Blazing Badlands, #1





For the first time we will have colts and young unbroke horses here. This is your chance to become your own ‘horse whisperer’.  We use a gentle-break method, based on Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt’s philosophy. “Make the wrong thing difficult and the right thing easy.”  “You can ask your horse to do a difficult thing: but you ask him, you offer it to him in a good way.  You fix it up and let him find it. You do not make anything happen any more than you make a friendship happen.”-Ray Hunt

The colt starting is ground work only. We don’t want anyone bucked off! It is quite rewarding to bring a young, fearful, horse along and gain his trust and respect.  It feels great to get them following you around like a puppy dog.

We are able to be flexible with our schedule, some days will be longer than others. If at any time, you wish to opt out on the colts, that is fine.  If you can’t get enough, we will try our best to accommodate that, too.

We will also take some time to school our saddle horses and improve your horsemanship skills.  Hands on, personal instruction is available.  New this year, a 60×73 ft indoor riding arena.  Also new, is the  “Renegade Competitive Trail Course”!  This course will be set in natural terrain.  There are natural hazards such as hills, cutbanks, and thick sagebrush.  There will be man made obstacles, such as board walks, jumps, back-ups, barrels, and others.

It will be interesting to see how you do on the course, and the difference, from your first time on it, to the last.  This is a great, fun, way to improve your horse and trail skills.

We also will ride like always- on terrific, scenic trails, with a pace that is anything but boring.  I’ll pick some of my favorites, for this ride.

Arrival Day:  Arrival Day: Guests are picked up at the Worland Airport, or Cody and transported to Ten Sleep, pop. 280.  There you will be taken to the Belinda’s house, 2.8 miles south of town.  We will settle in and have orientation at this time and we can get better aquainted.  We will also have a look at the horses and the tack.  Delicious meals will be home-cooked, or catered, at the house.  The views of the sunset are great from the deck, in the backyard.


Day Two:  After everyone is assigned a horse, the wrangler will demonstrate saddling and help riders to tack up and familiarize themselves with western or ‘neck’ reining.  We will be packing a lunch.  Horn bags are provided for each rider, however you need to bring your own water bottles; 2 – one quart or liter bottles.  We begin the ride from the house. We will be riding in some rough country with hidden cutbanks and some rocky ridges.  It is a good place to familiarize yourself with some of the natural hazards we will encounter during the week.  There are also some fabulous views of giant red cliffs and the Big Horn Mountains rising beyond them.  It reminds you of a western movie, at times.  The pace will vary according to terrain, but there are some great places to open up the horses and make some fast tracks.  There are also some places that are steep and brushy with junipers and sagebrush, that might make you want to hang on to the saddle horn.

Days Three and Four:  The next couple of days, we will work with the colts in the morning. Have lunch at the house, followed by an afternoon siesta.  This is a good time to relax, or head into Ten Sleep for a look around and perhaps some shopping. 

After siesta, we will saddle up and head for the Renegade Trail Course.  This course is spread out in a 150 acre pasture. It is a great place to gain confidence on the trail.    Everyone can have a go at it.  Time permitting, we’ll do some trail riding, too.

When it comes to working with the young horses, we have to be a bit flexible, schedule wise.  They sometimes come around quickly, other ones need more time.  We may or may not be schooling them in the arena.  We may saddle them up and lead them out, from our saddle horses.  It just depends on what the horse needs.  So, the schedule is not set in stone.



We will do an afternoon ride to Otter Creek on the fourth day.  This may cut into our siesta time. But it will be worth it.  We’ll ride through some wonderful open hillsides, perfect for fast gallops.  Then we go over the next ridge and find ourselves riding through giant red rock cliffs.  There is a good chance to see eagles and hawks here. Occasionally we spot an elk or two. It is a very pretty ride.

Day Five:  We ride to Castle Gardens.  The colts get a couple days off.  After breakfast, we pack our lunches, and saddle and load our horses.  We drive west, towards Worland and unload at the Blue Bank Road, where our ride begins.  We follow this primitive road for several miles, up and down hill, before turning towards Ten Sleep, riding along cattle and game trails.  Along the way are some scenic, colorful “Badlands” formations.  There are also some great places to pick up the pace. Any thoughts that this is a put-put ride will quickly be replaced with some good adrenaline rushes as we gallop along.

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On the way we will ride to the top of Wild Horse Butte.  It is one of the tallest peaks in the area.  The view is absolutely incredible (bring your camera) and its slopes are often carpeted with wildflowers.  It is a steep descent off the peak.  At the bottom is Castle Gardens.  This large sandstone outcropping has fantastic shapes weathered into it.  Some remind you of castles, some of weird animals and other things.  There are junipers and Ponderosa Pines in and around the rock formations. 

We ride on and eventually make it down to the Nowood River near Ten Sleep.  Along the way are some great places for some full tilt runs. This is a long day, with plenty of places to get long gallops in.  Be sure to pack 2 water bottles. We end up at the house.

Day Six:We ride the Salt lick trail.  The ride begins at Ken and Jo Orchards property.  Jo makes buckskin clothing and does fantastic, Native American style, beadwork.  She has a small shop with her handiwork on display.  You may find something you want to buy there.

At Orchards, we turn towards the mountains, and ride up hill into the Big Horns. This area was used extensively by native Americans. We follow primitive trails and roads up and up.  Once again, the views are tremendous as we ascend.  There are some great runs along the way.

We have lunch at Fertig Draw. Here we leave the open sage and red rocks behind and enter the limestone country.  It is characterized by limestone outcrops, juniper and Ponderosa Pine trees.  There was a fire her about 14 years ago. We will wind through burned out junipers.  It is fun to zig zag along at a gallop through them.  But watch out, they are stronger than you think.  Don’t run into one!

We cut through the burn, wind around on a rocky path and come out on the top of Ten Sleep Canyon.  Just before we hit the trail down the canyon is an awesome full tilt boogie run!  Have your stampede string on for this one!



The ride isn’t over yet.  The trail down to the bottom of the canyon has been variously described as a ’charming goat path’, or ’oh my God, are we going down that!’.  You will be amazed at how surefooted the horses are, but they know their business.  Just give them plenty of rein and leave ‘em alone.  If you are afraid of heights, you might not want to look down.  It is an impressive view to the bottom of the canyon as we wind down, above and below cliffs, along the steep, rocky trail.  Our pick up point is at the bottom. You will not be dissappointed on this ride and you will never forget it!

Day Seven; We spend the morning, having some fun with the colts and have one last go at the Renegade Competitave Trail Course!  Competition time!

After lunch and siesta, we saddle up for one last ride.  We will ride into the evening and catch the sunset.  We will ride in some beautiful,
classic, wild west type country.  Seeing the land, at sunset, from the back of a horse is special.  It is at this time, in the golden light, that we are liable to see wildlife, such as deer and antelope, out for their evening grazing.  With any luck, they will have fawns and little bably antelope, at their mothers side.  We may even hear the coyotes howl.  It could happen!

Day Eight: Time to pack up and head to the airport.  You should be ‘walking like a cowboy’, by now.  You put on a lot of horseback miles that most people only dream of.  Most riders leave with a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction, knowing they did a special ride. After the ’Renegade Experience”  other places are just pony rides.




*Please note that routes or itineraries may vary due to unforeseen events or circumstances.  This may include inclement weather, change in the ‘ranches’ plans, etc.




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