Horses at Lone Mountain Ranch
A Love for Horses
During the summer season, Lone Mountain Ranch operates with over 100 horses. Each of our horses has a special job, from taking care of a young child on their first ride to pulling loads of people in sleighs through the snow to our dinners in North Fork Cabin.
We use draft horses to pull our wagons and sleighs. At LMR you will find Belgian and Percheron drafts, two of the most popular breeds of heavy pulling horses in North America. Our saddle horses are a mixed bunch, mostly American Quarter Horses.
Our main herd spends their winters in Twin Bridges, Montana, where our ranch gets all our hay for its horse operations. Our other herd spends the winter in Jackson, Wyoming. Our impressive draft horses stay with us year round.
We’re a friendly bunch down in the barn, so feel free to come down and see us anytime. Our horses love treats, and you can grab a bag of carrots at The Outpost on your way.
Keep yourself and our horses safe with a few tips:
- Never approach a tied horse—from the rear or front—without speaking to a wrangler first.
- Avoid the barnyard while rides are loading or unloading.
- You’re more than welcome to feed the horses, just get a few quick tips from staff beforehand.
- Keep dogs and yard games away from the barnyard and trail rides, they make our horses skittish.
- No running around the horses. When they hear your thundering feet, they think their hooves should do the same!
Horses are herd animals, which means it is in their nature to feel safer in numbers. For this reason It’s important to develop a strong relationship with your horse. If a horse doesn’t feel safe with you, it can become anxious and afraid, which can be dangerous for both of you. We encourage guests to talk to their horse while riding, give lots of pats and scratches, and spend some extra time in the barnyard brushing, grooming, and observing horse behavior. The more time you spend with your horse the more they will trust you. We offer summer horsemanship clinics twice a week to help you develop your understanding of horse behavior and deepen your relationship with your trail partner.
Did you Know?
Horses have their own language—“Equus,” the Latin word for horse. It’s almost entirely body language. Like other prey animals, horses need to communicate without drawing unwanted attention from predators. The term “horse whisperer” refers to a person who has learned to use their own body language to work with a horse via its own language.
With the largest eyes of all land mammals, horses have vision that’s very different from ours. Their eyes are set on the side of their head and they have an approximately 350-degree field of vision. The areas directly in front and behind them are blind spots. Ever wonder why a horse acts more nervous on a windy day? They’re superb at detecting movement, but their color vision is less well-developed than ours. When it’s windy, horses are less able to spot the movement of potential predators.
Frequently Asked Questions
I have horses at home, do I have to go on my introductory ride?
Yes, this introductory ride is required for all guests due to liability and safety reasons. This introductory ride will help wranglers fit your height to the correct size horse, as well as access your riding level and comfort for you to enjoy longer rides.
How many people can go on a ride together?
For your safety and for the safety of others in your group, each wrangler guides six people maximum in a group.
Do you have weight restrictions?
Our maximum weight limit is 250 lbs., which is standard for guest ranches. The Biomechanics of horses limits the total weight they can safely carry for a variety of health reasons, including strained muscles, pinched nerves, and saddle sores.
We offer many activities alternative to horseback riding, such as roping clinics, groundwork clinics, and wagon rides for those who may be unable to mount a horse.
Do you have any pregnancy restrictions?
If a guest is 11 weeks or under in their pregnancy they will need to supply the Ranch with a doctor’s note permitting them to ride. If a guest is 12 weeks or further along in their pregnancy they will not be permitted to go on a horseback ride.
Can I ride more than once a day?
You can absolutely ride more than once a day. We suggest an early ride and a late afternoon ride to give the horses time to rest and enjoy their lunch.
Can I go on longer rides than just two hours?
Our rides are geared towards beginner level rides, however longer rides are available upon request once an introductory ride is completed.
I am an advanced rider; do you offer private, more difficult riding?
We do! Upon completion of your introductory ride, you can discuss our more advanced programming with our head wrangler. Options include loping rides, lunch rides, all day rides, or lessons in our arena. Your rider assessment level and our wrangler availability will determine which options are possible during your visit.
What kind of shoes should I wear?
Please wear closed-toe shoes that are comfortable. We ask that your shoes have a slight heel on them to better secure your feet in the stirrups.
Do you offer cowboy boots?
We offer cowboy boots in our outdoor shop for guests to wear on their rides. If you would like to purchase your own pair of cowboy boots, we also have these available in the outdoor shop.
Do I have to wear a helmet?
Guests 18 years and older do not have to wear a helmet.
How old does my child have to be to ride with me?
6 years old is the minimum age for kids to join rides. Pony rides can be booked for our younger horse enthusiasts.
Is horseback riding available every day?
What is your earliest/latest ride?
This depends on the day. Some days our earliest is 8:00am, others it is 9:30am. Our latest ride will leave the barn at either 3:30 or 4:00PM.
Do I ride the same horse for every ride?
Typically, yes. We use our rider assessment to match you with a horse you will be comfortable on. Riding the same horse for each ride deepens your relationship with that horse.
Is horse backing available year-round?
Typically, horseback riding is available May 27 – October 15, however Montana’s unpredictable weather can shorten our riding season.