Family Friendly USA Ranch Vacation

Summer in the ranch means green grass, tall pines, beautiful wildflowers, blue skies, and fun. It doesn’t matter your age because there is something for everyone on a guest ranch vacation at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch. You will enjoy the warm, Western hospitality, country gourmet dining, and the beauty of this country wilderness that will make your ranch stay not only a vacation but also an authentic western experience with memories that last a lifetime. This is truly a summer horse riding and ranch vacation!

Key Information

  • Rider Weight Limit: 109 kilograms / 240 pounds
  • Tack Type: Western saddle
  • Horse Breed: Quarter Horses, Appaloosas, Paints, Percheron, and Belgian Percheron

Highlights

  • Daily horse riding sessions
  • Cattle sorting and moving sessions
  • Scavenger hunt, archery range, and trap shooting
  • Dinner cruise on Lake Pend Orielle
  • 3 scrumptious ranch meals
  • 7 nights’ accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


7 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
The maximum participants in the group is 20
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Accommodation

You will spend your five nights at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch where you will experience “True Western Hospitality” on your summer dude ranch vacation. The lodging will be in either a handcrafted log cabin or one of the lodge’s spacious guest rooms. The beauty and seclusion of North Idaho are at your fingertips while staying at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch located 16 miles northeast of Sandpoint, Idaho.

Ranch amenities include The Great Room for dining and meeting space, the upstairs loft for relaxing, the recreation room, outdoor hot tub, basketball court, horseshoes, playground for the little ones, and laundry facilities. Dogs are allowed in the cabins but not in the rooms in the lodge. There is a pet fee of 15 USD per night per pet. Guest pets are not allowed on any rides so please bring a crate your dog can stay in while you are away.

Then, you will enjoy two nights at Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort located near Paradise Montana, a scenic 2.5-hour drive from the ranch. For more than a century, this scenic resort on the Clark Fork River has provided their Guests with relaxation and renewal through pleasure and healthy leisure. To ensure the maximum therapeutic benefits, their pools are chemical-free and have constantly flowing spring water. They offer both cabin type accommodation or lodge rooms.

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch Vacation USA Program

Horseback riding

You will saddle up for some good old-fashioned fun as you will ride along the ridges and valleys of this fifth generation Idaho dude and guest ranch which is rich in history and beauty. You will ride through grazing cattle or sneak a peek at deer, bear, and other wildlife in their native surroundings. Moreover, you will watch a red-tailed Hawk soar overhead and listen to the song of the birds welcoming you to a new day. In the summer, horseback riding is the main activity on the ranch. The riding program will begin with an orientation where the wranglers will introduce you to your horse for the week and give instructions on how to ride and what to expect throughout the week during your horseback experiences.

Each day, you will enjoy morning and afternoon rides where you will explore the north Idaho mountains, valleys, and meadows around the ranch. One day, you will pack up for a day ride to Grouse Creek Falls for swimming or enjoy a ranch perimeter ride with views of the Selkirk and Cabinet Mountain Ranges. One evening, you will saddle up for a dinner ride with campfire grilled, ranch raised beef steak. Other horseback experiences include lessons in the arena, moving cattle, cattle sorting, and arena games. The 70′ by 100′ indoor arena means even if it’s raining, there will be horseback activities available.

Children's activities

Children staying with family at the ranch will have the opportunity to be involved in one of the most educational and fun dude ranch children’s program available. This program is designed for kids aged 8 to 18. Hands-on experiences with their horse is the centerpiece of this program. Before arriving at the ranch, children will receive the ranch’s horsemanship manual to help expand their learning experience. The program will start on Sunday evening and be concluded on Thursday evening with a horse show completed with trophies and ribbons. Children will be responsible for their own horse and equipment. They will learn horse husbandry skills and equipment care. Every morning, they will help prepare their horse for the day’s activities.

Evening activities

The ranch activities continue each evening and have the following activities

  • Sunday: You will take an evening walk to the meadow to meet the ranch horses and be introduced to your own horse for the week.
  • Monday: You will test your archery skills with traditional bows and 3D Target
  • Tuesday: In this evening, you will venture off the ranch for a dinner cruise on Lake Pend Oreille. Also, you will enjoy your meal on the Shawnodese while keeping an eye out for Bald Eagles and their nests (available from June 14 to August 30). Children participating in the youth horsemanship program can stay at the ranch this evening to participate in the kids' campfire complete with hot dogs and smores.
  • Wednesday: A guest ranch vacation wouldn’t be complete without a Dutch Oven cookout and cowboy music around the campfire.
  • Thursday: This evening, you will harness one of the five teams of draft horses and take off for a horse-drawn wagon ride. Following the wagon ride, the children get to show off the skills they have learned throughout the week in a Children’s Horse Show Rodeo complete with trophies and ribbons.
  • Friday: You will saddle up for a dinner ride with a campfire, grilled ranch raised beef steak and of course, all the ranch gourmet fixings to go along with it.

