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Ranch stay and natural horsemanship in Montana

Rocking Z Ranch

8 days / 6 days riding from £ 1,350

Riding levels

Each of our trips is assigned a minimum level of riding ability required. This reflects whether there is technical riding required; the terrain to be covered; the liveliness of the horses; the length of the riding days and the riding fitness required.




For novice riders, these riding holidays will give beginners the chance to get used to being in the saddle. In general, a beginner/ novice hasn't learned how to canter and has not yet mastered rising trot. They are able to mount safely and to control a horse at a walk. 



For intermediate riders who are at ease at 2 paces (walk and rising trot and are starting to canter in a forward seat) out in open countryside. The intermediate rider is able to mount and dismount their horse unassisted, use basic riding aids, ride at a rising trot for at least 10 minutes, to change and control the pace from a walk to a trot and comfortably canter over short distances.



For experienced riders who have mastered all 3 paces (walk, rising trot, canter in a forward seat) over uneven terrain. The experienced rider rides regularly, has a good seat and is confident of their own ability. They are able to control the horse at speed and change direction of their horse at any pace and in any circumstance as needed.



For advanced riders who have mastered all 4paces (walk, rising trot, canter gallop in a forward seat) over uneven terrain on all types of horses including those that are very spirited. The advanced rider rides regularly has good physical fitness, has good soft hands and has the ability to gallop for long stretches without getting tired.



For all riders, whether they are novices, intermediate level, experienced or advanced. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, endurance training, natural horsemanship, trail riding orcentre based safaris.



For beginners and intermediate level riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capability of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For beginners, intermediate level  and experienced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For intermediate level and experienced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, long-distance ridingtraining,endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For intermediate level, experiencedand advanced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, long-distance ridingtrainingendurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For experiencedand advanced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, long-distance ridingtraining,endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.

Comfort

Each of our rides has been assigned an expected level of comfort

Nights in hotels, guesthouses, B&B's or homestays. Double or twin rooms with bathrooms.

 

EQUUS JOURNEYS Fingerpost Cottage
Hopton Wafers
Shropshire, DY140NA. UK
Phone : +44 (0) 1905 388977
INFO@EQUUS-JOURNEYS.COM

Imprimer

UNITED STATES-Rocking Z Ranch

8 days / 6 days riding from 1350£


Activity :

Level :

Comfort :

Family starting from 7 ans

This family owned guest ranch, nestled in the heart of "Horse Whisperer" country, has over 60 horses and specialises in Parelli Natural Horsemanship. The wide range of non-riding activities ensures this fun and friendly ranch offers great riding for all abilities. For the more experienced riders, get involved in the day-to-day tasks on the ranch or explore the wild surroundings on long-distance treks.

Strengths

- Visit a small family owned guest ranch nestled in the grassy foothills of the Rocky Mountains
- Over 60 well mannered horses, all trained using Parellli Natural Horsemanship techniques
- Learn the Parelli skills to communicate with your horse
- Suitable for beginners to advanced riders and ideal for families
- Relaxed itinerary with 3 to 6 hours riding each day
- A wide range of non-riding activities available including clay shooting, fishing, hiking and wildlife watching
- Learn to work with cattle or try riding bareback - you will find there is something for everyone!
- Enjoy the spectacular scenery of "Horse Whisperer" country, climb mountains and ride across a variety of terrain
- Possibility to visit a rodeo if you travel in June, July and August

Itinerary

Day 1: Wolf Creek - 3-6 hours riding

Accommodation : ROCKING Z RANCH

You will be met at the airport and transferred to the ranch between 11:00 and 12:00pm. The drive takes about 30 minutes.

The first day is often spent bonding with your horse. Your mount will be assigned to you based on your riding ability and your personality. Working with your horse from the ground, instructed by Ana and Maria, will allow you to start to feel at ease and prompt your horse to follow you and listen to your instructions. You may learn as much about yourself as the horse entrusted to you; for some people, it can be a pretty emotional day.

In the evening, you will all relax together and enjoy a home-cooked dinner. The meal will be the setting for the briefing for the following day. You will discuss what you would like to do, any weather constraints and what needs of the season are imposed upon the ranch at that time of year.

The ranchers are there to listen and are ready to adapt the programme to riders' wants, interests and riding level.

You plan your next day according to the weather forecast, seasonal needs and your wishes.

