July 2009

We’ll be ready for the winter in plenty of time!

As the summer rolls along, we’ve been keeping our eye on the upcoming winter season. Sounds a little crazy to say that when it’s just barely August 1, but that is indeed what we’re doing. You see, to be ready for the winter this year means having the new indoor riding arena completely ready to go by October when the weather might start hitting here in the Rockies. This project has taken a little longer than anticipated but we always had our eye on the main goal, which was to be able to offer winter riding and to be able to keep spending as much time training the new young horses and tuning up the ones in the guest string. And we’re excited that we’re hearing it should all be ready in about 4 weeks. So, as we run around in short sleeves and cowboy hats this summer, we’re watching the project coming together way out in the Lower Pasture. The carpenters are doing some finish work right now on the exterior trim and also on the inside of the arena. Hey, it’s an arena, but it doesn’t hurt if it’s a pretty one!

Until then, we’re enjoying being on horseback in the outdoor arena and on the trails in this fabulous weather we’re having this week….a cool breeze blowing through the aspens.

And Steve and Chris are biking their tails off trying to keep up with guest Rob this week. After a summer of lots of intense mountain biking, I actually think they are going to be perfectly happy to pack the bikes up and leave the use of the indoor arena to the horses!

adults week Fall of 2012

My husband Rich and I have decided to start our bucket list now, we have been motivated by losing several close friends to unexpected ravages of cancers and heart attacks. While we have our good health and energy we chose my first bucket list item, a beautiful luxury dude ranch. My goals were to ride every day if I could, learn how to lasso, and herd cattle. All my expectations were met and so much more. Well…..the lasso was not exactly mastered, David said all I needed was practice and since I was so close and seemed to be having a great time David decided I should take the lasso home. It is a piece of Vista Verde memories I get to look at every day with a smile and a warm feeling that Rich and I will return, you can be sure I’ll bring it back to show David how well I’m doing and ask him to show me how he jumps through that lasso.

Name: Denise Horne-Kaplan
City: Roaring Gap
State: North Carolina

Cute kid and a special deal

This past week has reminded us how lucky we are to have so many loyal guests who we get to call friends. And with all the activities going in so many different directions, we’re also just impressed by the adventurous spirit of our guests.

I didn’t have any picture perfect moments this week, probably because I was a bit distracted with so many great guests, but I did get a few minutes to have Leslie take a quick picture of Maggie trying out our new pony Shamrock. She is so stinking cute you just can believe it. Not only has Maggie tried her, but Maddie was on her first, then Jack and Annie. She may become the ranch kids’ pony but I don’t know if we’ll be able to keep the guests from her. Shamrock came through a connection of Terry’s who just needed to find a good home for this little 16 year old Welsh pony. She’s done all sorts of arena riding over the years and is picture perfect under saddle. We’ll try her out on the trails and see how it goes in the big bad world of the Rocky Mountains!

On another note, if you know of anyone planning last minute travel this summer, we have a deal for them! Check out our specials page for more info about the last two weeks in August.

9 Wild West Dude Ranches

As seen in The Daily Meal
9 Wild West Dude Ranches – by Nicole Campoy-Leffler

Spurs and all, these are more than just your average horseback riding adventure

In this digital modern age, John Wayne’s dusty Wild West seems a novel, old fashioned place. And while the Gold Rush may be over, it’s comforting to note that this gun-slinging, iPhone-less cowboy lifestyle is still alive and well on dude ranches across the U.S.

More than just tumbleweeds and cowboy hats, these dude ranches have amenities that would spoil even the toughest ranch hand. Swimming pools, live country music, wine cellars, and river rafting trips are all becoming dude ranch standard with fine dining, lavish spa treatments, and tennis courts rounding out some of the more luxurious offerings. Central California’s Alisal Ranch, for example, asks guests to “dress” for dinner and boasts a wine club with three levels of membership.

Whether you’re a seasoned horseback rider or got inspired by watching Rio Grande, the activities and itineraries available at each dude ranch can be tailor-made to fit your every whim. Wyoming’s storied A Bar A Ranch offers everything from fly fishing to skeet shooting and from horseback riding to golfing, ensuring you’ll earn your stripes in no time. And nothing goes with saddling up better than a fresh, epicurean meal.

Montana’s Triple Creek Ranch offers mahi mahi ceviche and braised Guinea fowl and organic chicken with seasonal vegetables and rice in their main dining room while Colorado’s Vista Verde Ranch has scheduled seasonal wine tastings and cooking classes throughout the year.

Harking back to the old West, these ranches let you get a taste of ranch life without actually making you wake up to do farm work at 5 a.m. Here are nine great ranches worth visiting all across the U.S.; go for the horseback riding vacations, stay for the food.

Colorado’s Vista Verde Ranch seems like it was made for the food-loving rancher. With cooking classes and wine tasting events, the ranch’s other activities like mountain biking, horseback riding, snowshoeing, and rock climbing are an added bonus. Changing based on the season, the ranch’s culinary adventures take place all throughout the property from hearty breakfasts (like honey wheat pancakes with caramelized apples on top) to outdoor grilling and from a quick lunch between activities to tasting the ranch’s inspiring wine collection.

Thank you Nicole for including us as one of the best dude ranches in your article!  We are so proud of our all-inclusive Colorado resort and love introducing new people to Vista Verde Ranch.

Give us a call at 800-526-7433 for information or reservations!