My stay at the Western Pleasure Guest Ranch near Sandpoint, Idaho
If you’re ever wondering whether you should take a ranch vacation, let me stop you right there - the answer is yes and you need to go to Western Pleasure Guest Ranch.
I can honestly say I have never experienced more genuinely kind, welcoming and pleasant hosts. Janice and her entire family went out of their way to ensure me and the rest of the guests were happy, well taken care of and well fed.
Speaking of Food
I’m embarrassed to admit that I had half my suitcase stuffed with snacks and granola bars. As a vegan travelling to a working cow ranch (yes, I hear the irony as I type the words), I wasn’t sure what they were planning on feeding me. Well, it turns out, I had nothing to worry about - from veggie burgers, to buddha bowls, to fruit salad, to chia seed pudding - they even got me vegan ice cream! I’m still dreaming of the roasted sweet potato buddha bowl with herb dressing....yum!
As for their horses
They are some of the nicest trail horses I have ever ridden. Unlike the typical head-to-tail trail riding I’ve experienced in the past, their horses are light, responsive and they use their brains. I had the pleasure of riding Chance and, if my memory serves me, I rode him in a hackamore (for non-horsey people: this means he didn’t have a bit in his mouth). He was like a little hovercraft willingly yielding to the slightest application of my leg and the softest touch of a rein against his neck. He would put most school horses to shame!
The scenery there is absolutely gorgeous. (If you don’t believe me, check out the gallery below.) Whether you want to take in the view from the main lodge deck or prefer to experience the terrain on horseback, you will not be disappointed.
The mountains in the distance, the horses…what more could you ask for?
Things to know
I cannot recommend this place enough for anyone who wants to experience a ranch vacation, in an idyllic setting with extremely welcoming hosts and a herd of incredible horses. If you are thinking about going, here are some things to consider:
There isn’t much cell reception (except perhaps at the front of the main lodge) so be prepared to embrace being ‘unplugged’. Trust me, you won’t mind.
Bring layers - when I went in June the temperature could go from quite cool in the morning to comfortably warm in the afternoon and then the temperature would dip back down again at night.
They have rooms in the main lodge as well as cabins. I stayed in a cabin and it was a lovely little a-frame with two beds; one bedroom on the main floor and a bedroom in the loft area. The wood-burning fireplace kept it toasty warm at night which was nice. I think the cabins are nicer for privacy but that’s just my opinion :)
I hope if you’re considering visiting Western Pleasure Guest Ranch you’ll pull the trigger and book your stay - their hospitality was, bar none, the best I’ve ever experienced.
P.S. I am not at all in any way affiliated with them - I just really, really, really enjoyed my stay.