Find your perfect riding holiday with Top50

Published by Jody on March 27 2014 08:01 in Horses
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Find your perfect riding holiday today with Top50 Ranches. Booking a holiday abroad can be a challenge – especially if you want to try something a bit different or travel somewhere off the beaten track. Horse holidays in particular can be tough to gauge at a distance. Do they offer the riding experience you are looking for? Can they cater for a family member who isn’t an experienced rider? Are they family friendly? Will you be given the opportunity to ride responsive horses, not weary ‘riding school’ types? Top50 Ranches can’t help with all your holiday bookings, but they can help you choose the right ranch holiday so you can focus on channelling your inner cowboy/cowgirl. All their ranches are regularly checked by an experienced member of the Top50 team to ensure standards remain high, so you’ll never get the sinking feeling when you arrive on your first day.

10 Ranches for UK Equestrian Enthusiasts:

Alisal Ranch, California, USA

Alisal Ranch california horseback riding above lake

Alisal Ranch is a working cattle ranch, which offers guests a taste of the ‘old west’. You’ll have the opportunity to ride over 10,000 acres of privately owned land with experienced, entertaining wranglers. The ranch has a family slant (there is even a petting zoo!) and provides a wide range of package holidays, from mother-daughter trips to wine-tasting weekends.

Latigo Ranch, Colorado, USA

Latigo Ranch Colorado children's roping

Are you looking for a relaxing ranch holiday with a focus on improving your riding? Then Latigo Ranch is the destination for you. Offering a wide-range of equestrian experiences, from scenic overnight pack trips to ‘learn to ride’ courses, this ranch suits guests who appreciate horses and nature. In addition, they are known for their outstanding children’s programme and excellent hospitality – the number of staff almost equals the number of guests.

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Hottest Dude Ranch Vacations Summer Specials!

Published by Jody on June 28 2013 08:55 in
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Top50 Ranches

 

Summer Specials! Top50's hottest ranch vacations

Whether it's celebrating Labor Day, reconnecting with friends and family, or simply saddling up for the western horseback adventure of a lifetime, we've found the best ranch vacations, discounts and offers to suit every taste and budget.

 

Clayoquot Wilderness Resort Zapata Ranch Horsemanship Clinics Elk Mountain Ranch

 

Special A heli of an adventure!

This September only, take to the sky for a helicopter adventure at Clayoquot Wilderness Resort and explore places you never thought you could. The luxury Canada guest ranch's guided  heli-hiking, heli-photography and heli-fishing packages will take you to remote glaciers and spectacular scenery.

3, 4 and 7-night all-inclusive packages available

 

Special Horsemanship Clinic

Zapata Ranch's Duke Phillips and horseman Cam Schryver help you gain a deeper connection with horses, at Zapata's Horsemanship Clinic on 4–11 August. Enjoy personal instruction, demos, and work cattle and bison on the Colorado guest ranch's exclusive package.

$2,700 per person, including all meals, lodging and instruction

 

 

Exclusive discount Save $200!

The beautiful Elk Mountain Ranch in Colorado, USA, is offering an equally stunning discount to Top50 subscribers. Book a horseback riding vacation for week of August 18 or August 25, and each adult will receive a huge $200 discount!

Quote code Top50JuneNews when booking

Sizzling Specials

Top50's pick of the best packages and offers

The High Lonesome Dude Ranch's Tenderfoot package is ideal for those with limited time and budgets. The 4-night vacation includes 3 days of activities, with fly fishing, wild horse tours, winery tours, mountain biking and more to choose from. $1,695 for adults and $995 for kids – under 3s go free! Rates exclude taxes, service fee and transfers

Ladies, listen up! High Lonesome's All Ladies week on 18–24 August is the perfect way for moms, daughters, sisters, grandmothers and friends to reconnect. 
Four and six-night packages available.

Tod Mountain Ranch

For a long, lazy August weekend, head to Tod Mountain Ranch in BC, Canada, on 5 August. Arrive on Friday to a sumptuous dinner, ride to your heart's content on Saturday and Sunday, and saddle up one last time on Monday morning.
$845/person, all-inclusive rate, excludes taxes

Short on time? All you need is a weekend at Colorado's C Lazy U Ranch! For August 20–23 and 25–30, and 30–Sept 1 only, these 3-night short packages include a kids' program, nightly entertainment, luxury lodging, gourmet meals, horseback riding and a host of ranch activities. Prices vary according to date, enquire on booking.

