Posts Tagged ‘horseback riding vacation’

Welcome to Willow Ranch Valemount

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Super Natural British Columbia is home to many great guest ranches and Willow Ranch is one of them.  This newly built guest ranch features cozy cabins situated in the middle of the forest surrounded by views of the majestic Canadian Rocky Mountains. Located only 5 minutes from Highway 5 the ranch is conveniently close to the town of Valemount making it the ideal vacation choice for a one night stay while travelling around Canada or perhaps even longer for those looking to kick off their boots and relax a spell.

BC Guest Ranch

Willow Ranch

There are 4 modern cabins to choose from: Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter all of which feature a kitchen, dishwasher and microwave for your convenience. A separate bedroom has a comfortable king-size bed and there is a pull-out couch in the living room for additional guests as well as a bathroom. Since they are located on McLennan Forrest Road ATV’s and snowmobiles can easily access them as well. There is also direct access to walking and horseback riding trails.

There are endless horseback riding opportunities available as the ranch is surrounded by crown land (forest and mountains) and there truly is no better way to experience the Canadian mountains than from atop a horse. Guests can choose from several types of rides that can be tailored to fit their specific needs and for those who have never ridden before there are classes available too!

BC Guest Ranch

Willow Ranch

Explorer Ride

1.5 hour ride which has everything that a good trail ride needs. It goes through forest, climbs up the mountainside with some great views over the valley. A very nice ride for any level rider, as the route can be adjusted to meet particular rider’s needs and abilities.

Viewpoint Ride

A half day ride through the mountains with amazing views.

Pony Trail

For smaller kids there is a pony ride, a fun loop which takes about 30 minutes. The horses are held by qualified staff members to keep it safe and fun even for the littlest kids.

Pony Experience

For 1st time riders there is the pony experience where qualified wranglers take their time to teach a little bit about horses, grooming and tack and afterwards guests can go on a shirt ride.

 

Be sure to ask about Willow Ranch’s fantastic combo deals like their “one night & ride” for travellers just passing through which combines their Explorer Ride with a night stay in one of their cabins. Of course the ranch can also help you complete your Canadian horse holiday dream by filling up your days with riding, horse whispering demonstrations and workshops. Whatever your needs the staff at Willow Ranch are happy to customize your stay to suit your specific vacation needs. For those traveling with their own horses and looking for somewhere to stop for a night or two Willow Ranch has pens with shelter ready that are big enough to keep two horses.

BC Guest Ranch

Cabin in the winter

Next time you are travelling through Canada be sure to consider a stop at Willow Ranch Valemount!

Happy Trails!

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation!

Horseback Riding For Beginners at a Dude Ranch

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Horseback riding can be both a thrilling and challenging experience since interacting with such a large animal requires a specific level of expertise and patience. When done properly, horseback riding can be exciting, therapeutic and relaxing all at the same time. There are studies that show that horseback riding is beneficial for intellectual and emotional processes. Also, you’ll gain an appreciation of the symbiotic relationship created between you and your horse.

horseback riding

Horseback riding is one of the main activities you can enjoy while on a dude ranch vacation. If you have never ridden a horse before, you can prepare yourself in advance before your trip. Horseback riding for newbies can seem a little bit daunting at first but once you get going you’ll catch on quickly. Here are some tips to help beginners get started:

1. Get a head start. Find an equestrian center or horse ranch in your area and get some practice time in the saddle  or lessons before your trip. Most dude ranches will give beginners some instruction but if you want to arrive ready to hop on a horse and ride, taking some lessons beforehand will allow you to get ahead of the game.

Riding Horses

3. Get proper riding attire. As a beginner rider, you must have a helmet specifically made for horseback riding. A riding helmet should be purchased since riding helmets covers more of the head and are designed to protect riders against falls while riding. Other types of helmets aren’t suitable for riding.

Boots needs to be flat-soled, pointed, and they should have a short heel, all to aid the simple removal of the boot from the stirrup in case anything goes wrong.

4. Prepare yourself mentally. It is very important that you are able to control your feelings while riding a horse. A relaxed and calm demeanor is best as your horse can sense the way you feel. If you lack confidence your horse will sense this and will be harder to control. Remember, your horse doesn’t know that you are a beginner so act confident and trust yourself and each other.

