The #1 Adventure Destination for Solo Travel

Solo Travel

Nowadays, more and more people are saddling up and taking off to find themselves on soul-searching solo trips. From gap-year students to the recently single, everyone seems to have a thirst for adventure. Planning solo travel can be very intimidating and overwhelming; where should you go and what should you do? While venturing off to the rural mountains of India might not be intimidating to some people, it wouldn’t be our top recommendation for your first solo trip. If you’re looking for a solo vacation that is comfortable, yet pushes you out of your comfort zone, we recommend the #1 Western Adventure Destination: a dude ranch. There are many advantages to dude and guest ranch destinations for solo travelers, keep reading to learn about why a ranch vacation surpasses the rest!

Fun and Safe Environment

You won’t have to worry about getting lonely on the ranch! You will instantly feel like part of the family as there is great camaraderie amongst guests and staff. It instantly becomes your home away from home! Many guest ranches only accommodate up to 30 or 40 guests per week, which not only allows the staff to know your name but also results in you getting to know most of the other guests. Meals are often served family-style so there are always guests to chat with throughout the day, making sure you feel like part of the family and never like you are on the “outskirts” if traveling alone. Horseback riding will bring you closer with other guests too; engaging conversations with people on your rides as you share the beautiful landscape and memories together will be something you always remember.

Activities

There is never a dull moment at a dude ranch. There are activities to keep you busy from sunup to sundown such as horseback riding for beginner and advanced riders, fly fishing, white water rafting, rock climbing, cattle roping, ATV-riding and SO much more. Plus, these activities are usually done in groups so you won’t encounter any “couples only” activities or events if you don’t want to. All of the DRA  member ranches are all-inclusive, taking away the burden of trying to decide where to eat and what to do. If you are looking for a little time by yourself though, relaxing at your cabin reading a good book or soak in nature at her finest in a hammock is an option too. The beauty of a dude ranch is that you get to choose your own schedule, your vacation can be as active or as quiet as you like!

Adult-Only and Specialty Weeks

Many dude and guest ranches report fewer “couples” visiting now than in the past. As a result, many of these ranches host adult-only weeks in the fall. Activities during these weeks range from wine and cheese tastings, guided hikes, cooking classes, country dance instruction, cookouts, themed cocktail receptions, fly-fishing clinics and much more. These weeks offer a great environment for solo travelers because mostly everyone is there for a relaxing getaway with no families and the opportunity to meet new people and bond over the mystic beauty of the Old West.

Develop As An Individual 

Solo travel is an empowering way to find your independence and develop more as an individual. Dude ranches are a great place to spend time alone to revive your body, spirit, and mind in some of the most spectacular areas in the country, from valleys complete with untouched Rocky Mountain backdrops to desert sunsets across the Southwest. Whether it’s a rejuvenating day at the spa, an adventurous hike or a relaxing day reading a book under the sun, you are sure to have plenty of quality alone time. Many ranches will even allow you to completely “unplug” by being out of cell phone and internet service. You may be surprised at how good this could be for you once you get the chance to do so, especially in today’s world.

How to Find a Ranch for Solo Travelers

Finding the right ranch for a solo traveler might be a little overwhelming because of all of the varying options. Let the Dude Ranchers’ Association (DRA) help you plan the perfect solo vacation (for FREE!). Whether you are looking for an authentic cowboy experience or a luxury resort, the DRA can help customize the solo trip of your dreams. There are currently almost 100 DRA-accredited dude and guest ranches in the Western United States and Canada, all of which uphold the highest quality of services within the industry. Take a look at some fantastic DRA ranches suited for solo travelers by visiting www.duderanch.org. If you need further assistance in selecting a ranch, contact a dude ranch expert at info@duderanch.org!

Solo Travel

7 Reasons Why Horseback Riding Is the Best Therapy

Elkhorn Ranch AZ Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Elkhorn Ranch, AZ

There’s no denying that climbing on a horse at the end of an overwhelming day can be quite liberating. But what if we told you this ancient mode of transport is the best therapy? Believable? Not to worry, this article aims at shading light on therapeutic horseback riding and its benefits.

What is Horseback Riding?

Therapeutic horseback riding is a form of equine therapy that focuses on forming a partnership between patients and horses. It combines sport, recreation, and education and is especially proven helpful for people with disabilities with results showing improvement in their cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being.

