At the Lodge at Blue Sky we practice a specific style of natural horsemanship that focuses on communicating and working with each horse and their unique personalities. We are excited to offer equine experiences that provide an opportunity to learn more about our horsemanship practices and how we care for, train, and ride our horses. Our trail rides are among our most sought after experiences at Blue Sky and we strongly encourage guests to book their rides well in advance. In addition to trail rides we also offer unique horsemanship lessons and equine wellness experiences which can be discovered in the following pages.
Traditions of Natural Horsemanship
At the ranch, we train our horses in the tradition of Tom and Bill Dorrance, Ray Hunt and the modern day horse whisperer, Buck Brannaman. We believe that our trail horses and our ranch horses should be continually worked on the ground to correct bad habits and ensure the safety and welfare of our riding guests. We work on recognizing the signals that horses give us and we vary the routines to keep it interesting for the horse.
Foundations of Health and Wellness
Horsemanship at Blue Sky is not just about the riding. We believe it starts with how you learn to care for a horse, your sensitivity to how they are feeling and recognizing any health problems that need to be tended to prior to training. We think it's important for the horse to be groomed properly with special attention to diet, supplements and foot care. The ritual of tacking a horse properly and making sure the horse has the proper hydration at all times is key to proper horsemanship. We take our time with the horses and address them as individuals with their own unique needs, limitations and potential.
The Lodge at Blue SKy
Practice the art of cowboying with one of our trained cowhands. Learn about and practice the western ranch riding techniques of riding, roping, and cutting in our state of the art Riding Arena. This is a very hands on, fun, and authentic equine experience not to be missed.
1.5 – 2 hours
Visit our sister ranch, Halfmoon Farms, a short drive from the Blue Sky. Grab a hot beverage and meet the hard working draft horses before taking a scenic wagon ride through the pasturelands. Dependent on weather & snow conditions.
Eight guests maximum
Connect with the horses at Blue Sky through guided breathwork and exercises that facilitate a deep connection to these sacred and majestic animals. Give and receive a nurturing and nourishing experience through touching, breathing & connecting with the horses.
1.5 Hours | Groups available on request
Learn about the traditional practice of acupuncture from our vet Dr. Amanda Petty and watch as she treats one of our horses
Horses receive acupuncture, massage, light therapy and electro magnetic pulse therapy
Discover the beauty of Blue Sky on this walking ride across varied terrain in the foothills of our beautiful mountains.
This is an ideal trail for riders of all levels, and younger guests ages 12 and older
2 hours | May–November | 6 guests max
Have you ever wanted a horse, or wondered what goes into taking care of one? Come join one of our wranglers and see what it takes to be a custodian of one of Blue Sky’s most valuable team members – our horses! You’ll join your equestrian specialist as they give the horses their specially prescribed grain and supplements, water, grooming and body checks and wellness checks.
1.5 Hour Max 4 Guests | Ages 8+
Saddle up for a true equestrian journey through the mountains, meadows, valleys & creeks at Blue Sky. This ride is tailored to all experience levels.
3 hours | May-November | Experienced Guests Only | 6 guests max
Experience an introduction to the philosophy and practice of natural horsemanship as you explore the essence of the human/horse relationship through non-verbal communication, action and perception. Arrive seeking an understanding of a horse and leave with a powerful connection, deeper understanding and enriching sense of realignment. Guests will work through what we call “groundwork” which will build a foundation of communication and then practice newly found skills in the saddle.
1.5 hours | One hour of groundwork and 30 minutes in the saddle
Spend an hour in the arena with one of our equine instructors. Lessons are highly customizable based on a guests’ comfort and experience, and includes pole work, caveletti work, dressage and equitation.
The Lodge at Blue Sky is the only guest ranch in North America with their own onsite vet. Learn about our our special horses, their basic anatomy, and participate in helping to give them simple treatments. Experience the day to day life of a Western vet!
1 Hour | 4 Guests Max | Ages 8+
Learn the basics of natural horsemanship and cattle moving in the tradition of Ray Hunt and Buck Brannaman. Spend time helping our wranglers ride out and do the real work of the ranch, checking fence, moving cows, and enjoying the scenic trails of Blue Sky.
3 hours | June – September | 6 guest maximum | Experienced Riders Only
“Horses are very keen on body language, and what I refer to as ‘presence’ or expression. They know quite a bit about you before you even get to ’em. They can read things about you clear across the arena.”
– Buck Brannaman