Annette my dear,
If I may. If you are like me, and it sounds like you are, you might want to eschew the riding “holidays” and head to something vastly more challenging. I would suggest- and please use my name- that you look into Zavkhan Travel. I am about to head to Mongolia with these folks. They have rides to places that few of us can pronounce, much less even imagine. Long, 2–3 week trips into horse cultures, camping every night, good guides, and unbelievable scenery. I am going to Siberia (YES) with them next August after I move. I strongly recommend them. Owned by a NZ guy, one of the guides is Jen from Maine, who speaks both Russian and Kazakh. SUPERB. THIS is real riding. REAL adventure. There aren’t many outfits that do this, these folks are the real deal. I just signed up for an Ethiopian trip that John, the owner recommended (it is run by Equus, which on occasion has a real camping trip like this). Eight days of riding, all camping- in this case I am taking my own tent for privacy-at about 12,000 in the Bale Mountains. Again these trips exist, but you have to do some sleuthing. The other is Kaskazi, run by a simply lovely Swedish woman in Tanzania. Again, please use my name, who knows what it might get you. This last offers gorgeous riding, wonderful horses, riding in the middle of herds (others do, too, but I know Jo and strongly recommend her). None of these is cheap, but let’s be clear. This kind of adventure by horse is getting very hard to get these days. Let me know if I can help in any way. I want you to get out and RIDE.