This past summer, the owners of the Circle Z Ranch decided to build a covered riding arena on our large field located between the day and night pasture. This is a full size arena, measuring 150 feet X 250 feet. Being in the planning and hoping stages for several years, the final push for building this arena was our move into offering more horsemanship clinics, ensuring there a nice working space that was protected from the elements. We did not anticipate how much its’ popularity would go beyond these clinics, and our guests have responded very positively to this addition to our riding program.
Every Monday morning, our new guests are taken into the riding arena for their riding orientation. Wanting to make sure that each of our guests are clear about our riding hints for the trails, our wranglers cover all of the horse and trail riding safety tips. For those riders who are beginners, we further offer a quick horsemanship lesson on the basics on turning, stopping, self carriage, and how best to ride our horses based on western riding horsemanship.
On Tuesday mornings before the scheduled trail ride we are offering riding lessons to any guest that would like to learn more about riding, from trotting, to loping and anything in between! And guests are welcome to ask for lessons on any day they are at the ranch. This has been a huge success, and we have probably given more lessons since the start of the season than we have in the last 10 years! On any given day, guests have been in the arena learning and growing in their comfort with riding, and as a huge bonus we are including these lessons with our all-inclusive ranch pricing. This is such a testament to how important it is to have a designated space where guests feel comfortable and safe, and the footing is perfect for the horses.
Here are some of the comments we have received: “I wish this had been here when I first started riding here years ago, just in the two days of lessons before the trail ride my level of riding has improved so much”, “I am an experienced rider, but had not ridden this horse before, so it was extremely helpful to be able to try him at a lope inside the arena before going out on the trails”. You get the gist, this has been an amazing addition to our riding program as we continue to be fully committed to offering the best horseback riding program of any guest ranch.
In the future, perhaps even this summer, we will offer the arena for large gatherings during the guest off-season as well as a place for different horse related trainings. If you have a use in mind please let us know!