Private Land (1000-5000 acres)
Most of our private land is irrigated and on the more greener side. We ride along creeks, in canyons and in wide open spaces. Our colors and landscape are very diverse with different micro-climates and elevations. For this reason we attract a lot of photographers. Our landscape consists of rolling hills, creeks, red rock that makes you feel like you're in Arizona, deep canyons, green and dry portions, alpine forests, meadows, sagebrush, and lake country. Our wilderness reaches to 13,000 feet. This is a real trail riders paradise and home of The Big Horn 100 Mile Endurance Race.
Public Land (more than 50k acres)
We ride on close to 650,000 acres of BLM, National Forest & Wilderness Area. Not all seasons we have access to our entire riding area as we usually only ride in the higher mountains from Mid-June through the end of October. Our landscape consists of rolling hills, creeks, red rock that makes you feel like you're in Arizona, deep canyons, green and dry portions, alpine forests, meadows, sagebrush, and lake country. Our wilderness reaches to 13,000 feet. This is a real trail riders paradise and home of The Big Horn 100 Mile Endurance Race.
We try to customize the riding as much as possible to suit the different riders and guests within the limits of what is possible, fun and safe. In terms of scheduled rides, we usually start the riding at approximately the same times of the day and return around approximately the same time. Especially for the half day rides. For the longer rides, cattle work or special rides we might leave earlier and come back later. As we get more and more experienced riders and people who like to come learn to ride or learn more about horses we do customize more and more to make sure all guests are happy with their experience. We are not perfect but strive to come close. Safety is our number one concern. Our staff, management and owners are experienced in matching horses and riders considering the terrain in which we ride. At times they might correct the rider or switch horses based on their experience. We will deal with big egos if they endanger themselves, their horse and the other riders. Our goal is to treat every guest the same. This includes individuals who think they are more special than others. We make sure everybody has a great vacation. During the shoulder seasons when we have less guests we can be even more flexible. If you ride with your own group or family we can customize your ride to meet your needs. We always consider safety, fun and respectful handling of our horses and livestock.
Half day rides are scheduled and we try to leave no later than 8:30 for all day rides. However, there is flexibility as to when you come back and we customize that to each person. Although our weeks are well planned and organized, sometimes there are unique opportunities or events that come up where we are able guests on unscheduled rides. This could be to go do special cattle work for the ranch, explore new trails that we have never ridden or even see something special... During shoulder seasons we can be even more flexible. If you would like to ride with your family or group of friends we can customize rides to your needs within the boundaries of safety, fun and respect for our horses and livestock. The Hideout has a fleet of 7 well maintained heavy duty pick up trucks pulling stock trailers. This offers a rarely seen flexibility to explore new country and travel greater distances for excellent and diverse riding.
Because of the vast and varied terrain in which we ride, all of our rides are guided by our wranglers. However The Hideout offers a seldom seen freedom once we see that guests can handle their horse in a safe way for rider, horse and the rest of the group. Especially during cattle work and advanced rides there is a lot of freedom to ride out and explore country to look for cattle and herd them to the group. We have maximum 5 riders per guide/wrangler/cowboy to keep it personable.
Listening to our guests who have been to other guest ranches or our wranglers we offer a lot of freedom and riding opportunities. Guests appreciate the diversity of the terrain and the fact that every year they see different rides. This is a riding ranch and that is why most people come to The Hideout.
Good to know
After making your reservation, we will ask you to fill out our Riding Questionnaire consisting of 5 Riding Levels. Please be very honest in filling out this questionnaire. We reavaluate your riding level during the Monday morning orientation. We lope / canter but the preferred and most safe gate to cover long distances is the trot. No matter your riding level, please be realistic about both your riding level as you physical condition. Safety first!
Weight limit for riding
Up to 225 lbs
no riding experience needed, We recommend a good level of physical fitness, We consider height and athletic ability as well as a guest's weight
Hours in the saddle
Riding hours can vary depending upon ride and activity chosen. Half days vary from 2 to 2.5 hours - 2/3 days up to 5 hours and Full Days can last as long as 7 or more hours. Full day cattle drives can last into the evenings until the work is completed. Most of our rides are customized on a daily basis considering the desires and wishes of our guests. This is a riding ranch and that is why most our guests come. If we go explore trails with intermediate and advanced riders, riding time may vary and is sometimes not exactly predictable.
Why our riding stands out
- Diverse, mature, experienced fun and friendly wranglers and riding staff. We are foremost a riding destination and guests come to ride. This is not a nose to tail ranch but we accommodate all riding levels from beginners to advanced. Our wranglers have both horse and peoples skills to make it a fun but also safe experience. Depending on the season the majority of our wranglers and barn management are female.
- We trailer out most of the time which allows us to make full use of our approx. 650,000 acre riding back ground with elevations ranging from 4200 feet in the valley to well above 10000 feet in The Big Horn Mountains. Very diverse scenery and micro climates.
