Horseback Riding Ranch Vacations

C Lazy U is the premier, all-inclusive dude ranch located in the breathtaking Colorado mountains. Our 8,500 acres of real, untouched American West make us the ideal spot for any horseback riding retreat. Whether your goal is family fun, a romantic escape, a corporate getaway, or something else entirely – nothing parallels the experience of all-inclusive horseback riding vacation in the Rocky Mountains. Breathe in the crisp mountain air, find your freedom, and don’t be surprised when you and the kids are yelling “Yeeeehaw!”

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All-Inclusive Horseback Riding Ranch

Working cows at the C Lazy U Ranch

Note about cattle pushing availability: The ranch plans to bring back this activity in the future as soon as fire-damaged pastures recover and are producing vital nutritional growth.

After you’ve settled into your cozy luxury cabins and gotten acquainted with the ranch, you’ll get to meet your own personal horse for your stay — not just any steed, but the perfect companion. Our team of world-class wranglers pairs each guest with a horse that reflects both their riding ability and personality, allowing everyone to enjoy a horseback riding vacation that’s as tame or as wild as their heart desires. Each of our 200 horses is different — from gentle giants to bold mares — and every rider receives a match that becomes not just their ride for the week, but their dedicated partner on the trail.

At the C Lazy U resort, horseback riding is a daily activity (except on Sundays, unless otherwise noted). Each day of your horseback riding retreat, you and your family will set out with the same horse on morning and afternoon trail rides, allowing you to form a bond with your steed based on trust, patience, and respect.

Those unable to ride on horseback can explore the ranch in an expedition vehicle on our guided Ranger Tours!

Adult Horseback Riding Program

A woman cantering on a horse at C Lazy U Ranch

To ensure everyone enjoys their horseback riding retreat, we have separate riding programs for adults and kids. But don’t worry — the whole posse will have the opportunity to ride together on family horseback riding excursions. The adults head out on the trail in the mornings and afternoons, though the bold and experienced can stay out for an all-day ride. Adults also get the chance to experience a taste of the cowboy (or cowgirl) spirit by partaking in cattle working, barrel racing, and instructional rides.

Learn More about the Adult Riding Program

Kids Horseback Riding Program

Kids out on a trail ride in the mountains during their vacation at C Lazy U in Colorado

The Kids’ Riding Program is broken into three age groups, allowing children to enjoy riding with their peers. Kids learn basic riding skills and spend time honing their abilities in the arena and on the trail. The littlest cowpokes get to ride Katie the pony or be pulled in a cart by one of our miniature donkeys, while teens are given more (supervised) freedom to ride and explore. Our aim is to ensure that all ages feel comfortable as a horseback rider. No matter the age, ranch horseback riding for kids makes for an unforgettable and transformative experience.

Learn More about the Kids Horse Riding Program
The grand entry at the weekly Shodeo
The DOs and DON'Ts of horseback riding at C Lazy U Ranch

In addition to daily trail rides, C Lazy U Ranch offers something for horseback riders at every skill level, including cattle clinics and horsemanship classes. C Lazy U is an authentic working cattle ranch, so seasoned riders and beginners with a little gumption can expect to go on cattle drives and other western adventures!

Note about cattle pushing availability: The ranch plans to bring back this activity in the future as soon as fire-damaged pastures recover and are producing vital nutritional growth.

And what would all that riding experience mean if there wasn’t a chance to show off your skills? After the end of a week of horseback riding, on Saturday afternoon, the outdoor arena turns into a stage for guests to showcase their horsemanship abilities during the all-ages “Shodeo.” The kids are the stars of the show, but adults also compete against one another as they perform thrilling feats like pole bending, barrel racing, key hole trials, and more  — and everyone leaves with a C Lazy U ribbon, hard-earned pride, and a satisfied appetite for adventure

Sundays are the Horses’ Day Off

Please note the ranch does not offer horseback riding on Sunday unless it is a holiday weekend (Martin Luther King Weekend, Presidents’ Day Weekend, Memorial Day Weekend, Labor Day Weekend, Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s where the minimum stay requires stays beyond Sunday). Some Special Events also extend into the following week, at which point the ranch may offer rides on Sundays (examples include Julie Goodnight and Barbra Schulte riding clinics and leadership retreats). Please reach out to if you have questions about a specific event you are booked for.   

