Horsing Around in British Columbia
Back from her travels through Canada, our Head of Worldwide Product, Liz, shares her horse riding experiences at Chilcotin Ranch, during her stay at the beautiful Echo Valley Resort, British Columbia…
Cowboys are a dying breed…
…Or so we were told by Chilcotin Ranch owner Kevan Bracewell, and it turned out he was right. The majority of wranglers we met along our journey through British Columbia were in fact females; although male and female alike were dressed in the obligatory ranch hand ‘uniform’ of checked shirts, jeans with oversized belt buckles and well-worn cowboy boots. I fully expected a line-dancing display at any moment!
Having never been fond of horses, the prospect of a ranch stay was a little nerve-wracking but there’s so much more on offer than horse riding alone.
At Echo Valley Resort, activities range from fly fishing, shooting or mountain biking to relaxing spa treatments or simply enjoying the view. My personal highlight was a guided hike accompanied from start to finish by the ranch’s four friendly dogs.
BUT like it or not we were there to ride… and so ride we did. The wranglers at Echo Valley were great at catering for all levels of experience, enthusiasm and anxiety, and although my group had mixed abilities I never felt out of my depth.
My horse was extremely well trained and well behaved, carefully selected to calm my jangling nerves, and our cowgirls Maggie and Audrey kept a close and reassuring eye on me throughout.
We followed an easy meandering trail through scenic woodland, emerging into sunlit clearings every now and again for views of the surrounding peaks. Before I knew it, I realised I was actually enjoying the experience, and was surprised to suddenly hear myself asking if we could try speeding up into a trot!
Safely back at the ranch, with the sun lowering in the sky, we celebrated our newfound equestrian skills with toasted marshmallows around the campfire. I wonder if I’m ready to apply for a job as a horse wrangler next season…?