- Strong focus on relationship based and respectful horsemanship. We take great care of our horses consisting of Quarter Horses and a growing number of Mustangs we train in house. Weekly possibility working and driving cattle. Most of our wranglers have both English and Western Riding back grounds and we accommodate riders from around the world.
Sample Riding Itinerary
Every evening during cocktail hour one of the owners who leads the barn or one of our wranglers visits personally with each of our guests or group of guests, and presents the possibilities of activities for the next day. and listens to your feedback, suggestions and desires. As guests often overstate their riding ability and we consider our horses as employees, we will consider our observations of your riding abilities and the rides and difficulty of the rides going out.. We try to make things as customized as possible with various riding opportunities from traill riding, riding lessons, horsemanship initiation, arena work to the different levels of cattle work we offer. We work to accommodate each guest's needs from the length of ride they'd like, to the type of ride they're interested in. This includes a limited number of non-riding activities.
Full Day Cattle Work Schedule
7.30am - Breakfast Need to be ready by 8.15am
If you participate in a full day cattle work it mirrors what cowboys do on these big vast ranches. They each have a truck and trailer and load up their horses in the morning to drive where the cattle work needs to be done and where one can only go on horseback. You will have the possibility to experience the same concept surrounded by our wranglers looking after you and surrounding you with care. The cattle work we do is real and needed and we assist local ranches.
By 8.15 AM all horses are loaded up in the trailers and the wranglers pick up the guests in front of the lodge. This is a real working cattle ranch so we go where the livestock is on the 250,000 acre spread. The drive to and from where we park the truck & trailer to unload is always scenic and often challenging. Every truck takes a maximum 5 guests per truck and 6 to 7 horses per trailer. Vaccinated guests can drive with our wranglers in the ranch truck on the condition they are masked. Other guests will follow our trucks to the trailheads.
We unload the horses, bridle, check cinches and ride out to where we need to start the cattle work, rounding up, drive cattle, sort cattle, etc.
During cattle work our guests can stay with the wrangler or follow directions on where to go look for cattle, calves or yearlings. Confident, adventurous riders will split off and start working immediately. Others will stay more close to the wrangler and follow his instructions, riding with him/her. The wrangler keeps an eye on the entire party to make sure they are safe and that all work is being done properly.
Beginners can stay on the trail or with the larger group of cattle/livestock and push them in the direction we are headed, while the other riders search the country and bring smaller groups to the herd.
As the work continues the herd grows and soon it takes all hands to keep the herd moving forward.
The rides are through scenic and very diverse country, making cattle work at The Hideout a breathtaking scenic ride.
A break for lunch is taken at a nice picnic spot around noon. At times we will eat our lunch on the horse as we need to finish the cattle work we set out to do. Usually we can bring those guests back who do not want to ride the entire day. Sometimes only intermediate or advanced riders can participate in certain cattle work. During the sign up process we will inform you and be very honest to you about this process.
Once the cattle is finished there is a scenic ride back to the trucks and trailers. If there are two groups they are usually split in a fast group and a slower group. The wrangler with the faster group(trot/lope) will take a longer trail to head back to the trailer.
Arriving at the trailer the riders dismount, unbridle and load up the horses. Driving down to the valley there is usually some good fun in the truck. We arrive at the barn between 4.30 PM and 6 PM. Guests who are back early usually go enjoy our nice heated lap pool, take a nap, read a book, visit the local Shell Store for a drink, ice cream or pastries, etc.
By 6.30pm everyone meets for Cocktail hour hosted by the owners while enjoying the pictures of the day which are loaded up the computer.
7pm - Dinner After a full days work/ride all the guests dine together. After dinner guest can play games, visit enjoying a drink, read, go to the hot tub, horseshoeing, etc. However most of the guests are usually off-to-bed because they are exhausted.
Sometimes we will take a group on "extreme cattle work” which is usually for the better riders and can be as long as 9 to 10 hours depending upon the work that needs to be done. This group does not return unless the job is done and does not really consider being back by cocktail hour or dinner. It is just a day like the hands of the ranch. It's finished when the job is finished. So it can be earlier done than anticipated. These rides involve a lot of trotting and do not happen every week. It will be the decision of our owner signing up and observing your riding level if you can participate in these rides. This is matter of safety, respect for the other riders and being able to make the end of the day. These rides can not be planned and are totally dependent of season, weather, where life stock is located and the work needing to be done for the ranch.
There are ½ day trail rides, 2/3 day trail rides or full day trail rides and there are trail rides for beginners, intermediate and advanced. The ½ day rides always return to The Hideout for lunch and these rides are in the valley. After lunch the afternoon rides depart at 1.30 PM from the barn. Typical duration of a half day ride is 2 to 2.5 hours.
Half day rides leave at 8.30 AM and are back between 11 AM and 12 PM. The afternoon rides arrive back at the barn around 4.30 PM. Guests can opt for a morning ride, an afternoon ride or a morning and afternoon ride. The 2/3 of a day trail rides are usually back at the barn around 2 to 3 PM. We take lunch in the mountains on the trail.
