Winter Horseback Riding
3 spots to enjoy a magical outdoor experience in the snow
Even though I love horses, my first experience riding in the snow happened during a recent visit to Montana’s Triple Creek Ranch—it was magical. Although I was worried that I might be cold, the wranglers at the Rider’s Roost outfitted us in anoraks and boots and hand warmers in our gloves that kept us toasty warm. The horses had grown their thick winter coats and they seemed oblivious to the big flakes falling as we slowly made our way through the Ponderosa pines.
Many guest ranches offer winter horseback rides and sleigh rides—a wonderful way to see beautiful winter mountain scenery. Below are a few of my favorites:
Photo courtesy of Triple Creek Ranch
Triple Creek Ranch is an award-winning, all-inclusive luxury ranch resort in western Montana, approximately 75 miles south of Missoula in a serene forested setting surrounded by endless miles of National Forest Service land. The ranch offers daily horseback trail rides through wilderness.
Photo courtesy of Vista Verde Ranch
Located near Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Vista Verde Guest Ranch provides winter trail rides as part of its winter offerings, keeping a few trails around the ranch packed down. The ranch also has a full-sized heated indoor riding arena for anyone who’d like to work on improving their riding skills, and offers sleigh rides for added fun.
Photo courtesy of Devil's Thumb Ranch
Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa was named #1 Best Cross-Country Ski Resort in the 2018 USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards, but it provides many activities in addition to skiing. In the winter, the ranch staff lead riders on a 45-minute tour through the ranch’s winter wonderland. And each day, guests can also take a sleigh ride out to feed the horses.