IMPORTANT: The below program is provided as a guide, it is by no means exhaustive but reflects all of the activities in which you are able to participate.

Day 2: Wolf Creek - 3-8 hours riding

Accommodation : ROCKING Z RANCH

After a hearty breakfast, you will head out to lead the horses from their paddock to the corral.

Your days on the ranch follow no set itinerary as the day's programme and day-to-day activities are decided dependent upon guests' preferences, riding ability, the weather and the necessary tasks needed to be peformed on the ranch that day.

For example, you may decide today to work once more on the Parelli method under Ana's guidance. The Parelli method that works on the principle that "Horsemanship can be obtained naturally through communication, understanding and psychology, versus mechanics, fear and intimidation."

You may spend the morning learning the 7 Games, first on foot, then from the saddle and learn how to form a lasting bond with your horse. You may finish your morning by riding out bareback with your horse using only a simple rope halter to lead with.

In the afternoon, you may head out on horseback in a small group to discover the beautiful green surrounding the ranch. The horizon is seemingly infinite and the sky overwhelmingly immense. No single file, no imposed pace, here riding is something to be enjoyed. You will ride through narrow gullies, ford streams and break into a gallop where the terrain allows. For the more daredevil in the group, there will be the possibility of riding bareback with only the rope or side pull halter and also a chance to jump over the large natural obstacles found on the property.


In the early evening, you will lead the horses to the stable and return to the ranch to have dinner all together. You will maybe have the chance to hear Anna and Maria playing some music or Zach telling you about the history of the area - the expeditions of Lewis and Clark, or history of Chief Joseph and the surrender of the Nez Perce.

Day 3: Wolf Creek - 3-8 hours riding

Accommodation : ROCKING Z RANCH

If you are an early-riser and your riding level allows, you will be able to join the wranglers as they head out to herd the horses. Depending on how far out the herd has spread, this may mean some fantastic gallops through the grass-covered rolling hills to bring them all together and a good ride leading them back to the ranch.

In the morning, you may choose to take your first foray into the world of American horseback games: barrel racing, pole bending... You need to be precise and fast – you will get to experience the swift acceleration of the compact quarter horse.

After lunch, maybe expand your ranch skills by learning how to handle a lasso. You will start by training on a stationary mannequin before moving on to the cattle. It's not as easy as cowboys make it look, but with the wranglers' instruction and a bit of practice you should pick it up quite quickly.

For any non-riders on the ranch, or maybe if you just fancy taking a break from riding, there are other activities available:

- Walks around the property
- Fly-fishing in the Blackfoot River, subject of Norman Maclean book and film with Brad Pitt, 'A River runs through it'
- Wild swimming
- Archery and an introduction to trap shooting
- Helping out with the agricultural tasks around the ranch
- Bird watching (the region being home to over 250 species of bird)
- Boat trips out on the Missouri

In the evening, you may choose to relax in the outdoor Jacuzzi then eat in the ranch's saloon, playing pool and drinking a cold beer!

Day 4: Wolf Creek - 3-8 hours riding

Accommodation : ROCKING Z RANCH

Once a week, often on a Sunday when the rest of the family goes to church, Zach prepares a gargantuan breakfast of made-to-order omelets, with ingredients of your choice, or a gigantic stacks of pancakes!

After this mighty breakfast, today you may choose to pack up some sandwiches, coral and tack your horse to head out on a long trek. The ranch is situated in a stunning natural setting: dense woods, open stretches of grassland and wild, imposing mountains. The possible trail routes are endless and you can cover up to 40kms in a day (suggested only for experienced riders). The terrain often allows for gallops and a picnic with a breath-taking view is on the cards at midday!

In the evening, you'll return to the ranch for dinner and a well-deserved rest.

For less experienced riders, the team can organise a morning lesson to help go over techniques - either on foot or from the saddle. The afternoon would then be a short ride along the beautiful trails closer to the ranch.

Day 5: Wolf Creek - 3-8 hours riding

Accommodation : ROCKING Z RANCH

A day for chaps, as you might choose to ride out with the cowboys and start working with the cattle.


You will start in the yard being taught how to maneuver your horse, manage the cattle and the rules that will keep you safe as you work. You will then need to ride out as a team to coordinate the assembly of the herds of cows and drive them back to the corral.

After a much needed pause for lunch, the wranglers will arrange exercises for you to hone your ranching skills: team penning, team sorting and, for the more confident, lassoing.

