Bring your own horse! Guest ranch vacations with a difference

BY Jody Dahl | Fri 15 Jul, 2011

Guest ranch vacations don’t have to mean riding a ranch horse for a week. No matter how quality your chosen guest ranch’s horses are, there’s nothing like taking your own steed with you on vacation, especially when it offers the opportunity to introduce him to a whole host of new experiences that you can enjoy together. Whether your horse is new to the western style of riding, a budding reiner or a seasoned cow horse, Top50’s selection of guest ranch vacations will make sure you both have the western riding holiday of a lifetime!

Chances are your horse has never set eyes on a bison before. But trailer him down to Colorado for a guest ranch vacation at Zapata ranch, and you can saddle him up to drive the ranch’s resident bison herds. Zapata’s sister ranch, Chico Basin, also allows guests to bring their own horses; this working ranch embraces Ranching First, so here it’s all about the cows – meaning up to 12 hours in the saddle each day herding cattle over miles and miles of Colorado ranch country. We recommend getting your horse fit for this one!

McGinnis Meadows Ranch in big sky Montana is another ranch allowing guests to bring their own horses on their ranch vacation. At this authentic working cattle ranch, you can enjoy moving cows with your horse – or if you’d just rather enjoy the freedom of Montana, take a leisurely trail ride and explore the surrounding country.

If it’s a little luxury you’re after with your horse, head to Triple Creek Ranch in Montana, which provides guest ranch vacations with diverse riding opportunities and ultimate flexibility. From intimate guided trail rides, to cattle work and bison herding, to extreme wilderness rides, Triple Creek will make sure you and your horse have an adventure to remember!

Another luxury hotspot is Echo Valley Ranch and Spa in British Columbia, Canada, where your horse can come along with you on your guest ranch vacation for just $30 per night. He'll love Echo Valley's beautiful surroundings and diverse terrain just as much as you will; and with 70,000 acres of land to explore on guided trail rides, the two of you will enjoy riding through forested trails and open country overlooking spectacular canyons.

Guest ranch vacations also offer the perfect opportunity to improve your riding skills – added incentive to take your own horse on holiday with you. Latigo Ranch in Colorado places emphasis on horsemanship in its riding program, whether it’s riding in the arena or while taking a fully guided trail ride over more than 200 miles of trails. Treat yourselves to evening rides, sunrise and sunset rides, and overnight pack trips; and if your horse has a good head for a cow (or at least you want him to!) then head out to the cow pastures with one of Latigo’s experienced wranglers, who’ll help you polish your cutting skills.

If you want to put to your skills to the test, head to Bar W Guest Ranch in Montana where you can take your own horse along for the week at no extra charge. As well as great trail riding and spring and fall cattle drives, you can practice sorting cattle with your horse in the indoor and outdoor arenas before competing in the ranch rodeo at the end of the week – show off your horseback riding skills in barrel racing and pole bending competitions!

Really serious about improving your riding and horsemanship skills? Then load up your horse and take him to a clinic hosted by a Top50 guest ranch – like those held at C Lazy U and McGinnis Meadows, where you’ll get horsemanship coaching from the likes of renowned natural horseman Buck Brannaman and more!

Whether you head to one of Top50's dude ranch vacationsguest ranch vacations,working ranch vacations we know you'll have a great time. Or book a riding holiday estancia Argentina or a riding holiday, or to a working ranch in New Zealand, or go horse trekking in Australia, either way Top50 can help you find that ideal ranch experience.

TAGS: working ranch vacations, dude ranch vacations, guest ranch vacations, horseback riding holidays, bring your own horse, c lazy u ranch, chico basin ranch, mcginnis meadows ranch, zapata ranch, montana ranches, colorado ranches, buck brannaman, triple creek ranch, ranching first, latigo ranch

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