“Keep your adventures coming. I enjoy watching the videos of places you have been. I would like to go horseback riding SOMEWHERE??? I have not decided which state would be the best place. I would not bring my horses, I would have to use theirs. Do you have or does anyone have any ideas where my husband and I could stay and ride for a few days?”-Martina B.
I actually haven’t done this! We are traveling with our own horses so we haven’t needed to look for horse rentals. We are going to need to look for advice from everyone who reads this either here or on Facebook. If you have ever traveled and rented horses, please leave a comment written as a review of your total experience.
Were the horses well trained? Was the equipment safe? Did you go with a guide or self-guided? What were the trails like: beautiful, challenging, boring? Were they as advertised? What state and what time of year? Would you recommend it to a friend? How much did it cost? How many days did you ride? Did you rent a cabin and stay? How was the housing? Give as much info as you are comfortable with.
Also feel free to post names of the companies that you loved, links to their sites, photos or links to videos!
I did a quick Google search and I found a website called Horse Rentals.com. I’m not in love with the lay out of the site and I suspect that a robot may be populating the pages BUT many of the links do work.
If you have ever rented horses for trail riding please tell us about it!
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Whatever you do, DO NOT go to Crooked Creek Stables in Lake Cicott, IN! Their horses are drugged aka Aced, the equipment isn’t safe, the horses aren’t safe, they are guided trails that are boring, unsafe, the guides and the owners are rude! They charge high prices for a half hour ride and even higher rates for an hr ride. We bought 4 horses from there (were never given ownership of the horses even after paying for them several times over), worked there, boarded there etc. 2 of the horses were beyond Dangerous! I almost ended up severely hurt on two of their horses. The first one would rear and charge everytime you went to saddle him, he also would NOT stop when he went faster then a walk. 3 farriers refused to trim and reset his front shoes and flat out told the owner that the horse needed to be “put down” before he hurt or killed someone. The second one bucked me to the end of 8 ft reins, I landed on his neck looking down his nose at huge rocks/boulders (which I would have landed head first on if I didn’t know how to control my body when landing and where/how to land), then bolted and wouldn’t stop, went through the creek, tried to knock me off on trees etc. The owner will yell at you if you approach any of the horses on the right side and will degrade you for doing so. I went to look over a horse I was interested in purchasing, approached the right side of the horse, and got yelled at and degraded and told I didn’t know anything about horses and if I did then I would know to NEVER approach or be on the right side of a horse! I grew up in Wyoming on my grandmothers ranch, broke and trained horses, did barrels and poles in high school rodeo, team penned, trail rode etc since I was 2 yrs old! I currently have an older mare and a 9 month old filly. I broke my mare myself, she is kid safe, and am currently doing all ground work/training with my filly, who I will eventually train for barrels and trail riding as well as western pleasure for my boys to show in 4-H. Please stay clear of Crooked Creek, they are dangerous and very unsafe. There was a woman who was killed by her horse out there, due to the owner of the stables spooking her horse, the horse reared under a tree with a low, huge branch, the lady hit her head on the branch when her horse reared under it, knocked her off her horse, and she laid there and died. All because the owner of the stables thought it would be funny to sneak up on her on the trail and spook her horse and then take off and go back to the barn! Not a good place at all! They named it right, as the owners are crooked!
White Stallion Ranch, Tucson, AZ… Loved it and my next trip is booked! Can hardly wait!
World class beach horseback in Costa Rica !
Have been awarded with Excellence by trip advisor since 2011 4 years in a roll!
if you want to go really exotic me and my husband went to Mexico on our honeymoon and got home sick so we rode the trails.
