Horseback Riding at Vista Verde Ranch in Colorado

The Vista Verde Riding Program offers fun-filled, informative clinics mixed in with adventurous trail rides that accommodate all riding levels. We own the entire remuda of over 90 horses, and we match each guest’s personality with the perfect “horse-onality” to get you off on the right hoof, ‘er foot. Our riding program is about much more than beautiful trail rides. Even those who have ridden all their lives have been known to learn or experience something new while at VVR.

Quality horses and in-depth instruction

The Vista Verde riding program has helped our guests far exceed their expectations in regards to how much they can learn in a week. From both demonstrating what our trainers are teaching our young horses, to helping you learn how to better communicate with your own horse during one of our many clinics, you might find that you never want to leave the arena because you’re having too much fun!

To ensure that we are bringing in the next generation of fabulous horses for our guests we have invested in a breeding and training program. We breed some of our well-pedigreed mares each year to our own stallion and are enjoying the wonderful foals as they grow up at the ranch. As a guest, you can enjoy seeing these foals as they are born and begin the training process. Often times our training staff are working the young horses while they are teaching you to work with and train your own horse. It’s just amazing how much there is to learn about horses, and our team is here to share that knowledge with you.

Our training staff have developed a variety of different clinics to explore the different aspects of horsemanship, and are suitable to all riding levels.  From basic horsemanship clinics to more focused cattle work clinics as well as some that are just focused on bringing it all together through fun games, you can expand your horsemanship knowledge dramatically through the week.

Trail Riding

Most days we have rides going out in the morning and afternoon, but we also go on an early morning breakfast ride and an evening dinner ride once a week.  The number of riders on a ride is kept low so each adventure can be tailored to your riding ability. We encourage family rides, but keep in mind the rides will be geared towards the most inexperienced rider. So if you want to go on a more challenging ride, we will pair you with other riders with the same interest and riding level.

For those who demonstrate good control, we do move out on the trails when the terrain is appropriate. We are safety conscious since we’ve seen it all, and also pay close attention to how the horses are feeling each day so as to not wear them out, keeping them fresh for you all week.

There are plenty of opportunities for more advanced and faster riding on your dude ranch vacation. We have a lot of fun with these amazing creatures and our wranglers keep things lively all week long with adventurous bushwhacking rides and games that get the horses out of the normal nose to tail riding style. That makes it more fun for them and you!

Fall Cattle Round-up

Come September, we head out onto over 16,000 acres of forested land to find and round up the cattle before the snow flies.  The first part of the week is spent in the arena, honing each rider’s skills on working cattle. Once everyone is ready to go, we head out into the National Forest to search out, round up and drive in the cattle. These weeks are for those interested in an intensive riding experience and a lot of time in the saddle. Please click here to contact us for more information on dates.

Kids & Teens

Just like the adults, the Buckaroos ride the same horse all week, developing a loving, trusting relationship. Our Kid’s Wranglers get the youngsters started in the arena, but soon move out on the trail. Kid’s rides are available daily. However, family rides are a popular option. In addition to riding, kids have the opportunity to learn how to groom and care for their horses.

The teens have exclusive teen rides as well as the option of riding with adults. Not only do we offer adventurous and exciting trails for these young adults, we provide an excuse for them to get away from their parents! The teen program provides ample instruction for those who really want to “get into” the horse thing while at Vista Verde.


All of us at the ranch consider safety as one of our most important responsibilities to our guest, staff, and animals. As a general rule, horses can safely carry loads of up to 20% of their body weight including rider, saddle and tack.  Given that, we pay attention to the rider’s weight when it comes to horseback riding and we do have a 250 pound weight limit for horseback riding at Vista Verde. Having said that our wranglers consider several factors in determining whether or not an individual is too heavy or too big to ride, including: rider’s physical fitness, riding experience and ability, size of the horse, type of terrain, speed of ride, and other factors. We will exercise discretion when addressing these issues and reserve the right to prohibit riding or restrict riding to level terrain, or walk-only rides. Please do not hesitate to contact us to privately discuss specific circumstances.

Also, in order to ride you must be able to mount and dismount independently.  We do provide mounting blocks to help our guests and the horses for a more graceful and pleasant mounting experience!


“No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle.”
— Winston Churchill