Yellowstone Horses at Eagle Ridge Ranch
Yellowstone Horses at Eagle Ridge Ranch

Frequently asked questions about Horseback Rides

Please Note: Yellowstone Horses and Eagle Ridge Ranch are two separate businesses, but Yellowstone Horses is located at the Eagle Ridge Ranch. All guests must sign two release forms: one for Yellowstone Horses and one for Eagle Ridge Ranch. All additional activities are under the direction of Eagle Ridge Ranch.

 

Q. How Early Should I Arrive for My Ride?

  • We ask guests to arrive 20 minutes prior to a scheduled reservation. This allows time to sign release forms and use the restrooms before the ride. It also gives extra time allowance in case guests take a wrong turn somewhere.  Late guests may be turned away without a refund.

 

Q. Is there a weight limit to ride horses?

  • Yes, all guests must be under 250 lbs. to participate. All guests will be weighed upon arrival. Keep in mind that though we allow persons up to 250 lbs. to ride, some persons who meet this requirement may not be physically fit enough to ride horses. Each person is the best judge of his or her abilities to ride and stay balanced in the saddle. The guest must also have the ability to mount their horse without assistance (step stools are provided).

 

Q. What Should I Bring?

  • The following are recommendations of what to bring when visiting the ranch. These are only suggestions, they are not necessary.

    • Insect repellant

    • Long pants for the ride

    • Close-toed shoes

    • Cash for snacks and/or gratuity

    • Sunscreen and/or baseball cap

    • Camera

--DRESS ACCORDING TO THE WEATHER!

 

Q. Can parents ride double with young kids on the same horse? 

  • Unfortunately, no. For the safety of our horses and guests, we do not allow double riding. Our goal is to provide an enjoyable and safe experience for everyone. Children ages 5 and older can ride on the trails with us; they will ride their own horse. Children of all ages are welcome at the ranch, however, and can enjoy other amenities while the rest of their group is horseback riding! Children ages 2-4 who cannot ride on the trail with us are offered a short 10-minute corral ride while the rest of their group is riding the trails. The horse will be led by a staff member, but a responsible adult will need to walk alongside the child. While the rest of the group is riding, there are plenty of things for the adult and young child in your group to do to keep occupied. The cost for non-riders is $10 per person. Release forms must be signed by everyone on the ranch whether they are horseback riding or not.
    **Please note, due to limited resources and time, we are unable to offer corral rides as a stand-alone service. It is an add-on only offered to groups with reservations for one of our trail rides. 

Q. What is the age limit to ride?

  • Children should be 5 years old to ride on the trails, and they will ride their own horse. Absolutely no double riding is allowed. The child needs to be able to listen and follow directions from the guide as well as give the horses some cues and commands. Every child is different, so please keep your child's unique personality in mind when considering if he or she is capable of riding the horses.

Q. Do I need to make reservations in advance? How far?

  • The earlier you make your reservation, the better! You can always cancel if something comes up, but we turn away many people in our peak summer months. You can check real-time availability by clicking the "book now" link! We predict that the year 2021 will be our busiest summer yet! So while it may be possible to make a last-minute reservation, it's definitely risky to wait too long. And don't worry about the ranch ever being overcrowded, it's a piece of heaven and a great way to escape the crowds in Yellowstone. (please check out our cancellation policy below)

Q. What is the cancellation policy?:

  • We understand plans often change while on vacation! Therefore, we have a very generous 48-hour cancellation policy for most of our horseback rides, and a 72-hour cancellation policy for any ride that includes a meal ("Western Cowboy Cookout" and "Ride, Play, & Eat Package"). We ask you to be considerate of us as a small family-run business that has a few very short months to make a profit for the entire year.  After the timeframes listed, we are not able to cancel (OR RESCHEDULE) with a refund. If you have a balance due, we will charge 100% of the remaining balance. Doing this makes us sad and uncomfortable, and we would rather welcome you to the ranch and show you a great time! So please be responsible and show up for your reserved ride so we can help you make great memories!  Thanks!