They first asked you how many years you have ridden, what type of riding you do, and to rank yourself according to a scale. I’ve been riding for 20 years but my husband was still a little green. He received a great babysitter while they gave me a beautiful Andalusian cross mare who was still a little green. I loved it!!! I would have been so bored on some dead head and she was responsive and fun! When we finished the trails they put us in an arena and just let us ride. So refreshing when you are that far from home! The trails took us through the jungle and across streams. The saddles were awesome, although Mexican saddles take some getting used to. The resort is called the Eldorado Royale in the Rivera maya. If you want a nice getaway, this is the place!
if you go to ASTHE vacations on Facebook you can connect up with a lot of great options
Several years ago we attended a wedding in Colorado. Since most of us were traveling from the East Coast, the bride’s family arranged lots of activities both before and after the wedding. We went on a trail ride in Estes Park. I’m sorry, I don’t remember the name of the company, but it was a pretty large outfit, and those horses were dead broke. It was several hours long, and we ascended a couple of thousand feet. Much of the ride was along bare rock, and those horse were sure footed! I didn’t enjoy it all that much because the ring bearer who was very young wanted to go, and since neither of his parents were riding, I carried him with me. It was a little scary having someone else’s five year old in front of you as you are riding up steep trails with big drops off to one side. My husband rode with the guide, and he enjoyed himself, cantering along in the meadows, etc.. The horses were super calm, seemed very well cared for, and the tack was fine. Wish I could remember the name of the outfit. The scenery was spectacular!
We love to ride when we can while vacationing. (We don’t trailer our horses any distances, so this is how we experience riding in different states.) The best ride I ever experienced on “rented horses” was with a couple we found online. This was down in Tucson, AZ. A couple our age took experienced riders only, on private rides. They only owned 5 horses. Matched you and the horse, had us ride a bit in their arena making sure the saddles worked for us, etc. asked what kind of ride we were interested and for how long, then we loaded up and trailered to the Saguaro National Park.
We rode about 3 hours up on the Gould Mine Trail. The views were amazing. It was like riding with some old friends. The horses were amazing, saddles, bridles, great. The horses were barefoot and we used hoof boots because it was pretty rocky.
The husband, Brad snapped pictures along the way and to top it off, put them on a disc to give us when we got back to their home.
We unsaddled and helped hose down the horses. In my opinion, they didn’t charge enough for all we did. (We tipped them $50 I believe which wasn’t enough). I have tried finding them again online and cannot find them.
I know we will never be that lucky again to have such an amazing experience.
Our experience at Southern Cross Guest Ranch in Madison, GA was lovely all around: great B&B-style accommodations, family-style meals, beautifully scenic, and horses that were very well cared for (a herd of about 150 horses, mostly quarter horses and paints with only about 24 horses in work at any given time). If you’re an experienced rider, you must go out on trail once with a guide, but you can go on subsequent rides (with at least one other rider) without a guide. We chose guided rides daily as my husband is a beginner. The trails are not particularly long or complicated, but beautiful nonetheless with some water crossings. Two 2-hour rides a day are included in the price of your stay. They work hard to match you to the “right” horse for the length of your stay — or you can request other horses as available. I think they also allow you to trailer in your own horses if you’re staying at the Inn. They offer 1-1 lessons if you choose. And — only one hour outside of Atlanta — great for us east-coasters! Highly recommend! http://www.southcross.com/index.html
On the other hand, we recently did a trail ride in Sonoma County, CA at a winery (Chalk Hill) and it was the most boring (and pricey) ride ever. We lurched up and down the hills of the vineyard on retired polo ponies for an hour with no opportunity to even trot. I’m pretty sure the horses didn’t much enjoy it either. Granted, it was scenic, but so is everywhere in Wine Country. Save the $ and buy a nice bottle of wine. 🙂
We were on vacation in Bandera Texas and let me tell you this little town is a step back in time! They ride into town there’s hitching posts everywhere the local law office has two lawyers who ride their horses to work! Every Saturday there’s a live reenactment of old western gun fights. We looked for a good adventure type trail riding business because we own and ride and guide trail rides at our home in Nova Scotia Canada, so the typical head to tail dude ranch experience was not our cup of tea. We got a recommendation from the lady we rented our guest cottage from. So we contacted Jeannie at Desert Heart Cowgirl Club and we were never so pleased with our own customized personal adventure! She is a real cowgirl with so much story telling flare! She knows the land the flora and fauna, she knows the history of the people who settled there. She only does small groups up to 4 and its a very personal tour tailored to your own preferences. A trip to remember! We left her with a souvenir of our business a hat with our logo and she gave us a pin. If anyone is ever in Nova Scotia come check out our small private guided trail rides on the Bay of Fundy. http://www.spiritreinsranch.ca
Garrod Farms/Winery in Saratoga, CA is GORGEOUS, and they do wine tastings afterwards once a month. Horses are well mannered for trail horses.
