Kirsta Davey of Groton, Massachusetts, heartily recommends a ranch vacation for families of all ages. Hers has already made plans to return to the Triangle X ranch in Moose, Wyoming, for the third summer in a row.
On their most recent trip, her gang included herself and her husband, Chris, and their three children: Sara, 8; Margaret, 2; and Walker, 3 months. They also imported two personal wranglersKirsta's mother and father. Her father is a skilled equestrian, and, more importantly, her mother is a skilled babysitter, which allowed Kirsta to take a break from infant care.
"We just love it out there," raves Kirsta. "The kids' program is wonderful. It was great seeing our girls have such a good time day after day. The wranglers are experts with the kids and the horses, which put my mind at ease. It reminded me of a camp, but parents get to participate too."
Every day 8-year-old Sara rode with the same group of kids and her wrangler, Trinette, with whom she corresponds all year. The children enjoyed a variety of outings, including a swim with the horses. The program includes additional activities as well, such as making plaster casts of wild animal tracks and crafting wildflower bookmarks.
"Sara has been riding for two years," Kirsta says, "but they taper the children's program to all abilities. For instance, one five-year-old was riding even though she could barely fit her legs around the horse."
Five is the minimum age for the Triangle X riding program. Nonetheless, two-year-old Margaret did her best to keep up, joining the older kids for meals and other activities.
Did Kirsta and her husband have any previous riding experience?
"It's sort of learn as you go," she advises. "I took a few refresher courses before this trip, but Chris did not. It's one of those things like skiingonce you learn, you don't regress much. Also, you can pick the length, difficulty, and pace of your ride."
The family stayed in a four-bedroom, two-bathroom cabin, and enjoyed their meals in a family-style dining room with "gorgeous views," as Kirsta notes.
"It's a very friendly ranch," she concludes, "where the focus is on riding. It's not fancy but it's beautiful. We love it."
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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