Beginner to Advanced: Horseback Riding Lessons and Clinics Across North America

Horseback riding lessons and clinics are the quickest way to better your skills in riding, your safety and understanding of horses. The Dude Ranchers’ Association offers the best options for a vacation experience designed around your skills and abilities with horses. Are you a novice with very little experience? A seasoned horse person? There’s a dude or guest ranch with the most proficient of instructors ready to share their areas of expertise. Buck Brannaman, Pat Parelli and Chris Cox are a few of the styles of horsemanship taught at the ranches below. These teaching styles aren’t just big names, but with small class settings and personal attention, you’ll feel right at home and get the direct attention you deserve. A knowing eye can identify areas of improvement for every rider and most importantly, you’ll be spending time with the horse - the best instructor of them all. From Wyoming and Montana to British Columbia these are great locations to book a few day's or a week's worth of horseback riding lessons and or clinics. 

Horseback Riding Lessons and Clinics

 

McGinnis Meadows Cattle & Guest Ranch - Montana

Style of Horsemanship

McGinnis Meadows Ranch in Montana offers an immersive experience for those who are looking to study the Buck Brannaman style of horsemanship. Their head trainer Shayne has ridden in over 400 clinics with Buck over the last 20 years and is very knowledgeable, and most importantly a great teacher. Their entire program and staff consistently engages the thoughts and style of Buck, Ray Hunt and Tom Dorrance. Each guest is challenged according to each situation and their own ability. From the beginner to the advanced rider, you will get exactly the instruction you would need in a small class environment. 

Setting

McGinnis Meadows does the majority of their horsemanship clinics in a heated indoor arena during the winter time, from the fall until the weather turns in the spring. The fun and learning do not stop there. The ranch also runs a cow/calf operation and you’re invited to practice horsemanship in every situation at the ranch. And every horse here is gentle, patient and well trained in very advanced horsemanship movements. You are welcome to ride one of the ranch’s horses or bring your own horse. 

horseback riding lessons and clinics

McGinnis Meadows Cattle & Guest Ranch - Libby, MT

Rocking Z Ranch - Montana

Style of Horsemanship 

The Rocking Z Ranch in Montana invites guests to experience Parelli Natural horsemanship put to a purpose. From the first introduction to horses to the highly experienced rider, each person will have the opportunity to expand their skills at the ranch. You can work cattle, ride long trails or play at liberty in a round pen. You can have your own private and/or semi-private horsemanship lesson with no extra charge. The Wirth family shares their very own special lifestyle and incredible herd of horses to meet every rider’s goals. 

Setting

By hosting small groups of guests, the ranch can cater to each family’s needs individually. Horse-crazy teens and the excited novice will have fun here. There are also fun activities to do in the evenings, such as playing pool or soaking in the hot tub. With spacious en-suite rooms with fireplaces and super comfortable beds, you and your family can have a blast at the Rocking Z anytime of the year. 

horseback riding lessons and clinics

Rocking Z Ranch - Wolf Creek, MT

Triangle C Ranch - Wyoming

Style of Horsemanship 

The Triangle C Ranch in Wyoming is home to Chris Cox, a well known horseman and clinician from Australia. With a practical and straightforward approach him and his staff invite guests to study a style of horsemanship with horses that gets proven results. You can learn from the group lessons and also receive personal instruction with Chris to gain an understanding of how the horse thinks and why. Communication is key and you will get to learn about the best tools to accomplish whatever you desire with horses. 

Setting

The Triangle C Ranch is only an hour from Jackson Hole and surrounded by some of the most spectacular mountain views in the world. You’ll stay in some beautifully designed cabins with western furnishings and all the accommodations needed for that perfect cowboy vacation. The ranch offers 3- and 6-day clinics and has horsemanship leadership youth camps - one for boys and one for girls. 

horseback riding lessons and clinics

Triangle C Ranch - Dubois, WY 

Laramie River Ranch - Colorado

Style of Horsemanship 

Laramie River Ranch says that having a relationship of trust with your horse is key to a safe and enjoyable experience. Using natural horsemanship methods, you can have the vacation of a lifetime. You will be able to see this in action at the ranch with weekly demonstrations on how young horses are trained to be accustomed to humans, grooming and saddling. These sessions are followed by opportunities for you to do some ground work with your horse. 

Setting

Jelm, Colorado is only a few miles from the Wyoming border and it is here that the Laramie River Ranch offers guests a glimpse of time standing still. Not much has changed over the last hundred years and your time at the ranch with your family will receive genuine western hospitality. You can fish, push cows between pastures, ride out into the open meadows or kick back on the porch with a glass of tea. 

horseback riding lessons and clinics

Laramie River Ranch - Jelm WY/CO

Campbell Hills Guest Ranch - British Columbia

Style of Horsemanship 

The Campbell Hills Guest Ranch has natural horsemanship packages suitable for the beginner and the advanced. The ranch owner, Bernadette, has a great passion and focus on building trust and harmony between the horse and rider. You’ll be in a group of 5 people at the most during your Horse Communication Course and work on energy use, rapport, connection and communication with the horse in an arena setting. When you ride here, you’ll leave the bit at the barn and get to know the ranch’s happy horses.

