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Riding with 9 Finger Ranch: Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need riding experience to go for trail rides?

Definitely no riding experience required! Our horses are used to absolute beginners. Some rides are more suitable for less experienced riders (like our Homebound, Buckaroo & Jumpstart). If you are unsure which rides is the best choice for you, just ask us and we are happy to help or recommend a ride!

Are (young) kids allowed to go on trail rides?

Yes! Families and kids are very welcome. We do not have a certain age requirement. But – your kid needs in any case to be able to sit on a (regular sized!) horse on its own and it will not be placed on a horse with you. You know best if your kid is able (and comfortable) with doing so. Out of experience, we cannot recommend taking kids younger than around 6/7 years along. For safety reasons, we usually tie smaller kids’ horses to the guide’s horse (according to our guides’ capacities).

What clothes do you recommend for riding?

We definitely (!!!) recommend wearing long pants. Bare skin rubbing on leather is not enjoyable at all. Depending on the season, you might also be exposed to the sun and a bunch of mosquitoes for hours. So, we also would go with a long shirt, sunscreen, and mosquito repellent. As shoes, choose sturdy shoes (sneaker or hiking boots are fine, sandals not).

Can I take photos while riding?

Yes, you can take your camera along. We just recommend asking your guide for a short stop if you want to snap a picture. However, when posting pictures on your social media accounts, we would be super happy if you tag (and hopefully recommend) us! You can find us on Instagram and Facebook.

Are there weight restrictions?

No, we do not have weight restrictions. If you think you might need an extra strong horse, a hint in advance helps us in choosing the right horse for your ride. Same with very tall persons – let us know beforehand and we will not prepare the smallest one for you.  

Is there a minimum group size required for booking?

Depends on the ride. For the Jumpstart, Half Day Ride, Full Day Ride and Overnight Rides, two riders are required for booking. We still offer some of these options for “solo riders”, please note that there will be an extra charge. As maximum, we accommodate groups up to 6 people for park rides. Regarding rides at home, we are more flexible and can take (most times) 8 to 10 riders in one group along. If you are a bigger group, we also mostly make that work (with splitting your group and going more than once).

Can I help with preparing the horses?

Usually, we will have your horse ready to go for you when you arrive at the ranch. If wanted, we can arrange that you help us. As this usually takes longer, we would charge a little bit more for the extra time we have to invest. Talk with us beforehand!

I am not sure if I am comfortable with riding on my own – what now?

If you are a little bit scared or unsure, just let us know in advance. We will make sure to prepare the most reliable horse for you and help you in deciding which ride fits best. In the “worst case”, we can always take your horse on a leash and tie it to the guide’s horse (according to our guides’ capacities) .

Can I take my dog along?

We ask you to not take your dog along. We do not allow dogs on rides in the national park (due to leash obligation there) and we also cannot let other dogs come along on rides on the ranch property (as we can never be sure how it behaves around our dogs, horses and cattle).

What happens on the day of my ride?

Quick summary: We get your horse from the pasture, brush and saddle it shortly before your arrival. When you arrive at the ranch, drive to the ranch house. We will greet you there and you will have to pay and sign a waiver. Afterwards, walk to the barn where your horse and guide are waiting for you. When going for a ride on the ranch property, you get on your horse and we explain some riding basics before we take off.

What is the procedure with trail rides in Riding Mountain National Park?

When you arrive, your first step is to do the paperwork in the ranch house. We then trailer the horses and drive all together to the park entrance. Depending on the group size, it might be required that you follow us to the park entrance in your own car.

What kind of horses do you have?

We have around 10 guest horses at the moment. Most are Tennessee Walking Horses and are born, grown up and trained on the ranch. Our horses are super friendly, reliable, and laid-back. They know what they have to do and are usually doing a great job – an unplanned break for a quick snack is usually the most disobedient thing they have in mind. If you want to get to know them in advance, we have been publishing our horses’ profiles lately on our Social Media accounts 🙂 (Check the hashtag #9fingerranchhorses on Instagram)

Are there packages for riding and staying at the ranch?

Yes, we have stay & ride packages prepared for you. These are designed for longer stays (for a week, extra long weekend or a family weekend). You can choose between the pampered and the economic version. If you have something else in mind, let us know and we will see what we can do for you. We have two cabins available which can be booked independently as well.

In what pace are your rides?

Our rides are only walking pace (means going slow). As we cannot check on rider’s abilities beforehand, this is the safer version. Apart from that, our horses’ speed varies when going quicker than walking which makes it hard to keep the group together.

Is there a certain schedule when you go for which ride?

Nope! We basically schedule our rides according to guests’ inquiries. Means we have already had rides at 6am in the morning and sunset rides in the evening. For longer rides (Half Day and Full Day ride in the park), we usually start around 10am while we are more flexible with shorter rides.

How do you adapt to the Covid-19 situation?

We want you to feel safe on the ranch and when going for a ride with us. We comply with current governmental guidelines. Non-contact payment options available. If you have symptoms or feel ill, please reschedule your ride!

I have a special idea regarding a trail ride – what now?

You want to discover a certain spot in the park on horseback? Have riding experience and want to go for a more challenging ride? You want to do a multi day trip ride? You want to bring your own horse and need us as guides only? Whatever you have in mind, let us know and we try our best to make it happen.

Did we forget something important? Or do you have further questions? Contact us! 🙂