Colorado Dude Ranch Vacations

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Black Mountain Colorado Dude Ranch is one of the top guest ranches in the world, hosting guests every summer to give you a taste of the West. We offer unlimited horseback riding for an adventurous, authentic vacation.




A Good Horseman Is More Than Just Riding

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A Good Horseman is More than just Ridingbest of BMR Week 14 009 You heard the term "horseman" and you immediately assumed: "Someone who is good at horse riding."  Your assumption was partly accurate.  The term horseman means any man or woman who can easily communicate with whatever horse that shows up. Just like people, horses have different ways of reacting to different situations. For people, we call that personality. For the purposes of this article, we’ll call it personality for horses as well. When you combine a horse’s personality and experiences, one horse’s reaction to a stimulus can differ from the next horse. This is when a person demonstrates whether they are a horseman or not. Can they clearly communicate with any horse, with any personality, in a manner that asks the horse to try or do what the horseman is suggesting and the horse does it? Horses are gregarious or social animals.  For humans, that means they allow us to become part of their herd.  This happens only when a human convinces the horse, through clear communication, that you are a worthy leader and not a predator or bully.  Horses are natural followers, yielding leadership only to those they trust and with whom they feel safe. A good horseman can approach a horse without causing him concern, and shows respect for the horse’s space.  You're on your way to becoming a horseman if you approach a horse with respect:
  • From the side – place your hand closest to the horse on his neck just ahead of the withers (in front of the saddle or in front of the highest point of the back nearest the shoulders) and place your other hand out in front of you, palm down, and allow the horse to bring his nose around to touch your hand
  • From the front – again, hold your hand out, palm down, and allow the horse to touch your hand
Once the horse touches your hand, you are now invited into his space.  If the horse backs away, a horseman backs away as well and then approaches again, more slowly.  Wait on the horse to touch your hand with his nose (don't force it).  Horses are curious animals and eventually, the horse gives in to his curiosity and touches your hand. That leads us to another critical characteristic of a good horseman and that's patience.  It occasionally takes some time for the horse to do what you've suggested (with clear communication) and waiting patiently on the horse to comply is key. Lastly, when asking a horse to do something, a horseman makes the wrong thing difficult and the right thing easy. Pressure motivates a horse to action and he learns with immediate release of that pressure. For instance, if you’re leading your horse by the reins or lead rope and he does not come along, do the following:
  • With your back to the horse, keep pressure on the rope or reins (no slack) so there is some pressure from the bridle or halter on the horse’s head.
  • Stand and wait for the horse to move toward you and allow slack in the reins or rope.  Continue walking with slack in the reins or rope as long as the horse is walking with you.  Constant pressure only serves to "nag" the horse.
In summary, these four nuggets start you on your way to becoming a horseman: 1) clear communication, 2) respecting the horse’s space, 3) patience and 4) making the wrong thing difficult and the right thing easy (pressure and release). Make your reservations today for a true Colorado Dude Ranch vacation experience at Black Mountain Ranch. Their horseman will continue your journey toward good horse riding and horsemanship. Your next step in becoming a horseman is a phone call or email away: contact us.



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The Beauty of Colorado

Have you ever traveled to a dude ranch? Spending a week in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado is a wonderful horseback riding vacation for the entire family to enjoy! We offer pack camp trips, fly fishing, skeet and trap shooting, and of course plenty of time on horseback. All meals are included in your package, so no need to worry about a thing when you spend a week at our ranch!

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A Sample Week at BMR!

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Colorado Dude Ranch Vacations - Black Mountain Ranch

Registered and insured Colorado Outfitter #1343.
All or part of this operation is conducted on Public Lands under special permit from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service

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