Family vacations can be hard to plan. You want to do something that’s fun for everyone, but is also unique at the same time. You want everybody to be happy without breaking the bank at the same time. One option that most people overlook is a family horseback-riding trip. The western states have a number of different options available for those who want to saddle up and get out there in the open range. California and Montana are great places to start and have plenty of different horseback riding
companies to choose from.
The first that you should check out is the Five Brooks Ranch located in beautiful Northern California at the Point Reyes National Seashore. The Five Brooks Stable at the ranch is a full service stable that can accommodate the whole family. They specialize in guided trail tours and the expert riders of the company can show the beautiful scenery on the over 120 miles of trails in and around the Seashore. They also has private rides available for those who want to get off the beaten path a little, as well as hay wagon rides for the little ones. Riding lessons are another way to spend the day, and gift certificates make a great gift idea. They are open daily from 9-5 PST, and can reached on their website at www.fivebrooks.com, or by phone at 415-663-1570. They also have a sister ranch in nearby Bodega Bay called the Chanselor Stable that offers similar services.
The Northern California area is littered with some of the best horseback riding companies in the country. Another one of these is Garrod Farms located in Saratoga, California. Garrod Farms specializes in daily trips through the San Francisco Bay, and tours usually take rides through the beautiful Cooper-Garrod Vineyards and the Mid Peninsula Open Space Preserves. From there riders can see beautiful views from 1000-foot elevations of the Santa Clara Valley. A unique twist that Garrod Farms offers is wine tasting. After trekking through the hills for the standard 90-minute trail ride, customers can retire to Garrod Farms’ tasting room, “The Fruit House,” for a sampling of the wines from the vineyard. Trail rides usually start around 8:30 in the morning and cost about $40. They also have lessons for both the English and traditional Western riding styles. They can be reached at 408-867-9527 or online at www.caladventures.com/garrodfarms.htm.
If you are looking for tours of national parks, then Jake’s Horse located in Yellowstone National Park in Montana should be your first choice. They offer the most detailed and expert guided tours of some of the most beautiful spots in all of Yellowstone. You can add on parts to your trip and go fishing and big game hunting as well as horseback riding. They’ll take care of everything from the preparation, the wrangling, and the cooking of the food to ensure the best experience for you and your family. Pack trips usually run between 2 and 4 days and can cost anywhere from $200 a person to $600 for a 2 person three night trip. Only bring your hiking boots as everything else from tents and sleeping bags can be provided for. Check them out at 800-352-5956 or on their website at www.jakeshorse.com.
Try horseback riding tours for a unique and adventurous experience that the whole famly can enjoy. You wont be disappointed.