Easter on Horseback

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I have many friends who celebrate having time off for the holidays by going horseback riding. Lots of people take equestrian vacations around this time when many people are off for spring break. Around the world, various cultures celebrate Easter by including horses.

In Upper Lusatia in the German state of Saxony on Easter morning Catholic riders in Bautzen and some surrounding towns and villages travel to their local parishes singing songs in the Sorbian language on horseback. Bautzen is located in the southeastern Germany near the borders to the Czech Republic and Poland. This traditional ride, where horses are decorated with ornaments and riders wear traditional top hats, black coats and riding boots, is thought to date back to pre-Christian times.

In London, a lively Easter horse parade began to promote horse care. Back in 1886, the London Harness Horse Parade began at Battersea Park to call attention to the conditions of cart horses in the city. In 1904, the London Van Horse Parade was founded to also promote horse welfate. The annual parades are now joined and take place on Easter Monday this year at the South of England Centre. Commercial and private horse drawn vehicles draw spectators to take in beautiful Dutch Friesians, Shires, Gelderlander's and other heavy horses.

On Easter Monday in Merano, Italy, spectators gather to watch Haflinger races for the annual Farmer's Gallop Race, which inaugurates the start of the racing season.

Learn more about Equitrekking on PBS and the Equitrekking episodes on DVD and learn about exceptional equestrian vacations and special equestrian events you can visit on vacation at EquitrekkingTravel.com. Follow Equitrekking on Facebook and @Equitrekking and @DarleyNewman on Twitter.