The Ultimate Guide to Horseback Riding Ranch Vacations

A selection of ranch holidays for all levels of rider!


The Ultimate Guide to Horseback Riding Ranch Vacations

Riding enthusiasts in search of an unforgettable holiday experience need look no further than a ranch vacation! Horseback riding ranch vacations are adventurous getaways that offer an authentic taste of ranch life, naturally, with horseback riding being the main attraction.

Horseback Riding Ranch Vacations
A ranch holiday is the perfect way to immerse yourself in nature

Unlike typical ‘dude ranch’ offerings, Unicorn Trails extensive portfolio features ranches that cater to both skilled riders as well as beginners, or even a non-rider. From iconic locations in the USA, Canada, South America, and Europe, Unicorn has you covered. Whether looking for a chance to improve riding skills or simply yearning for a refreshing adventure, our collection of horseback riding ranch vacations has something special in store for all riders. Join us as we explore the exciting world of ranch holidays and help you find the perfect destination for your dream trip.

Why Choose a Ranch Vacation?

Horseback Riding Ranch Vacations
What would a ranch holiday be without lasso practice?

A ranch vacation is the ultimate way to merge a passion for horses with a love for exploration and adventure, and the perfect way to connect with these majestic animals. As they tend to be immersive and hands-on, horseback riding ranch vacations are also a unique way to experience different cultures while experiencing fantastic riding. Whether exploring the stunning Canadian wilderness during a stay on our Coast Mountains ranch holiday, or drinking in the breathtaking mountain vistas of Baboquivari Peak and Sonoran Desert in Montana while staying at the Rancho de la Osa guest ranch, our excellent hand-picked horseback riding ranch vacations offer something for everyone.

What Makes Our Ranch Holidays Special?

Horseback Riding Ranch Vacations
Winding trails and breathtaking scenery – Hacienda La Alegria Ecuador

Unicorn Trails take pride in providing exceptional horseback ranch stays for every level of rider, and not just a one-size-fits-all holiday solution. Our carefully curated portfolio features some of the most stunning ranches in the world, offering breathtaking landscapes and top-notch equestrian facilities. But our attention to detail doesn’t stop there – we also take great care to provide personalized service for each of our clients. Our team works closely with you to understand your needs and preferences, ensuring that your ranch vacation is tailored to fit your exact specifications.

Choose Your Destination
Steeped in history and tradition, a ranch vacation provides a window into a way of life that has been upheld for generations. But with so many destinations to choose from it can be hard to know where to begin. Unicorn Trails selection of tried and tested ranches includes packages from the rugged landscapes of Montana and Wyoming to the sun-soaked plains of Texas and Arizona. Although the USA has long been the home of the iconic pioneer spirit, we also offer ranch vacations in Alberta and Calgary, Canada.

For those looking to broaden their horizons, why not consider the traditional Estancias and Fazendas of Latin America, where the influence of the Gaucho culture can be seen and felt in locations through Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Ecuador, and Mexico. For those seeking a ranch experience closer to home, there are holidays in Portugal and France, complete with genuine western riding.

Horseback Riding Ranch Vacations
Perfect riding weather – New Mexico Ranch Retreat & Trekking

Ranch Holidays for Confident Riders

Confident riders, saddle up and get ready for the ranch adventure of a lifetime! If you are riding fit, comfortable at walking, trotting, and cantering, and have good balance and control, then these are the perfect trips for you. These involve long rides through diverse terrain so be prepared to spend several hours a day on horseback. Fitness is essential as these expeditions can be physically demanding.

Here are some choice options we offer for experienced riders:

Horseback Riding Ranch Vacations
Making a splash on the New Mexico Ranch Retreat & Trekking holiday

Ranch Retreat & Trekking in New Mexico: Experience the beauty and adventure of New Mexico on our Ranch Retreat and Trekking vacation, perfect for intermediate and above riders who are comfortable posting and cantering in small groups. Transfer by trailer out to different locations each day for the chance to explore diverse landscapes in this beautiful state. From galloping through sandy deserts and trekking through alpine forests to splashing through the waters of Rio Grande, there are so many fascinating places to explore around this ranch. Accommodation is in a beautiful guest house located just minutes from the main ranch, nestled on a juniper and pine tree-lined ridge overlooking the valley below.

