Riding at Sundance Guest Ranch


This is what we’re really proud of, and what you’ll be talking about over breakfast, lunch, and dinner–and for days after you’re back at home!

Wranglers: 

Sundance has a large crew of wranglers in order to give you the most wonderful riding experience we possibly can. Rides are kept small (usually 5 or 6 riders at most) in order to give you the best possible combination of fun, adventure and safety!

We use the information you provide to select the best horse for you.

Groups: 

Groups may be broken up by Ride Level, or by groups of friends and family who want to ride together; it’s all very flexible!

Level 1 rides are walking-only.  First-time riders at Sundance are requested to select this option for their first ride at least.  This option is also for anyone who just wants a gentle experience on horseback.

Level 2 rides are walk/trot and one lope. (Note: a lope is essentially a “slow run” as opposed to a gallop, which is must faster)   This will be plenty of riding for most guests, but is especially recommended for beginners who want to try going faster to see if they like it.  There will be no more than one lope on a Level 2 ride. Guests will be taught how to “post” a trot, which is a way to ride a sometimes bumpy gait in a way that is more comfortable for the rider and much easier on the horse’s back!  If you can get the hang of a trot, a lope is child’s play!

Level 3 rides will also feature walk/trot with posting trot, and up to three lopes.   Groups will be organized as usual, based on families and friends, guests who want to ride together, or riding compatibility. Please do not sign up for a Level 3 ride unless you have previously done a Level 2 and are certain you will be happy to do all the lopes.

Please note that posting at trot is mandatory, even if you feel that you can comfortably sit a trot.  Not everyone can,  not all horses are smooth enough for it, and this policy has been put in place for the comfort, health and well-being of the horses.   We are making the effort to ensure that all riders, including wranglers, are taught to post at trot, which when done properly is comfortable and fun, easier on the rider and will enable us to cover more ground in the time allotted.

The idea that “western riders don’t post” stems from the tradition that old-time cow horses were trained to move at a gentle “jog trot,” calmly and on a loose rein.  This is a slow, easy gait that is comfortable for both horse and rider, but is very different from a full trot.  You can even see old-time cowboys post in the saddle when moving at a full trot.  It’s all about not only their own comfort with long days in the saddle, but about sparing the weight on their horse’s back.  And that’s something everyone can agree on!

Each group of riders is accompanied by an experienced wrangler who will give you all the instruction you need to make your horseback experience as safe and fun as possible. We offer two rides a day, with each ride lasting 2 to 2.5 hours through some of that spectacular scenery we mentioned earlier–you’ll see what we mean. Some of us have lived here for over 40 years and when the light is just right, the view still stops us in our tracks.

You’ve heard about our warm, sunny climate – but are you worried the summer weather might be too hot for riding? No worries!  If it really starts to cook, we skip the afternoon ride and have a beautiful evening ride instead. These are the long days of summer Canadians wait for all year, and after an afternoon spent by our big beautiful pool, maybe with that book you’ve been meaning to read all year – and maybe an afternoon nap in your air-conditioned room – we mount up after dinner and head out for a truly magical experience! Our desert climate cools off quickly when the sun starts to go down, making for prime riding time – and there are few things more romantic than watching the sun go down from the back of a good horse! You’ll return in the cool twilight to a generous spread of refreshments served at the home ranch.

Whether you’re a seasoned rider who enjoys loping across the countryside on a spirited, responsive mount – or a first-timer who is quite content taking it easy…. it doesn’t matter; relax, you’re going to love it here. Eight years old or eighty, single or bringing the whole family, we’re with you every step of the way.

When you hop off your horse at the end of the day, you might be walking funny for a few steps, but we guarantee you’ll be smiling!

Please note that weight restrictions are in place for horseback riding.

Click here to review our Riding and Cancellation policies.

Please feel free to call us toll-free (1-800-553-3533) for more information about our riding.

Things to Not Forget

  • Sunscreen, bathing suit (we provide pool towels) and some sandals or “flip-flops”. Our wooden boardwalks are worn smooth but splinters can happen!
  • Jeans or other comfortable long pants for riding. Sweatpants are not recommended as they are slippery on the saddle. Think practical. Fashion can come into it later in the day!
  • Pretty much everyone wears a riding helmet these days (provided free of charge), but if you’re not planning to wear one, then be sure to bring a hat of some kind to keep the sun off. Please be sure it can stay on in windy conditions or you may not be able to bring it with you on the ride. You might not be popular with your fellow riders if your hat keeps blowing off and landing on their horse’s face!
  • If you want to bring a camera with you on the ride, bring a small one that fits in your pocket. Nothing with a strong strap can be worn around your neck while riding.