Take the Reins This Summer
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Take the Reins This Summer

True Exploration, an Immersion in Nature, and the Feeling of Freedom

June 2019 | Brush Creek Ranch

There is no experience quite like traversing the American West on horseback. It’s a blend of exploration, freedom, and exhilaration.

Horseback riding is about connecting with your roots and feeling the past. Wranglers have used horses to herd cattle across widespread western terrain; to pull wagons carrying much-needed supplies; and for simple recreation. At Brush Creek Ranch, we have over 180 horses that vary in type, purpose, and size. They’re invaluable to our way of life. Our herd is primarily comprised of American Quarter Horses. These are the classic cowboy horse, bred for cow and ranch work.

The Ranch is also home to Thoroughbreds and Draft Cross Horses. The Draft Cross Horses are the result of crossbreeding draft horses like the Percheron or Belgian with a Quarter Horse of a Thoroughbred. While these aren’t full blown Draft Horses that pull large wagons, they are big and strong enough to carry larger riders. Thoroughbreds have thinner coats and excel in barrel racing exercises.

Choose Your Reins

Whether you’re new to horseback riding, or are a seasoned rider seeking a challenge, Brush Creek Ranch offers a variety of experiences for every level of rider. With indoor & outdoor arenas, miles of trails around our 30,000 acre ranch and private access into the gorgeous Medicine Bow National Forest, our expert wranglers will provide you with everything you’ll need for your excursion.Guests with less experience are treated to rides through beautiful rolling meadows, while seasoned riders have the opportunity to ride into the Juniper trees in the hills, and the pines on longer rides.

Breathtaking trail rides through vast western terrain. Southern Wyoming is a seemingly endless landscape that elicits awe and inspiration in our guests. Your handpicked horse will guide you and your fellow riders on the trail of your choosing. Needing to spend more time on your horse before you feel comfortable going on a trail ride? One of our many wranglers can assist you in a private lesson, expanding your knowledge in horseback riding, either in an arena or out in the open.

The truest sense of the authentic American West is most felt during our cattle drives. Unleash your inner cowboy or cowgirl by herding cattle across the Ranch to new pastures. The pastures that the cattle graze are not an infinite resource, so we move our herds in order to let our pastures heal and regrow. On to greener pastures isn’t just a saying, it’s a necessity.

And if you’re searching for even more exhilarating and ambitious adventures, head over to our arena, where you can test your skills in barrel racing. Our wranglers will help refine execution, improve speed as you carve the cloverleaf pattern around the barrels.

Pole bending offers the chance to master the skill of speed and agility around the pole bending course. As one of our most popular rodeo events, it’s an absolute thrill to participate in one of these wild rides. If you’re bringing your team of cowboys and cowgirls to the Ranch, try your hand at team penning. Test your horsemanship, teamwork, and athleticism, and bring out your true spirit of the west.

Relax and Enjoy the Ride

The art of horseback riding is like learning to ride a bike. The more you ride, the better you get. And it’s a workout. There are things to remember, for new and experienced riders alike, that will bring greater comfort with your horse and have you riding like a pro in no time.

Horses have keen senses, with nearly 360 degree eyesight, sharp hearing, and the ability to sense danger and react quickly. When approaching your horse, do so confidently and calmly from the front so it can see you. Move smoothly around the horse so it remains calm with you. In time, you and your horse will learn from each other and work together throughout the ride.

Come to the arena in appropriate clothing for riding: long pants or jeans, socks, and sunglasses. Our equestrian team will provide you with riding boots (should you need them), a helmet, and tack. Experienced riders will know what to expect when mounting and riding a horse, so this section is for beginners or those interested in learning all-things-equestrian.

The How To's of Riding

Here at Brush Creek Ranch, we ride western saddle, which means our saddles are heavier and require one hand on the reins Mounting a horse for the first time can be challenging, but the more you do it, the more natural the motion becomes. You’ll use a mounting step and will hop on from the horse’s left side. With your left hand, grab the reins and then grip the horn at the front of the saddle. Place your left foot in the stirrup, and with your right hand, grip the back of the saddle. Pull yourself up on the horse, gain your balance, and then place your right foot in its respective stirrup. Our wranglers will also cover best practices with regards to correct posture.

Walk, trot, canter, and gallop: these are the four speeds of your horse. Your reins and legs will be the connection between you and your horse. Be gentle with the reins, and allow your steady hands to guide your horse. To begin walking, squeeze the sides of the horse with your legs. Remember to relax and enjoy your ride. Move with your horse and don’t fight the natural movement that comes atop the horse. To stop, pull the reins back, sit up and press your heels down into the stirrup.

Horseback riding is an essential part of life in the American West. No matter your level of skill, we invite you to join us on a thrilling adventure. From leisurely trotting down trails to growing your equestrian skills we’re here to deliver you the most memorable time at Brush Creek Ranch.

Tags: Brush Creek Ranch, Lodge & Spa, Distillery, Medicine Bow, Horseback Riding, Trails, Falcon's Peak Overlook