In July and August, the surrounding towns regularly hold rodeos on Fridays and Saturdays. The Wirths are more than happy to take you to the rodeo to experience a typical American family outing (tickets and food off the ranch are at an extra charge).

Day 6: Wolf Creek - 3-8 hours riding

Accommodation : ROCKING Z RANCH

For your last day on the ranch, let the team know what you want to do. Work with the cattle, take another long ride around a different part of the ranch's property or work on your technique in the yard.

You will enjoy a final dinner around the Wirth family table and head back to your lodge for the night.

Day 7: Wolf Creek - Helena - No riding

After saying your goodbyes to the Wirth family, you will be transferred to the airport (a 30 minute journey) - make sure to book your return flight after 10:30 am.

There is the possibility to rent a car to extend your trip and spend some time in Yellowstone National Park, only a three-hour drive from Helena.

Day 8 - No riding

Arrival into the UK.


Price details

- If you wish to extend your stay by a few days, just get in touch with us and we will consult you on prices.

- If you arrive on the Sunday afternoon at 11:00 your transfer is free. If your arrival time is later, the private transfers (return trip Helena airport/hotel) will cost approx. £175. Transfers to Great Falls can also be arranged.

- Return transfers from Great Falls are also possible and cost approx £161 ($200)

- We recommend arriving into Helena a day earlier and staying the night in a comfortable hotel to recover from any jetlag that you may experience from the long haul flight. This
way, you will be able to jump right in for your first day on the ranch. If this option is of interest, we would be happy to organise your hotel in Helena for an additional cost of from approx. $72 (depending on the season) - just let us know!

- Free for children under 3 years old.

- 10% Discount for children from 3 to 12 years old.

- If you are travelling on your own and do not wish to share your room then a single room supplementary charge (between £270 and £360 depending on the season). If you are happy to share your room, this charge will not be added

- You may wish to privatise the ranch during the festive period. Please contact us to get more information.

IMPORTANT
- Tips are compulsory in USA and are about 15% of the cost of your stay. These gratuities are NOT included in the above price and are payable locally.
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

PRICE INCLUDES

Support Team

Supervised by one of the qualified Parelli instructors

Inland transports

Airport transfers Helena airport/hotel if arriving at 11am

Accommodation

Double/triple room at the ranch with private bathroom and small fireplace

Meals

Full board from lunch on day 2 to breakfast on day 8

OPTION

Accommodation

Single room supplementary charge
An additional night at the beginning of the trip. 1 night in a double room in Helena, from $72 (depending on the season)

Extra

Additional trips and activities in the surrounding area

PRICE DOESN'T INCLUDE

Meals

Beverages and personal extra

Transports

International flights bookable on request
Visa fees (ESTA) of USD 14 which must be arranged in advance

Extra

15% gratuities for the staff on the selling price

Insurance

Cancellation and travel insurances are not included. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend to take out an insurance policy as soon as your travel is booked in case of cancellation.

TIPS

Tipping is an instituition in the United States. In all restaurants - except certain snack bars with self-service -, it is expected that you leave aroud a 0 - 12% tip. Certain tourist hotspots will also add a service charge.

It's also considered 'good manners' to leave a 1 to 2$ supplementary tip to taxi drivers.

Reagrding tips made to the team at the ranch, it is customary to give them to the lead cowboy who will then share it out amongst the rest of the team.

HORSES

There are a variety of horses at Rocking Z, mainly Quarter Horses, but also Appaloosas, Paints, Mustangs, Arabians, Welsh crosses, a Shetland and 2 Belgians to choose from. All are much loved and most are trained on the ranch using Parelli Natural Horsemanship techniques.

MINIMUM RIDING ABILITY

Open to riders of all abilities from beginners through to experienced riders and also non-riding guests. The itinerary is very flexible and you can ride as much or as little as you want. Each rider will be matched with a horse of their riding level. The horses are very easy to ride and well-educated .

You must be comfortable at all paces to join the long rides (half day and full day).

Children of all ages are welcome. Children six and over will spend much of the day learning to ride and playing games on their horses. If their riding ability is good, children will be allowed to join some adult rides.

PACE

The pace of the ride varies depending on the terrain and your level of experience. There will be work in hand, walk, trot and canter.
Riding in a western saddle with the possibility of bareback and in a halter are possible.