Seasonal Horseback Riding Vacations

When the seasons change at C Lazy U Ranch, each one seems more beautiful than the last. Summer is our most popular season, but snowfall in the winter provides a picturesque wonderland of festive fun and Colorado mountain excitement. Spring sees the trails covered in incredible greenery, with birdsongs filling the air, and in the fall, horseback rides at C Lazy U offer spectacular views of brilliant yellows and oranges on aspen-lined trails.

Summer Horseback Riding

Adults enjoying a nice canter ride

With the warm sun, wildflowers, and Colorado wildlife on the trail, summertime is one of the most popular times to go on a horseback riding family vacation. At our dude ranch, horseback riding is in full swing in the summer, with daily trail rides, cattle clinics, and horsemanship classes to fill your day.

Learn More about C Lazy U’s Summer Activities

Winter Horseback Riding

A dude ranch guest rides his horse through the snow.

If you’re staying with us in the colder months – which includes Spring Break in March – winter horseback riding is available at the C Lazy U guest ranch! Our 12,000-square-foot heated indoor arena allows families to enjoy year-round riding and clinics, but we also head out onto the magical, snow coated trails daily. At the C Lazy U dude ranch, we make sure all horseback riders are comfortable and having a blast no matter the season.

Learn More about Winter Horseback Riding Vacations
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Meet the Equestrian Director

Ami Cullen, Director of Equestrian Operations at C Lazy U Ranch

Ami Cullen left her cushy job as a lawyer in Washington, D.C. to follow her heart to C Lazy U Ranch, where she fell in love with the Colorado mountains, the horses, and life on the ranch. As an accomplished equestrian in the Hunter-Jumper show ring, Ami brings a wealth of horsemanship skills to her post as Director of Equestrian Operations. You can usually find her training young horses to become great mounts for our guests, and giving riding lessons and horsemanship clinics in the arenas.

Read Ami’s story to learn more about why she quit law to become a cowgirl.

Horseback Riding Weight Restrictions

C Lazy U Ranch considers safety one of our most important responsibilities. This obligation includes horseback riding operations and requires us to ensure the safety of both rider and horse. As such, C Lazy U exercises caution with regard to allowing horseback riding for individuals of heavier weights. The weight limit for horseback riding at C Lazy U Ranch is restricted to 250 pounds. The ranch considers several factors in determining whether or not an individual is too heavy or too big to ride, including: rider’s physical fitness, riding experience and ability, size of the horse, type of terrain, speed of ride, and other factors. As a general rule, horses can safely carry loads of up to 20% of their body weight, including rider, saddle, and tack. C Lazy U ranch exercises discretion when addressing these issues and reserves the right to prohibit riding or restrict riding to level terrain, or walk-only rides. Please do not hesitate to contact our Barn Manager to discreetly discuss specific circumstances. We are here to make sure your Horse Riding Retreat is an unforgettable memory.

If you’ve been looking for a Colorado resort with horseback riding, our all-inclusive vacation packages don’t disappoint. Come see why C Lazy U is one of the most-awarded dude ranches, and discover for yourself why Condé Nast named C Lazy U one of the top ten resort destinations in the entire world! Contact us to find out more information on joining us for the Wild West escape of a lifetime.

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Ranch Blog

For decades, C Lazy U Ranch’s Kids and Teens Program has helped children from toddlers to teens build skill and have incredible adventures out in the American West. But, contrary to how it may seem, good old fashioned dude ranch fun doesn’t just appear out of thin air – it takes a hard-working team to … Continued

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~ Lynn S., 09-21-2021

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