Setting

Located in the sunny interior of Canada in the heart of cattle country, mountains, forests and lakes the Campbell Hills Guest Ranch offers a relaxing experience. With rooms in the main lodge or your own intimate and rustic cabins you’ll be comfortable and given ample opportunity to relax. You'll even be able to look out into the forest from your cabin!

horseback riding lessons and clinics

Campbell Hills Guest Ranch - Kamloops, BC

 

The Red Rock Ranch - Wyoming

Style of Horsemanship

The Red Rock Ranch offers Martin Black clinics for all types of riders. From top horse trainers in English and Western disciplines everyone who attends will make progress for a better connection with horses. Martin will help build confidence in the horse and rider and take you to the next level. Please join the Red Rock Ranch in August for this annual exciting and educational horsemanship/cattle working clinic. 

Setting

For over 40 years the Red Rock Ranch has been owned and operated by the same family and you'll find a traditional Wyoming dude ranch vacation with the charm of the old west where your family can come for a change of pace. The ranch is located just outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming and only a short distance from Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. This ranch is known for an outstanding and engaging kids program and exceptional ranch cuisine. 

Red Rock Ranch Cattle Work Horsemanship

The Red Rock Ranch - Jackson Hole, Wyoming

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Horseback riding lessons and clinics are the quickest way to better your skills in riding, your safety and your understanding of horses. The Dude Ranchers’ Association offers the best options for a vacation experience designed around your skills and abilities with horses.

Lodging Near Glacier National Park at a Dude Ranch

You are about to embark on one of the most quintessential National Park trips that North America has to offer, Glacier National Park. With the itinerary planned for a sunrise trip on the road to the sun and the best places to stop in the park to stop and "smell the roses" you are ready for the experience of a lifetime. But, are you looking for something a little more than a stuffy hotel room on the first floor with kids running overhead and a continental breakfast that leaves something to be desired?  

At a dude ranch you can book your own peaceful cabin for the week and escape the crowds for an outdoor adventure on a ranch that pairs oh - so - nicely with a trip to Glacier National Park. Ranging from luxury resorts to intimate working cattle ranches pick out your very own local and immersive experience for your family at one of these well appointed dude ranches within a four hour drive of Glacier National Park.  

Here are the top dude ranches for lodging near Glacier National Park

 

Rocking Z Ranch

Wolf Creek, Montana ~ 4 Hours from Glacier National Park 

Enjoy great riding as a beginner or long time rider at Rocking Z Guest Ranch. You'll learn Parelli Natural Horsemanship, enjoy delicious ranch style meals and spacious home-style rooms. 

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Rocking Z Ranch Lodging Near Glacier National Park

Loping across the meadow at Rocking Z Ranch

 

Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge

Big Fork, Montana ~ 30 Minutes from Glacier National Park 

Located on the shores of Flathead Lake, Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge is a resort style ranch for the ultimate family vacation with unlimited horse and water recreation. 

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Averills Activities

There's a lot more than horseback riding at Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge

 

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

Sandpoint, Idaho ~ 4 Hours from Glacier National Park 

Experience the spirit of the west at the all inclusive adventure vacation at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch. The warm hospitality, country gourmet dining and the beauty of Idaho's wilderness will make your stay not just a vacation but a true western experience. 

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Western Pleasure Idaho Dude Ranch Lodging Near Glacier National Park

Interior of a cabin at the Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

 

JJJ Wilderness Ranch

Augusta, Montana ~ 1.5 Hours from Glacier National Park 

Located centrally between Yellowstone and Glacier National Park the JJJ Wilderness Ranch has outstanding horseback riding, fly fishing, and a fantastic kids program. Discover breathtaking experiences by day and relaxed western hospitality at night. 

Find more dude ranches near National Parks 

JJJ Wilderness Ranch - Lodging Near Glacier National Park

Kids love horseback riding at the JJJ Wilderness Ranch

 

Three Bars Guest Ranch

Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada ~ 2.5 hours from Glacier National Park 

As the adventure ranch of the Canadian Rockies Three Bars Guest Ranch is a working cattle ranch, but provides all comforts and full amenities of a true dude ranch. 

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Three Bars Rafting Lodging Near Glacier National Park

Rafting while at the Three Bars Guest Ranch

Deep Canyon Guest Ranch

Choteau, Montana ~ 2 Hours from Glacier National Park

Deep Canyon Guest Ranch is a family owned 1,200 acre ranch with over 55 years in the guest ranch business at the edge of the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Pack a lunch in the saddlebags for a guided mountain top experience. 

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Deep Canyon Ranch Lodging Near Glacier National Park

Hiking to the overlook at the Deep Canyon Guest Ranch 

Hidden Hollow Hideaway

Townsend, Montana ~ 4 Hours from Glacier National Park 

As a small working cattle ranch nestled in the foothills of the Montana Big Belt Mountains Hidden Hollow Hideaway offers a tailored experience caring for cattle, viewing the local wildlife and witnessing the history of days long gone. 

