Kid’s Program at the Ranch
Our all-inclusive, kid-friendly ranch lets you see the confidence in your children bloom, while your kids get to explore their wildest dreams, from swimming with fish to ringing the bell as they reach the top of our ranch’s climbing wall. Kids can learn how to kayak, shoot a bow and arrow, ride a horse, go for bike rides, or even go plinking. We’ll keep them safe so they can play to their heart’s delight. You are welcome to join in their fun or wander off to find your own adventures. Imagine watching your child’s face as they soar like a squirrel, coming as close as they can to flying; imagine commanding a horse through Idaho’s forest; or climbing, with a little help from the guides, 60 feet up the climbing wall! Watch as they fly through the air for 300 feet saying to you, “I did it!”
The program is designed for ages 6 – 10, but anyone is welcomed to participate. The rides are geared towards the age group involved. Little cowboy and cowgirl boots are available to borrow, but parents beware, kids usually want to keep their boots at the end of the week for souvenirs and we’ll need them for another adventure. We also require each kid to wear a horseback riding helmet which will be provided for their stay. Once each child has met their horse and is fit to their saddle we will venture off into the ranch valley or onto gently sloping hills. We even ride to a meadow where we have lunch and play games. Horseback riding inherently offers lessons in focus, assertiveness and self-awareness. Parents and kids, 11 & up, may join the Kids’ Trail Ride if space is available but we do recommend giving the kids an opportunity on their first day of riding to experience the orientation on their own.
Kid’s Program Season
The Kids’ Program is usually available around Memorial Day weekend until mid August, when our adult vacations begin. Please check the current week schedule. During June we do have a number of families that join us at the ranch and, during this time, most of the activities are focused on adventures with the entire family.
Kids Horseback Riding Program
Children ages 3-10 are welcomed to participate in the Kids’ Trail Ride. The buckaroos (ages 3-6) will enjoy horseback riding while being led by a wrangler for a little extra guidance. The rides are geared towards the age group involved. Kids will start off their week learning the ropes and meeting their horses during a barn orientation. They’ll be fit to their saddles and taught how to control their horse. Every morning the kids program will have a horseback ride which will progress through the week from the valley floor to rolling hills, creek bottoms, and more inclined trails. Each guest, 3 years old and up, will have their very own horse for the week. To see more about our full horseback riding program, please view the Horseback Riding Information page. Your child’s horse as well as yours will be chosen based on the information you have provided on the Activity Information form. The more information you provide the better. A hint parents: us knowing you’re child’s disposition helps us to fit the perfect horse. If you have any questions regarding the horseback riding policies, please contact Rob, the Ranch Manager.
Kids Morning Arena (for Ages 3-6). Our goal is to make horseback riding something each child loves and remembers. Part of this is the opportunity to feel the exhilaration of changing gaits, controlling their horse, and having the chance to bond. During their week at the ranch, the little buckaroos (ages 3-6) will have opportunities to learn more about their horse and step into the arena while being led by their wranglers. This is an opportunity for the kids to take more control of their horse and possibly move into a faster gait. For kids over the age of 6, there are family lessons scheduled through the week as well.
Family Horseback Lessons (for ages 7 and up). These lessons are a perfect place for the kids to learn more about horsemanship while spending some quality family time. Kids, accompanied by a parent or more family members, have the opportunity to see, feel, and grow in their confidence and horsemanship skills. These horseback lessons are run by our wranglers and often include a short trail ride to experience some of your new skills.
Horseback riding for Young Adults (ages 11-20). All other opportunities on the ranch available to parents are also available to ages 11 years and older. This includes our Scenic Rides, Family horseback lessons, Horseback Riding Lessons, Advanced Riding, and Lunch Rides. For the Advanced Horseback Riding, each rider must pass the Advanced Horseback Riding Check before they are able to participate on this ride. Please see more about our Advanced Horseback Riding Check.