If you like it hot, you'll love Rancho Las Cascadas' amazing 50% discount for children*. The Mexico luxury dude ranch lets kids be kids, whether it's in the pool, on horseback on at the barnyard – and all at a great price!
*Offer valid until December 2013, for ages 14 and under sharing with 2 full paying adults. 

Save upto 35% from August 31–September 28! Lone Mountain Guest Ranch in Montana, USA, is slashing up to 35% of its ranch vacations*. These adults/teens only months include horseback riding, Yellowstone tours, BBQs and live music, making these 4–7 night all-inclusive stays great value.
*From $310pp/pn, discount depends on number of guests/length of stay, enquire for details

Lone Mountain Ranch fall
 

Got the bottle? Arrive an enthusiast and leave a connoisseur, with Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch's Wine Week on Aug 25 to Sept 1 (from $2,380 per couple) and August to Sept 1 (from $1,110 per couple). Sip and chat on the porch with 'The Wine Heretic' John Alonge as you enjoy tastings, seminars and ranch activities on these all-inclusive packages.

 

Saddle Up and Celebrate!

Great ways to spend the holidays – western style!

Triple Creek Ranch's Montana Thanksgiving from Nov 21–Dec 1 combines a great American tradition with western cowboy culture. Enjoy an epic feast in Big Sky country, alongside cowboy lore and hands-on fun. Fine food and wine, the scent of pine forests and majestic mountains await, for a truly special Thanksgiving weekend.

Head to Echo Valley Ranch and Spa in Canada for BC Day Long Weekend on August 3–5. Relax or get active, with your choice of either a half-day horseback ride and fly fishnig lesson, OR a 30-min Thai Herbal Steam Bath and 30-min Scalp Massage included in this all-inclusive 2-night break. Did we mention the bottomless cookie jar?

Celebrate Canada Day from June 28–July 1 at BC's Tod Mountain Ranch. At just $745 per person (excluding taxes), Canada Day Weekend offers 3 nights of all-inclusive ranch fun, from the moment you arrive at dinner on Friday until lunch on Monday after one last morning ride.

Spend Labor Day weekend at Tod Mountain and enjoy the annual Barriere Fall Fair & Rodeo - its all-inclusive 3-night package includes a trip to Saturday's rodeo and dinner at a local restaurant, and a full day's riding on the Sunday – all for just $845* per person!
*Rate excludes taxes

For a great family Labor Day, head to C Lazy U Ranch in Colorado, USA, and spend the last long weekend of the summer together on its exclusive 3-night package (normally minimum 7-night stay), complete with the ranch's renowned children's program.

C Lazy U ranch


To your arts content

Unleash your artistic side with these cultural specials

The Resort at Paws Up in Montana, USA, introduces its Wilderness Workshops. Drum Circle Madness, from July 8–20, will see renowned musicians Scott Besaw and Scott Schaefer conduct drum circles and sing-a-long activities for kids and adults alike. And from August 5–10, Yarn Antics and Bombing will see Suzanne Tidwell teaching her amazing art of yarn bombing. Join her for a knit-in by campsfire or for crafts at the Kids Corps of Discovery – all among majestic pines on a stunning 37,000 acre ranch.

Local author John Rember will visit Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch on June 18, July 19 and 23, August 20 and September 10, to sit around the fire and offer ranch guests his perspective on the area and its rich culture and history. Listen to John's fireside readings during your horseback riding vacation at this authentic Idaho ranch.

 

One hoof ahead!

2014 is just around the corner (honest), so it's not too early to start planning for next year's ranch vacation! Rancho Las Cascadas in Mexico is currently taking bookings for its Yoga Retreat from 1–8 March 2014. This 7-night package includes all meals (with daily healthy breakfasts), accommodations, a premium open bar, morning and evening yoga classes from Sunday–Friday, a personal healing session, unlimited horseback riding, guided waterfall hikes, use of the solar-heated infinity pool... and more! What are you waiting for? Book next year's vacation today! Priced from $2,175/person 

Rancho Las Cascadas

 

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- Jody Dahl

Canada dude ranches

Published by Jody on September 12 2012 02:59 in Canada | Children's Programs | Dude Ranches | Relaxation Ranches | Therapeutic
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Canada dude ranches more than stand up to their US counterparts, providing authentic western dude ranch vacations for adventure travelers and wannabe cowboys. Top50 has found the four very best Canada dude ranches to ensure that your dude ranch vacation is an experience you'll never forget. Choose from Echo Valley Ranch and Spa, Free Rein Ranch, Three Bars Ranch, Tod Mountain Ranch, Clayoquot Wilderness Resort and Siwash Lake Ranch - Canada dude ranches that guarantee the ultimate dude ranch vacations.

