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Horse Vacations

Dreaming of getting away from everything BUT horses? Here are some great places to consider

From Horsetrader staff - April 4th, 2013 - Cover Story
Stagecoach Trails Horse Camping

Stagecoach Trails Horse Camping

Stagecoach Trails Horse Camping
Julian, California
(760) 765-3765

The great outdoors awaits you at Stagecoach Trails, a delightful and relaxing discovery east of historic Julian in San Diego County adjacent to the beautiful Anza Borrego State Park. Rich in history, wildlife, desert flowers and unspoiled landscapes, the State Park provides Stagecoach campers with a variety of ways to relax and or be active: horseback riding, jeep touring, hiking, or discovering native encampments with pictographs, morteros and other interesting artifacts. Nearby Ghost Mountain was home for Marshall South and his family in their Native American experiment in the late 1930s. Stagecoach Trails offers its guests information and maps on these and other attractions nearby.

Recent enhancements at Stagecoach Trails include a beautiful new lodge with unique, hand-crafted woodwork as well as a large, outdoor pavilion for groups to gather in the night air. Available amenities include cabin rentals, RV sites, tent sites, horseshoe pits, shuffleboard courts, hot showers, a laundry room, three fantastic group areas, horse corrals, a round pen as well as a riding arena and wash-rack. Stagecoach Trails is an 80-acre campground with 285 sites and plenty of space to roam.

Quiet hours are enforced so everyone can enjoy the tranquility of the desert’s starry canvas at its most beautiful time. A brand new telescope pad on the outer edge of the park has also been recently built for the park’s stargazing friends. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more quiet, peaceful and out-of-the-way place for your entire family to enjoy.

Reed Valley Ranch

Reed Valley Ranch

Reed Valley Ranch
Hemet, California
(951) 767-0524

This charming jewel is remarkably close — located within a short drive from the Inland Empire, Los Angeles and San Diego. Reed Valley Ranch boasts 835 acres of oak groves, lush valleys and rugged hills. Originally settled in 1867, Reed Valley Ranch has kept the charm of days gone by. Owned and operated by the same family for over 65 years, this pristine land is sure to inspire your love of nature, ranching, and horsemanship.

What’s more, Reed Valley Ranch is becoming a prime destination for horse campers, group gatherings and weddings as more and more folks discover the unique adventure and quiet peacefulness it provides. For a new, unique experience for both you and your horse, you can arrange a trip to Reed Valley Ranch today, and the staff will work with you to customize a get-away that is best suited for your experience level. The motto at Reed Valley Ranch is, “Arrive as our guest and leave as our friends.”

Idle Hour Guest Ranch

Idle Hour Guest Ranch

Idle Hour Guest Ranch
Leona Valley, California
(760) 765-3765

Located in the beautiful Leona Valley, Idle Hour Guest Ranch is a place where time doesn’t matter — a place where you can leave your stress behind and immerse you and your horse in unparalleled relaxation. This private, gated ranch on 22 acres is a favorite for horsemen and women seeking a beautiful, peaceful and relaxing destination for both you and your horse.

There’s a lot to this destination – Idle Hour is not only a horse boarding facility, but also a Bed and Breakfast as well as a special event venue for such events as weddings, baby showers, bridal showers, and anniversary parties. The owners live on premises and have built a profound reputation at providers of the most extensive list of services available. Whether it’s for pampering yourself, a group of friends and family, or your horse, no detail is overlooked.

The bed and breakfast boasts beautifully appointed rooms, incredible cuisine and very welcoming hosts. You’ll enjoy quiet relaxation in the courtyard around the outdoor fireplace and waterfall as well as the brilliant night sky as you relax in the spa.

For your horse, the ranch features extra-large pastures with roomy shelters and many activities to do by horseback, such as a ride to the Leona Valley Winery for a little wine tasting, or a ride down to Casa Gutierrez, the local Mexican Restaurant for some great food, margaritas and local flavor. June is Cherry Picking Month in the Leona Valley, and all the ranches are open and ripe for the taking. Discover the beauty of the Angeles Crest National Forest by horseback on the Pacific Coast Trail as you ride for miles and hours melt into moments.

