This boutique, family-run guest ranch is nestled in the central mountains of Big Sky Country, Montana, where the hats are big and the personalities even bigger. It’s a Western paradise where horses and humans connect on a deep level, with crafty cows to work, endless countryside to explore and warm, welcoming, knowledgeable hosts to show you the ropes.
But the real X factor is the horses. The 80-strong herd is made up of many breeds, but what they all have in common is absolutely impeccable training. Parelli-style natural horsemanship is used at every stage of the horses’ (and riders’) education to develop mutual connection, trust and partnership. Once you’ve done the groundwork (literally), your horse will willingly go where you want, when you want, at the pace you want – no questions asked.
Each day you’ll head out with 4 or 5 other riders for your chosen adventure, whether that be a full day’s ride over the mountains or a morning working cattle followed by an afternoon playing horseback soccer. The options are endless and the wranglers will bend over backwards to fulfill all your equestrian desires. There’s even a dedicated children’s riding program, so parents can enjoy longer, more adventurous rides while the wranglers take the youngsters under their wing. Non-riders’ days are filled with fishing, hiking, archery, shooting, and of course basking in the hot tub!
If you’ve been yearning to try natural horsemanship under the steady guidance of experienced horsepeople, or if you’re already in LOVE with this method and want a holiday where it’s part of every ride, every moment – then make a beeline for Helena, Montana.
- Horse Breed:Predominantly Quarter Horses, with Mustangs, Morgans, Belgians and crossbreeds. All are trained using Natural Horsemanship, and are excellent at building relationships with their humans.
- Pace:Variable depending on the terrain and guests’ preferences (the horses are trained to maintain the speed you set, regardless of others’ speed).
- Weight Limit:A maximum of 110kg / 240lbs.
- Type of tack:Western saddles and bridles.
- Seasons:The ranch is open from mid-March to September each year.
- Group size:Approximately 20 guests per week. You’ll be split into smaller groups of 5-6 each day for riding.
- Time in Saddle:You can choose to ride a half or full day, so anywhere between 3 to 6 hours per day.
- Riding Ability:All riding abilities are catered for, from beginner through to advanced riders. Not sure what your riding ability is? Watch THIS video to find out.
- Accommodation:Clean, comfortable, spacious rooms with handmade, Western-style decor and furnishings, natural gas fireplaces and ensuites. There are 2 guest buildings, both with 4 guest rooms. The Upper Building is attached to the guest laundry facility and the outdoor hot tub, and has a view of the mountains and fields. The Lower Building has air-conditioning, and overlooks the horse corrals.
- Ride Length:There are 6, 10, and 13-night stays available. 6 night stays start on Sunday and end on Saturday, with 5 full days of riding and activities (Mon-Fri). There is a full afternoon of theoretical and practical orientation on day 1.
The price includes full board (with beer and wine at dinner) and all ranch activities including horsemanship orientation, cattle work with guides and wranglers, and daily scenic trail rides.
The price also includes a mandatory 2.5% Montana tax.
The price does not include international or regional flights, travel insurance, transfers (aside from the complimentary times outlined in the itinerary), staff gratuities (please budget for 18%), any admission/entrance fees & activities off the ranch, merchandise & Montana fishing license.
DEPARTURE DATES & RATESNEW! Secure your saddle seat NOW with a 10% deposit - as part of our 10x 10% payment plan!
NB: Solo travellers will be required to pay the single supplement price, unless one of two small main lodge rooms are available (can be a little noisy as located above the main dining area).
10 & 13-night stays are also available, please enquire for further information and pricing.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The price includes full board (with beer and wine at dinner) and all ranch activities including horsemanship orientation, cattle work with guides and wranglers, and daily scenic trail rides. The price also includes a mandatory 2.5% Montana tax.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The price does not include international or regional flights, travel insurance, transfers (aside from the complimentary times outlined below), staff gratuities (please budget for 18%), any admission/entrance fees & activities off the ranch, merchandise & Montana fishing license.
