Posts Tagged ‘horseback riding’

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!

Horse Care Resolutions For The New Owner

Monday, December 28th, 2015

Have you recently become the proud owner of a horse or involved in helping to look after one? Maybe you’re even thinking about having your own horse one day? If you fit any of these categories, then the following resolutions on how to properly care for and bond with your horse might be useful.

Brush and groom your horse regularly and often.  A well-groomed horse is a happy horse and the amount of care and attention a horse receives is fundamental in creating a unique bond between horse and owner. This special closeness is essential in having a good working rapport during riding sessions and will translate into quicker responsiveness by the horse to your commands in any given situation.

Horse Grooming

Spend lots of time giving your horse positive re-enforcement. The more your horse feels connected and lovingly controlled, the more willing it will be to follow your instructions and be better behaved.

Clean horse stalls at least twice a day and paddocks once a week. No-one likes to live in a dirty environment and this includes horses.  Your horse will appreciate and be more comfortable living in well-maintained quarters.

Clean Horse Stalls

Improve your cardio and you’ll have better control and stamina while on the horse.  Also, this ensures you are fully energized to make split second decisions while riding. Improving physical fitness in general will improve your riding performance.

Improve your balance.  A good exercise is to sit on a balance ball while lifting one leg off the floor at a time. This will improve your overall balance and will facilitate your body control and awareness in the saddle, which will allow for clearer, more precise communication with your horse.

Seated Leg Lifts

Ride without stirrups at least once a week. This helps your overall strength and position, making you a more effective and secure rider.  It’s a good resolution to work without stirrups at least once a week and if youre feeling really ambitious, increase that to two or three times weekly.

Ride other horses if possible. When riding unfamiliar horses, you have to adjust your style to accommodate their quirks and responsiveness. Riding different horses occasionally makes you more aware of your own strengths and weaknesses as a rider, and think about training, riding, and how to convey your desires accurately.  This will help you to ride your own horse better.

Buy some good riding clothes. A well-made jacket and jodhpurs will do wonders for your confidence and self-image as a new horse-owner.

Take lessons with a fully-qualified instructor.  Regardless of any previous riding experience, you can always benefit from having lessons and an instructor can help you and your horse get acquainted properly right from the get-go and not develop bad habits as you embark on an exciting new endeavour as a fully-fledged horse owner!

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: Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Stunning views and fresh mountain air await you at this North Idaho guest ranch located on 1100 acres. While staying at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch you will discover true western hospitality since this is a fourth generation family owned and operated ranch. Open year round guests can choose from several different “Adventure Vacation Packages” all of which include lodging, daily horseback rides and three country gourmet meals per day as well as evening entertainment and access to all ranch amenities.

During the summer months horseback riding is the main focus but there are lots of fun activities to do as well like hiking, fishing with a local outfitter (extra charge), playing horseshoes, Teepee camp, basketball and singing songs around a campfire with s’mores. Additional activities included, for those staying on the “All-Inclusive Guest Ranch Package” are cattle sorting, a dinner cruise on Lake Pend Orielle, a scavenger hunt, trap shooting, archery, and white water rafting and kayaking for an additional charge.

Winter at the ranch is a lot of fun too! You can choose from a downhill skiing, cross-country skiing snowmobile or spa package. Be sure to ask about the sleigh rides that are available as well. As North Idaho is blanketed in white guests enjoy the romance of coming back to a fire-warmed cabin or warming up next to the big stone fireplace in the lodge at the end of the day after playing in the snow.

Idaho Guest Ranch

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

Accommodations at the ranch can either be in a cabin or in one of the lodge rooms. Each cabin is different so be sure to explain your vacation needs when booking. All cabins and lodge rooms are comfortably rustic and are sure to provide you with a great night’s sleep.

A vacation at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch will take you back to nature and to a time when things were simpler. Your ranch stay can be as relaxing or as action packed as you want. With so many packages and seasons to choose from you will find yourself returning year after year!

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!