5.Prepare yourself physically. Strength and balance work together to help you relax and communicate with your horse so you can have the best ride possible. There are various exercises available that can help strengthen a rider and make them feel more secure in the saddle. Many of these can be found here

5. Start with an experienced horse. Once you start riding, it is very important that you begin with a very experienced horse so at least one of you understands the routine. As you become more comfortable in the saddle you will have the opportunity to ride horses more suited for experienced riders. As you do, you’ll soon realize they’re all different, just like people.

Experienced horses

Horseback riding for beginners is very exciting and with the proper training you will be able to enjoy all that this fun activity can offer you.

Should I Book a Guest Ranch Vacation?

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

Heck ya you should book a guest ranch vacation for your next holiday! Guest ranches are a great choice for families, couples and solo travelers alike. With so many different destinations to choose from in the United States, Canada and Mexico how could you possibly go wrong? Here are just a few reasons why you should forgo the typical beach vacation in favour of a fun, western themed getaway.

 

HORSEBACK RIDING

This is probably the #1 reason to go to a guest ranch. Who doesn’t love the idea of saddling-up and exploring scenic vistas from atop a horse? It doesn’t matter whether you are a first time rider because qualified wranglers will teach you the basics so that you feel comfortable out on the trails. If you are an advanced rider many guest ranches will tailor exciting rides to match your experience level. Some guest ranches even offer overnight pack trips.

Horseback riding

Horseback riding

Multiple Activities to Choose From

Aside from horseback riding the majority of guest ranches offer a plethora of activities to choose from. You can hike or mountain bike on scenic trails, kayak or canoe on beautiful lakes, rent an ATV, try your hand at fly-fishing, learn a new skill like archery or rifle shooting, or zoom along a zip-line or participate in a cattle drive. These are just a few of the exciting activities that guest ranches offer. The possibilities are endless. Be sure to ask each guest ranch what activities they include.

Hiking

Hiking

The All-Inclusive Package

The majority of guest ranches utilize the “all-inclusive” vacation concept. This means that you pay upfront for your accommodations, meals and in many cases most of your activities are included too. There may be some additional costs but in general your vacation can be budgeted for in advance. You can also customize your vacation to suit your specific needs. Another added benefit is if you are a solo traveler many guest ranches don’t add an extra premium for single vacationers.

Spa-aaah Time

Just because you are staying at a guest ranch it doesn’t mean that you can’t indulge in some quality me-time as well. Many guest ranches are considered spa destinations as well with qualified spa technicians available to cater to your every wish. After a day of riding there is nothing better than a relaxing massage to soothe sore muscles.  When booking your guest ranch vacation be sure to ask whether they offer spa services if that is on your vacation wish-list.

Spa Time

Spa Time

The Dining Experience

Meals can break or make a vacation! Guest ranches take pride in the food that they serve their guests. This can mean gourmet meals prepared by a culinary chef or simple hearty home-cooked meals that rely on old family favourite recipes. Whichever the case may be you will be treated to satisfying meals that will leave you asking for seconds. If you have special dietary concerns be sure to let your guest ranch know in advance so that they can accommodate your needs.

Hospitality at its Finest

A guest ranch isn’t part of a hotel chain. More often than not the guest ranch that you choose for your next vacation has a long, interesting, family history. You will be welcomed into their home as a guest but once you leave you will feel like family. Guest ranches are famous for their down home hospitality and in many cases they boast a high rate of returning guests.

Disconnect and Re-connect

A vacation at a guest ranch gives you the opportunity to disconnect from the digital world since many guest ranches are off the beaten path cell service isn’t always readily available; although, you can usually find somewhere on-site to access WiFi if need be. Disconnecting from the digital world allows you and your loved ones to re-connect with each other and your surroundings and isn’t that what a vacation should be all about?

Re-connect with nature

Re-connect with nature

Kid-friendly Programs

Many guest ranches have special programs tailored specifically for your kids. Aside from being fun they are often educational as well. This gives parents a chance to participate in more adult orientated activities or perhaps indulge in a relaxing spa treatment or simple enjoy some time together as a couple. Parents can feel comfortable knowing that their children are being taken care of by responsible staff members and most importantly that their little-ones or not so little-ones are meeting new friends and having a blast.

Specialty Weeks

Throughout the year guest ranches usually offer specialty weeks. Depending on the ranch this could include girls’ only weeks, cattle drives, horsemanship clinics, artistic events, culinary events, adults’ only weeks and of course special holiday celebration weeks. Be sure to ask what events and specials are offered during the year at the guest ranch that you are interested in for your next vacation.

