Horseback Riding – Riding is one of the main activities and a favorite here at the ranch. This is why we keep close to 65 horses here for our riding program. We do not lease horses because we want to know everything about our horses and train them ourselves. This ranch is made up of cowboys and cowgirls. I am the director of this ranch and ran the barn for 6 years prior to accepting the Executive Director position with the ranch. One of my favorite employees during my time as Head Wrangler was Cowboy Nick Herold. When I was offered the director position at the ranch, I called Nick and said, “I am in, if you are in.” Wow, did Nick and his wife come on board with this ranch and ministry.
It brings me great joy to see a man of his caliber serving down at the barn. Taking care of the animals that I used to take care of and even sending one of the horses on trail rides that I delivered in 1999 down at the barn. You and your family will be blessed by Cowboy Nick, his incredible wife, Emily, and the rest of the wranglers. The barn staff loves what they do. They are up early and mopping the kitchen floor late at night.
Basically, Wind River Ranch only keeps the best of the best horses and hires only the best of the best wranglers and therefore I personally feel we have the best of the best down at the barn.
You and your family will get to determine that for yourselves. You will get to see Cowboy Nick training horses on Sunday, go through a riding and horse orientation on Monday, and from then on, you will get to ride the country side. If you have a hankering for going a bit faster, you can schedule a lesson with one of our wranglers. We prefer to teach you how to ride rather than ask you to hold on and hang on during a lope on the trails. Our horse program is available to all of our guests subject only to certain age and health restrictions.
The minimum riding age for trail rides is 7 years old and everyone must pass orientation. Anyone under 18 gets to wear one of our riding helmets and they are available to others if you ask for them. If you have a lil‘ buckaroo 6 years old and under, just bring them down to the barn at your convenience and the wranglers will take them on a pony ride on our legendary pony named “Brownie.” Brownie is a legend in his own mind and has 12 years worth of experience. Your child will be led around for a short trail ride by two of our wranglers or staff.
Wind River Ranch does have one of 15 Concessionaire’s permit with the Rocky Mountain National Park and also permits to ride in the Roosevelt National Forest. You will get to ride up to Eugena Mine, Aspen Brook, Twin Sisters, Lily Lake, and many other beautiful spots. These rides range from 1 to 3 1/2 hours and Wednesday morning your child will get to participate in the kids rodeo. The rodeo is a close favorite, but I have to say that my favorite is the wrangler breakfast ride on Friday morning and the giant pancake, sausage, hot coffee, hash browns, biscuits, hot coffee, hot chocolate and other tasty treats that await the guest‘s arrival.
You and your family are in for an incredible week. Your safety is our number one goal and having a blast is a close second. Our wrangler staff will accommodate the guest needs as best as possible. All horseback rides are scheduled during a sign-up period on Sunday so get here close after arrival time.