How about a Workshop
with Private Riding Lessons?
This is for people who are outdoors, nature and horse enthusiasts, who would be interested in coming for ranch and horse experience, learning by helping on a working horse ranch. If you'd prefer to have a more relaxing vacation, then you might choose the Guest option, and add some riding lessons if you'd like.
Please check the riding page for weight limits with our horses.
Instead of paying the high price of a dude ranch, you'll help with daily chores, getting to know the beautiful Icelandic horses that make this place their home. You'll help with the training and care of the horses as well as more mundane chores like fencing, taking care of the chickens etc. Since I take only one guest (maybe two, if they come together and like to share the loft-room in the barn) for workshop at a time, and there will be plenty of opportunities for 1 on 1 learning. You'll live on the ranch with me, the horses and other animals, and enjoy our quiet way of life here in the beautiful Four Corners region of Colorado. The San Juan River runs through our 112 acre ranch, and Navajo Lake State Park and Navajo Reservoir are only a few miles away. With many wild animals and birds making their home on the ranch, this area is a nature lover's paradise!
*This will be a life time experience that you will never forget!*
What you can expect during your stay at Hestar Ranch:
Mornings are spent first with daily chores and ranch work. These will be cleaning up horse paddocks, caring for the animals and garden, feeding the multitudes of hummingbirds! Sometimes it'll be irrigation work in the pasture, maybe if necessary fixing and building fences, cutting and splitting wood, or putting up hay for the wintertime. After lunch, we'll saddle the horses and head out on the trails for riding lessons and fun! If there are other things you'd like to learn about, we can discuss that when you make your reservation. During the colder month of the year you will live in the guestroom in the ranch house, and during summer month you could prefer the barn loft that is actually our guest room. We will cook together and share healthy meals made from scratch with fresh ingredients.
You are welcome to bring your own horse with you, and I can tailor a program for you and your horse to include freestyle groundwork and riding on ranch trails, then adding more as your horse is ready for more. When summer days get too hot, we'll ride in the early morning or evening. Hot summer afternoons are perfect for splashing in the cool river!
You will get experience and learn to be confident with your horse and horses in general
The ranch workshop is for all levels, whether you are a beginner or advanced rider. I will work with you to find the best way to improve your leadership and riding skills. Other learning opportunities are with general horse care, grooming, feeding, and hoof care. More advanced riders can learn to ride the Icelandic horse's particular 4-beat tölt gait, or how to properly pony a horse while riding. If you are already an Icelandic owner, you can learn all the way up to and including flying pace (if your horse is 5-gaited). If your interest is more with starting young horses on the ground and under saddle, we can work on that,
providing I have green horses available, or if you bring your own youngster.
per Person for a 5-6 day Workshop
example: 5 full days here with riding and 6 nights (arrive in afternoon /evening, leave in morning)
1 Workshop week 5-6 days $ 950.-
9-10 days $ 1,650.-
2 weeks 12-13 days $ 2,250.-
3 weeks 18-19 days $ 3,350.-
4 weeks 25-26 days $ 4,450.-
If you'd prefer to stay for just a few days, please email me and ask for a Little Workshop (minimum 3-4 days), it is 200.- per day, that includes 2 or 3 meals, your private room and 1-2 hours of riding lesson per day. We can do more riding though, if you are intermediate or a good rider, while hitting the trail.
Price for riders includes 1 private riding lesson per day, working on whichever skill you are interested in improving. Depending on your skill level, you can have more time in the saddle each day. For non-riders, you'll have time off in the afternoon for fly-fishing, hiking, biking, sight seeing or just relaxing at the ranch.
If you are flying here, I can pick you up at the airport in Durango, CO, 80 minutes from the ranch. There will be a $ 100.- charge each way for transportation to and from the airport.
If you are bringing your own horse, boarding will be $ 15.-/day (stall with paddock and hay). Boarding is self-care.
If you decide on a Workshop Vacation, please send me an email with your full name, age, address, phone number and a few photos of yourself. Then we can check on availability for the time and dates of your stay, and talk about what your goals are for your workshop.