Life changing riding holidays for little Cowboys & Indians
Riding holidays can be rich, life-changing experiences for little ones, their confidence and self-esteem receiving a real boost over the course of the stay.
Tony Daly, Managing Director of Ranch Rider explains, “It’s not just about saddling up, as on a ranch holiday everyone from tots to teens will be feeding, grooming and bonding with their horses. And when kids are taking up the reins learning to trust is part of the experience - empathy, and social skills all coming into play.”
Parents can choose from a range of guest and resort properties, off ranch activities for example rodeo visits and wild horse safaris often included in the week-long stay at the Lonesome Spur Working Ranch (8-years +). Self-drives are also a great opportunity to extend the holiday; The Texas shoreline featuring 600-miles of sun-kissed beaches, Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park providing the perfect environment for summer sledding, and Idaho’s Yellowstone Bear World getting budding wildlife enthusiasts closer to the animal action.
Roasting marshmallows round the campfire, flashlight tag and an adventure walk in the woods are all part of the teen camp out at the Vista Verde Luxury Guest Ranch. The “bear-raising” sleep over includes a visit from the notorious Big Foot (or wrangler in costume), the joke finally revealed under the starry skies of Colorado. The kid’s programme also caters to younger wranglers, treasure hunts, animal tracking, pow wows and gold panning complimenting the daily trail rides. 7-nights from £1,985pp (no single supplement) and from £1,595pp (6-11 years). Excludes car hire from £250. Return flight from £729pp. Departing 03 June to 30 September.
Added value, a 7-night holiday for a family of four at the Bar H Dude Ranch costs from only £570pp (two sharing), from £420pp (6-11 years) and from £510pp (12-16 years). Learning to lasso like a real working cowboy, participating in scavenger hunts and trail riding are just some of the activities on offer to younger wranglers, and based in the Texas Panhandle the location is ideal for budding birders. Return flight from £699pp. Departing year-round.
British Columbia’s Elkin Creek Guest Ranch is situated next to Chilko Lake, paddle boating, windsurfing and canoeing on offer to water babies. The world famous wild horses of the Brittany Triangle also inhabit the Chilcotin region, families riding out together in search of these treasured stallions and their bands. In August for every two adults travelling, one child under 13 goes FREE, a saving of £799. 7-nights at the Elkin Creek Ranch from £1,269pp (no single supplement) and from £799pp (6-13 years). Excludes car hire from £280 and gratuities as left to guests' discretion. Return flight from £759pp. Departing 20 May to 09 October.
It’s adventure on tap at the Red Horse Mountain Guest Ranch as kids can experience the great outdoors on the climbing wall – their confidence blooming as they reach the top and ring the bell. A high ropes course and kayaking excursions feature on the list of activities, as do children’s rides through the Idaho Panhandle and opportunities to hand paint the horses. 6-nights from £1,955pp (two sharing) and from £1,815pp (6-11 years) Excludes transfers from £60pp. Return flight from £839pp. Departing 03 June to 29 October.
Game boys will become a thing of the past at the Colorado Trails, trail rides, nature hikes and power tubing down the Vallecito Lake included in the stay. Teens who don’t want to have their style cramped can saddle up with their peers, as there are three separate kid’s programmes, and children aged five and over can make the most of the great outdoors on an overnight camp out. A FREE child place is available for families of five or more – save £1,200 on departures from 03 June to 23 September. 7-nights from £1,350pp (two sharing) and from £1,200pp (5-12 years). Return flight from £729pp.
The children’s programme at Idaho’s Western Pleasure Guest Ranch is geared towards riding, arena skills and horsemanship – an end of week rodeo allowing younger equestrians to showcase their newfound talents. Situated between the Cabinet and Selkirk Mountain ranges, the ranch also schedules family wildlife rides across the remote ridges and valleys, dear and bear dotting the landscape. 6-nights from £1,152pp (no single supplement) and from £920pp (6-12 years). Excludes car hire from £250. Return flight from £839pp. Departing 01 June to 30 September.
All prices are subject to availability and unless otherwise stated are inclusive of accommodation, meals, most ranch activities (including riding), taxes, transfers and gratuities.
For more information, visit ranchrider.com.