Not all horse owners have the time or inclination to go on fancy vacations to distant lands or theme parks, but many can appreciate the ability to share time away from home with their favorite steeds. Some vacation destinations are well worth planning in advance. Even if the early part of the year may seem a strange time to start planning your family vacation, most locations require proof of Coggins and a recent certificate of health with dated influenza and rhinovirus vaccinations. This means that now is absolutely the best time to start planning a memorable trip for you and your equine friend.
Zapata Ranch (Colorado, USA)
Live life among some of the biggest and most breathtaking North American species as you join the crew at Zapata Ranch. Unlike having to work your own stables, however, Zapata lets you come down and enjoy the view without the daily chores and maintenance schedules that can drive your life at home. Take some time off to discover why the Plains bison was essential to the foundation of the nation and how these gentle giants differ from their iconic buffalo cousins.
A trip to Zapata Ranch with your horse means the ability to enjoy ranch foods and fresh bison meat — a delectable treat no matter where you travel — and accommodations for your family and your equine companions are equally top notch. Stay at the scenic Lodge for stunning views of the surrounding areas or enjoy a private room at the bunkhouse. The Stewart House is a great choice for those planning to stay a week or more and enjoy everything Zapata Ranch has to offer.
Triple Creek Ranch (Montana, USA)
Ever wonder what your home or ranch would be like if everything were wrapped in luxury? Triple Creek Ranch in Montana has the answer. Luxury amenities abound from the second you pull up your trailer to the stable and the high-class accommodations. Hit the swimming pool to stretch your muscles after the ride or head down to the Rider’s Roost to get your companion saddled and ready for an adventure. The ranch features one of the best collections of Western art in the nation, and its cuisine is prepared by top chefs who pair distinctive flavors with eye-catching presentations.
You can enroll in cooking courses while on the ranch or just walk the orchards and gardens on site to get closer to your food. If you’d like a guided tour of the area, the concierge at Triple Creek Ranch can set you up with a local outfitter for an adventure custom-suited to your level of skill and interest. Custom vacations and new concepts lie at the heart of how the travel industry has changed in recent years, and Triple Creek can help you make the most of it. At the end of a long day in the kitchen, pool or saddle, relax for a good night’s sleep with the aromatherapy afforded by an essential oil diffuser in each room.
Echo Valley Ranch (British Columbia, Canada)
If active adventure is less your thing, but you still want to be pampered and have time for a good ride with your furry friend, perhaps a trip across the border is in order. Echo Valley Ranch is nestled in the Cariboo Mountains of Canada’s British Columbia, and it offers a spa experience unlike any other. The crew at Echo Valley Ranch specializes in spa treatments for both you and your equine companion, making this an unforgettable and relaxing experience that gives you a wonderful chance to bond even further.
The spa treatments aren’t just for women. The emerging culture of spa amenities for men is very powerful in Canada, and the retreat specializes in digital detox, helping you and your family learn to get away from the screens that dominate modern life and learn to love the simpler things. Discover real relaxation with some of the most beautiful scenery Canada has to offer, and sample the country in a way unlike any other.
Remember to pack all of the needed medical documentation along with your riding gear and everything you need for fun in the great outdoors. Each of these retreats provides unforgettable experiences for everyone in your family, and they can give you the opportunity to see and experience things that truly only happen once in a lifetime alongside your equine companion. Don’t forget your camera so you can follow the time-honored maxim of visiting other ranches: “Take only pictures; leave only footprints!”