More about White Stallion Ranch
Once again, an amazing vacation!
I recently returned from my 2nd visit to the White Stallion Ranch - my 2nd visit in 6 months! Once again, everything was awesome, everyone made you feel at home and well-tended to. We rode with a few different wranglers than the last time I was there; however once again they were all the very best. Friendly, courteous and always willing to help out when needed. Once again Russell, Michael and everyone was wonderful. I am planning to return in another 6 months! Thanks again White Stallion. See you soon!
The very best Dude Ranch in AZ
My husband and I just return from our 2nd stay at the White Stallion Ranch! We loved it...like coming HOME. The people there are the very best! They come up and hug you and welcome you back. How they can remember from one year to the next is belong me!
What an experience! Everything about our trip was fabulous, we cannot fault anything. The ranch owners are wonderful people. We just love Michael and Kristin and Russell and his sons. They are amazing people. The riding is really good with different rides available each day for all abilities and lessons with the wranglers are great fun.
My favorite? Team Penning! Oh yes...the highlight of the week. We get to herd cattle into a pen....monday, wednesdays and fridays.
The food, accomodation and facilities are all excellent.
I would not hestitate the recommend this ranch to anyone, forget Disney this is the holiday all our dreams are made of!
Am I going back for a third year....you bet I am!
My family and i had our first visit to the states in Sept 2005 and we stayed for our two week holiday at the White Stallion Ranch. What an experience! Everything about our holiday was fabulous, we cannot fault anything. The ranch owners are wonderful people and by the end of our holiday we felt like family! The riding is really good with different rides available each day for all abilities and lessons with the wranglers are great fun.
The food, accomodation and facilities are all excellent. We hired a car for the second week of our holiday but we loved the ranch so much we only used it twice!
The only thing we found was the weather in September was far too hot especially with three young children! We are planning our next visit to the White Stallion but this time we are planning to go when the weather is a little cooler.
I would not hestitate the recommend this ranch to anyone, forget Disney this is the holiday all our dreams are made of!
EVERY Guest is Special
My teenage daughter and I just got back from our fourth stay at the White Stallion Ranch and already are talking about our future fifth stay.
Everyone on staff, wranglers, office, and food servers will know the name of each guest by the second day of their stay. They really work hard to ensure that YOU have a wonderful vacation. The rides are great, times and types are varied each day . You can experience a slow ride to take in the beautiful dessert, a fast ride for some excitement, a mountain ride for a thrill. The meals are hearty and very tasty. Best of all, no TV in guest rooms. Familes actually spend time together. Guests come from all over the world. This trip we met some wonderful people from Sweden and my daughter had a million questions about life there. If your kids are little older and you've done Disney World to death, try this ranch. The whole family will love it.
Get it while it Lasts
My family and I just returned from a 4 night visit to White Stallion Ranch. We all agree it was one of our best trips ever and we all suggest you sign up for a visit before urban sprawl swallows another fantastic dude ranch.The ranch owns three thousand acres of arizona desert partially surrounded by Saguaro national park. Everything about this ranch was special from the owners to the wranglers to the other guests. Breakfast rides, mountain rides,fast rides,and team penning all were fantastic.I appreciated the new amenities that have recently been added to ranch like the sauna,exercise room and massage rooms, very high quality additions.The meals and snacks very well made and the social atmosphere is very enjoyable. I read previous reviews before we went and all the positive comments are true. We urge any one interested in horses and fun atomsphere to book a visit to this ranch before the constant pressure from urban sprawl attacks this peaceful corner of Arizona. we are sure you will be writing your own praises of this ranch as soon as you return.
2009 - Return to the White Stallion Ranch
I visited the White Stallion Ranch for the first time in 2008. It was such a perfect place, such an incredible experience, that I went again the following year. The thing that you worry about when you do something like this is that it might not be as good the second time. That was not true of the White Stallion; it was even better! I had the experience of a lifetime twice!
Left to right: Me, Michele, Line, Pam, Annie, David, Regina.
One of the fringe benefits for me of visiting a ranch is the number of single women that go. The old "girls and their horses" cliche abounds here. The girls kept asking me, "Wow, you must really love horses if you've been here twice, Ed?" "Not particularly," I'd answer, "But I do love the Wild West and I guess horses are part of the whole deal, right?" This would leave them slightly mystified, but it seemed an acceptable answer.
Awww... Mesa! Honestly, I missed my horse over the course of the year! The White Stallion Ranch does as much as they can to accommodate requests and I asked to have the same horse as the year before--the horse I learned to ride on. ...And they delivered.
Whether or not Mesa remembered me, I have no idea. He's really just a big suck. While riding Mesa would often put his head near other riders. Riders would recoil a little bit scared because some horses have a habit of nipping. I'd tell them, "He just wants you to pat his head, he's such a big baby." The rider would relax at that and give my horse a rub on the nose, much to its pleasure. Mesa does have a drooling problem though. I've never seen a horse with that amount of foamy spittle constantly flowing from the bit.
The ranch explained to us that because it was "Labor Day" weekend in the United States, all of the rodeo performers that usually put on a show for guests would be at real big rodeos competing. They decided to put on a "guest rodeo" where we would all give our hand a try and it.
More and more guests decided to try it and by the time we got to the start gate, virtually every single person at the ranch was on horseback--old and young, experienced and new riders, whether we knew how to fast ride or not. You could tell that the staff at the ranch were loving it! Some of them said, "God, I don't think I've ever seen so many guests on horseback at the same time!"
