How good a rider do I need to be?

We don’t cater for ‘experts’, but rides go deep into remote areas so you should be reasonably competent and confidant on a horse. Desire to be in the wilderness is far more important. If you’re not an experienced rider, no matter – within a few days you’ll be better than you thought – and you should improve.

What are the horses/mules like?

All our outfitters/suppliers rely on top quality mounts. Due to the nature of our rides, horses and mules have to be well-trained, docile, strong, fit and sure-footed. We prefer solid, local no nonense animals – properly trained, tractable  and well used to the land base they work in. Some outfitters breed their own horses ensuring a pipeline of decent stock.

Are there any weight limits?

Weight is critical. On most rides there are limits due to the size and strength of a horse. It’s easy to generalize – so factor around 15 stone, 95 kilos or 210 pounds max. You should weigh ‘all up’ – that’s fully dressed, suited and booted. Being economic won’t help us, as our outfitters scale everything before heading out, you included!

What level of fitness do I need?

You don’t need to be super-fit. Occasionally you’ll ride into places you never dreamt of taking a horse. This sometimes warrants leading/traversing your mount over rough steep terrain. A general good level of fitness will make your trip far more enjoyable. If you haven’t ridden for a while take a few improvement lessons, get the seat back. On most rides there is no facility to ‘have a day off’.

What are the rides really like?

Our program is the opposite to dude/fast-riding equine holidays. Forget resorts with jacuzzis, tennis, golf, satellite and luxury. At best, you’ll be based on real rawhide ranches, in the main wilderness. Beautiful, stark, captivating it can be unforgiving (for those who can’t deal with isolation). In the saddle 4-7 hours a day, maybe more, there’s opportunity to trot, canter – gallop if we’re ‘riding out’ from a camp, but treks are slow to medium paced. Terrain dictates the speed.

What pre-requisites are required or who joins an Outlaw Trail ride?

Anybody. You must want to embrace the wilderness and be comfortable around horses. You might be mildly interested in the Old West, history and culture. If you’re happy with that and want to go for it, fine. If not, Outlaw Trails isn’t for you. On some rides, once in the wilderness, we ride our way out and there’s no going back – just like Butch and Sundance…

Can I go alone?

If we run any ‘open’ rides, yes. Many rides take you ‘out there’, so you won’t be sharing a room, but bivvying under the stars. Great! We welcome single travelers. Your common thread is the love of horses, great outdoors and adventure.

How safe are the rides?

As safe they can be when you combine horses, humans and wilderness. Safety mainly depends on you, how you react. Remember horses/mules can be dangerous. Our outfitters/suppliers pride themselves on safety. It’s paramount we keep risks to a minimum. Wear a hard hat if you wish. You’ll need to be fully insured or you can’t ride. Check Booking Conditions for notes pertaining behavior, riding risks and suitability. See Introduction page to whom we have outfitted.

Suitability for children?

Not really. Any exceptions? Maybe/yes, if yours have grown up with horses because that’s different. These rides aren’t geared for kids. We know they want extra activities after riding and the wilderness doesn’t provide that. If you take a private charter, it’s your deal and you can bring the kids, Granny and your bad-tempered Uncle too.

Those who don’t ride.

Strictly speaking, these rides are about horses. We have little to offer non-riders. There’s little other activities available. One or two rides may be suitable if we’re based from a private retreat offering alternatives. Check in and we’ll talk, but in the main Outlaw Trails set its stall to be very different.

What’s included – what’s not?

Your riding experience includes: guides/wranglers, horses/mules, tack, meals, drinks (not of alcoholic nature), all necessary permits and transfers where noted. You are responsible for your own charter, international and domestic flights, health and loss insurances, pre and post accommodation and vehicle hire. All passport and visa requirements are your responsibility and costs are met by you.

Insurance – an unnecessary evil?

My bank/mortgage company covers all my insurance! Wrong! Not for these pursuits. Approach your existing insurer and quanitify IF they are prepared to cover properly for these activities. Dude ranching is a different risk level. Any concerns or queries, call in and we’ll advise you.

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