Call Soon - we are ramping up another terrific Summer/Fall season. A horseback riding vacation can be pure joy. Or it can be memorable for all the wrong reasons. Winston Churchill said, "The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man"....or somethiing to that effect. We wholeheartedly agree. There's no greater peace and tranquility than climbing aboard the most spiritual animal around and transporting back in time, the way our ancestors moved around the country. To embrace the beauty of the Aspen and evergreen forests, listen to the flowing rivers and feel the sunshine (or rain) break through the canopy of extreme vegetation is an awe-inspiring activitiy while here in Summit County, Colorado.
Here are the main criteria we use in choosing the best rides and why:
Whether you are a rank amateur or a seasoned show rider, there's a trip for every level at Gore Range Outfitters. We provide you with horses and equipment that suit your level of riding. Our guides are trained in picking terrain that you are best suited to handle too. So you can relax and enjoy the ride.
The leader of the ride can make or break it. He or she needs to be an excellent rider, to know the horses well, to do the best possible job in matching horse and rider, to be attentive to the group, to be familiar with the route, to be well informed about the local culture, flora and fauna, and to impart that knowledge to their group. The leader needs to have the courage to take people off the ride if their skill is not up to the required standard or the tour can be ruined for everyone. These gifted ride leaders are also required to have a CPR certificate at a minimum. Many of our guides have their EMT as well, so you are in good hands.
Horses and Tack
The horses must be in good condition and obedient. Gore Range Outfitters pays particular attention to the quality of their horses. They must be capable of handling the itinerary planned. There should be mounts for backup available in case a horse goes lame or is inappropriate for a rider. They need to have comfortable gaits and be reasonably free of bad habits.(Horses by nature are grazers and will attempt to eat along the ride. You'll be taught how to prevent them from getting the grass along the way). They should be accustomed to the normal hazards of the route so that they do not shy suddenly. Bridles and bits should be appropriate for the horses, and the saddles should fit properly. Saddles should be comfortable for riders. Bear in mind that most countries in the world use saddles similar to what we call English. Some Western riders have trouble adjusting to these, but there are rides in Europe using Western saddles. Australian saddles are usually easier for Western riders to adapt to and so are the McClelland type saddles. Of course the tack needs to be well maintained no matter what kind is used. Gore Range has all the saddles prefitted to each horse so that your ride is the best for you and the horse.
Weather is certainly a factor important to most riders. There are no absolute guarantees about weather, but your chances of finding the conditions you want are far better in some places than in others.Gore Range always brings rain gear in the event that there is a cloud break during your ride.
The terrain can certainly affect the pace of the ride and the enjoyment of the riders. Are the trails too rocky most of the time to allow a good lope now and then? Gore Range selects terrain based upon the skills of the riders on the trail. You may encounter going through streams and climbing up and down hills and valleys. The more aggressive rides can encounter narrow trails and low hanging brush as well as deeper running rivers.
Safety is of vital importance. Gore Range Outfitters supplies helmets for all it's riders. If you prefer to not wear a helmet, the choice is yours. Be sure to wear heavier pants as the brush does get dense in some areas and can scrape your legs. Be sure to bring sunscreen too. After all, most rides are at 9,000 feet above sea level which puts your skin in greater proximity to the sun. We rarely encounter bugs at this elevation, but from time to time, find mosquitos or Noseums - bring insect repellant during the peak of the summer months.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call us or send us an email!