Our season is quickly approaching, and if many of you are like me, you may be feeling lost and overwhelmed when it comes to packing and planning for vacation. A trip to Cherokee Park Ranch is sure to include bringing some items that you wouldn’t need if you were headed to the beach! Here is a list of a few important things that you will need during your fantastic stay with us.
- A good pair of boots.This does not mean you need to go out and buy the most expensive pair of cowboy boots you can find. A boot with a heel is very important, as the heel helps to keep your foot in the stirrups while you are on your horse! Please make note that we have plenty of fabulous country to hike, but your deep-cleated hiking boots should NOT be used for riding. Other footwear that is not appropriate for horseback riding includes tennis shoes, sandals, and ladies fashion footwear with any type of high heel.
- Jeans! Not only do jeans protect your legs from rubbing on parts of the saddle, but they help you look the part, too! Many of our trails take you winding through brush and forest, so a sturdy pair of pants keeps your thighs, knees, and shins safe from any branches that you may come in contact with.
- A hat with a brim.Cherokee Park Ranch is situated at 7200 feet. Being from Michigan myself, which is right at sea level, I sure am glad that I have a hat to keep my face and ears safe from the intense sun! A hat with a brim ensures that you don’t have unpleasant sunburns when you come back from your fantastic rides each day (along with high SPF sunscreen!) A hat can also be helpful if we encounter any type of precipitation while out on the trail. Please keep in mind that your hat needs to fit securely on your head. For types of headwear that do not include a chin-strap, we recommend a stampede strap so your hat does not blow off and scare the horses behind you during your time on the trail.
- A helmet. This item is optional. For those safety-conscious parents, be aware that helmets are not provided for your youngsters. We operate on a BYOH (bring your own helmet) basis.
- A camera. I am about to head into my 5th season with CPR, and am still blown away by the scenery each day that I spend at Cherokee Park. We welcome you to bring your camera with you on rides, but please make sure that you have something to secure your camera to your person. As we head more into the technology age, we realize that cell phones have become a necessity for everyday life (and picture taking!) While we don’t mind your cell phone accompanying you on the trail, we are unable to carry your cell phone for you, and do not allow any texting or phone calls while you are on horseback. We wouldn’t want you to miss any of the incredible views along the way!
Of course, planning your “Western Adventure” with us includes having an idea of what you and your family should expect during your stay at Cherokee Park Ranch. I know that it will be a life-changing experience for you! Here are some guidelines to remember when looking ahead to your week.
- Please don’t allow your horse to eat on the trail (not even once!) This is something that you will hear several times throughout your stay. I promise…we are not trying to be cruel! Just like when you put on your dress clothes for work, when we put on our horse’s tack that means it is time to get to business. If you allow your horse to eat along the trail, grass can get stuck in the horse’s bit and make your horse very uncomfortable. The riders behind you will also not appreciate your horse stopping several times along the trail to grab a snack while they are trying to enjoy their ride! It will make your riding experience much more enjoyable for you.
- Ask for instruction! All of our Wranglers are experienced horsemen and horsewomen, and are more than happy to assist you with ANY questions you may have. We are here to ensure that you have the best week of your life at our ranch. Safety is our main concern, and if at any time you feel unsafe on your horse, simply speak up! We know that not all of you have extensive riding experience, and that is okay! With confidence and our fantastic staff, we will have you loping through the meadows in no time!!
- HAVE FUN!!!!! Cherokee Park Ranch is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. As Caree will say on Sunday morning when we all meet each other for the first time, you will come as strangers and leave as family. The most important thing about spending your vacation in beautiful Colorado is to enjoy the time with your loved ones, rather than trying to become an expert rider in just 6 short days.
We take great pride in our horse program. All of our 120 horses are so fantastic that they will do all of the work for you! So, just sit back and enjoy the incredible scenery that you will be riding in! I look forward to meeting each and every one of you.
Alison, Head Wrangler