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Horse Vacation - Explore the high desert on your trusty steed

he sun rises over the saguaro-covered foothills, and the birds awaken and chatter excitedly as the wranglers ready horses in the coral for the morning ride on your horse vacation.

Our wranglers select a horse for each rider on their horse vacation based on his or her experience, and by about 7:30 a.m. riders can come down to the coral and groom their horse if they'd like. We have a horse for every experience level, including beginners, intermediate and advanced. Trail riding starts with children 7 years or older, but we offer horse-related activities for the little ones.

During the horse vacation orientation, the staff will go over western riding techniques and explain safety precautions with the group. We'll provide boots and hats if you haven't brought your own. It is suggested you wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, socks and sunscreen.

The morning ride departs at about 9 a.m., and the afternoon ride at about 2 p.m. All-day horse vacation rides are available by request. Our experienced wranglers will guide you through acres of desert covered with towering saguaro cactus and desert flora. Riders may canter or trot through the wash of the Hassaymapa River beneath sheer canyon walls, or climb rocky ridges for spectacular mountain views.

In addition to the stunning landscape, you may also spot some of the local wildlife. Keep a lookout for the desert tortoise, jackrabbit, or banded gecko. You may even catch a glimpse of a coyote or the poisonous but sluggish Gila monster on your horse vacation.

(FUN FACT): The Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum) is a banded lizard of the Southwestern United States and Mexico and is one of only two known venomous lizards in North American. It's not much of a threat to humans, as it moves very slowly. It is estimated that the Gila monster spends 95% of its time underground in mammal burrows or rocky shelters. However, Gila monsters also seem to like water and can be observed immersing themselves in puddles after a summer rain. The Gila monster is protected by Arizona and Nevada state law.

Horse Vacation