Horseback Riding Policies
Each day on the ranch, riders will have at least two opportunities for western-style horseback riding. The Kids’ Program will have a morning horseback ride, but if families would like to ride together, there are afternoon family rides scheduled at times throughout the week. Before you arrive you will be scheduled with a horse and saddle for your entire stay based on your riding preferences. Your horse will be chosen based on the information you have provided on your Activity Information form. All guests will be asked to complete an orientation and walking ride during the first day of their vacation, unless they are returning guests. This gives our wranglers a chance to orient you to the barn and give you a chance to meet your horse and make any adjustments to your saddle and riding equipment for the rest of the week.
Horseback riding is only available to those riders under 240 pounds or athletically built. Horseback trail riding is available to ages 3 & up. Kids, ages 3-6, may be led depending on their ability. Riders with questions regarding medical considerations should contact the ranch and/or have a doctor’s note prior to arriving. Advanced riding is available at Red Horse Mountain Ranch once the rider passes the advanced test. Each rider should fill out the Activity Information Form when making their reservations. If you have any questions regarding the horseback riding policies, please contact the Ranch Manager at (888) 689-9680 ext 2.
Horse Safety Program
The Red Horse Mountain Ranch has been as a member ranch in Horse Safety Program since it’s beginning. The program is a reflection of a proactive approach by the Dude Ranchers’ Association to promote good safe horse programs. The program provides an educational opportunity through two seminars. These seminars promote continual evaluation of safety procedures and skills.
This program is a reflection of the member ranches and our responsibility to give guest riders enjoyable horseback riding vacations along with exercising the highest degree of care. Each certified ranch must be re-certified every three years. The owner, operator or manager must attend both seminars to complete or update current certification. Be sure and look for the DRA Horse Safety Logo before you book your dude ranch vacation.
Your Own Horse for the Week.
Horses are certainly front and center at Red Horse Mountain Ranch and we offer all types of Horseback riding during your dude ranch vacation. All rides will be leaving the valley floor to unique vistas, viewpoints, or peaks except for the horseback rides with the younger children. Advanced and beginnerhorseback riding is available. Advanced riders must complete the advanced test, allowing us to see your ability to control the horse and to make sure you and your horse are a good match. And each guest, 3 years old and up, will be given a horse and a saddle for the entire time they’re on the ranch.
Kid’s Program Horseback Riding
Children, ages 3 – 11, are welcomed to participate in the Kids’ Trail Ride, while the little “buckaroos” (ages 3-6) will enjoy horseback riding in our ranch valley. The rides are geared towards the age group involved. Little cowboy and cowgirl boots are available to borrow, but parents beware, kids usually want to keep their boots at the end of the week for souvenirs and we’ll need them for another adventure. We also require each kid to wear a horseback riding helmet which will be provided for their stay. Once each child has met their horse and is fit to their saddle we will venture off into the ranch valley or onto gently sloping hills. Horseback riding inherently offers lessons in focus, assertiveness and self-awareness. Parents and kids, 12 & up, may join the Kids’ Trail Ride if space is available.
Family Horseback Riding
Family horseback rides give parents with kids, 3 and over, a chance to ride together while at the ranch. The wranglers will make sure you and your children are comfortable and properly equipped. Family rides are also at the discretion of the wrangler. Family rides are usually shorter than most rides for the sake of the children.
Advanced Horseback Riding
The Advanced Horseback Ride is a combination of walking, trotting, and cantering and is offered a number of times throughout the week. This horseback ride is absolutely exhilarating and, as always, your safety is most important. Even an accomplished rider will tell you that every horse is different and it takes a little time for you to meet. We make sure you and your horse are ready to kick it up a notch before heading out on the trail. All riders wishing to do the Advanced Ride, regardless of riding experience, will be tested by our wranglers prior. Talk with your experienced wranglers to see if you could use a few pointers to advance your trail riding experience. The Advanced Rides are only available in the mornings since typical afternoon heat during the summer is too warm for the horses to do advanced riding.
Scenic Horseback Riding
You’ll have 300,000 acres with miles of trails, a knowledgeable wrangler, a trusty horse, and the ability to go wherever your skills can take you during our horseback riding vacations! Every morning the wranglers have your horse saddled and waiting for you when you decide to ride. The wranglers will make sure you are comfortable and properly equipped before you get on your horse. If you need a few pointers, don’t hesitate to ask your wrangler for a little help. Please remember that your safety and the horses’ safety are always kept in mind. We have a variety of riding trails, all of which leave the valley floor and climb into the surrounding mountains. Enjoy riding through pastures, along wide trails, on open hillsides, and through narrow, wooded paths. We recommend you bring your camera. Each scenic trail ride will last between 2-4 hours.
All Day Horseback Rides
On certain days of the week, an all-day ride is also available. You will experience the backwoods, creek basins, and breathtaking views from ridge lines. A lunch will be made for you to take in your saddle bags. Be prepared for this ride. Wear layers; the weather may not be the same atop the ridges as it is down in the valley. Typically, most all-day rides climb and descend a total of 8,000 feet in elevation. The All-Day Rides are approximately 6 hours in length, returning you back to the ranch in the mid-afternoon.
Horseback Riding Lessons
Our goal while you’re here at the ranch is to become comfortable with your horse. Each afternoon prior to dinner, horseback lessons are available from a few of our wranglers. You’ll only need to sign up for the horseback lessons and there is no extra charge. It’s best to talk with your wrangler at the lesson and give them a few tips on what you’re wanting to work on. Horseback riding lessons are a great way to improve and work on your horsemanship during your week stay at the ranch.