TACKING ABILITY AND PARTICIPATION

You will be encouraged to form as strong a bond with your horse as possible during your stay. This will include tacking, untacking, feeding and caring for your mount. The wranglers, all level 2 trained in the Pat Parelli method, will be there to help you and teach you the ranch's methods.

TRIP CONDITIONS AND REQUESTED EXPERIENCE

In general, no specific experience or level of fitness is required for a stay at Rocking Z ranch. However, if you wish to participate in the day-long treks then you need to have a good level of fitness and be at ease at all three paces outdoors.

The most important requirement is that you love horses, appreciate being outdoors and are interested in learning and getting involved in life on the ranch!

EQUESTRIAN EQUIPMENT

Provided are:
- Saddlebags
- Riding hats
- Western saddles
- Ethological working aids (lunges, sticks)

Optional to be brought by the rider
- Front saddlebags
- Leather cord for attaching your coat behind the saddle

COMFORT

There are eight spacious ensuite guest rooms, each with a natural-gas fireplace foor the cool evenings. There are rooms of varying sizes with king, queen or twin beds.

Everyone eats together with the family and enjoys great home ranch cooking!

CLIMAT

The climate in Helena is typically continental, with hot summers and cold winters.
May and June are mild, with temperatures around 20-25°C during the day and 0-5°C on the coldest nights. The most rainfall is likely to fall in spring.
July and August are the hottest months with temperatures sometimes reaching 30°C. The evenings are often around 10-15°C.
Between September and October, the temperature gets progressively cooler to around 15-20°C with cold evenings and nights. Some years the fall and winter may be bright and crisp and other years the snow may start to fall from October.

Meals

Meals on the ranch are always hearty and consist of fresh and local vegetables and meat: beef, pork, chicken etc. Dessert is usually tarts or cakes. For lunch you will have roast, lasagna, steak and potatoes or if you are out for a long ride, you will have a picnic lunch carried in your saddlebags.

Fresh fruit is available to you all day and the bread is all home made. On Sunday Zach will prepare his impressive pancake breakfast!

Water and wine are available at evening meals. All other alcoholic drinks are not included in the price of your trip.

Support Team

Guide and local team

The Wirth family have been the owners of the range for several years now. Zach and Patty manage the ranch while their 2 daughters, Anna and Maria, are in charge of all things horse related. They buy, raise and train their horses with passion and a gentle hand,The Wirth family has been the owners of the range for several years now. Zach and Patty manage the ranch while their 2 daughters, Anna and Maria, are in charge of all things horse related. They buy, raise and train their horses with passion and a gentle hand, and they like nothing more than to share their knowledge and know-how with their guests.

Packing list

Head
-Equus Journeys strongly recommend that you wear a riding helmet and that you take your own to ensure a correct fit.
-Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana

Upper body
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun
- T-shirts
- Fleece, jumper or jacket - the evenings can be cold
- Waterproof jacket - the rains can be difficult to foresee and it's better to be prepared.
- Casual clothes for the evening

Legs
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Shorts
Casual clothes for the evening

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps to protect against thorns. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged
- Sandals, flip-flops or trainers
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun whilst riding

Nightwear

- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!

Other useful items
- Swimsuit - for plunge pools
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
-Mosquito repellent
-Insect bite relief cream
- Chapstick

ENTRY FORMALITIES

It is your responsibility to ensure you have the valid visa requirements for entry. We will endeavour to keep this section up to date, but please visit https://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors for further information.

You'll need prior authorisation to enter the United States using a British passport, either through a visa, a Permanent Resident Card, or the Visa Waiver Programme. To enter the United States of America, a passport valid for the duration of stay is required by Australian, British, Canadian and other EU nationals.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS - VISA WAIVER PROGRAMME
Most passport holders can get an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) through the Visa Waiver Programme, which allows travel to the US for up to 90 days. Visit the official US website to apply for your ESTA: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/
All travellers entering the USA under the Visa Waiver Program require individual machine-readable passports. Children included on a parent's passport also require their own machine-readable passport. Travellers not in possession of machine-readable passports require a valid USA entry visa.

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) aren't valid for entry into the United States or transit through the United States under the Visa Waiver Programme; if you're planning to enter or transit through the US using an ETD you must apply for a visa from the nearest US embassy or consulate before you travel, or hold a valid lawful permanent resident card (often referred to as a ‘green card'), which you must have with you on arrival; you can leave the US using an ETD that has been issued in the United States

Visitors to the USA travelling under the Visa Waiver Program must obtain authorisation from the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), a fully automated, electronic system for screening passengers before they begin travel to the USA, if arriving by air or sea. It is recommended that applications are made at least 72 hours prior to travel but you may apply at any time prior to travel. Airlines must now deny check-in to passengers without a valid ESTA. There is a US$14 fee. An ESTA is valid for two years, so if you've applied for one previously, ensure it's still valid.