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Hidden Hollow Hideaway Cattle Drive

Participate in cattle work at the Hidden Hollow Hideaway Ranch

 

Bar W Guest Ranch

Whitefish, Montana ~ 40 Minutes from Glacier National Park

Families, adults, singles and groups alike have thousands of acres to explore at the Bar W Guest Ranch. Friendly staff, scrumptious food, great riding and wonderful accommodations await you here.  

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Bar W Trail Ride Credit Danny Nestor Butts

Bring your friends - the more the merrier at Bar W Guest Ranch

Rich Ranch

Seeley Lake, Montana ~ 2 Hours from Glacier National Park 

The lodge and cabins of Rich Ranch are nestled in the trees overlooking a tranquil meadow with an awesome view of the Rocky Mountains. Three generations of the Rich family live and work on the ranch and welcome you into their home.

Find more dude ranches near National Parks 

 

Rich Ranch Pack Trip Mountains - Lodging Near Glacier National Park

Pack trips at Rich Ranch are extraordinary lodging near Glacier National Park 

 

 

Lodging Near Glacier National Park at a Dude Ranch

At a dude ranch you can book your own peaceful cabin for the week and escape the crowds for an outdoor adventure on a ranch that pairs oh - so - nicely with a trip to Glacier National Park. Ranging from luxury resorts to intimate working cattle ranches pick out your very own local and immersive experience for your family at one of these well appointed dude ranches within a four hour drive of Glacier National Park.

 

Read more stories about dude ranches near our national parks

 

 

Drive West to Montana

Variously known as "The Big Sky State" and "The Last Best Place," Montana is truly a state of vast open spaces, incredible wilderness, and stunning scenery. It seems the proper place for a dude ranch vacation; and Montana vacation ranches do take advantage of their spectacular surroundings, leading guests into national parks, through the Rocky Mountains, and across the prairie land of the northern Great Plains.

Glacier National Park lies in the northwest corner of the state, bordering the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. It draws millions of visitors annually, and with good reason. The park is home to wilderness and wildlife, over 700 miles of trails, and countless opportunities for all kinds of outdoor recreation, from horseback riding to boating.

Three of the five entrances to Yellowstone National Park are located in the state of Montana. A place long believed to be a figment of imagination or delirium, the geothermal features of Yellowstone do indeed seem fantastical. Yet it is also clearly a unique place, and it was not long after the first organized expeditions returned with reports of boiling mud, spouting geysers and mountainous lava flows that Yellowstone was designated a national park.

Some vacation Dude Ranches in Montana offer guests the opportunity to drive cattle from one part of the state to another, like a real cowboy. Others specialize in sharing the wonders of fly fishing on pristine rivers and mountain streams. Vacation ranches provide opportunities for hiking, rafting, and even hunting. Some shower guests in luxury, with spa packages and gourmet meals; others make you feel like a part of the family, with home style meals and marshmallow roasts around fire pits. Whatever your idea of the perfect Dude Ranch vacation, you will surely find it in Montana. 

Give us a call at the Dude Ranchers' Association for more information. 307.587.2339  

Montana Ranches

63 Ranch Drive to Montana 63 Ranch Livingston, Montana 63 is not simply a "Dude Ranch" but a real genuine "Working Dude Ranch." We provide a relaxing ranch atmosphere where you make the decision to help gather, work or salt ranch owned cattle. Or maybe you'd rather take a pass on "work" and just enjoy the beautiful scenery or take a gentle lope through the open meadows or sagebrush flats. 

 

 

Covered Wagon Pack Trip to MontanaCovered Wagon Ranch Gallatin Gateway, MT Four generations ago each guest arrived here at Covered Wagon Ranch by way of stagecoach and Model T. Today descendants of some of those families still come to our Montana dude ranch to experience the mythic beauty of the Old West, in a region that is very nearly the same as it was in 1925 when the guest ranch first opened. 

 

 

Rich Ranch in MontanaRich's Guest Ranch Seeley Lake, MT The Rich Ranch is located in Western Montana, adjacent to the spectacular Bob Marshall Wilderness and two hours from Glacier National Park.  Lodge and Cabins are nestled in the trees overlooking a tranquil meadow with an awesome view of the Rocky Mountains looking across the ranch meadows. 

 

 

Rocking Z Ranch MontanaRocking Z Ranch Wolf Creek, MT Horseback riding is the central activity at the Rocking Z.  We are proud of our horses and know them all well.  Through the use of Parelli Natural Horsemanship and personal experience, we have very talented and versatile horses for every level of rider.  

 

 

 

Sweet Grass Ranch Montana FrontierSweet Grass Ranch Big Timber, MT With about 20 guests a week, we are able to offer individual attention and a relaxed family atmosphere.  Our well-loved horses are primarily quarter horse or quarter horse cross, each with unique personalities, and all raised here or acquired from neighbors in the ranching community.  

 

 

 

G Bar M Ranch MontanaG Bar M Ranch Clyde Park, MT G Bar M is a Working Ranch, which means we are an operating horse and cattle ranch that encourages guests to share in our lifestyle. If you are interested in experiencing and participating it the operation of a working ranch, the G bar M is just the place to do it.  

  

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