The Horses

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch is very proud of their four-legged working partners. They maintain a herd of more than 50 registered Quarter Horses, Appaloosas, and Paints for the saddle horses as well as one team of Belgian Percheron crosses, three teams of Percherons, and one team of 1/4 Percheron for the sleigh and wagon rides. Most of the horses are either born and raised right here on the ranch or purchased from other local ranchers. The horses are worked with and handled at an early age to begin adapting them to their future uses. As two-year-olds, Western Pleasure Guest Ranch begins the official training, getting them used to the saddle and working them in the round pen.

They then graduate to the arena, and then to some short trail rides. Western Pleasure Guest Ranch uses a training system called the ‘Basic Handle’ founded by Monte Forman and Pat Wyse. This system creates a safe, responsive, and sensible horse. Of course, Western Pleasure Guest Ranch carefully breeds and maintains horses that have a disposition that lends itself to the guest ranch industry. As three and four years old, these horses are used as mounts for the trail guides. Then, as five years old, they begin their career as mounts for the guests. Western Pleasure Guest Ranch uses both mares and geldings and rotate mares in and out as they produce more offspring for the future string.

Custom-balanced ride saddles

A saddle can make the difference between a great ride and a terrible ride for you and your horse. Therefore, Western Pleasure Guest Ranch provides their guests with quality, custom-made, John Fallis, or Vick Bennett balanced ride saddles. These saddles create a more comfortable ride for you and your horse because:

  • The seat design is nearly flat to place the rider on the horse’s true center of gravity.
  • The rigging design reduces the bulk under the riders’ legs permitting more leg contact with the horse and promoting more control. This design also reduces pain in your knees while riding.
  • The stirrups are designed to hang farther forward than conventional stirrups to increase the riders stability and balance.

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch is committed to providing you with the most comfortable ride possible. The horses are the greatest asset here at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch so they believe it is vitally important to take care of their comfort and long-term use. With this in mind, Western Pleasure Guest Ranch has chosen to invest in WYNGZ RidezCool saddle pads which are designed to be lightweight, flexible, and comfortable.

Sample itinerary

Sunday

You will arrive at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch.

Monday to Thursday

You will participate in all activities at the ranch.

Friday

After breakfast, you will depart the ranch and drive to Quinn’s Hot Springs where you will stay Friday and Saturday nights.

Saturday

You will Meet Montana River Guides in Superior Montana for a day of rafting (at an additional cost). After rafting, you will head back to Quinn’s Hot Springs.

Tentative schedule

Sunday

  • 15:00 Guests will arrive and check in to their room or cabin.
  • 18:30 Dinner will be served in the great room of the lodge.
  • 19:30 Mosey down the horse pasture and meet your mount.

Monday

  • 08:30 Wranglers will run the horses up from the meadow.
  • 09:00 Breakfast
  • 10:00 You will meet at the barn for riding orientation and instructions - a short trail ride to follow.
  • 12:30 Lunch
  • 14:00 Afternoon ride (about two hours)
  • 17:00 Wranglers will run horses back to the meadow.
  • 18:30 Dinner
  • 19:30 Archery practice

Tuesday

  • 08:30 Wranglers will run the horses up from the meadow.
  • 09:00 Breakfast
  • 10:00 You will meet at the barn for morning ride (about two hours) or enjoy a 3D archery. You can put your archery skills to the test on the 3D archery course.
  • 12:30 Lunch
  • 14:00 You will have an afternoon ride. A fast ride and a slow ride will be offered this afternoon. Wranglers must approve those going on fast ride. Ride may be a little shorter because of a dinner cruise or you will enjoy a trap shooting. Trap is a recreational and competitive activity using shotguns where participants attempt to shoot clay disks flung into the air at high speed. The minimum age to participate is 12 years old.
  • 16:30 You will be met in the lodge parking lot to caravan to town. You will be driving your own car.
  • 17:00 Wranglers will run horses back to meadow.
  • 17:15 You will board the Shawnodese on Lake Pend Oreille for a dinner cruise (available from June 14 to August 30).
  • 21:00 You will return to the ranch.

