Horseback

Heading out on a solo horse riding holiday? Choose wisely.

Horse riding vacations for single travelers are like horses grazing in a pasture. The ranches look glossy and beautiful in the brochure, but until you walk into the pasture and ride that horse, you don’t really know what you’re getting.

As an equestrian travel expert, I’ve taken the guesswork out of selecting the best horse riding vacation for singles. Below, you’ll find some of my favorite solo horse riding holidays.

Article Quick Links  hide Heading out on a solo horse riding holiday? Choose wisely.Ranch Vacations for WomenTriple Creek Ranch, Darby, MontanaThe Resort at Paws Up, Greenough, MontanaCovered Wagon Ranch, Gallatin Valley, MontanaGreenhorn Ranch, Quincy, CaliforniaRuby’s Horseback Adventures, Bryce Canyon, UtahAlisal Guest Ranch, Solvang, CaliforniaC Lazy U Ranch, Granby, ColoradoResearch, Book, Enjoy!About Nancy D. Brown

What Single Equestrians Want on Vacation

When I visited Kay El Bar Ranch in Wickenburg, Arizona, I interviewed Rebecca Goodwin, a horse enthusiast from the United Kingdom. Rebecca, or Bex as she’s called in England, was looking for a place to ride where she would feel safe and surrounded by fellow horse-lovers. She wanted a supportive and friendly atmosphere and was looking for a ranch holiday that came highly recommended from an equestrian travel writer, such as myself.

If you’re like Bex, read on for singles-focused travel advice!

 Best Horse Breeds for BeginnersPlay Video

Ranch Vacations for Women

Triple Creek Ranch, Darby, Montana

Triple Creek Ranch

Vacationing at the Triple Creek Ranch (Photo Credit: Nancy D. Brown)

I met Barbara Barrett back in 2011 during a Klicks for Chicks ride in the Bitterroot Valley of Darby, Montana. Barbara, co-owner of the Relais & Chateau Triple Creek Ranch is not only a confident cowgirl, she’s an accomplished business woman.

A champion of women, Barbara based her all-women western riding adventure, Klicks for Chicks, after the men-only Desert Caballeros ride in Arizona.

What’s to Love:

  • Riding in Montana’s Bitterroot Mountain Range
  • Return Each Evening to Gourmet Dining & Luxury Cabins
  • Fireside Awards Ceremony in Barbara’s home, friendships celebrated

Know Before You Go:

  • Start saving your pennies, Klicks for Chicks is a click above luxury
  • You’ll be able to purchase a custom made cowboy hat

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The Resort at Paws Up, Greenough, Montana

Resort at Paws Up Cattle Drive

Participating in the Resort at Paws Up Cattle Drive (Photo Credit: Nancy D. Brown)

The Cowgirl Spring Round Up is an annual event for women looking to surround themselves with Cowgirl Hall of Fame honorees.

Limited to 50 women, this intimate yearly gathering at The Resort at Paws Up near Missoula, Montana, offers cattle drives, photography workshops and female-bonding at its best.

What’s to Love:

  • Riding 100 miles of trails & private access to Blackfoot River
  • Spa Town in White Tents – Do I have your attention?
  • Equestrian Manager Jackie Kecskes & the Mustang Rescue Program

Know Before You Go:

  • If you can’t make it to the Cowgirl Spring Round Up, this ranch offers many special events
  • Family-friendly dude ranch with glamping

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Heading to the Treasure State? Find out what to wear horseback riding in Montana.

Covered Wagon Ranch, Gallatin Valley, Montana

Covered Wagon Ranch Riding

Space and connection at Covered Wagon Ranch (Photo Credit: Nancy D. Brown)

If you want to go horseback riding in Yellowstone National Park, Covered Wagon Ranch delivers!

This all-inclusive guest ranch is family owned and operated. On my visit, I experienced all female wranglers; impressive equestrians.

What’s to Love:

  • Custom trail rides on some of the best horses with excellent female wranglers
  • Small group trail rides; solo travelers welcome
  • Picnic lunch out on the trail or ½ day rides

Know Before You Go:

  • Fly into Bozeman, Montana & rent a car
  • Bring your bathing suit for the hot tub or a dip in the Gallatin River

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Greenhorn Ranch, Quincy, California

Greenhorn Ranch

Hitting the trails with Cajun (Photo Credit: Nancy D. Brown)

Located in California’s Lost Sierra, Greenhorn Ranch is an all-inclusive dude ranch, open year-round.

General Manager Jill Rivoli is a horse whisperer and team builder driven to provide a first-class experience for the solo traveler.

What’s to Love:

  • Small group rides ½ day or all day
  • Lope/canter rides for accomplished equestrians
  • Riding instruction offered in fenced arena for all levels

Know Before You Go:

  • Fly into Sacramento, California & rent a car
  • Request a room in the lodge if traveling solo, rather than cabin

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Ruby’s Horseback Adventures, Bryce Canyon, Utah

Ruby's Horse Riding Adventures

Riding through Red Canyon (Photo Credit: Nancy D. Brown)

Ruby’s Grand Adventure is a four-day horseback ride offered several times a year. I have two hip replacements and was worried if I was up for the challenge. The wranglers and co-owner Brady Syrett were attentive and gracious. Challenging rides, gorgeous scenery and authentic cowboy culture.

This is one of the few riding vacations I’m aware of offering the option to bring your own horse or ride one of their horses.

What’s to Love:

  • Ride through slot canyons, hog backs, Red Rock Canyon
  • See Butch Cassidy’s hideout
  • Breakfast & dinner with live entertainment

Know Before You Go:

  • Fly into Las Vegas, Nevada & rent a car
  • Bring your own horse, or they supply horse & tack

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Make your list and check it twice with our guide to what to wear horseback trail riding.

Alisal Guest Ranch, Solvang, California

Alisal Ranch

Embracing beauty and tranquility (Photo Credit: Alisal Ranch)

While it’s been several years since I’ve ridden at Alisal Guest Ranch in Solvang, California, the all-inclusive dude ranch is popular for girlfriend getaways. I also recently received information on a Women’s Equine Retreat.

Note: The Unbridled Retreat does not require horse experience.

What’s to Love:

  • Woman-only retreat limited to 12 guests
  • Santa Ynez Valley wineries
  • Breakfast ride or wagon ride to Alisal Adobe

Know Before You Go:

  • Fly into Santa Barbara, California & rent a car
  • Hands-on interaction with horses

Click to Learn More

C Lazy U Ranch, Granby, Colorado

C Lazy U Ranch

The herd comes home (Photo Credit: C Lazy U Ranch Website)

Experience a body, mind, and equine yoga retreat in the Colorado Rockies. While I have attended an equine yoga retreat with Cathy Woods, I have not yet ridden at C Lazy U Ranch in Granby.

Cathy has taught yoga retreats at many equestrian facilities and offers a safe and welcoming environment for the solo traveler.

What’s to Love:

  • 3-night women’s retreat experience
  • Yoga classes, workshops, trail rides & arena work
  • Celebrating 100 years as a Colorado Guest Ranch

Know Before You Go:

  • Fly into Denver, Colorado & rent a car
  • All riding levels welcome

Click to Learn More

Research, Book, Enjoy!

Whether you’re looking for a solo horse riding vacation or a woman-only equine retreat, hopefully this Horse Rookie round up serves as a useful starting point for blue-ribbon U.S.-based riding holidays.

(For international horseback riding vacation ideas, please visit Writing Horseback.)