Other Guided Adventures on the Ranch
The Kids Program will have the opportunity every morning for a horseback ride. During the afternoons the Kids Program will have other fun adventures they’ll be doing like the challenge course and climbing wall, a zip line, kayaking, shooting 22 rifles, painting horses, pottery, and maybe a few other things we want to be kept a secret. Here’s a brief explanation to some of the other adventures that we are asked about:
Sporting Clays. Sporting Clays are a 25 round course done with 12 and 20 gauge shotguns. This is typically an afternoon adult adventure. In the past some kids have been able to attend because they are older and can manage the recoil of the shotgun well. Most of these kids have had prior experience with a shotgun. It is possible for a child to be included in Sporting Clays if approved by the ranch manager. We’re parents too. Safe gun handling and shooting skills are very important, but you do have to be careful with this. To much recoil for too young of a child can have negative affects and develop a “flinch” that takes considerable work and shotgun experience to get rid of.
Mountain Biking. Our Mountain Biking program is absolutely amazing with it’s own set of double and single track trails. Our mountain bikes are sized to allow for 60 inch tall riders. If you’re child meets this requirement and is up to the challenge, we will do our best to make them comfortable.
Mega Zip. This zip line lands in our pond here on the ranch! The cable for the zip line is usually set and typical conditions accommodate guest weights from 50lbs to 240lbs. If you’re child meets this requirement they are good to go.
Trail of the Coeur d’Alene Bike Tour. This adventure begins and ends in Harrison, Idaho and goes along Lake Coeur d’Alene. The trail is flat and paved. There is a hill to go down and to ascend at the end back to the bike shop. The bike shop does rent bikes for kids, along with bikes with tandem or trailer bikes. If you’re child can operate a brake or is comfortable on a bike, more than likely they can join this adventure.
3d Archery Trail. Thanks to the Hunger Games phenom, this one has been an absolute favorite with the kids. We attempt to make this adventure as accessible as we can. Our recurve and kids compound bows begin pull back weights around 15 lbs. Most kids 10 and up will have no trouble being able to launch their arrows at the 3 dimensional (and sometimes moving) archery targets. It’s a fantastic trail with a number of stations along the way and we absolutely hope you’re kids have the chance. There are certain days on the schedule where we’ve set it aside for families.
Kayaking. Kayaking is one of the afternoon trips for the kids. If you decide to take you’re kids on a different day, they can come along as long as they have an adult in the kayak with them. ( Just be forewarned. Kid’s Kayaking day has something they may not want to miss and it’s been a real big hit with the kids. ?)
If you have any questions about our Kids Program, please don’t hesitate to call or send a note through the website. One final item we feel is important is to check the reviews. We’ve been at this for over a decade and we can guarantee the kids will have a blast, new friends will be made, they’ll simply fall in love with the ranch and hit their pillow at night so hard they may snore. Be ready the tears you’ll see on Saturday when the time comes to hit the road, but only until next time! This place was built for kids.
Q: What if my children are 6 & 11? Does this mean that they will not be riding the first day together?
A: It is very typical on the ranch to have families arrive at the ranch and certain kids be older than the kids program. We highly recommend giving your younger child the chance to meet their horse, our staff, and other kids their own age on the first day. However, you definitely know your kids better than we do so if you feel it necessary for their older sibling to join them, we absolutely agree. Our goal is for them to feel comfortable from Day 1.
Q: I have a child that would be included in your Kids Program but their riding experience is very good. Would they have to be in the Kids Program the entire time?
A: Our Kids Horseback Riding Program is designed as an introduction to horses and trail riding. It happens occasionally that a child has a higher skill level than most. If they have been riding for a while, you’ll understand that this would be a new horse, new terrain, and may be a completely different experience. We’re also just overly cautious when it comes to kids. Our suggestion is to be as thorough on their Activity Information Sheet as you can. It happens occasionally that 8, 9 and 10 year olds can be included in the some of the adult scenic rides depending on their skill levels and the terrain. We would like to meet the kids, see them ride, and let them get a feel for the ranch prior to giving you the expectation. If you have any questions, please give the ranch manager a call prior to making a reservation. Our goal is absolutely for every child to have a learning and growth experience while being on the ranch!