On one of the Yosemite trail rides, I saw a horse actually toss a young girl off, then lope off! Our Guide had to leave us to go catch the horse, and had to ride double with the girl. I didn’t see why it happened, but it happened nonetheless.
My sister and I enjoyed a 4 hour trail ride in Whitehall Montana at the Iron Wheel Guest ranch. http://www.ironwheel.com/content.php?page_id=1 They had really nice, sound horses. There was a teenage girl that was our guide that was very knowledgeable and very pleasant. The price was very reasonable and they offer multiple day rides. Such beautiful scenery! 🙂
On the flip side my friend decided she wanted to do a trail ride for her bachelorette party, which included 9 women who had never ridden before. Ever… The place the bride chose was the Sea Horse ranch in Half Moon Bay California. The horses chosen for the ladies were mostly suitable for complete novices, but some were suitable because they were lame. Two of the three guides were fine but the third kept taking off at a full gallop which would get some of the other horses rather excited. On the bright side, nobody died or was hurt too badly… But I would definitely not recommend that place.
Stacey you simply HAVE to come to north Queensland in Australia and see the wonderful Sue Bisset at Mount’n’Ride Adventures for the most amazing ride through World Heritage rainforest-clad mountains in the tropical north of Australia!!!! http://www.mountnride.com.au/
for a taste of something different ! I go to the Vermont Icelandic Horse farm near Waitsfield Vermont 2 times a year, a six hour drive, spring and fall. I love it. They offer 1.5 – 3 hour trails, and weekend packages. The trails are all through Camel Hump State park and surrounding areas. If you never ridden a gaited horse, they are wonderful. They have about 40 Icelandic horses on the property, some are 4 gaited, and some 5 gaited. What a thrill. Highly recommended.
I have not rented horses, per se, but I have ridden in a beautiful place where there was the option of renting. I am not sure if they still have that option, but I’ll post it here, anyway. Horse Creek Ranch is near Fort Assiniboine (Alberta, Canada). There are numerous trails through Sandhills National Park, which the Ranch backs straight on to. You can bring a tent or a trailer, or you can rent one of their six cabins, which are clean and well kept, and sleep two to three. The trails are gorgeous – you can ride down to the river and see the huge eagle’s nest and wade in, and there are trails up the actual sand hills, a trapper’s cabin, the grave of a little girl who died on the trail through that part of Alberta that went to the gold mines up north. There are one or two really challenging trails, and the rest are totally flat, or up and down a little bit. I have only ever gone in the spring, around May, just before bug season 🙂 and it has never been too busy.
I’ve never rented horses but I did used to train horses for a dude ranch. They’d send us (my boss, me and one other guy)!horses and we would put 60-90 days on them and send them back. We would have two each that we started and then after they had a good start would switch so they’d get used to being ridden by more than one person. I’d put them through basically everything that I could think of that someone who had no riding experience whatsoever might do, while also teaching them more advanced commands so that an experienced rider wouldn’t get bored. My hope is that all rental horses are safe and fun 🙂
Oh, and I forgot to say I’m in Washington state.
Thanks Stacy for posting my comment. I have enjoyed reading the recommendations,
Here are a bunch from FB:
Jan H. said- Gompf Bearcat Stables at Edwards, CO and 4 Eagle Ranch at Wolcott, CO both had excellent and well cared for horses. Bearcat was more mountainous. Enjoyed the guides telling about the areas history.
Becky I. said- We have a GREAT backcountry ride! Starts at trailhead and winds up through beautiful aspen groves and pine forests to huge open high alpine meadows at close to 10,000 ft elevation. The views of the Sawatch and Gore Mountain ranges are spectacular!!!
Theresa F. said- Did one of those Equitours in south central France. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. Horses were matched up to each rider well, they knew their job but were not Plugs! Approx. 6 hour rides each day with tours of Castles and Wineries and 7 course meal at each lunch break (and of course lots of French Wine!). The guide was fun and informative. Even the Hubby said he “Would do that again”.