Q. How big of a group will we be with?

  • We can accommodate many guests per time slot, but we break into smaller groups to make a more personable experience for all. We generally take groups of 10-12 (sometimes less).  If you have more than 12 in your own personal group and you'd like to all ride together, let us know and we will see if we can arrange that.  Though it's not always possible, we try to group you with others like yourself (ex. families with small children will be with other families with small children and adults and teen groups with other adult and teen groups). Please be aware that the Afternoon Family Special at 1:30 is mostly comprised of families with small children. 

 

Q. Are the horseback rides guided? Can we rent horses and go on our own?

  • Yes! All of our horseback rides are guided by our fun and knowledgeable guides. Legally, we are not allowed to send groups out without a guide in the state of Idaho. 

Q. What if it turns out to be poor weather on the day of our reservation?

  • Our goal is to make sure everyone has an enjoyable time! If the weather is such that this is not going to be possible, we allow you to reschedule or cancel as needed without penalty. If it is raining slightly (or snowing) and the guests still want to go, we can still take you! If it's raining at the time of your ride and you'd like to cancel, that won't be a problem, but you do have to let us know. Be aware that the mountain weather in our area is very fickle. It is not uncommon for us to have a beautiful sunny day and a quick cloudburst that appears out of nowhere. It is also not uncommon for the weather forecast to call for rain that we never see. Weather forecasts in our area are not too reliable more than 24 hours in advance; they are constantly changing. If the weather is clear at the time of the ride, we will continue without allowing cancellations. Please note, we do not cancel due to cold weather. We are in the mountains, and it is often cold. Please dress accordingly! 

 

Q. If my child becomes too scared at the last minute to ride, can I get a refund?

  • We have a firm 48-hour cancellation policy, and refunds cannot be made after this time. Most of our rides book full, and we will likely have turned other guests away to save the number of horses you reserved. It is very normal for a child (and the occasional adult) to feel afraid, even a child that prior to arriving at the ranch was very excited to ride a horse! The best thing to do for a nervous child is to wait until almost everyone in the group is on their horse and ready to go, and then mount the youngster on his or her horse close to last. The scariest part of the horseback ride is usually the very beginning while waiting for everyone else to be mounted on their horse. Once the child is on the trail and sees how easy going it is, they typically settle down very quickly. The best thing to do is to encourage them to ride! If they end up not riding an adult will need to stay behind with them as well. Unfortunately, there will be no refunds for either rider. 

Q. If we have guests in our party not doing the horseback ride, how much do you chargefor them to be at the ranch?
  • The price for non-riders (including children ages 2+) is $10 per person to be at the ranch. You will receive a wristband that gives you access to the other activities at the ranch such as canoeing and fishing. Even if you don’t plan to do these things, we still need to charge you to be on the ranch. Yellowstone Horses gives this $10 payment directly to Eagle Ridge Ranch (we do not benefit from this payment).  Please keep in mind that ALL persons must sign a release form upon arrival (babies need to be listed on release forms too).
Q. ICan we keep the fish we catch?
  • The fishing is catch and release. If you want to keep one, it's $5 and you can pay that directly to Eagle Ridge Ranch.
Q. Do you have fishing equipment we can use? What about bait?
  • We do have some basic fishing poles you are welcome to use. They are equipped with a hook, sinker, and bobber. You will need bait. You can usually purchase worms at the ranch for $5/dozen, or bring your own! The fishing poles are first come, first served. 

 

Q. What are the differences between the three daily rides offered?

  • In a nutshell, the morning 3-hour rides are longer and ride into the mountains. The 2-hour rides are all about the same with the exception of the time of day and the price. The Afternoon Family Special includes the extra water activities at the ranch. The guests help choose things like the rate of travel, how often picture stops are made, and what kinds of things they would like to see on their ride. The 2-hour rides are a good combination of riding through the meadows, through the trees, and around the lake and streams on the ranch. The ranch is a network of intertwining trails and areas to explore. Every ride will be somewhat different. 

 

Q. What should I wear?

  • Though we do occasionally have guests ride in shorts, it is generally not recommended. Long pants and close-toed shoes are best for horseback riding. If you didn’t pack the appropriate clothing for your trip, don’t fret. You can still join us, though you might not be as comfortable.