Rancho Oso Guest Ranch & Resort

Rancho Oso Guest Ranch & Resort

Rancho Oso Guest Ranch & Resort
Santa Barbara, California
(805) 683-5686

For those who desire the little comforts of life while still surrounded by the beauty of nature, Rancho Oso offers everything from rustic cabins to deluxe cabins and trailers with full amenities. Now, Rancho Oso is excited to show off its brand new guest cottages — each cottage sleeps a maximum of six people and includes a queen bed in a separate bedroom, two bunk beds in a separate sleeping area, and a sofa-sleeper in the living room. It also has a bathroom and kitchen with stove top, and while there may be no oven, there is a gas barbeque grill outside. Amenities also include satellite TV, DVD, AC, heat and ceiling fans. Housewares such as pots, pans and dishes are included, and a microwave and coffeemaker make your stay even easier.

Outside these well-appointed cottages, Rancho Oso also offers several other types of accommodations, including horse camping, covered wagons, RV camping — even a teepee! Activities include horseback riding, hiking, swimming, or relax and watch movies, and play pool, tennis or mini-golf. Rancho Oso has a number of great activities for you and your family. There are guided horseback tours, too. Call Rancho Oso now more details and to make your reservations for your next vacation!

Point Reyes Country Inn & Stables

Point Reyes Country Inn & Stables

Point Reyes Country Inn & Stables
Point Reyes Station, California
(415) 663-9696

Just an hour north of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Point Reyes Country Inn and Stables can be your headquarters for days of relaxation, outdoor activities and fine dining. Nestled between the Point Reyes National Seashore, the Golden Gate National Recreational Area and Tomales Bay State Park, the Country Inn is surrounded by beauty and natural wonders, allowing you to hike or ride your horse to the beach along the Earthquake Trail, hike across the Inverness Ridge, or visit the famous oyster farms on Tomales Bay.

The Grooms Quarters over the stables consist of two studios, each with queen bed and kitchen, with an additional room with four sleeping spaces. Total accommodation is eight, and this is especially suited for groups. The adjacent Country Inn is a six-bedroom home — all with private baths. There is one king or queen bed per room, and two rooms can made up with twin beds. Welcoming reading chairs with either a balcony or deck create pleasant place to enjoy your evening libation. Downstairs, an inviting living room with a large fireplace warms guests on blustery days.

For a completely different experience, you might consider the two cottages on Tomales Bay. Located seven miles from the Inn and stables in the village of Inverness, both cottages are romantic, private and have the best views of the bay in the area.

Accommodations for your equine companions are equally comfortable. There is a 10-stall stable, and stalls are 12 x 12 feet, including five stalls with 12 x 24 runs attached, six outdoor 12 x 24 pipe corrals, and three large paddocks that can accommodate up to four compatible horses. One can trailer a short distance to the Point Reyes National Seashore with its various staging areas. With over 100 miles of wooded trails, pastoral views, and long sandy beaches to explore, you can ride for many days without retracing your steps.

Nine Quarter Circle Ranch

Nine Quarter Circle Ranch

Nine Quarter Circle Ranch
Gallatin Gateway, Montana
(406) 995-4276

Adjacent to Yellowstone Park, the family-oriented vacations here feature spectacular riding for all ages and all levels of horsemanship. Right from the ranch, you ride into the millions of acres of surrounding National Forest and the Taylor-Hilgard Wilderness. Each week, one of the two all-day rides heads to Yellowstone Park. In addition, you may chose to experience the blue-ribbon fly-fishing that can be found on the ranch or on the Gallatin, Madison or Yellowstone rivers.

The incredible scenery, traditional hand-crafted log cabins and furnishings, excellent food — served with the West’s best hospitality -– are just a few of the additional perks. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to engage in many other traditional activities such as campfires, hayrides, square dancing, and more.

Owned and operated by the Kelsey family for over 60 years, the Nine Quarter Circle is “magical,” offering guests the chance to experience true Montana tradition and hospitality. Come and experience the place “where time stands still”. Check out the website and Facebook page for more info and pictures.

