Learning Horsemanship at Triple J

Our first full day at Triple J Guest Ranch started with breakfast, a very yummy breakfast. We were served plenty of protein, plus my favorites, homemade breads, jams and jellies (be sure to try Ann’s special jelly combinations).

After breakfast all of the guests went up to the corral and our wranglers did an interesting demonstration on how to saddle a horse. We also learned some general horsemanship tips. There was a wide range of riding skills among the guests and the wranglers worked to accommodate everyone.


It was looking like a beautiful day so we all got on our horses (with help of a stepstool) and started on a trail through an aspen grove. The trail was single file because the trees were all around us. We climbed and climbed and gradually worked our way to a location called Wedding Hill. Yes, it had been the site of several weddings.

Our photo backdrop on Wedding Hill was the Rocky Mountains and in the distance you could see part of Gibson Reservoir. This photo was one of many taken in this location. Our wranglers encouraged us to dismount after the ride up to Wedding Hill and our legs appreciated that. We had a nice break and then it was back on the horses for our descent. It doesn’t take long to realize you use different muscles just sitting on a horse, and there are different ones used for going up a mountain than going down a mountain. Surprisingly, I fared well on this two hour ride.

I learned a lot about flowers on the trail ride. We were at just the right time for mountain wildflowers and lush green meadows. My horse took a liking to arrowleaf balsamroot and I had to be firm with him to leave it alone so he didn’t develop bad habits. This very bright yellow flower must be tasty or else it is just so visible that the horses try to get it. My horse did manage a few flower snacks along the way but I felt he deserved some treats.

After lunch, yes, more food, we did an afternoon trail ride in a different direction. I was getting more comfortable on my horse. When you don’t ride that often everything seems a bit foreign. We compared notes with some of the other guests at lunch. They had ridden in a different direction in the morning so it was fun to hear about their experiences. I think our afternoon ride was probably a couple of hours – cell phones don’t work in this area and I use my cell as my clock. I was beginning to relax and I realized I had lost my intense desire to always know what time it was. If you are used to living on a tight schedule for work you become a clockwatcher.

Life is good for a guest at Triple J.


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