The main activity on the ranch is Horseback Riding. Anywhere from one hour to eight hours of your day with us can be on the back of a horse. We adjust our rides to meet the needs of our guests day by day. Some riding is across vast mountain tops, where you can canter for miles. Other riding is up beautiful trails opening up to a stunning vista. Some riding is slow, and some can be very fast. Best of all, it can be whatever your riding level and fitness need it to be as long as the horse still comes first.
Your guides, which will very often include a member of the family, will judge the terrain and the horse's health every moment of the ride and keep everyone informed of all their options. It is important to us that each of our horses will go the speed you ask - if two people want to canter, one person wants to trot and two people want to walk our horses are trained to be happy to leave, stay, be alone, and go at the requested pace. If you're unsure, we will teach you every step of the way to independently control your horse so that you don't feel as though he or she is "just following" but instead that the pair of you can work as a team.
We offer a huge variety of Ground Work to play with our horses. By utilizing Pat Parelli's Seven Games of Natural Horsemanship, we can teach you how to connect with a horse using his or her own language. All of our horses are trained using these methods and, as Pat says in his Principle Number Seven, "Horses teach humans and humans teach horses."
Ever tried your hand at Roping? Often called lassoing, roping is vital to understanding why a "Western" trained horse is trained as he is. Western horses need to be a partner, a team mate who can be relied upon to do his or her job while you do your part. Roping is the essence of why it is so important that our type of horses become mature, dependable partners. We start you on the ground, and if over the time you have the skill and the desire we will teach also how to rope from the back of a horse.
If you have the curiosity, why not try your hand at Driving a Team? Our team of Belgians is a working team, used for feeding hay all winter long. Star and Trigger have shown quite a few people how fun driving can be, and with Trigger going into retirement his replacement Steve will be the new gentleman learning from Star. Ben Anderson is an experienced teamster, and is adept at showing and explaining how it's done and keeping everything safe while you learn. If driving the team doesn't interest you, you can still enjoy the team by joining on a wagon ride when we get to have camp-style cookouts.
For the angler among you, the Little Prickly Pear Creek runs directly through our property and is a beautiful Fishing spot. Fly-fishing is exceptional along the creek, though you will have to purchase a fishing license beforehand in Wolf Creek or Helena in order to fish in Montana. If you're a serious fisherman or woman, consider having a half or whole day fishing along the Missouri River. If one of your party is solely an angler with no wish to ride, call or write us for our special Sportsman's Rate. If interested, see Montana Fishing Outfitters for more information.
By request, Ben and Maria both teach Archery and Shooting. These activities must be taken seriously, as there are the obvious risks involved with each. We provide a safe situation and one on one careful instruction to learn or practice these sports. We also provide ear protection for those shooting and anyone observing.
Additionally, there are many trails to either go walking or hiking on the property. We have Eagles, Sand-Hill Cranes and Blue Herons to observe as well as killdeer and curlew and many more. In the evening, a short walk can provide photo opportunities of hundreds of muley and whitetail deer foraging in our hay field. In addition, if we are very quiet, we can walk around and observe beaver, muskrats, marmots, coyotes, fox, bear and, rarely, mountain lions and wolves.
At the ranch buildings there is a saloon complete with a pool table and card table, a volleyball net, and, of course, the hot tub! During the heat of the day guest are welcome to dip in the creek, which is quite clean and has a solid bedrock bottom. Some evenings we have a campfire and sing songs, which is always a treat.