We love to travel and vacation in different locations. This has been our year of travel and we could not be more excited! So far we have been to Walt Disney World for #DisneySMMC, Disney Cruise, France and Italy and Hershey Pennsylvania. But last week my parents treated the whole family to several days in upstate New York at Rocking Horse Ranch. This all include resort has something for everyone, horse lover or not. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I pulled onto the grounds but once we got settled into our room the fun began and the memories didn’t stop. For all our travel adventures be sure to follow #MockTravels.
The Horseback Riding
INCLUDED in your stay is horseback riding. You know how you go on vacation and they have excursions that are an added fee and it breaks your bank to go? Not at Rocking Horse Ranch. Trail rides are for guests ages 7 and over. When you arrive there is a location that you sign up for your daily ride on the horses. This is your assigned time but want to know a secret?
You can ride MORE THAN ONCE A DAY!!
How is this?
Get in the stand by line and once the riders for the time slot are on horse back, they open the stand by line. One day my daughter rode a total of 3 rides! The ranch has about 112 horses so it is rare when they run out of horses for riders who want to ride.
When I say ‘ride’ I am not talking about a ride around a dirt circle with someone holding the reigns while you ride along.
Each rider get their own horse and the group is lead on a 45 minute trail ride through wooded trails. We were there in the early part of July and I was so thankful for the tree covered paths. You could FEEL the temperature difference as soon as you were under cover. But RHR does not just send out 50 riders to a trail to make their way over hill and valley. On each ride are experienced wranglers to help guide the group along and instruct riders on how to keep their horses in line. Keep in mind that you are riding on animals and these animals can have a mind of their own. My eight year old daughter had a horse that keep wanting to go off trail to get a snack of grass. She had to use her reigns to pull his head away from his treat and get him back on track.
Riding helmets are required for all riders under 18 but I can assure you that this 38 year old rider was wearing her helmet the entire time. An added tip is to put on the optional shower cap before you put on your helmet. These are communal helmets and I just see it as good hygiene to wear a shower cap under the helmet.
There are 3 types of rides:
A very nice way to see our magnificent acreage! Perfect for a first timer or an experienced rider that’s a bit rusty.
Walk and trot. The next level in riding, about one third of your time will be trotting. There is definitely a bit more skill needed to be comfortable on this ride.
Walk, trot and canter. For the most experienced rider. The rider needs to have the ability and skill to “communicate” with the horse to get beyond a trot and into the gait of a canter.
For the little guests under 7 they have horses that are older and not able to take on full duty of trail work but are still able to take on light duty of a child. Helmets are provided and parents are able to lead the child and horse or the wrangler will lead them around the loop. My 2 year old niece had a WONDERFUL time on her pony ride, my 5 year old son on the other hand did not. 2 steps in and he was screaming to get off. I applaud his willingness to try and for the quick thinking of the wrangler to recognize his fear and get him dismounted quickly.
I was beyond impressed with the size of the room we stayed in. We had 2 queen beds and a bunk bed. It slept 6 and there was SO MUCH room to walk around and BE IN the room. The only thing I would say is that there could have been a bit more dresser space for 6 people who are staying for more than a few days. There was PLENTY of hanging storage and hangers are provided.
I thought you would like to see what it looks like from the inside so I did a video for you:
Be sure to watch my other hotel room tour videos on YouTube!
The food is included. Seriously. No meal plan to purchase here. Let me tell you that if you have TEENAGE BOYS you are going to get your monies worth! Breakfast and lunch are a buffet and there are SO MANY CHOICES!!
Here are sample menus:
Breakfast They had bacon crispy like I like it, fruit, yogurt and pancakes that the kids love and eggs every way you can imagine! They even have omelets made to order. Bonus points for having an orange guava juice in addition to orange and apple. I do love a tropical juice!
Lunch We had lunch in the dining room but we LOVED having the BBQ picnic outdoors. There was live music and each table had its own umbrella.
Dinner Order from a menu from a huge variety of items to include vegetarian options. But you must promise me you will save room for dessert at the chocolate fountain. Yes. There was a chocolate fountain each night we were there. It was like liquid heaven.
If you are celebrating a birthday or other occasion be sure to tell the staff. We celebrated each of the grandkids birthdays while we were there and each night they had a bunch of 10 balloons on the table with a birthday sign waiting for the child. Then at dessert time they brought a special ice-cream Sunday to the child. It was a LOT of fun!
Special Dietary Needs
If you have a special dietary need be sure to tell the staff and the Chefs will be sure to work around your needs. Kosher meals are available. I read on the website that many of the Chefs were trained at the Culinary Institute of America. While this is the rival school to my Alma Mater, Johnson & Wales University, I know that these chefs KNOW their food. They are passionate about food, service and the experience of their guests.
Example: My son is PICKY, no, selective of what he eats. One night there was nothing on the menu that he would eat but he LOVED the Sloppy Joe that was served at lunch. We asked the dining room manager if he could arrange to have a Sloppy Joe delivered to our table. It took a few extra minutes but my son has his favorite Sloppy Joe and french fries for his dinner.
Every afternoon at 3:15 they have a Chef Tasting that includes adult beverages. One day there was wine, cheese and gourmet appetizers in the lodge and another day there were frozen adult ( and kiddie!) beverages served pool side with yummy nibbles. All of this in included.
There is a large playground for burning any excess energy. We didn’t have excess energy but our kids can’t resist a playground. This modern playground had lots of space for many children to play together.
The beautiful signs come out in the evening and stay in the hallways all night long. It is a wonderful reminder to little kids and big kids alike that people are resting and not to disturb other guests. I wish other hotels had these, don’t you!?
ALL THE EXTRAS!
Paddle Boats, Banana Boat Rides, Mini Golf, Water Skiing, Bungie Bounce, Indoor and Outdoor pools, Beach towels (less to pack!), Life Vests, Entertainment and SO MUCH MORE! Plus there is a Spa that we didn’t have time to check out but it is an option for those who love to enjoy a spa experience.
Comment below what you would love to experience at Rocking Horse Ranch or any tips if you have already visited!