Annie's Piggly Pines Vacation Rental

Annie’s Piggly Pines Vacation Rental

Annie’s Piggly Pines Vacation Rental
Springville, California
(559) 542-1269

Situated on 15 beautiful acres on Kramer Meadow, this very private and secluded cabin is located 4.5 hours north of L.A. and about 6.5 hours south of the Bay Area in the small mountain community of Ponderosa. The site, at an elevation of 7,250 feet, is bordered by the U.S. Forest Service, and you are welcome to bring your horses.

Annie’s Piggly Pines is on an edge of Kramer Meadow, which runs the length of the property. On the other side of the meadow are unlimited trails and fire breaks for trail riding among the giant sequoias, yellow, ponderosa and lodgepole pines and aspen trees. In addition, the facility offers an arena, round pen and 10 horse stalls. The one-bedroom cabin sleeps five, and a separate bedroom cabin sleeps two. The main cabin hosts a gourmet, commercial-type kitchen with wood burning stove (wood provided) along with a six-burner/griddle commercial stove. The main cabin opens onto the fire pit area for the evening family campfire.

Boz and Annie of Boz Saddlery purchased the 14 acres in the spring of 2001. Visit their workshop and watch them making a custom saddle. Also enjoy abundant wildlife, mountain biking, rock climbing, golf, fishing, hiking, bocce ball, nine-hole meadow golf, Frisbee golf, kite flying, Indian teepees — and tranquility.

Dude Rancher's Association

Dude Rancher’s Association

Dude Ranchers’ Association
(866) 399-2339

Dude ranches are the original, all-inclusive destination for families. Located in some of the most breathtaking areas of the U.S. and Canada, they can handle a variety of requests, from horseback riding and fly fishing to yoga and cooking classes to zip lining and hiking. The Dude Ranchers’ Association (DRA) can help your family plan the perfect vacation to one of its 100 accredited guest ranches.

The term “dude ranch” typically brings to mind images of cowboys and cattle drives, a la the popular 1991 comedy, “City Slickers.” While dude ranches still evoke those same memories and are rooted in American tradition, they are much more. There is a broad spectrum of guest ranches across North America, ranging from rustic, no-frills working ranches to luxury resort-style ranches. From valleys complete with untouched Rocky Mountain backdrops to desert sunsets across the Southwest, you can find DRA-accredited ranches throughout the Western U.S. in Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nebraska and South Dakota, as well as in California, Arkansas and Canada. No matter which guest ranch you choose, a dude ranch vacation guarantees plenty of time to bond and spend time as a family, creating memories that will last a lifetime and a vacation destination you’ll want to return to time and time again. Check out the fabulous Dude Ranchers Association website or give the group a call!

Cowgirl Up Ranch

Cowgirl Up Ranch

Cowgirl Up Ranch
Burson, California
(877) 789-6797

Cowgirl Up Ranch, located just above the south shore of Lake Camanche in the heart of Calaveras County Gold Country, is well known for its unique Horse Lovers Retreats. Like no other horse vacation you have attended, these organized retreats feature eclectic exercises with you and your horse that develop a true sense of partnership and connection. These are not training sessions; they are experiences to be shared that build a trust and bonding — the basis of a confident horse-and-rider pair.

If you just want to enjoy the facility, three Coast-to-Crest trailheads are within a short drive from the ranch. There is a sweet little cottage nestled at the edge of our private woods with a 30 x 30 corral right next to it, so you can enjoy your horses next to you as you relax. The bunkhouse sleeps seven comfortably if you want to travel with a group.

Cowgirl Up Ranch is not a resort — it is a ranch dedicated to the love of animals and the comfort of its guests. The relaxed and easygoing atmosphere give you a sense of comfort and well-being, as well as the support of like-minded people. All ages are welcome. The more “mature” riders who are returning to horse ownership will find a fountain of kindred souls!

One comment has been made on “Horse Vacations”

  1. Britney Barge Says:

    I am very interested in learning more about the vacations with horses that your companies listed offer! Please send me more information to my email and let’s see if we can come up with a reasonably priced place and date. Thank you very much!
    All the best,

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