When applying for ESTA-authorisation and entering the passport number, the number 0 must not be replaced by letter O as this can lead to problems upon entering the USA. The granting of an ESTA does not guarantee entry to the USA. Canadian citizens do not require an ESTA, but permanent residents of Canada who are eligible for the Visa Waiver Program must obtain one.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS - VISAS
If you don't qualify for entry under the VWP, and don't have a US Permanent Resident Card, you should apply for a visa from the nearest US Embassy or Consulate before travelling.

Holders of UK passports with the endorsement British Subject, British Dependent Territories Citizen, British Protected Person, British Overseas Citizen or British National (Overseas) Citizen do not qualify for the Visa Waiver Program and need to obtain a visa.

PLEASE NOTE

Travelers in the following categories are no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP):

- Nationals of VWP countries who have traveled to or been present in Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia and Yemen on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited exceptions for travel for diplomatic or military purposes in the service of a VWP country).
- Nationals of VWP countries who are also nationals of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria.

IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR TRAVELERS TRANSITING THROUGH CANADA
If you are travelling to the USA visa Canada, please remember you also need to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), mandatory for anyone transiting through Canada. Completing ESTA formalities do not replace your eTA.

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/eta.html

Addresses of consulates

  • Paris | Ambassade des Etats-Unis
    2, avenue Gabriel
    75008 paris
    Tél. : 01.43.12.22.22
    Fax :
  • Ambassade de France aux Etats-Unis
    4101 Reservoir Road, N.W.
    20007 Washington D.C.
    Tél. : +1 (202) 944 60 00
    Fax :
    info@ambafrance-us.org
  • US Embassy
    24 Grosvenor Square
    W1A 2LQ London
    Tél. : 020 7499-9000
    Fax :

HEALTH

There are no vaccinations required for entering the United States. If you are entering from a yellow fever endemic area (or you have been to one within 7 days of entering the country), you may be required to show proof of immunization. Recommended vaccinations include Tetanus(Lockjaw), Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B. Rabies vaccinations are sometimes recommended for wilderness travel and/or wildlife volunteer projects. Lyme disease is endemic in the northeastern, Mid-Atlantic and upper Midwest areas and transmitted via blacklegged ticks.

Travel insurance that provides medical coverage is a requirement for visitors to the US. Only emergency cases are treated without prior payment and treatment may be refused without evidence of insurance or a deposit. All receipts for services rendered must be kept in order to make a claim. Medical care in the United States tends to be quite expensive, especially for emergency treatment provided in hospital settings, paid for out of pocket.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

TELEPHONE AND JET LAG

The dialling code for the USA is +1

The country stradles a number of different time zones. Eastern Daylight time (eg. New York) is GMT -4. Mountain Daylight time (eg. Montana) is GMT -6. Pacific Daylight time (eg. California) is GMT -7.

BUDGET AND MONEY

The US Dollar, is the national currency of the United States. One dollar consists of 100 cents. Frequently used coins are the penny (1¢), nickel (5¢), dime (10¢) and quarter (25¢). 50¢ and $1 coins also exist, but are rarely used. Frequently used banknotes are the $1, $5, $10 and $20 notes. $2, $50 and $100 notes can also be found, but are rarely used.
Most major credit cards are accepted throughout the USA, including American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa. Visitors are advised to carry at least one major credit card, as it is common to request pre-payment or a credit card imprint for hotel rooms and car hire, even when final payment is not by credit card. Be sure to check with your card issuer for current surcharge rates imposed for use of the card outside your home country. You should also inform your issuer that you are travelling for a specified period so your card is not flagged or temporarily suspended.

Bank-issued debit cards are accepted at many businesses in the US; however, using them to pay for many travel-related expenses, such as car hire and hotel rooms, often incurs a surcharge, deposit, or a hold on your account.

