Horses & Riders

Ride the Western Landscape

If all you want to do on horseback is walk and enjoy the scenery, we have perfect scenery; if you want to trot and lope, we have trails appropriate for that as well. From our herd of 80 horses, you will be assigned your own horse for the duration of your stay. We match the horse and rider according to ability, physical requirements, and temperament, teaching you how to ride well and how to enjoy horseback riding as a life-long sport. Would you like to groom and saddle you own horse? Learn ground-work with him? We'll show you how. You can also enjoy memorable breakfast rides, gorgeous sunset rides, a challenging overnight pack trip, or working with cattle. We organize rides according to rider ability and interest.

Types of Rides

Walk-only rides; Walk-trot; Walk-trot-lope (canter); Walk, work on trot; Walk-trot, work on lope. For further details, also check out our description of Cattle Team-Penning, Ute Scouts Overnight and the High Meadows Packtrip.

We have had guests at Latigo who have never touched a horse before, and we have had riders who have been world champions in various riding disciplines. Many of our guests are horse owners who want to ride in the open spaces of the West, and some are even ranch owners who want their family to learn more about riding. Sometimes people tell us they are fearful of horses or do not want to ride, but by the end of the week we find them addicted to the pleasures of riding.

Although most rides will be with riders of similar experience, we do designate a couple of rides each week specifically for families. For safety, those rides go at the level of the least experienced member in the family. Throughout the week, the teens usually ride together, as do the 6-7 year olds, but if you prefer to ride together more often as a family, we can make that happen.

Trails >

Trail conditions determine how fast a ride can go, but we have a huge diversity of trail types - flat open meadows, sagebrush country, climbs to high vistas, meandering streams, pine forests, and aspen groves. Take a look at the photo gallery, and you will see what we mean.

We emphasize improving your horsemanship, so we give instruction both in the arena and on the trail. Learning to control your horse is important; our wranglers will help you accomplish that. Kids especially, but also adults, will find that organized games on horseback make learning fun and quicker. Our goal is that by the end of the week every rider should be able to lope. But if you are not interested in doing that, don’t worry. You'll never be pressured or shamed for riding within your comfort limits.

Times >

Rides go out twice a day most days and last for one to three hours each, depending upon rider interest. If you want a short 20 minute ride, or if you want to stop frequently for photography, we are glad to do that. The packtrips are longer but do not involve loping because of all of the gear we are packing.

Unless extended families want to ride together as a larger group, we normally do not take more than 6 riders in one group with a wrangler.

Wearing helmets while riding is not obligatory at Latigo Ranch. However, many of our riders choose to do so. The use of helmets in all sorts of athletic activities has become commonplace. For a helmet to provide the expected protection, it is important to have it properly fitted to your head. We have riding helmets available for your use and staff trained to fit them.

 

Breed of Horses and Horse Herd

Our horse herd usually numbers 75 to 80 head. We have Quarter Horses, Appaloosas, Arabians, Thoroughbreds, and Clydesdales in our herd, but mostly our horses are of mixed breeding – “grade” horses. We find that cross-bred horses have the soundness and stamina for the mountainous terrain in which we ride. We have some horses who started their lives wild on the open range – often referred to as Mustangs. They've been adopted from the U.S. government and trained for our guests to use. As you might imagine, our horses are of many different colors – black, white, gray, buckskin, paint, sorrel, roan, spotted, palomino, pinto, etc. Although we own over 70 horses, we will occasionally lease a few horses to meet our needs as the population of the herd changes.

DRA Horse Safety & First Aid

As a Dude Ranchers' Association member, Latigo participates in the DRA's Horse Safety and First Aid for the Trail program.

Rider Weight Restrictions

Horses come in varying sizes, as do riders. A horse can reasonably carry a limited weight without becoming injured. Your athletic ability and riding experience will influence the stress you place on a horse as you ride. It also affects your ability to ride safely. Being able to safely mount and dismount from the horse are very important considerations as well.

We can sometimes accommodate a rider weighing as much as 250 lbs., but that will depend upon how many people over 200 lbs. are here in a given week. Depending on your weight and athleticism, you may not be able to trot or lope on horseback. Your riding may be limited to walk only rides, your rides will most likely be shorter in duration, and you may be riding a draft horse. It may also limit the number of times you can ride in a day. Be sure to call us and talk with us about these issues so that we can help you understand what your ranch riding experience will be like.

1

Sheryl M.

‘Thank you’ just seems so inadequate…It was honestly one of the best vacations I can remember.

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2

David & Judith F.

The horse riding was wonderful, the food excellent, the scenery breathtaking and your company very, very pleasant.

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3

P.J.

Everything was top notch, and everyone was so friendly and helpful.

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5

Sue P.

We loved Latigo Ranch! It was our best vacation ever! Cabins were comfortable, food was scrumptious and the wranglers were wonderful.

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6

John & Jenni E.

This has been our second consecutive visit and again it has equaled all expectations.

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