If you stayed home to enjoy one of the hottest UK summers on record, why not spice up your autumn with a new horseback adventure from Ranch Rider. The tour operator is launching two exciting western stays, the Arizona Ranch & Round-up giving greenhorns a taster of the cowboy lifestyle, and where “AHA” meets “Yeehaah,” the women-only “Unbridle Your Creativity” retreat bringing together horses, nature and inspiring women to rein in a better you. One of the few remaining independent riding holiday specialists, Ranch Rider will also show you how to time your leaf-peeping trip to perfection and saddle up for less this autumn.
The seven-night Arizona Ranch & Round-up combines upscale, period guest ranch accommodation at the Tombstone Monument Ranch with authentic cattle drives on the 25,000-acre, solar and wind-powered 47 Ranch. Guests will meet Dennis Moroney, one of the founders of the collaborative conservation movement in working landscapes of the West, his family finding innovative ways to protect both the land and traditional methods of ranching. The round-up lasts for three days, with guests moving as many as 500-head of Criollo cattle including bulls, steers and cows across desert grassland and mountain oak woodland in Southern Arizona’s Mule Mountains. All guests will receive round-up training on the Tombstone Ranch and they will have full access to all the guest ranch’s facilities throughout the riding holiday, including the bar, restaurant, swimming pool and hot tub. When not rounding up the herd, the Tombstone Monument Ranch has plenty to offer in the way of activities – archery and shooting with replica guns from the Wild West period on the list of pursuits. Alternatively, there are rides into Tombstone, the iconic Western town hosting daily reenactments of the Battle at the OK Corral. Seven-night Ranch & Round-Up from £1,898pp (two sharing) including full board accommodation at the Tombstone Monument Ranch, most guest ranch activities including riding (one day of cattle work training), three days of round-up and cattle work at the 47 Ranch, taxes, transfers and gratuities. Excludes return flight from £879pp. Departing 27 September 2018. Additional departure 07 March 2019. Ten night Ranch & Round-up also available.
From the “Me Too” movement to female-friendly travel, more women than ever before are feeling empowered and adventures aimed solely at the fairer sex are growing in popularity. Ideal for guests who want to step out of their comfort zone and embrace their authentic selves, the new three-night women-only, “Unbridle Your Creativity” retreat will be hosted by Devon Combs, “The Cowgirl of the Wellness Industry,” and Kris Drewry, published author and lifestyle blogger. Based at Arizona’s Rancho de la Osa, the course aims to silence your inner critic and make creativity part of your routine, through Equine Gestalt Coaching (described as healing through interaction with horses), journaling and trail riding. Additional activities include an evening of cowboy poetry (with a real cowboy), a moonlight bonfire and cowgirl cocktails. Ranch Rider suggest pairing the riding holiday with their seven-night “Soul of Arizona” self-drive, the itinerary covering many of the state’s dramatic landscapes from the Grand Canyon to Monument Valley with its stunning red stone Mesas. Three-night “Unbridle Your Creativity” retreat from £1,895pp (two sharing) including full board accommodation, Equine Gestalt Coaching, horseback rides, and creative activities, taxes, gratuities and transfers. Departing 15 November. Seven-night self-drive from £595pp (two sharing) including accommodation and car hire. Excludes return flight from £879pp.
For more horsey “all-girl getaways” visit Horse Nation, where Ruth Daly, Marketing Director at Ranch Rider talks about her favourite cowgirl weeks.
One of the best autumn deals on offer, guests can SAVE £215pp (15%) at Wyoming’s New Haven Working Ranch. Living the life of a cowhand is central to the stay with daily opportunities to work the cattle. Alternative pursuits include pistol and rifle target shooting as well as trap shooting and trout fishing. Seven nights from only £1,210pp (no single supplement) including accommodation, meals ranch activities (including riding), use of ranch facilities, taxes and gratuities. Excludes transfers from £135 and return flight from £889pp. Departing 29 September and 06 October. Price before discount £1,425pp.
See more of Ranch Rider’s latest offers…
If you want to experience leaf peeping at its finest, Ranch Rider suggest booking a week at Montana’s Rocking Z Guest Ranch on the week beginning the 14th of October. The tour operator is basing their decision on the Fall Foliage Map (developed by SmokyMountains.com), the map using its own algorithm and historical forecasts to predict when fall colours will peak across America. A great ranch for beginners, at the Rocking Z, it’s not unusual to find greenhorns rounding up cattle down mountains by the end of the week and lessons in Parelli Horsemanship are included in the price. Picnic rides across miles of rolling terrain, hayrides, hiking, roping, shooting and fly-fishing are additional activities, the ranch surrounded by cinematic scenery, especially in the autumn, the property just eight miles west of the Gates of Mountains Wilderness Area. Six nights from £1,795pp (two sharing) including accommodation, meals, most ranch activities, taxes and gratuities. Excludes return flight from 889pp. Year round departures.
Ranch Rider (01509 618 811; ranchrider.com) ATOL PROTECTED No 4660 ABTA 96395/V9150.
About Ranch Rider: Ruth and Tony Daly are both passionate riders, the husband and wife team running tour operator Ranch Rider – one of the very few remaining independent specialist horseback holiday companies.
When Tony Daly headed to Arizona over 20 years ago, he never envisioned he would end up selling ranch holidays, but Tony says, “ranch life has a way of quietly seeping under your skin and each time you visit North America, it gets harder to put down the reins.”
A keen rider herself and owner of a 14.2 colour cob mare, Tony’s wife, Ruth has helped to expand the tour operator’s list of destinations outside of North America. Argentina, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and more recently Tanzania are the latest additions – cantering alongside giraffe in South Africa, tracking the Big Five on horseback in Botswana, riding across the wilds of Tanzania and Namibia (some trails inaccessible by anything other than a horse) and saddling up with the Gauchos in Argentina offering plenty of contrast when it comes to riding holidays.
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