VOLTAGE

120 volts AC, 60Hz. Plugs have two flat pins with or without a third round grounding pin

ACTIVITY :Natural Horsemanship

LEVEL :Help

COMFORT :Help

Family starting from 7 Years

This family owned guest ranch, nestled in the heart of "Horse Whisperer" country, has over 60 horses and specialises in Parelli Natural Horsemanship. The wide range of non-riding activities ensures this fun and friendly ranch offers great riding for all abilities. For the more experienced riders, get involved in the day-to-day tasks on the ranch or explore the wild surroundings on long-distance treks.

  • Learn new natural horsemanship skills in Montana
    Natural horsemanship guest ranch in Montana
  • Rocking Z is a family-owned guest ranch in Montana
    Natural horsemanship guest ranch in Montana USA
  • Become part of the team and ride like a cowboy
    Gathering horses in Montana
  • Improve your natural horsemanship skills in the USA
    Experiencing the natural horsemanship
  • Jumping bareback and bridleless in the fields
    Horsemanship guest ranch
  • Out on the ranch in Montana
    Parelli natural horsemanship guest ranch in Montana
  • The perfect environment for a family holiday
    Parelli natural horsemanship guest ranch in Montana
  • Practice new cowboy skills... Before a drink at the saloon
    Practicing with the Lasso in Montana
  • Natural horsemanship lessons and clinics
    Parelli natural horsemanship in Montana
  • Riding in glorious countryside in the mountains of Montana
    Ranch stay and trail rides in Montana

STRENGTHS

- Visit a small family owned guest ranch nestled in the grassy foothills of the Rocky Mountains
- Over 60 well mannered horses, all trained using Parellli Natural Horsemanship techniques
- Learn the Parelli skills to communicate with your horse
- Suitable for beginners to advanced riders and ideal for families
- Relaxed itinerary with 3 to 6 hours riding each day
- A wide range of non-riding activities available including clay shooting, fishing, hiking and wildlife watching
- Learn to work with cattle or try riding bareback - you will find there is something for everyone!
- Enjoy the spectacular scenery of "Horse Whisperer" country, climb mountains and ride across a variety of terrain
- Possibility to visit a rodeo if you travel in June, July and August

ITINERARY

Day 1: Wolf Creek - 3-6 hours riding

Accommodation : ROCKING Z RANCH

You will be met at the airport and transferred to the ranch between 11:00 and 12:00pm. The drive takes about 30 minutes.

The first day is often spent bonding with your horse. Your mount will be assigned to you based on your riding ability and your personality. Working with your horse from the ground, instructed by Ana and Maria, will allow you to start to feel at ease and prompt your horse to follow you and listen to your instructions. You may learn as much about yourself as the horse entrusted to you; for some people, it can be a pretty emotional day.

In the evening, you will all relax together and enjoy a home-cooked dinner. The meal will be the setting for the briefing for the following day. You will discuss what you would like to do, any weather constraints and what needs of the season are imposed upon the ranch at that time of year.

The ranchers are there to listen and are ready to adapt the programme to riders' wants, interests and riding level.

You plan your next day according to the weather forecast, seasonal needs and your wishes.

IMPORTANT: The below program is provided as a guide, it is by no means exhaustive but reflects all of the activities in which you are able to participate.

Day 2: Wolf Creek - 3-8 hours riding

Accommodation : ROCKING Z RANCH

After a hearty breakfast, you will head out to lead the horses from their paddock to the corral.

Your days on the ranch follow no set itinerary as the day's programme and day-to-day activities are decided dependent upon guests' preferences, riding ability, the weather and the necessary tasks needed to be peformed on the ranch that day.

For example, you may decide today to work once more on the Parelli method under Ana's guidance. The Parelli method that works on the principle that "Horsemanship can be obtained naturally through communication, understanding and psychology, versus mechanics, fear and intimidation."

You may spend the morning learning the 7 Games, first on foot, then from the saddle and learn how to form a lasting bond with your horse. You may finish your morning by riding out bareback with your horse using only a simple rope halter to lead with.

In the afternoon, you may head out on horseback in a small group to discover the beautiful green surrounding the ranch. The horizon is seemingly infinite and the sky overwhelmingly immense. No single file, no imposed pace, here riding is something to be enjoyed. You will ride through narrow gullies, ford streams and break into a gallop where the terrain allows. For the more daredevil in the group, there will be the possibility of riding bareback with only the rope or side pull halter and also a chance to jump over the large natural obstacles found on the property.