Jean L. said- Rock’HK Outfitters Pray Montana. We spent 5 days pack trip in the back country Yellowstone riding through beautiful country , breathtaking passes over 9000 ‘ elevation off the grid . This was a horse mounted guided trip the horses were amazing they knew their jobs sure footed and well equipped for this kind of country . They grazed at night in meadows. We never lost track of unteathered horses or mules. It was amazing !!!!
Amanda R. said- Out in Colorado Springs thru the Garden of the Gods park it was guided and a lot of fun. As well as out in Montana at Chico Hot springs resort. Guided again and lots of fun
Wendee W. said- http://triplecreekhorseoutfit.com
I know the owner operators and the horses are so well taken care of. I’d ride with them if I didn’t already have my own horses. This is in Sonoma County, CA.
Gwenn D. said- Hocking Hills in Ohio with these guys: http://www.bluemoonacresstable.com/
GREAT prices; beautiful scenery; horses were well mannered, and they’d let us canter if we had decent enough balance. This was hard to find, I tell ya! The guide would stop at certain places and take our pictures as part of the ride. Love them.
Katrina C. said- I have ridden at Lost River State Park in West VA. The horses are well trained for the mountain trails. The guides are nice, it’s family owned. Take the 2 hour ride up to Cranny Crow. The views are amazing.
Laura S. said- Yes, I literally just got back from the most fabulous horseback vacation. Very well trained horses, excellent wranglers, excellent food – the place treats you like family. Trails with views – they have rides for all levels of riders. We loped a lot. Circle Z Ranch Patagonia Arizona – http://www.circlez.com/
Heather J. said- Acacia Riding Adventures in San Acacia, NM is a great one…. takes you on rides through San Lorenzo Canyon, the one Stacy just rode in plus many other great areas with great people…. and well behaved and great horses!
Plus more coming in on Facebook…
I cannot believe all the responses. I am having fun researching the different places. Thanks again for posting my question.
PBS has a great show called Equitrekking, that follows the host all over the US and other countries, on horseback expeditions. Most, if not all, of the places she goes are places that provide the horses, guides, places to stay, etc. It’s given me lots of ideas of places I would like to go either with my own horses, or to rent horses.
You can do guided trail rides at Mt. Rogers which has about 500 miles of trails. I love going there because you get to see the wild ponies! 🙂
Awww–The pony pictures are so cute. Thanks for the information
Waipio Valley on the Big Island of Hawaii! The staff are well trained and friendly, and they have horses for all levels. The ride is over an hour, just long enough but not too long. You get to ride down a river bed, when we went in February the water was up to our stirrups, but the horses are totally okay with it. And you get to see feral Hawaiian horses along the way. The only downside for me was seeing the mud pens the horses are kept in near the rental barn. But I guess in a wet climate, when you have a bunch of horses in a small space, that’s just going to happen. The horses all seemed well taken care of. It is guided, but the guides are knowledgeable and entertaining.
We recently toured the Wild West in our motorhome, our final stop before we headed back to Ohio was the Bill Cody Ranch in Cody, Wyoming. It was great and we wished that we had stayed at the ranch, rather than popping by from the RV. Here is my Tripadvisor review if you are interested…..http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g60442-d503666-r211001303-Bill_Cody_Ranch-Cody_Wyoming.html#REVIEWS
Thanks for the information. This place does look very nice.
I went on a pre-paid trail ride with friends in Bryce Canyon. My horse’s feet were overgrown and one shoe was half off. I pointed it out to management and they said it was fine and refused to provide another mount or clinch it. Riding the horse was like riding a dead animal. Last time riding rental horses for me!
I happen to know of a Great place. It’s the Western Pleasure Guest Ranch in Northern Idaho . The views are spectacular. You can check it out on the website. You won’t be disappointed.
This place looks great. Thank you for the information. This is going to be a hard decision because it seems there are so many nice places out there to ride. I live in northern Indiana and there is not much scenery here. A lot of corn fields. LOL