Wednesday

  • 08:30 Wranglers will run the horses up from the meadow.
  • 09:00 Breakfast
  • 09:00 You will make sack lunches for ride.
  • 10:00 You will be met at the barn for all day ride. Today, you will ride to Grouse Creek Falls. You may want to bring a swimsuit, water shoes, and towel (please ask for towels at the lodge) for a refreshing dip at the Falls. The trip home in wet jeans can be long. There is a half mile, moderate hike into Grouse Creek Falls.
  • 16:30 You will return to the lodge.
  • 17:00 Wranglers will run horses back to the meadow.
  • 18:30 Dutch oven dinner will be served outside at the firepit.
  • 19:30 Music around the campfire

Thursday

  • 08:30 Wranglers will run the horses up from the meadow.
  • 09:00 Breakfast
  • 10:00 You will enjoy cattle sorting. This is a competitive team event. Please bring your game face.
  • 12:30 Lunch
  • 14:00 Afternoon ride
  • 18:30 Dinner
  • 20:00 Wranglers will run horses back to the meadow.
  • Time to be announced for evening wagon rides and roping practice

Friday

  • 08:30 Wranglers will run horses up from the meadow.
  • 09:00 Breakfast
  • 10:00 Morning will be on your own or you may enjoy an all-day mountain lake drive / hike. Transportation will be provided.
  • 12:30 You will have brown bag lunch. Please pick this up from the kitchen after breakfast.
  • 12:30 Wranglers will run the horses up from the meadow
  • 14:00 You will enjoy a horseback ride for those not on the day hike.
  • 17:00 You will depart for a steak dinner ride.
  • 19:30 You will ride back to the lodge.
  • 20:00 Wranglers will run the horses back to the meadow.

Saturday

  • 08:30 Wranglers will run the horses up from the meadow.
  • 09:00 Breakfast
  • 11:00 Check out

Ranch vacation tips

  • Please be honest about your riding experience. Western Pleasure Guest Ranch asks about your riding experience to best match you with a horse most appropriate for your riding experience and comfort level.
  • Please consider making it a tech-free (or at least tech limited) vacation. You will get the most out of a western experience when you can free yourself up from technological distractions.
  • Please come with a hearty appetite.
  • You may have other questions about trail ride etiquette of a more personal manner.

Important information

Adults and children 13 years old and older are not required to wear a riding helmet. However, they are available for your use should you want one. Children ages 12 and under are required to wear an SEI approved riding helmet. Also, anyone 18 years old and under, visiting the ranch without a parent / guardian on site is required to wear an SEI approved riding helmet.

Location

Sandpoint sits on the shores of the spectacular Lake Pend Oreille, one of the largest fresh water lakes in the United States. At 43 miles in length Lake Pend Oreille, there is the fifth deepest lake (1,158 feet at its greatest depth) in the United States with 111 miles of shoreline. Its pristine waters are a major factor in the community of Sandpoint’s high ranking as a premier tourist destination. The reality is that the only way to get a full grasp on the natural beauty of Northern Idaho is from a breathtaking scenic vista, atop a Western Pleasure Guest Ranch horse.

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch is located just 16 scenic miles NE of the beautiful small town of Sandpoint, Idaho. USA Today recently voted Sandpoint as the most beautiful small town in the US. Resting at the base of the Selkirk Mountains in North Idaho’s Panhandle region, the community of Sandpoint can be found 60 miles south of the Canadian border and 75 miles northeast of Spokane, Washington.

Food

You will be served three scrumptious ranch meals per day including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Meals while staying at Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort are not included. Dinner cruise on Lake Pend Orielle is also included in the price and it is available from June 14 to August 30.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Basketball
  • Downtown Sandpoint tour
  • Evening campfires with songs and s’mores
  • Foosball
  • Glacier National Park visit
  • Kayaking
  • Outdoor hot tub
  • Play pool table
  • Schweitzer Ski Resort visit
  • Silverwood Theme Park tour
  • Participate in The Idaho Club Golf Course
  • Watch movies
  • Whitewater rafting

What's included

  • Daily horse riding
  • Cattle sorting
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Archery range
  • Trap shooting
  • Three scrumptious ranch meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch
  • Dinner cruise on Lake Pend Orielle (available from June 14 to August 30)
  • 7 nights’ accommodation

What's not included

  • Tax
  • Meals while staying at Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort

How to get there

Driving directions from I-90 either east or west

  • Take the US-95 exit Number 12 in Coeur d’Alene.
  • Head north to Sandpoint.
  • Cross the Long Bridge before arriving in Sandpoint.
  • Continue North on 95 after crossing the Long Bridge until the HWY 200 exit.
  • Take the HWY 200 exit to the right then continue on HWY 200 for 6.1 miles until you reach Colburn-Culver Road.
  • Turn left on Colburn-Culver.
  • Continue for four miles to Gold Creek Road.
  • Turn right and continue for 2.8 miles to Upper Gold Creek.
  • Follow Upper Gold Creek 1.5 miles to the lodge.
  • Watch for the blue Western Pleasure Guest Ranch’ signs along the way.

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Spokane International Airport (GEG).

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch recommends you rent a car. However, if you prefer, transportation can be arranged for an additional fee. Sandpoint (just 15 miles from the ranch) does have a small airport for private flights.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 25% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 60 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
8 days / 7 nights
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Availability

This horse riding and ranch vacation is available from June 3 to September 29, 2018 with an arrival on Sundays. Please select an arrival date below.

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