Horseback riding in New Mexico, USA

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Southwest Working Cattle Ranch

Southwest Working Cattle Ranch

Tack: Western
Horses: Quarter, Appaloosa, Paint Horses (limited number of horses for novice riders)
Pace: based on experience slow or fast paced, 2-4 hours daily
| Walk | Trot | Canter |
Level: Riding Level (Click for legend) (2.5 to 3 out of 5)    Intermediate
Age: Min 16
Weight: Max 210 lbs.
Riders: Min 2 riders Max 12 riders
(per riding group)
Max Capacity 16

Tough, seasoned ranch horses will take you trail riding or rounding up cattle. Learn the cowboy 'fun'damentals of riding. Because the climate in southwestern New Mexico is so mild during any season, they are able to calve year ‘round. This means most of the guests have an opportunity to help with every phase of cattle work, which can include roundups, branding, sorting, weaning, vaccinating, castrating, and pasture movement of the Angus cattle on site and help them preserve as much of the traditional "Old West" as possible.

Riding Level
It is strongly recommended that you are at least a strong beginner. (A "strong beginner" is someone who is comfortable controlling the horse at a walk or trot, is not particularly nervous around the animals and is ambitious to learn more). Some basic riding lessons are available at an hourly rate (extra charge).  If you have a husband or wife who has never ridden but would like to join you, have them do the same or else they are also able to book as a non-rider at a discounted rate!
Concerning the trail rides, we would like to mention, that the terrain is quite challenging, with e.g. steep up- and downhills and little ditches. Our advise: take at least 10 riding lessons before arrival on our ranch, to really be able to enjoy our trail rides and the rising trot makes it easier for you and the horse.
We offer one rider per day for the whole group.

Riding at the Ranch
While there may be times it's necessary due to the particular terrain or trail, they discourage 'nose to tail' riding at the ranch! Here they want horseback riding the way it was intended to be, in country that can only be fully experienced and enjoyed from the back of a good horse. They do ask that you listen to and respect your trail guide at all times, following his/her directions closely. At 5000' elevation and with daytime temperatures ranging from 48 degrees in the winter months to 98+ degrees in warmest summer months, New Mexico's climate makes outdoor horseback adventures possible year round. The Southwest is a magical part of our great country. You'll get as much "hands-on" time as you want! As part of the crew, we invite you to get yer hands dirty. This isn't a "foo-foo" dude ranch. This is ranch life pretty much the way is has always been in New Mexico for over 100 years. It's a lifestyle that is fast disappearing and we work hard to preserve it. The smells, the sounds, the dust in the air, the animals - are all part of the experience. Wake to the melody of birds in the trees, horses anxiously waiting to be fed and the sight of a spectacular sun splashing over Turtle Rock. Dude Ranch?? We don't think so! Enjoy a quiet moment on your porch before helping with morning ranch chores, which can include feeding livestock, pulling saddle horses from pastures, grooming and tacking. While not mandatory, we encourage your help. They are able to keep rates reasonable because of maintaining a small staff - and so they appreciate the extra hands! Approx. 3-5 hours of horseback riding per riding day!
Children 11 years old and younger will not be permitted to ride. All riders 18 years old and younger must wear a helmet.

Weight Limit
The maximum weight is 200 lbs.

Minimum age
The minimum age is 12 years. Everyone 18 and younger must wear a helmet while riding.

Group Size
Maximum of 10 riders.

The Horses
During your visit to the ranch, they will provide you with the opportunity to ride some of the finest western saddle horses available.  Depending on your individual riding skill level, horses will be selected for beginners, intermediate and advanced riders.  Many of the horses can easily accommodate all levels of riders. They "know" what your skill level is and will adjust accordingly. At the ranch, they prefer quarter horse and quarter horse type horses, agile with quiet confidence. You'll find all horses in excellent condition, athletic, tough and willing, each one having their own distinct personality. Regardless of how well you ride, they believe they have a horse for YOU and the staff will make every effort to create the perfect "fit".  And speaking of "fit", if your saddle is uncomfortable or you don't like your assigned horse, please - tell them!  They are happy to make changes.  Try several horses or keep one partner for the week! They'll take care of you, you'll improve your horsemanship and have a lot of fun!

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Southwest Working Cattle Ranch
Tour Code: WRNM05
8 days / 7 nights ~$1,645.00
Dates : April - November

Trip Rating :
Difficulty : Riding Level
Riding Level Explained
Beginner A rider who has limited experience, is unable to post the trot and does not canter.
Novice A rider who is capable of mounting and dismounting unassisted, capable of applying basic aids, comfortable and in control at the walk, moderate length posting trots, and short canters.
Intermediate A rider who has a firm seat, is confident and in control at all paces (including posting trots, two point canters and gallops), but does not ride regularly.
D Strong Intermediate
Strong Intermediate An intermediate rider who is currently riding regularly and is comfortable in the saddle for at least 6 hours per day.
All of the above, plus an independent seat, soft hands, and capable of handlinga spirited horse in open country.
Lodging: Standard
Lodging Level Explained
= Facilities in lodges, estancias, haciendas, resorts, etc.
Basic lodging - some with shared bathroom facilities, usually no AC or room service.
Regular standard room - usually with private bath.
 Accommodations with superior comforts.
 = Trips with nights in tent camps. Sometimes the first and last night are in hotels.
Basic tent camping - everyone helps out with camp chores.
Regular standard with some camp amenities and camp cook.
Camping facilities with superior comforts like camp shower, bathroom facility..
 = Trips that combine nights in hotels and camping.
Basic accommodation and basic camping facilities can be expected.
Regular standard with some nicer amenities.
Only assigned to hotel and camping facilities with superior comforts.

Online Reservation

Season Seasons  Min / MaxReserve
A 2021 04/01 - 06/30 8d / 7n 8 day Ranch, AP (high) 2 /12 Reserve
B 2021 07/01 - 08/31 8d / 7n 8 day Ranch, AP (low) 2 /12 Reserve
A 2021 09/01 - 10/31 8d / 7n 8 day Ranch, AP (high) 2 /12 Reserve
Day to Day Itinerary
Rates | Dates
Tack: Western
Horses: Quarter, Appaloosa, Paint Horses (limi...
Pace: based on experience slow or fast paced...
Walk, Trot, Canter,
Airport: Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ)
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