Accepted payment is by credit or debit card only. There is a 2% surcharge on all card payments. Click HERE to read our recommendations on which cards are best to use to avoid international transaction fees.
WHY IS THE PRICE QUOTED IN USD?
With our riding destinations, the currency is dictated by our ride partner in that country. Therefore due to fluctuating exchange rates we have to quote in the same currency.
ItineraryExpand AllCollapse All
Please note, this is a suggested itinerary only and subject to change at the discretion of your guides due to weather and other influencing factors.
With so many trails and oodles of acres to explore it’s impossible to list them all. This is just a sample itinerary of what is possible when enjoying this lodge riding vacation.
Day 1Welcome to Montana, globetrotters! Today you’ll make your way to your hosts’ incredible ranch and settle into your room before your orientation begins at 1:30pm. You’ll be warmly introduced to the whole crew, from the kids playing with their toys in the front room of the lodge to their grandparents, Zack and Patty (we mean it when we say this is a family-run ranch!). Then you’ll be shown around the lodge, saloon and barn, and finally meet your trusty steed for the week. With a strong emphasis on Parelli-style natural horsemanship, the ranch’s philosophy is that ‘horses teach humans and humans teach horses’ – we just need to speak their language. Over the course of the afternoon, you’ll be guided through a series of groundwork games designed to foster trust, communication, respect and partnership between horse and rider.A family-style communal dinner will be served in the lodge at 6:30pm, then you can sit back (perhaps in the hot tub!) and watch the stars come out.
Your entire ranch experience will be tailored to your desires. Each day you get to choose which activities you wish to partake in, with rides and equestrian workshops offered after breakfast and lunch. Sometimes everyone joins in to move cattle, other times you’ll head out for a full day ride and eat lunch on the way. There are acres upon acres of countryside to explore, from the sprawling fields by the creek to the windswept ridges of the mountains. You’ll ride independently and go at the speed of your choosing – if two people want to canter, one person wants to trot and two people want to walk, the horses are trained to be happy to leave, stay, be alone, and go at the requested pace. Hallelujah!
The wranglers regularly bring in cattle to work the horses and give guests the chance to learn to work with the herd. The cattle are bred and trained for rodeos, so they’re quick, agile and great fun.
The two Belgian Draft horses will happily give you a wagon ride, or even a ‘driving lesson’.
Try your hand at equestrian games such as barrel racing and horse soccer, or learn roll-backs and western-style moves. Horsemanship and liberty lessons are also on offer.
For families, there is a children’s riding program that allows parents to head off on longer, more adventurous rides while the youngsters and their ponies have fun with another team of wranglers.
Riding guests can squeeze in roping lessons, archery, skeet shooting, hiking, fishing and history talks before dinner. Non-riders will be able to fill their whole days with these activities and more.
After a delicious breakfast, guests check out and depart on Saturday morning. Check-out is at 11am.
*With so many activities, trails and places to visit, it is impossible to list them all. This is just a sample itinerary of what is possible on this ranch riding vacation.
The closest airport to fly into is Helena, MT and complimentary transfers to and from Helena are available at set times for Sunday arrivals and Saturday departures only – see below.
Pick up from the airport in Helena on Sunday is at 11am. If you choose to fly in this day, please ensure you leave yourself enough time to collect luggage etc and be ready for pick up. If you have arrived the day prior and stayed in Helena that evening, pick up from your hotel will be between 10.15 – 10.45am.
The transfer back to Helena will depart the ranch at 11am on Saturday morning. Should you wish to book flights home today, please book these for after 1:30pm to give yourself enough time to check in.
Transfers to/from Helena outside of these complimentary times are available for $175 USD per person round trip.
Transfers to/from Great Falls are available for $225 USD per person round trip.
Self drive is also an option, and guests are encouraged to arrive between 12 midday and 1pm on the Sunday afternoon. Orientation begins at 1:30pm on Sunday, so please ensure you arrive before this time.