Eagle’s Eye, Big Horn 100 Endurance Ride, Colt Starting


Eagle’s Eye Ride

If you want good canters, fast runs and  breathtaking scenery, which changes almost every day, come on out!  This ride is not for timid or unsure riders.  We do ride fast and the days can be long.  We will see some amazing country you will never forget!  Wildlife we may see includes antelope, deer, coyotes, hawks and eagles.  If you have an adventurous spirit and a good saddle seat, you will love this ride.

Two riders will have a chance to ride one of the toughest endurance rides in the US, the Big Horn 100.*  The rest of the guests will do their own version of an endurance ride.  Beautiful country awaits some fast hoofs!

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 many of your questions will be answered.  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.

Day Three:  This morning, we’ll have a little brush up on our horsemanship,in the indoor arena.  Then we will ride down to the Renegade Ride Competitave Trail Course!  This course, set up in natural terrain, has both natural and man made obstacles to challenge your horsemanship skills.  It is a great way to gain confidence on the trails, later to come, and really fun, too!

We have lunch and a siesta at the house.  This is a good time to check out the sights and shopping  in Ten Sleep.  Meanwhile, the endurance riders will pack up and head for the endurance ride.*

After siesta, a colt genteling demonstration will be held.  Then it is your turn to gentle a colt!  Our trainers at Renegade will help you out, beginning with a demonstration.  After the demo, it is your turn to have a  hand.  Our emphasis is on safety.  We will be right there to help out.  We start with ground work.  We do a lot of ground work.  We want our horses to be well mannered and respectful, yet not fearful.  Do not expect to be put on a bronc.  But we will welcome the genteling that you will do with our young ones. It is a fascinating thing, to get in touch with these shy, fearful, green horses.  Before you know it, they are following you around like a puppy.

Day Four:  We are riding to Otter Creek today.  After a short trailer ride, we jump the horses out.  The ride starts out in some open, grassy country.  This is good country for some long canters.  Next thing  you know, there  are some really cool, big  red rock formations.  The Big Horn Mountains are right there, you can see clear up to the high country.  Beautiful!  We pass through a narrow gap and ‘walla’, emerge at the foot of some tall, sclupted red Ten Sleep sandstone.  There is a big cave up above,and it is common to see red tailed hawks and eagles here.merle's eagle's eye 07 018

By lunch time, we have ridden down to Otter Creek, all green and lush, very refreshing.  After lunch, we follow a primitive road, with great canter and gallop spots.  It is a very scenic ride and the paces are definately forward!

Day Five:  We haul  down to Big Trails.  We head up and over the hill and find ourselves in some crazy, broken up country.  Geologically, it is where the badlands meet the mountain.  In the Indian times and before, many trail conveerged here, providing access to and from the mountains.  There is an old homestead, with all kinds of old farmis stuff laying around.  It lies along the creek.  Above, are little hidden canyons, valleys, plateaus and cliffs.  It is a really fun place to ride, ever changing.

Day Six:  We ride the Salt Lick Trail.  The ride begins at Ken and Jo Orchard 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 towards 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 canters 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!

merle's eagle's eye 07 057

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.  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.


Endurance Ride;  Limit TWO riders per ride, on a first come first served basis.  Date of ride deposit is the determining factor.  That, and making sure the rider is a good match for the horse.  Belinda has sole decision to qualify or disqualify a rider for the endurance rides. Riders must pay the entry fee to the endurance rides.   entry fees average $90- $100, give or take.

Endurance Ride Itinerary:  We must leave for the ride the afternoon before the ride.  Therefore, departure day, we will have a morning ride or colt starting session.  We camp out at the ride site.  Dome style tents are set up.  Pads and sleeping bags are provided for the riders.    The horses stay in an electric corral by the trailer, we sleep nearby!  We will enter the ride and have our horses vetted before supper.  Meals are provided at the ride.

Rides typically start around 7:00AM.  Everyone is expected to take care of their assigned horse.There are 20, 50 and in some instances 100 mile rides.  We will do the 25 or 50 mile ride. In the 25 mile, riders go 15 miles, then there is a mandatory one hour break and vet check.  Then you ride ten miles.  Horses must pass vet checks to continue, including having a pulse rate at 64 BPM before time is called.

In the 50 mile race, riders go 25 miles, then the vet check, hour break, 15 miles, vet check, hour break, then 10 miles.  Horses on the 50 mile ride have an hour to get their pulse to 60BPM at the finish.

After we finish, we will wait an hour minimum, to rest the horses, before transport.  Then we head back to Ten Sleep.


*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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