible, think 2022 will be packed full of adventures making up for the last 2 years! Prior to launching Zara's Planet in the UK, Jill spent 15 years in the corporate world, as the Director of a highly successful media agency, representing brands that included the Daily Mail, Independent newspapers, Virgin Radio, Elle & Red Magazine.
'I love people, horses and travel, what better way to combine everything that gets me excited into a business I truly adore. I think what sets us apart is that we REALLY care and all our clients have direct access to us whether it’s by phone, email, Facebook or in person'
Laura and Jill are sisters and Laura has an abundance of experience in customer care from working in the insurance business - Laura is big into horses too and shares the same passion for showing as her sister Jill and can be seen showing during the summer with her 15.2HH Show Hunter Machair. Come winter Laura spends a great a deal of time researching and sourcing new exciting riding holiday destinations.
'I love working with my sister and Zara, we all share the same passions and goals, searching out the most amazing riding destinations which we can offer to our valued clients – it’s exciting, rewarding and interesting, I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to talk to so many horsey people each day, hear about the sort of riding holidays they’d like to book but also about them and the horses they have at home and what they do!'
We believe strongly in responsible tourism at Zara’s Planet Ltd and we hope that you will share our ethics. Especially in less touristic destinations, it is easy to have a negative impact on local communities. By working with local, professional outfits, we vet our partners carefully to make sure that the local effect is positive. You won’t find us packing clients on to bus tours… we believe in travel in small groups and individuals. This is generally better for the local environment and it gives you, the client, a far better holiday experience. You arrive home relaxed, refreshed, inspired and revitalized.
We firmly believe in sustainable tourism which means that we will put a portion of our profits back into carefully selected local projects. We also try to utilize local outfits to encourage and support sustainable tourism. We will be fully transparent in our methods and the level of support that we provide to projects. Current projects that we support financially include a primary school in South Africa and primary schools in Bangladesh where Zara’s Planet has contributed funds for much needed equipment.
A dilemma for us at Zara’s Planet is the negative impact to the environment from air plane emissions, however it is difficult to travel and explore our wonderful world without air travel. We have partnered with the folks at www.climatecare.org, a UK based company who “neutralize” greenhouse gas emissions created by flying through sustainable energy or rainforest restoration. Rainforest restoration is currently the best way to offset gas emissions created by airline travel.
To find out more and offer your support we encourage you to visit www.climatecare.org