We ride private property, BLM, National Forest and Wilderness Trails. Diversity of scenery throughout the week ranges from riding in the half desert with sage, riding in red rock and red canyons, riding green canyons with creeks, riding alpine forests, alpine meadows, aspen coves.
Arena & Lower Pastures Cattle Work & Stockmanship
For this we meet at 8.30 at the barn and arena where these activities start, much as the half day rides. For the afternoon activities we meet at 1.30 PM.
Riding Lessons & Authentic Horsemanship Initiation
We also meet at 8.30 AM at the barn and arena (inside or outside) for these activities. We usually need a minimum of 3 to 4 participants for these activities. However depending if we can free up an extra wrangler we can accomodate private lessons or with two participants. However we don't want to over promise and underdeliver. If we can make it happen we will make it happen.
For the non-riding activities we usually meet around 8.30 AM and 1.30 PM at The Main Lodge.
Specialized Photo Clinics & Tours
These schedules are set by the organizing groups and companies.
Dedicated Horsemanship Clinic weeks
We do organize special weeks during the shoulder seasons. However, given enough interest we can set up a half day clinic mid-week on request.
We offer riding lessons, getting acquainted with your horse lessons, natural horsemanship and ground work for beginning, intermediate and advanced equestrian. During the summer season we give the initiations and half day courses given there is interest and enough participants. This is part of the package.
Most of our wranglers are experienced instructors and offer advise and pointers to those guests who are interested to learn more. During the shoulder season we offer specialized clinics during specific weeks. During the shoulder seasons we organize 6-day dedicated riding and horsemanship clinics for small groups. These are hosted by Marijn, one of our owners who heads the barn and riding program together with our Vaquero Horse Trainer. At The Trapper Creek Ranch, a few miles down the road the infrastructure is used by ourselves and outside clinicians for 6-day horsemanship programs.
lessons come with package, basic riding lessons, advanced horsemanship lessons
wrangler, horse trainer, ranch owner or manager
on the trail, in the arena
Natural Horsemanship Clinic
Own staff and specialized clinicians of a diversity of backgrounds and levels
Clinics occur weekly, Clinics occur yearly, Included in package, Clinics occur in the arena, Clinics occur on the trail
$Included in the package
Our clinics take place during the shoulder seasons and focus on either general or specific points. We work with clinicians for around the world with the requirements they are 1) Respectful, low stress and open minded 2) Low Ego and not about themselves but about the horse and the participants 3) Professional and experienced 4) Friendly, safe, patient and respectful towards our horses, guests and staff. The clinic starts Sunday evening with a presentation on natural horsemanship and the history of horses with open questions and conversation. Our morning focus takes place in the arena and afternoon we apply the principles on the trail. During arena time, the trainers give a demo with horses and then go into break-out sessions with each wrangler taking 3-4 people aside and working independently with them. The clinic covers trail riding, cattle work, team penning, sorting, how to correctly bridle a horse (to be consistent so horses are comfortable), correctly saddling, and approaching and touch a horse. The trainers will zoom in and customize as needed. In the evenings, guest speakers/demonstrators come such as a saddle maker, veterinarian, and anyone related to horses.
Cattle work - pasture gathers
The cattle reside in the mountains throughout the summer; therefore, we trailer to the cattle. We will take up to seven trucks and trailers to the mountains to trail ride and work the cattle. On cattle drives, we take a maximum 5:1 guest to wrangler ration on cattle drives. Cattle work occurs as needed - The cattle work that occurs is because it's actual work that needs to be done; we don't make up the work.
Please read also under Sample 5 Day Riding Itenerary which explains in detail the kind of cattle work or range work to expect and how such day may look like. Moving, gathering cattle, working cattle, herding cattle we call in general Cattle Work as most ranches define this. There will usually also be ranch and cow dogs assisting with the work which is one of the highlights for many guests.
Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct
No. of yearlings
No. of cow/calf pairs
Sometimes we brand small numbers of calves in the arena and guests can assist.
No. of Branding
15 to 30
Guests watch, Guests participate
4x4 trips in the mountains. We pack a very nice picnic and often there will be wildlife sightings.
Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct
At The Hideout we have an big size outside arena and 90x90 feet inside arena. We use the arena for Monday morning orientation, riding lessons, team penning and sorting, games, stockmanship, cattle work orientation, authentic horsesmanship, etc. We also have round pens outside for training horses. The arena is groomed weekly and if too dusty we have a sprinkler system. We do more training in the arena working on movement of the horses.
At The Trapper Creek Ranch, our clinic center a couple miles down the road we have additional, smaller arena of 160 x 80 ft and more round pens.
We believe in riding our horses in both the area as outside on the trail or during cattle work.
indoor arena, outdoor arena
penning, sorting, roping from the ground, gymkhana