How To Choose A Stable / Outfitter

How to choose a Recreational Horseback riding facility, Trail Rides, Riding Stable, an Outfitter or a private ride when enjoying a vacation.

It is highly recommended to view the safety orientation it covers, mounting, dismounting, rein control, foot placement, and proper seat. Please click here to view the safety orientation Link:  SafeRide video“ it starts with you.” a business that gives recreational riders the knowledge by applying the basic’s of horsemanship, creating courage and confidence.  That gives you the potential freedom to the most joy, fulfillment, and the awareness.

Google: The location where you are interested in riding, for example, Salida, Colorado trail rides or recreational horseback rides and you may also google: horseback rides in the area. We highly recommend looking at the reviews on  Town & State “things to do” outdoor activities and click on the stable or outfitter of your choice. You may also go to Google reviews or Yelp.  Please read reviews the higher the rating, the more professional the company is, meaning they care.

Mission Statement: To Love and respect our horses, and to give merit for the joy they bring to our lives and those around us.

Be the kind of person who gernerates positive energy, and uncompromising customer service.

Check the website:

  • Always check out the pictures; this tells you about the rides, terrain, topography, and condition of the horses.
  • Is the website professional and personal?
  • Does the facility and the guides look professional?
  • Are the horses healthy and is the equipment taken care of the headstalls, pads, and saddles?
  • Things to consider before booking a ride this is relative to your experience level and physical condition.
    • What is the elevation(altitude) lowest and highest gain in altitude on the ride?
    • What type of terrain, creek crossings, trees, rocky, wide-open views, atv’s or motorcycles, type of trail? Public land, Private land or National Forest
    • Are the rides nose to tail, if so, this may be due to the type of trail, terrain, and elevation, and is not conducive to running, so due to safety do not judge too harshly
    • Nose to Tail rides is by far the safest ride for recreational riders going on a trail ride with family or friends.
    • Most clients that want to run are not concerned about the type of terrain or welfare of the horses or their safety
    • If you have the desire to run, I suggest booking a private ride with fewer riders. Let the facility know your expectations.
  • What rides do they offer?
    • What are your experience level and physical condition?
  • Age requirements if you have young children.
  • Helmets & age requirements wearing a helmet
  • What is the weight restriction (250 lbs.)?
  • What to wear, long pants, closed toed shoes, a light jacket, loose-fitting cowboy hats should have a stamped string and bottled water? Do they provide rain gear?
  • Reservations: How far in advance? Cancellation Policy
  • Location (Google Maps) or physical address
  • The timeframe from your location to the riding stables, recreational horseback rides or trail riding
  • If you have a dog what are the requirements. Do they allow pets if so to stay in the vehicle or on a leash?
  • Most companies do not allow backpacks they provide pommel bags or saddle bags. A backpack is an additional weight on the horses back; if you were to take a fall, the straps on the backpack could get possibly hung up on the saddle horn.

Reservations: If you want a professionally organized ride for your wants, needs, and desires make a reservation. Special consideration is usually not given to recreational provider and the additional workload when you do not make a reservation. It takes time to consider scheduling, what rides are coming in and rides going out, a guide to the ratio(clients), matching the horse to rider, different saddles for different size of riders, releases, helmets, safety orientation and do they have the appropriate horses and guides. Out of respect, please give them a call before walking to a place of business if you expect to go riding at that time. Every company wants to be proficient, organized and give you a ride of a lifetime; please make a reservation. No stress! No Mess! You are happy, the outfitter is happy, and the horses are happy!

Things to Consider when riding at a recreational horseback ride, trail ride, riding stable or an outfitter: Safety comes first! 

Consider the terrain, elevation, creek crossings and always be aware of the weather. The length of the ride and are you in condition to ride the distance and type of terrain if you decide to book a half day or a full day? If you have not ridden a horse in years and might be out of shape, please consider the length of ride you are booking. Please consider if there is someone in your group that is fearful or frighten of horses or has physical limitations or afraid of heights. If you have or had a knee or hip injury if you communicate this to the outfitter, they will usually give you the appropriate horse.

What type of rides do they offer and what type of ride do you prefer? In all fairness to you and the outfitter be clear. If you do not want a nose- to-tail ride even if the terrain & elevation only permits this type of ride you need to be specific. Take a good look at the pictures on the website this will tell you what kind of rides they offer on the trail. However, a lot of rides are nose- to-tail due to the type of terrain, elevation, and are not conducive to running, so due to safety do not judge too harshly. Remember, when wanting an exceptional ride such as running, the thrill or the freedom to express yourself on a horse is not always healthy or safe for the horse or rider. Most recreational horses have been working taking riders out; a tired horse is more apt to lose his footing for those of you who like to run.  If you prefer a more advanced ride, then you need to book a private ride, so the wrangler or guide may cater to your personal needs.

Do they cater to your skill level? Families with small children, beginners, intermediate or advanced. Remember these are recreational trail rides, an outfitter and or a riding stable. They are catering to a variety of clients. You need to be very specific on what type of trip you want and the length of the ride.

If you want a specific type of ride, ask the right questions? If you go on a horseback ride and if you are disappointed due to the nose-to-tail, no creek crossings, no running, too many riders, etc. Be diligent do your research, go to in your area or google read the clients reviews, ask the right questions and be very specific when booking a ride?

Information before calling:

  • The phone number for confirmation
  • First and last names, heights, weights, and number in party, including the ages of children
  • What horseback ride is of interest a 1hr, 2hr or a half day, full day or a summer pack trip, etc.
  • Do they provide helmets and what is the age requirement?
  • Physical limitations or health issues: Asthma, allergic reactions, diabetic, high blood pressure, pregnant, physical conditions, knee surgery, back or a heart condition.  If you’ve had knee surgery ask for a narrow or slim horse, this takes a lot of pressure off the knee. Proactive not reactive please always give your outfitter this information.
  • What is the group size going on your ride? You can’t expect a private ride, unless you are willing to pay for a private ride.
  • What is the guiding ratio to clients it should be 1 guide to 6 riders?
  • If you have a small child six years of age or older very limited ability on a horse, will the child be led by a guide on her own child-friendly horse? With the parent following directly behind the child or a family member. Normally, they do not allow double riders due to safety and insurance reasons.
  • Method of payment is usually cash or credit card.
  • Cancellation Policy for reservations: Time limitation,
  • Do you receive a refund on the deposit due to weather?
  • How long will it take you to get to the destination from your location?
  • Location: Ask if it is best to use the physical address (GPS) or Google Maps.
  • If you have a dog or dogs what are the requirements?
  • Due to insurance & liability reasons, they don’t allow clients dogs on the trail.
  • Always have your dog or dogs on a leash when there is horses, livestock and dogs.

Cancelation Policy: If you book a ride and do not call and cancel the ride in an appropriate time frame expect to lose your deposit. The riding facility has booked this time frame for your party. They cannot fill that space on short notice. They are running a business; please be respectful. Ask what the requirements are for canceling due to weather and deposit refunds.


Safety Orientation: A guide or group leader is only able to assist you when riding they cannot ride the horse for you.  A safety orientation not only ensures confidence it educates you on mounting, rein control, proper seat, proper spacing, and dismounting.  “It starts with you”

All children should wear helmets.

Guides should be certified First Aid/CPR

For those of you who believe the validity of this content, you may want to click on this link:  Riding Safety-Tips to Keep You Safe on the Trail.

Contact Info

Safe Ride Every Ride