In the early evening, you will lead the horses to the stable and return to the ranch to have dinner all together. You will maybe have the chance to hear Anna and Maria playing some music or Zach telling you about the history of the area - the expeditions of Lewis and Clark, or history of Chief Joseph and the surrender of the Nez Perce.

Day 3: Wolf Creek - 3-8 hours riding

Accommodation : ROCKING Z RANCH

If you are an early-riser and your riding level allows, you will be able to join the wranglers as they head out to herd the horses. Depending on how far out the herd has spread, this may mean some fantastic gallops through the grass-covered rolling hills to bring them all together and a good ride leading them back to the ranch.

In the morning, you may choose to take your first foray into the world of American horseback games: barrel racing, pole bending... You need to be precise and fast – you will get to experience the swift acceleration of the compact quarter horse.

After lunch, maybe expand your ranch skills by learning how to handle a lasso. You will start by training on a stationary mannequin before moving on to the cattle. It's not as easy as cowboys make it look, but with the wranglers' instruction and a bit of practice you should pick it up quite quickly.

For any non-riders on the ranch, or maybe if you just fancy taking a break from riding, there are other activities available:

- Walks around the property
- Fly-fishing in the Blackfoot River, subject of Norman Maclean book and film with Brad Pitt, 'A River runs through it'
- Wild swimming
- Archery and an introduction to trap shooting
- Helping out with the agricultural tasks around the ranch
- Bird watching (the region being home to over 250 species of bird)
- Boat trips out on the Missouri

In the evening, you may choose to relax in the outdoor Jacuzzi then eat in the ranch's saloon, playing pool and drinking a cold beer!

Day 4: Wolf Creek - 3-8 hours riding

Accommodation : ROCKING Z RANCH

Once a week, often on a Sunday when the rest of the family goes to church, Zach prepares a gargantuan breakfast of made-to-order omelets, with ingredients of your choice, or a gigantic stacks of pancakes!

After this mighty breakfast, today you may choose to pack up some sandwiches, coral and tack your horse to head out on a long trek. The ranch is situated in a stunning natural setting: dense woods, open stretches of grassland and wild, imposing mountains. The possible trail routes are endless and you can cover up to 40kms in a day (suggested only for experienced riders). The terrain often allows for gallops and a picnic with a breath-taking view is on the cards at midday!

In the evening, you'll return to the ranch for dinner and a well-deserved rest.

For less experienced riders, the team can organise a morning lesson to help go over techniques - either on foot or from the saddle. The afternoon would then be a short ride along the beautiful trails closer to the ranch.

Day 5: Wolf Creek - 3-8 hours riding

Accommodation : ROCKING Z RANCH

A day for chaps, as you might choose to ride out with the cowboys and start working with the cattle.


You will start in the yard being taught how to maneuver your horse, manage the cattle and the rules that will keep you safe as you work. You will then need to ride out as a team to coordinate the assembly of the herds of cows and drive them back to the corral.

After a much needed pause for lunch, the wranglers will arrange exercises for you to hone your ranching skills: team penning, team sorting and, for the more confident, lassoing.

In July and August, the surrounding towns regularly hold rodeos on Fridays and Saturdays. The Wirths are more than happy to take you to the rodeo to experience a typical American family outing (tickets and food off the ranch are at an extra charge).

Day 6: Wolf Creek - 3-8 hours riding

Accommodation : ROCKING Z RANCH

For your last day on the ranch, let the team know what you want to do. Work with the cattle, take another long ride around a different part of the ranch's property or work on your technique in the yard.

You will enjoy a final dinner around the Wirth family table and head back to your lodge for the night.

Day 7: Wolf Creek - Helena - No riding

After saying your goodbyes to the Wirth family, you will be transferred to the airport (a 30 minute journey) - make sure to book your return flight after 10:30 am.

There is the possibility to rent a car to extend your trip and spend some time in Yellowstone National Park, only a three-hour drive from Helena.

Day 8 - No riding

Arrival into the UK.

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YOUR ADVISOR

Did you know ?

The Pat Parelli method

Natural horsemanship, is a gentle method, that brings the horse to make a decision to do something but without forcing him. Pat Parellis’ inspiration for this method came from the way that horses behave in a wild herd.

Horses need a leader who they respect and who they can trust, in the presence of this leader they become calm and tame.

At the ranch, through 7 games that Pat Parelli teaches, you will discover this method: the friendship game, the porcupine game, the driving game, the yo-yo game, the circle game, the sideways game and the squeeze game.