 

Q. Can we bring water and snacks? Is there food to purchase at the ranch?

  • Yes, you can bring food with you, or purchase snacks and soda at the ranch! Just remember to bring all trash back out with you so we can keep our trails and ranch clean. We have small saddle horn bags on every saddle that are just the right size for a small water bottle. Some guests prefer to bring backpacks, and you are welcome to do so, but just keep in mind that sometimes it is hard to access them while riding. Backpacks taken off during the ride can also spook the horses. We strongly encourage you to bring the minimum necessities and leave the backpack behind. You can also ask for a saddle bag if you have medical items you don’t want to leave behind.

 

Q. How long will it take to drive from West Yellowstone?

  • Approximately 35 minutes, and it is a beautiful drive!

 

Q. What if we have never ridden a horse before?

  • That’s not a problem! Before every ride, our wranglers and guides teach a basic horsemanship and safety course. At this time we try to determine a guest’s level of ability. Using this determination, we then match our guests with the appropriate horses.

Q. Are we allowed to ride where we want to?

  • Yes, after leaving the corral area the guide will stop and allow riders to change their locations. This can be done as often as you want during the entire ride; you do not have “assigned seats”. However, for safety purposes, we ask you not to break away from the group, or attempt to pass another horse while traveling. (Horses have a “pecking order” and might kick at, or run from another horse while trying to pass). 

 

Q. Grandma and Grandpa feel like they are past the age to ride horses, but they’d like to join us for the Western Cowboy Cookout. Is this an option? What is the cost?

 

  • Sure, that’s not a problem. We want to keep your family all together, so if you have members that can’t ride a horse for whatever reason, they can still participate in the cookout with everyone else. The cost for a non-rider per adult is $30 and $20 for children five to eleven.  If these guests will also be doing the other activities at the ranch there is an additional $10 non-rider fee to participate. Again, release forms must be signed by every individual visiting the ranch, not just the horseback riders!

 

Q. We don’t want to ride horses, can we just pay to play at the ranch and fish? 

 

  • We are a horseback riding business only. We do not own the ranch and therefore cannot give anybody permission to use the ranch facilities unless they are one of our horseback riding guests.

 

Q. Can we ride horses on one day and then return to the ranch on a different day to do the water activities and fishing?

  • If you are booked for the "Afternoon Family Special" or the "Ride, Play, Eat Package", The water activities are available to you on the day of your ride. To control the number of people at the ranch, we do not allow you to come back on a different day to do the water activities unless you want to pay the $10 per person water activity fee for a different day.  If you need to leave the ranch it is possible to come back later on the same day (keep your wristband on).

 

Q. Can we bring our dog to the ranch?

  • No, dogs are not allowed at the ranch (not even on a leash).  If it is a cool day, you could leave the dog in the car in the shade, but most days are not cool enough in the summer for this. If the dog is kenneled and does not bark and yip they can sometimes be left in the barn while you ride. Please make sure you call us and make arrangements for this in advance. 

Q. Are we allowed to run our horses?

  • No! Our horses are not the sleepy, lazy, fat horses that are frequently found in commercial-type riding situations. Most of our horses are either ranch horses or semi-retired professional horses. These horses are used in the mountains every day and their physical condition is great. Running horses side-by-side can turn them into racehorses very fast! Running our horses can be dangerous, not only for the person who is allowing their horse to run but for the person who is riding another horse that instinctively wants to compete with the running horse. Our meadows are home to many burrowing animals such as rock chucks and badgers. They burrow in the ground leaving holes that running horses could step in and break legs! 

 

Q. Is there lodging offered at the ranch?

  • Yes, there are several cabins of various sizes available to rent at the ranch. The cabins are very well kept, and comfortable! However, Yellowstone Horses deals strictly with horseback riding and has no connection with cabin reservations, so we can’t tell you prices or availability. For more information about cabins, visit https://eagleridgeranch.com/ or call 208-558-0900

For Reservations: (208)-558-7077

Book Now!

Yellowstone Horses

(208)-558-7077

Island Park, Idaho

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