Why did you go from the 10-riding day program in 2021 and 2022 to now a 7-day riding program in 2023?
Good question! While we and our guests LOVED this format, we feel like we can still optimize results with a 7-day program, and be able to offer more of these options throughout the seasons. We won’t have to turn people away- we can actually open up our doors for more people to come out to ride and learn with us!
How do I book a reservation and why do I have to “interview” in order to become a guest at your ranch?
This is so that YOU and us have the best possible experience possible. Our ranch is set apart from many in our strong emphasis to Buck Brannaman horsemanship in every aspect of riding—be in in the arena, on the trail, with cattle, etc. We are looking for riders who are dedicated to a learning mindset, who have the tenacity to work their minds as much as their bodies. And physical fitness is indeed something to consider when coming out here—we put a lot of hours in the saddle and the way we ride (i.e., advanced horsemanship maneuvers, covering rugged terrain, W/T/C) requires that a person have enough stamina to hang in there over 7 full riding days. Many of our guests walk a mile to and from the arena each morning and sometimes they do 4 miles a day because they go back and forth at lunchtime too! (We do have a shuttle option as well, if you prefer to save your energy for riding!).
This is not to say that you need to be in peak condition when you come out here, but being prepared for what’s to come both mentally and physically is a big plus. You are certainly welcome to take a ½ day or an off day. But our program can be progressive…so we do encourage riders to hang in there to get the most bang for their buck in order to leave with the most tools to become all around hands.
The pre-booking interview process is simple. Just give us a call (Sami or Des can help you), and we will get a feel for what you are looking for, let you know what we offer, and we’ll see if it is a good fit for both of us. We definitely want you to be satisfied with your experience here, so this will give you an inside look at what you can expect from a ranch visit.
Is this 7 FULL days of riding?
What if I can’t ride every day, or I want to take a ½ day off during one of the 7 days?
We’ll work with you! You can do as much or as little as you’d like. The cattle working portion (specifically cutting) is progressive, so you would need to be involved from start to finish in that part to participate. We have trails around the ranch for hiking and biking, fishing, massage, stretch class, cooking, or just good ol’ fashioned RELAXATION
What if I get sore?
If you ever feel sore, let us know immediately! This isn’t something we want you to silently “push through the pain” with! It could be as simple as lengthening or shortening stirrups, or adjusting seat position and you’ll find you can last horseback a lot longer than you thought possible.
Will I get a discount if I cannot stay the full 7 days of riding?
Unfortunately, this is not an option. We’ll try to make sure you get everything you need with the time you have with us though!
What will meals be like?
Family style. Hearty, healthy ranch cooking, and we accommodate special diets too! You will not go hungry with Chef Holly at the helm!
What if I’m a beginner?
Not an issue. Beginners have less bad habits to break and that can be an advantage!
We do suggest that folks come out here with a little bit of time in the saddle, and we strongly suggest that folks watch Buck’s In the Snaffle Bit -the Journey to the Bridle Horse DVD to get acquainted with the movements and the lingo. That will help you get ahead of the game. 7 days of riding, at 6 hours a day or longer can be a lot of time for a beginner rider, so it’s best to know that this is something you really want to do!
We have several student teachers who are LOVED amongst our guests who will spend more one-on-one time with you in the classes to make sure you feel comfortable and right in time with the rest of the class.
Do you have a weight limit?
Yes, we do. We will only take riders under 200 lbs. Riding horses is an athletic sport. Our horses cover some very tough miles and perform some extremely refined horsemanship maneuvers that require lightness and balance. This requires that they have riders who can operate within this weight limit. *You can discuss exceptions with us
Do we offer transportation to and from the ranch, or will I have to rent a car?
For $200.00, per person round trip, we can provide hotel or airport pickup and return to Kalispell. Pickup at your hotel is usually between 12:00 pm and 12:30pm. Airport pickups are usually between 12:30pm and 1:00 pm. WE DO NOT DO ANY PICKUPS BEFORE 12 or AFTER 2:00. If your flight arrives before 12 noon or after 2:00, you will need to arrange your own transportation to the ranch. If you choose to rent a car, you can rent a car directly from the airport or there is also a taxi service in Kalispell.
If I want to come by myself, can I stay in a cabin?
During Peak season we only book double occupancy for the smaller cabins. For the larger cabins, we reserve these for groups of 3 or 4 people. We do have lodge rooms that accommodate a single guest, it you prefer to travel alone.
What is your refund policy?
All payments made to the ranch are non-refundable. Travel insurance is highly recommended for your trip in case changes do come up. Travelguard.com is a popular travel insurance carrier with our guests, and there are several others offering plans as well. Some require obtaining insurance within 24- 48 hours of booking your reservation so be sure to check with the individual carriers, as well as what their individual plans cover.
What if I want to bring my own horse?
We welcome you to bring your personal horses as long as they are a mare or a gelding (no stallions please!)
PLEASE NOTE: Any horses coming on to the ranch are required to have a current Coggins (within the last 12 months), and proof of Rhino and Influenza shots within the last 6 months and no sooner than two weeks prior to arrival. You can bring your own hay or purchase ours for a small fee.
Is there cell service at the ranch?
There is no cell service however, we do have a landline for use if needed. WiFi calling on your cell phone works though it may not be consistent. We do have Starlink Internet now in the lodge, arena, and all the cabins, so wifi is accessible!