What sets your services apart?
As family owner/operators,
and residents at this ranch, we have a direct stake in ensuring that
your experience here be the safest and most enjoyable possible.
It’s a lifestyle choice! The beautiful setting and trails here
speak for themselves. We work hard to keep the horseback rides
small (although we can accommodate 14 or so riders together for
groups), so usually we only send up to six riders together with each
guide. We only use strong, sound horses, and hear many favorable
comments about their excellent condition. The skilled guides who
work here know how to set horses and people at ease, and are trained to
prioritize safety. Their services are a central asset, of course we
think they’re the best guides around!
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What is your typical schedule?
Most of the year, we only
prepare the horses and have a guide available by reservation, so please
do contact us ahead of time. For horseback riding, in summer we
can usually schedule the first ride of the day at 10:00 am and the last
at 4:30 pm, and in spring and fall we often start at 11:00, with the
last ride at 3:00. During sleigh
season, rides are often offered on the hour from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm,
though some days will be more limited.
What do you need for a
We have a two person
minimum to set up a reservation (although if you would like to come
solo, you could add on to a previously scheduled ride). When
you’re ready to schedule a ride, we’ll need to know how many adults and
kids in your party, and the age of the kids. Additionally, we do
ask for a Visa or MasterCard number just to hold the reservation
(just give us a call ahead to cancel if your plans change).
For horseback riding, it’s also very helpful to know the size of the
adults, especially any bigger riders (over 200 #), so we can be sure to
have an appropriate horse available. Which brings us to…
What are the age and
weight limits for horseback riding?
Age six is the youngest we
can take on a trail ride (our insurance doesn‘t allow double riding,
nor do we consider it safe). If you’re over 18, we don’t ask your
age! For most riders, our weight limit is 240#, although that
should be adjusted down and up according to height/weight
proportions. For persons under 5 foot six inches tall, the weight limit is 200#, to accommodate their horse height and saddle size requirements. For those about 6 feet in height or taller, we can
sometimes extend the upper limit to 250#. If that still sounds limited,
consider the U.S. cavalry used to have a weight limit of 140#!
What if I’ve never been
on a horse before?
No problem. We have very
gentle, calm horses and will be happy to demonstrate basic cues for
directing your horse once you mount up. Your guide will always be
with you on the trail to answer questions and offer extra help.
For a young child or nervous rider, the guide can also keep hold of a
lead rope to their horse.
What should we wear
and bring with us?
Secure, sturdy shoes or
boots are ideal. For horseback riding, you at least need a heel
strap (no thongs or clogs). We also recommend long pants for
riding. We do provide riding helmets, which are required for kids
and optional for adults on horseback rides. Brimmed hats need a
chin tie to be worn on the trail. It’s always a good idea to have
an extra layer available in the car with you in case weather is cooler
than expected. For sleigh rides, we do provide blankets for you
to sit on, and put over your laps, but dress for the snow! We do
have bottled water available here for purchase, but no snacks.
optional, your guides always appreciate a tip in recognition of
skilled, attentive service.
What can we expect when
Please expect to be warmly
greeted when you come to the office to sign in (which includes reading
and signing an insurance form), and make yourself at home until it is
time for the ride to depart. At that time, for sleigh or wagon
rides, someone will escort you to your sleigh or wagon. You’ll
enjoy the beautiful mountain valley setting here.
For riding, meet by the horses at the hitching rail and the head
assign riders to horses for your party, based on size, experience, and
attitude! If you’re a return customer and have a request for a
specific mount, just ask ahead and we will do our darndest to
accommodate you. Our saddle horses are mostly Quarter horses, or
blends, some part Arab or part draft horse. The riding trails are
single file, and at a walk, as you climb up into the mountains.
All tack here is Western style.
What do you expect of
Tolerance of corny
jokes. Beyond that, we sure appreciate it when you arrive ten to
fifteen minutes before the scheduled ride time, enough for signing in
and other last minute details, so the ride can depart on time. We
want you to be comfortable here, so please let us know if you have any
What will the weather
be like when we arrive?
It’s an excellent question,
we’d like to know too! But weather
can change quickly in the mountains. We’re usually a few degrees
cooler up here than downtown Leavenworth, meaning more snow in winter
and more temperate in summer.
What happens in inclement
We’re happy to take you out
on a ride in a light rain, though in the
case of a thunderstorm we would need to cancel. Also, our trail
may be too muddy or slushy during or after a heavy rain. Just
give us a call-- weather systems travel a bit differently in our little
valley, and there’s no penalty to cancel a reservation due to weather,
as long as you call ahead.
When exactly do your
sleigh and riding seasons begin and end?
The seasons vary a bit each year with the weather, it really depends on
trail conditions. Typically, we begin horseback riding right
around the first of April, by offering a 4 mile loop up the Eagle Creek
valley and back. As the snow and mud dry off the steeper trails,
we’ll climb into the forested hills for the 4 mile offering, then add
in the higher trails in May or so. The season runs through late
October, sometimes with temporary closings near the end of the season
if the golden autumn days shift to sloppy wet weather.
Sleigh rides begin with the first snow cover, which we plan on having
by the first week in December, although sometimes we can offer
Thanksgiving weekend sleigh rides as well (wagon rides,
otherwise). By mid-March, we usually enjoy seeing the bare
patches of ground spread across the sleigh trail!
Do you have gift certificates
Yes, we offer gift
certificates in any amount, which you are welcome to
pick up here, or simply call in with a Visa or MC number and we can
mail one anywhere.
Do you offer
temporary horse boarding?
Not us. If you and
your horses are both looking for
accommodations, try Beaver Valley Lodge in Plain, where you can lodge
together in comfort and style.
Do you have lodging available?
Nope, just the horse
activities. For dozens more lodging options
in the area, from the unique and luxurious (Run of the River, Abendblume, Mountain Home Lodge, All Season’s River Inn), to full
service hotels (Best Western Icicle Inn, the Enzian Inn) to small and
affordable (Mrs. Anderson’s lodging house) among many fine choices, see
“Lodging” at Leavenworth.org
How do we get to Leavenworth?
At the web site link above,
click on “Getting Here” (listed under “Local
Information”) for maps and directions to Leavenworth from every
direction. Then see our map page to find the ranch here, just a
15 minute drive from town.
Why are your prices so
Well, we simply offer the
best value around! Oh, you meant the
odd cents. Most of our prices take into account the 8% sales tax
to be added on, so the total will come out on the even dollar.