 

These are just a few of the reasons that when you next decide to pack your bags you should consider choosing a guest ranch as your vacation destination. RanchSeeker can help you find the perfect guest ranch for you!

Happy Trails!

RanchSeeker’s Photo of the Week: Gros Ventre River Ranch

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Gros Ventre River Ranch in Moose, Wyoming, is considered a premier Jackson Hole dude ranch that offers all-inclusive vacation stays. Nestled on the banks of the Gros Ventre River this ranch boasts spectacular views of the Teton Range. With 30 to 40 guests per week you will be treated like family.

If you love to horseback ride then this is the guest ranch for you. The morning after you arrive wranglers will assign you a horse for the week that best matches your experience level and riding style. There are several rides to choose from like scenic walking rides or more challenging rides that take you into the surrounding hills near the ranch. With two rides a day available and also an all-day picnic ride the amount of time you spend in the saddle is up to you.

Wyoming guest ranch

Gros Ventre River Ranch

Other fun activities to choose from are fly-fishing and hiking or if you are in the need of a jolt of adrenaline then try your hand at white-water rafting or a tandem parachute jump off of the 10,450 foot summit of Rendezvous Mountain. Looking to slow down? There are several golf courses in the area too. Or simply kick back in one of the hammocks found hanging between the trees throughout the front yard or curl up in one of the soft chairs by the fireplace in the main lodge. Kids love to hang out in their own rec room which comes complete with foosball, ping pong, puzzles, games, movies and more.

Accommodations include either cabins, log lodges or the homestead house. All options can be rented in whole or in part depending on your group’s needs and size. Meals at Gros Ventre River Ranch are served family-style and are chef-prepared. Adults can enjoy cocktails in the lounge and soak up the beautiful Wyoming sunsets while relaxing on the porch. After dinner the whole family can get together for a game of pool or play some table games while in the main lodge.

So next time that you are considering a vacation why not choose Gros Ventre River Ranch where you will find western luxury for your inner cowboy.

Happy Trails!

RanchSeeker’s Photo of the Week: Coulter Lake Guest Ranch

Friday, August 21st, 2015

Coulter Lake Guest Ranch is a small year round guest ranch located in Rifle, Colorado. Nestled in a beautiful valley on the shores of a pristine mountain lake guests at the ranch are treated to the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains as well as abundant wildlife. Ideal for summer vacations, family reunions, wedding, business retreats, hunting opportunities and winter getaways since each package can be customized to start and end your days to fit your schedule.

Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of the two trail rides that are offered every day. From atop a horse you will see the Colorado Rockies like no other way so be sure to take your camera. Each guest is matched to a horse that best suits their riding abilities. Whether you are a first time rider or have ridden your whole life Coulter Lake Guest Ranch has the horse for you. There are scenic walking rides and loping on most trails or you can choose to take lessons to improve your skills. You can choose to ride as often or as little as you like.

When guests aren’t off riding they can often be found in the lake. With activities like kayaking, canoeing, fishing or simply swimming out to the platform to cool off on a hot day the lake provides kids and adults with hours of entertainment. And this being Colorado there are many other opportunities as well for avid fishermen to fish the superb trout rivers, nearby streams and mountain lakes. Hiking enthusiasts won’t be disappointed either since no matter what direction they choose beautiful trails await them.  For the more adventurous half day white water raft trips are available and for those that like to golf there is a course nearby. If you feel like a short drive you can also visit Colorado’s wineries and orchards in Palisades or book a massage at one of the spas in Glenwood.

Colorado Guest Ranch

Coulter Lake Guest Ranch

At the end of a fun-filled day of activities or a relaxing day spent by the lake guests can retire to their own cabin by the lake or among the aspen trees all within an easy walk to the main Lodge. Each cabin has 1-3 bedrooms, a sitting area, a private bathroom with shower, and a front porch with incredible views of the lake and mountains. For those nights that get chilly all but one cabin has a fireplace and all of them have heating systems. Meals are served either in the lodge’s dining room or al fresco at one of the outdoor locations. Expect family-style meals with a western gourmet flair.

Coulter Lake Guest Ranch will provide you and your loved ones with a memorable vacation that will have you coming back year after year.

Happy Trails!