Vacationing with Children at Red Horse Mountain Ranch
The key to a great family ranch vacation is making sure there is plenty of of things to do, and Red Horse Mountain Ranch is no exception. Ages 3 – 6 are more than welcome at the ranch, in fact, our summer vacations are designed around their desire to play. The key ingredients of being together as a family and letting a child’s dream of exploring the ranch with our wonderful kid’s counselors are all here. Even a little mom and dad alone time is built into your perfect family ranch vacation at Red Horse. In fact, Red Horse Mountain Ranch is one of the few places that allow kids, ages 3-6, enjoy horseback riding. And parents are always welcome to join the Kid’s Program at any time.
Each little buckaroo who arrives at the ranch is scheduled with their own horse and saddle just like mom and dad or their big brother or sister. The ranch will have a knowledgeable wrangler walking right alongside the horse and child as they venture on their daily horseback ride. After their first orientation trail ride where they learn about being around horses and have a trail ride on the valley floor, they’ll have the opportunity every morning to head out on the trail. Some afternoons during the week there are also family rides, where you can all ride as a family together. Knowing your child is well taken care of by the kids counselors can give you and your family the opportunity to take on more challenging rides such as the scenic and advanced horseback riding. The beauty of Red Horse Mountain Ranch is that the decision on what you’d like to do is completely up to you.
Although the horses are front and center at Red Horse Mountain Ranch, the kids don’t miss out on other activities too. The kids program counselors will also be doing kayaking, the challenge course, zip line, arts and crafts, pottery barn, shooting 22 rifles, and other ranch activities. There are also plenty of other non-guided things to do when your child when they are not with the kids program. The library at the ranch is filled with books, games, puzzles, and other things to keep them plenty busy during the evenings between meals and evening entertainment. The evening entertainment on the ranch is also designed for them as well with s’mores, singing, music, evening playtimes, and other such things. Not only will they enjoy hanging out with the kids counselors, they always seem to make plenty of other friends their age. It’s usual to have between 3 and 5 little buckaroos on the ranch each week. At Red Horse, parents are more than welcome to come and go from the kids program as they see fit, and its pretty typical to have a few days with the kids program and a few days without. You will have to plan for one dinner with just the adults during our weekly Wine Dinner; a coursed dinner paired with wines. Our schedule on the ranch is designed for flexibility, family time, AND mom and dad time throughout the week.
A few hints for you if you’re planning to have your vacation with a young one here at the ranch. The shuttle service in and out of the ranch to the Spokane International Airport does suggest you to bring a car seat for the journey. It’s also very important to make sure and fill out as much information on your activity sheet as possible as kids can sometimes be a little finicky in their foods. The chefs on the ranch are more than happy to help so please include their likes and dislikes, allergies or any other dietary concerns you might have. Also, the kids will usually have their own bedrooms with twin sized bunk or single beds. Bring a swimming suit, it’s usual that the kids decide to hit the heated swimming pool occasionally through the week. Although cowboy boots are here if you need to borrow boots, our experience suggests that the little girls very much get attached to their fancy new footwear (the boys do as well). We will need to have them back for others to borrow. Along with cowboy boots, a pair of tennis shoes or some other form of footwear that can get wet, washed off, and dry are very handy. Kids will be kids, and while they’re here, you might be amazed at how fast they fall asleep after hitting their pillow each night.
Red Horse Mountain Ranch is the perfect blend for families with toddlers between the months of June through August each summer while the kids program is happening on the ranch. Although making new friends from all over is pretty cool, the best part for them is without a doubt, the chance to blossom and grow while their here and to have that very needed family time. Our suggestion is to take a look at the reviews on TripAdvisor. Our past guests have done our incoming guests are real favor in giving them the insights into our family ranch vacations with kids.