Hoping to become something of a regular here. The boyfriend and I are planning a three month trip around the US in 2014 (yes, we're planning in advance!), combining flights with driving to allow us to see everything we want to. We're planning to make it a series of mini holidays whereby we spend at least three days in each place that interests us rather than driving every day and so that we can decide whether or not to extend / shorten visits on the hop. With this in mind, one of the stops we'd really like to do is a dude ranch long weekend (or, to keep costs down, we'd prefer a three or four night mid-week holiday). We both used to ride to competition standard in our teens but neither of us has been on a horse since then (and we're now 29 and 30). The thing is, I'm completely overwhelmed by the sheer number of dude ranches. Anywhere in Wyoming, Montana, Colorado or Texas would suit but we're willing to change our plans to go somewhere else if anyone has a suggestion? Even being able to narrow it down to a state would be brilliant because at the moment there are so many options, we don't know which to choose. Only things to bear in mind in terms of our requirements would be:
1. We prefer small places over large hotels
2. We'd like to ride for a good portion of each day - cattle wrangling would be marvellous but we accept it might not be possible
3. We're a bit surprised at the range of prices - they seem to range from about $400 - $3000 for three to four nights
4. We'd always want our own room and bathroom
So I'm not sure this isn't a bit specialist but if anyone can help us narrow down where to go - even a few ideas on the states to look at, that would be hugely helpful so thank you in advance!
Off now to look at the European forums so that I can ensure I'm contributing as well as asking for advice!