The first round we did "cattle penning", which involves teams of 4 or 5 charging at calves, dividing them up, and putting them through a cattle gate. This was an absolute blast--and Mesa excelled at it! You have to move quickly while hollering at the cattle to get them to the pen.
Second round we did an obstacle course, which involved racing your horse around pylons while being timed. My horse Mesa did not want to do this at all. Every time our turn would come at the front of the line, he would put his head down and back up. Poor thing was exhausted of carrying my heavy butt around all day. And this was also the first week of riding since the ranch had opened for the season, so he was doubly tired. When our turn came and I finally got him going, no amount of kicking or "hyas!", would get him out of a trot and into a gallop.
A dramatic electrical storm came in while we were doing the rodeo. Overall, our rodeo was a surreal, exhilarating, experience that I'll never forget.
"Same Great Food"
Are you kidding me? The food at the White Stallion is the absolute best I've ever had anywhere. ...Ever. Steak, roast, BBQ... Every night is something wondrous and plentiful. Guests wait every evening with anticipation and salivation, keeping their ears alert listening for the dinner bell to ring.
"Same Great Views"
I never would have thought that the vistas and sunsets of the desert would be so dramatic and beautiful. So often I would just find myself staring off at the landscape and rubbing my eyes to ensure what I was seeing was real and not a dream. That said, dear reader, the White Stallion Ranch is a dream. ...A dream you'll never want to wake up from.
2008 - Scenes at the White Stallion Ranch (2)
My last night at the ranch, we were treated to a lasso, pistol twirling, and bullwhip show by cowboy performer (and amateur comedian), Loop Rawlins.
His show must be seen to be believed! Ever see a flaming lasso? Check out my "Scenes From the White Stallion Ranch" video to see Loop in action. Not just a great performer, but a really cool guy as well--he hung around after the show to meet everyone, give out free photos, and teach audience members how to twirl a lariat.
Visit Loop's website at:
2008 - Scenes at the White Stallion Ranch (1)
My first real horseback ride ever! ... Other than those pony rides they have at the fair when you're a little kid and some guy leads you and your tiny animal around the inside of a pen.
Because of my outrageous height, they brought out a tall horse for me--an 11 year-old gelding (which means a castrated male--something I didn't know before that weekend) named "Mesa." The White Stallion originally bought him cheap from a different ranch where he had been classified as "lame" and couldn't even walk very well. But the vet at the White Stallion found two rocks embedded deep in his hoof and he was good as new once they took the stones out. Poor thing!
"On The Trail"
I never imagined that horses had such personality! On the morning ride it took about an hour before I realized Mesa kept playing little games on me--stopping to munch bramble brushes and trees when he thought I wasn't paying attention; testing the limits to see if I was the boss or if he was. The second trip, later that afternoon, I gave him a horse cookie "treat" before we left, one halfway through the ride, and one at the end. He could smell that I had them in my pocket and was good as gold the whole ride. ...The beggar.
After only one day of riding I loved my horse and felt very protective of him--didn't even like the idea of anyone else ever riding him. I learned that people can't understand the relationship between a cowboy and a horse unless they've experienced it because out there you depend on each other for survival--each has to fully trust the other.
The wranglers were great! "Wranglers" are the people that take care of the horses and lead the trail rides. If you're lucky enough to be near one during one of the rides they'll answer questions, help you with your technique, point out mountain ridges of interest, animals, and identify certain plants. They always greeted everyone with a "Mornin'!" or a "Howdy!" Some of them had left professional white-collar jobs that paid three times as much to come work on this ranch. ...And I can't say I blame them one bit. If the ranch had asked me to stay on, I definitely would have.
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Travel Dates: September 4-7 2008, September 3-7 2009.
OK, this is what happens when you watch Clint Eastwood westerns over and over and spend way, way too much time playing "Red Dead Revolver" on the PS2. (Not only have I completed that game multiple times but I think I took the virtual cowboying to levels even the game programmers never imagined a player would--pitting entire towns against me in free-for-all gunfights where I'd win easily every time.)
"Happy Trails To You"
Anyway, you find yourself finally riding horseback (for real) through the desert in 42C (107F) heat--through dusty trails, mountain passes, and 150 year-old saguaro cactus which are as tall as telephone poles. A feeling of complete tranquility and freedom washes over you; one like you've never experienced before and it feels like you finally understand everything. Or, at least all you'll ever really need to understand. Your horse becomes your best friend because your lives literally depend on you being able to trust each other as you scale steep rockcliffs where stones fall around its hooves, follow trails that sometimes completely disappear, maneuver around spiky plants and dangerous animals of all sizes.
At the end of the day you come back to the ranch sunbaked, dusty, sweaty, scratched, exhausted, sore, and with the biggest pack-mule grin you ever had on your face.
"The White Stallion Ranch"
As I pulled into the driveway of the White Stallion Ranch on the outskirts of Tucson (pronounced "toos-on") and saw the view for the first time, I gasped in awe, "This looks exactly like a 'Roadrunner' cartoon!" (Small side note here: you really can't catch a roadrunner--I know because I was dumb enough to try. I chased one of those damn, little birds with my Acme camera trying to get a photo until I lay spread eagle on the ground gasping for air and cut by a cactus. I realized then that the bird had had made me into Wile E. Coyote and I was slightly disappointed that it didn't stick out its tongue and go "meep-meep" as it sped off.)
Anyway, so yeah--I stayed at the White Stallion Ranch for four days and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life--if not the greatest.
I stand by all of the above--The White Stallion Ranch is definitely the best place on earth!
I even bought the shirt. ...And I never "buy the shirt"!
Tucson - White Stallion Ranch (2008)