Dove Lodge Echo Valley Ranch and Spa, Canada

Echo Valley Ranch and Spa in British Columbia is a luxury Canada dude ranch that promises to dissolve your stresses, evaporate your worries and give the you the dude ranch vacation of a lifetime. Adventure travelers can hike in the mountains and through desert canyons, and those after a more relaxing dude ranch vacation can simply relax and indulge at the ranch spa. Located in secluded wilderness, this unique Canada dude ranch is great for older families (over 13s only), couples and those looking to relax in western ranch surroundings. Offering dude ranch vacations for beginner to advanced riders over beautiful countryside, Echo Valley's horseback riding opportunities only add to the relaxing experience.

Guest Ranch Free Rein Ranch, Canada

Free Rein Ranch is a Canada dude ranch located in the secluded wilderness of British Columbia, offering tens of thousands of acres over which to roam on horseback. At Free Rein, dude ranch vacations are all about heading out on horseback for days crammed with adventure. Guests can improve their riding skills in the arena or head out on the trail and explore this Canada dude ranch's remote and stunning landscapes. Guests are really given "free rein" to decide how they would like to spend their dude ranch vacation, whether it's horseback riding, other non-riding activities offered by the Canada dude ranch, or simply relaxing at the ranch. Welcoming children aged seven upwards, Free Rein is great for family dude ranch vacations.

Riding back in through the hay field Three Bars Ranch, Canada

Three Bars Ranch sits in the Canadian Rockies of British Columbia, and specialzes in family dude ranch vacations and beginner riding opportunities. The Canada dude ranch offers a fully supervised chidren's program for kids aged six upwards, and boasts a diverse non-riding activities and horseback riding program. Despite specialising in family dude ranch vacations, singles and couples can also enjoy a peaceful and relaxing Three Bars' dude ranch vacation tailored to their needs.

Lodge Interior - The guests favourite hang-out after a days riding Tod Mountain Ranch, Canada

Tod Mountain Ranch is a small, exclusive ranch hidden in the Louis Creek Valley and surrounded by forested mountains. This is the only of Top50's Canada dude ranches to offer adult-oriented dude ranch vacations, which guests can enjoy in a relaxing, tranquil environment. Whether you choose to go horseback riding along forest and mountain trails, relax on the deck with a good book, or indulge in a relaxing massage, this Canada dude ranch promises to personalize your dude ranch vacation so you get out of it exactly what you want. A great one for couples and singles looking for peace and tranquility in their dude ranch vacation.

Horseback Riding at Clayoquot Wilderness Resort Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, Canada

Clayoquot Wilderness Resort is Top50's only luxury tented safari camp and with a coastal location on the edge of Vancouver Island, there are plenty of opportunities for adventure. From whale watching, deep-sea fishing and sailing, to surfing, kayaking and looking for local sea life, this Canada dude ranch won't let you get bored! Take relaxing horseback trail rides through canyons and rainforests, then relax in the spa, hot springs or hot tub. With gourmet food to boot, this is one luxury dude ranch vacation that really does promise the adventure of a lifetime.

Siwash Lake Ranch with horses Siwash Lake Ranch, Canada

Siwash Lake Ranch is another Canada dude ranch with more than a hint of luxury. The authentic 4th-generation luxury dude ranch offers a highly personalised service at the exclusive, intimate hideaway, plus offers action-packed adventure and a unique horseback program tailored to guests' needs. Guests can ride unescorted throug 80,000 acres of British Columbia wilderness, then relax back at the ranch with a spa treatment in the luxury tented spa. With nearly as many staff as there are guests, guest ranch vacations at this Canada dude ranch are guaranteed to be highly personalized with outstanding service.

For more information on Top50's Canada dude ranches, visit their ranch profiles at Top50Ranches.com

Dude Ranch special of the month: Sugar and Spice Wyoming

Published by Jody on July 25 2012 08:28 in
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Dude Ranch specials from the Sugar and Spice Ranch don't come better than this - and it's our special of the month for July! Why? Because for a limited time only, when you book your Wyoming ranch vacations with Sugar and Spice on special weeks in August 2012, the second person travels absolutely FREE*!

