You never would’ve guessed it, but right in the middle of Lolo, MT, there’s a horse ranch. Just a 15 minute drive from Missoula, Dunrovin Ranch offers lodging and trail rides to those with an appetite for seeing the landscape the old school way; and as far as appetites for horseback riding go, our group of bigs and littles were ravenous.
Last Saturday on November 9, twenty of us from Missoula Outdoor Explorers spent half a day with the folks at Dunrovin. Some matches had gone horseback riding before, but none had had the complete experience they were about to get. After brief introductions and a thorough safety talk, the group split up. While three matches mounted up and went on the first trail ride, the rest of us got introduced to the rest of the horses and then enjoyed one of the best meals of all time; hotdogs roasted over a campfire.
After lunch, the matches that weren’t riding horses returned to the stable area to groom, lead, and just give some love to the horses. Dunrovin has horses of all shapes and sizes, from full size steeds to dwarf-ponies. There was something for everyone to enjoy! It wasn’t long before the phrase, “He’s my favorite!” could be heard throughout the yard. Eventually the first group returned and the second mounted up for their trail ride. The rotation continued throughout the afternoon, allowing everyone to get experience in what goes on at a ranch.
Of course, what would a visit to a ranch be without some form of character building? In other words, we grabbed some rakes and scooped horse manure. Not everyone was enthusiastic about this job initially, but by the end we were all racing to see who would be the super-pooper-scooper of the day! Following this especially popular activity, we went to the nearby pasture to play some field games. In case you were wondering, Sharks and Minnows is still a hit, regardless of age.
With the return of the third riding group, we snapped a quick group photo and then piled back into our two passenger vans. As we waved goodbye and took our leave of our friends at Dunrovin, we all were thinking the same thing. I want a horse!!!
A big thanks to Dunrovin Ranch for making this horseback riding adventure possible, and to all our partners at the Carhart Center and Big Brothers Big Sisters in Missoula. Be sure to check out Dunrovin’s site at http://www.dunrovinranchmontana.com/, and our Facebook page for more photos. As always, keep exploring!!