Sundance Trail Kid Arena

Sundance Trail Guest Ranch, Colorado

Importance of Horseback Riding

Riding a horse is FUN! Now imagine using it for therapy. Nothing can beat that combination. Still doubtful? Below are 7 reasons that might convince you to get on that horse and commence your galloping adventures.

Why Horseback Riding Is the Best Therapy

 

1. Emotional Strength and Control

Yes, you read it right. Horseback riding keeps your emotions in check. How you ask? There’s no room for anger or fear. This is only possible if the rider stays vigilant and focused on the surroundings, and at the same time monitors the behavior of the animal. It’s as if the horse’s mind and yours are in sync. Lose focus for a second and the horse begins to wander.

The assertion is one way to build your emotional strength. After all, you are in charge of the horse and not the other way around. Instruct it to go faster, and it will do just that. However, we can’t ignore the fact that a horse has a mind of its own and may sometimes refuse to cooperate with its rider.

2. Strengthened Muscles

Therapeutic horseback riding is much more than emotional health. It’s also used as physical therapy for disabled riders. While horse riding, small muscle movements are necessary. They often consist of hand movements when selecting reins or holding them while riding. Large muscle groups also play a huge role. How? Horseback riding stabilizes the trunk by actively engaging the core muscle as the rider rises and sits to the horse’s rhythm.

3. Improved Balance and Confidence

The rider is a continuously thrown-off balance as the horse moves. As a result, the muscles contract and relax in an attempt to regain balance with the exercise reaching the deep muscle tissues considered inaccessible in a typical physical therapy. By stopping or starting the horse or changing direction, the rider’s balance can be further improved.

Children living with disabilities sometimes feel trapped in a body they have little control over either through difficulty in walking or confinement to a wheelchair. Now imagine for the first time these kids, through horseback riding for children, get to command their horses with smiles on their faces. Nothing could beat that. Also, a child’s connection with an animal and the opportunity to master horsemanship skills boost their confidence.

4. Positive Sensory Stimulation

Horseback riding stimulates the senses in different ways that are especially beneficial to people with mental disorders. A good example is a horseback riding therapy for autism spectrum. The rider’s sight, sense of touch, hearing, and smell are all triggered by the sounds, smell and the feel of the horse itself. Introducing horse riding games for kids could help create both sensory enjoyment and appreciation of the act of riding itself. For children with personal horses on the farm, tending to the horse with products for horses is also another exciting way to improve the bond. 

Red Rock Ranch Horseback Riding is the Best Therapy

The Red Rock Ranch, WY

 

5. Demands Focus

What better way to forget about the worries of this world than a horseback riding southwest ranches expedition. Therapeutic horseback riding requires your complete attention. This way the rider has no time to think about a problem or stressful situation.

6. Teaches Patience

The art of horseback riding is not acquired overnight. It involves endless trials and an unresponsive horse. However, this is no reason to get discouraged. Sometimes, you have to relax, take a breath, and then give it another shot. This way you’ll acquire patience which is hugely therapeutic and beneficial in other areas too. What’s more, finding a ranch in the U.S should be an easy task, so you don’t have to worried about where to go horseback riding.

7. Develops and Improves Social Skills

Sometimes, people with disabilities may have a hard time interacting with others. Horseback riding offers a way for them to improve their social skills. It starts with the bond naturally formed during the horseback riding lessons between the rider and horse. Once they get used to this, it becomes easier for people with disabilities to build a relationship with the instructors and later on with the community at large. Therapeutic horseback riding also provides an avenue for people to positively channel emotions over their disability which at times hinders social interaction.

Conclusion

Nothing beats a few hours spent with a horse, man’s best therapist. You are assured of experiences worthy of a lifetime. Ever tried therapeutic horseback riding? Feel free to engage us in an email at info@duderanch.org.

 

Author Bio

Betty Wilson having recently finished a masters degree in Biodiversity Conservation. Her passion is horse riding. Together with allpetsexpert.com she actively participates in charity events in support of stray animals.

 

There’s no denying that climbing on a horse at the end of an overwhelming day can be quite liberating. But what if we told you this ancient mode of transport is the best therapy? Believable? Not to worry, this article aims at shading light on therapeutic horseback riding and its benefits.

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