Wyoming dude ranch vacations are a recent addition to the Sugar and Spice empire. While the famous mother-daughter vacations are located at a ranch down south in Banderra, Texas, the whole family can enjoy dude ranch vacations at Sugar and Spice's new Wyoming dude ranch. We love that to celebrate their first summer season, the Wyoming ranch is offering this incredible 2-for-1 special. Explains Sugar and Spice's owner Leigh McCourt: "We have decided to go all-out and offer guests a once-in-a-lifetime rate - and an equally amazing dude ranch vacation."

Book a Sugar and Spice Wyoming ranch vacation package for August 11-17 or August 18-24, 2012, and two people will travel for the price of just one. "Never again will you see this kind of discount and never will you have opportunity to save so much if you don’t act now!" adds Leigh.

To make sure you don't miss out on this family vacation opportunity of a lifetime, book your 2-for1 dude ranch vacations today - it's sure to sell out fast!

*Special rate offered on a first come, first served basis. Offer expires soon, book now to avoid disappointment.

For more information on Sugar and Spice dude ranch vacations, visit Top50Ranches.com

Dude ranch vacation of the month: Siwash Lake Ranch

Published by Jody on July 13 2012 03:02 in Canada | Cowboy Culture | Dude Ranches | Historical Ranches | Pack trips | Ranch Owners | Relaxation Ranches
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Dude ranch vacation of the month for July 2012 is the wonderful Siwash Lake Ranch in British Columbia, Canada. Why? Because this stunning Canada guest ranch is all about freedom.

The word 'Siwash' actually comes from Chinook Jargon, a bridge language used on the frontier between native, French and English pioneers during the gold rush era. To 'siwash' means to travel quickly, deftly and lightly, using natural shelters or sleeping in the open - just as the First Nations people would have done.

This theme of freedom and a closeness with nature translates throughout the whole of Siwash Lake's dude ranch vacation experiences. Ranch owners Allyson and Roy welcome guests to their ranch, which they strive to maintain "in complete harmony with the surrounding wilderness and to promote stewardship of the land, freedom of spirit, and an appreciation for family and the finer things in life".

On your first day at Siwash Lake, Allyson will spend a whole day with you, introducing you to the guest ranch's beautiful land. A professional horse woman and an avid naturalist, Allyson has a university degree in outdoor education and is the daughter of a mountaineer - so she knows her stuff! And there are so many ways that she and Roy will help you appreciate the freedom of the dude ranch. Whether you want to embark on a wilderness survival adventure, go mountain biking to discover hidden corners of the ranch, go bird watching or fishing (Roy's speciality!), or simply set out on foot with a map and a good sense of direction, you'll feel a true release from the stresses and strains of everyday life. 

Why not take a 4x4 trip to see waterfalls? Or go back to nature and take to the lake, with river floating and a whole host of water sports on the calm waters of Siwash Lake.

But, of course, true freedom is best experienced on horseback. And this is where Siwash Lake steps it up a notch. After being matched with the perfect horse to suit your ability, you're free to groom, saddle and ride your own personal horse daily as often as you wish. Nose-to-tail riding this is NOT! Whether you're after a guided trail ride with an experienced wrangler to learn more about the land, or you prefer to head out on your own to explore the 80,000 acre Canada guest ranch as you please (offered to riders with proven ability), you have the freedom to choose. Ride Siwash Lake's pristine rangeland as you learn about local history, culture, terrain, flora and fauna. From beginner through advanced levels, Siwash lake will give you freedom on horseback as you've never experienced it before.

Says Top50 Editor Mel Rutherford: "We have chosen Siwash Lake this month, as a celebration of freedom. It's pretty timely, what with both the Fourth of July and Canada Day celebrations, each of which represent freedom and celebrate their respective countries' heritage. We also chose it as a celebration of the land - with the recent wildfires that have hit many parts of the USA, we are so much more thankful for the freedom we are given to ride over such beautiful, natural country, which will hopefully remain just as unspoilt in years to come. Dude ranch vacations at Siwash Lake are a true representation of freedom."

For more information on Siwash Lake Ranch, visit Top50Ranches.com

 

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