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Montana – Rocking Z Ranch

Set in the grassy foothills of the Rocky Mountains, this small family owned and run guest ranch is great for all ages and abilities. There is an emphasis on natural horsemanship and you can really get a feel for this with the ranch’s home-trained horses.

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Product Description

Visit “Horse Whisperer” country and learn about Parelli Natural Horsemanship. Beginners and advanced riders all have a great time and improve their horse knowledge and skills. You will know more about horses and Western riding by the time you leave.

Nestled at the foot of Mitchell Mountain, thirteen miles east of the Great Divide and ten miles west of the famous Missouri River, the scenery is spectacular.

Rocking Z Ranch is a small family owned and run guest ranch. Your hosts Zack and Patty Wirth are fourth generation Montanans. Zack’s great-grandfather came to Montana searching for gold in 1862 and Patty’s grandfather homesteaded in 1869. Zack is an expert on the history of the area and has great stories of the events that shaped this part of the country. Also working on the ranch as wranglers are two of their six children, Maria and Anna, and Maria’s husband Ben.

The ranch currently has over sixty horses, all much loved, well mannered horses and a pleasure to ride. They are mostly Quarter Horses but also include Appaloosas, Paints, Mustangs, Belgians and a couple of smaller ponies. They are happy, responsive and fit mounts. Most are trained on the ranch using Parelli Natural Horsemanship techniques. The wranglers are all at experienced Parelli practitioners and will share their knowledge and demonstrate the techniques to you, which will enhance your experience at Rocking Z.

The itinerary is flexible to accommodate everyone with a mixture of half day and all day rides. You ride over a variety of terrain. Sometimes to the tops of the mountains where the views are spectacular and you can see six different mountain ranges. Parts of the rides are steep climbing, but where the terrain is appropriate you may have canters. A favourite ride is a sixteen mile ride to Medicine Rock, with the opportunity for lots of canters.

You are encouraged to be involved in grooming and saddling your horse and the wranglers will show you the Western reining techniques.

On one day of each week you have the opportunity to move cattle from one pasture to the next or bring the cattle into the arena to do team penning. If you are really keen to learn roping and cattle work, this can be available on request.

There are a wide range of non riding activities available including floating the Missouri River, target and clay shooting, archery, fishing, hiking, plus bird and wildlife watching. Rodeos take place in nearby towns on a number of weeks from mid June to the end of August, and the ranch staff are happy to take you to them.

You stay in one of eight spacious en suite guest rooms at the ranch and everyone eats together with the family in the main lodge. Enjoy ranch style meals with homemade pies, desserts and bread fresh from the oven. Evenings feature story telling, good conversation and sometimes singing and guitar and fiddle music.