Horseback Riding Ranch Vacations
The effort is well worth the reward – Wilderness pack trip – Canada

Wilderness Pack Trips in Canada: This is a bucket-list trip for those who have ever dreamed about exploring the wilderness of Canada on horseback. Join a small band of adventurers on an unforgettable horse-riding holiday through the forests and meadows of the Kananaskis country. This trail takes riders into the higher reaches of the Rocky Mountains, with rugged trails that require good balance and control. Intermediate and above riders will love the challenge! All of the gear is carried on pack horses, leaving riders free to manoeuvre difficult terrain or enjoy a fast-paced ride. Camp in unspoiled locations surrounded by nature, just as the first explorers did. Enjoy food made on campfires and experience the vastness of the land in a way that few people have the chance to.

Riding above the clouds on the Brazil - Rio Grande do Sul Coast and Canyons Holiday
Riding above the clouds on the Brazil – Rio Grande do Sul Coast and Canyons Holiday

Rio Grande do Sul Coast and Canyons in Brazil: Be immersed in the stunning natural beauty of Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul Coast and Canyons on this exciting itinerary. The adventure begins with a three-day horseback trail ride through the coastal dunes, lagoons, and deserted coastlands of Lagoa do Peixe National Park. Take in the awe-inspiring views of Lagoa dos Patos, the largest lagoon in Brazil. Continue the journey with four days of horseback riding through the stunning highland scenery that boasts massive canyons, bottomless waterfalls, and lush green slopes, all while viewing the Atlantic rainforest below and content cattle grazing the plateaus. Stay at different fazendas at each stop to experience Brazil’s authentic working ranches. This is a breathtaking journey for experienced riders.

Ranches for Non-Riders & Beginners

For those new to horseback riding or looking to improve their skills in a safe and supportive environment, there are plenty of ranch options available for beginners. Accompanied by experienced guides and instructors, beginners can enjoy gentle trail rides through picturesque landscapes while learning the basics of horsemanship. These ranches often provide lessons and clinics to help gain confidence and skills. With personalized attention, novices can feel comfortable exploring the world of horseback riding at their own pace. There are also options for non-riders to accompany advanced riders on their adventures, so everyone can join in on the fun.

Horseback Riding Ranch Vacation
Riding in the Avenue of Volcanos – Hacienda La Alegria Ecuador

Hacienda La Alegria in Ecuador: Ecuador boasts breathtaking scenery and unparalleled opportunities for adventure, perfect for experiencing on horseback. A fine option is the Hacienda La Alegria, nestled in the heart of the famous ‘Avenue of Volcanoes’. This working dairy farm offers modern, comfortable accommodation with awe-inspiring views of snow-capped Cotopaxi – one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. But the real highlight of any visit here is the chance to explore the stunning surroundings on superb horses that are suitable for all levels of rider – even children. Explore along winding lanes, follow mountain paths above the clouds, and experience the beauty of Ecuador up close. There is plenty to keep guests entertained when not in the saddle including trips to local markets, national parks and rose plantations, and the chance to watch Ecuador’s legendary gauchos in action.

Horseback Riding Ranch Vacations
Surroundings straight from a Western movie – Arizona, Kay El Bar Ranch – USA

Kay El Bar Ranch in Arizona, USA: For the chance to experience life on a historic ranch in the heart of the Arizona desert, look no further than the first ranch ever to be established in Arizona! Guests have been welcomed here for over 100 years. This holiday is at the rider’s own pace, enjoying everything from horseback trails through sandy washes and slot canyons, to lounging in the pool and hot tub or hiking through rugged terrain. No matter what experience level, there is a horse fit for each rider. For those looking to improve their skills, lessons are available for an additional charge.

By now it is apparent that horseback riding ranch vacations are the ultimate experience for those looking for adventure, thrills, and a sense of freedom. With plenty of opportunities to immerse oneself in nature and explore the world on horseback, these holidays never disappoint. Whatever the level of rider, Unicorn Trails hand-picked locations will provide the perfect backdrop for your equestrian vacation.

So, why wait? Let us help guide you on your next adventure and discover the magic of ranch holidays today! With our expertise, passion, and dedication to providing the best experiences for riders, you can trust Unicorn Trails to make your dream ranch vacation a reality. The open fields, breathtaking views, and authentic cowboy experiences await you.

Horseback Riding Ranch Holidays

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