No question is stupid or ridiculous, but some of the answers are.
Where is Vail Stables?
Vail Stables is located 1 mile NE of the Vail Village in Vail, CO. The closest and most best stables to the town.
We are off of Spraddle Creek Road, which heads east, out of the north-side round-a-bout, at the Main Vail Exit #176 off I-70. Here’s a map.
What are the hours?
Most days we are ready to receive guests by 8am. Then around 5pm, the horses are ready to eat.
The bar stays open through happy hour. As in we are open as long as someone is ordering drinks and seems happy. Except Sunday afternoon, when we kick up our feet and relax. We might be gone by 3pm on Sundays. Just call, we’ll answer the phone. Unless we are floating down the river.
Operates 7 days a week. Closes September 28th or later, 2019.
Is there a weight limit?
Absolutely. Uh-Huh. Yes and for sure. The limit for horseback riding is 225lbs. People over 6′ tall can weigh up to 250lbs. We do scale if our professional weight guesser is off for the day.
Please be aware that you would still pay for the horse you’ve removed from the schedule with your reservation should you exceed the weight limit upon arrival.
Is there an age limit?
Yes. The age limit for Adult-Only Horseback rides is 18yrs+. All of our Amazing Family Horseback rides are riders 5yrs+.
What is the cancellation policy?
We are genuinely sorry that we must have a strict cancellation policy. We realize that this policy may come as a real disappointment. We hope that you will understand that the policy reflects an extraordinary range of determining factors. It is painful that we must upset any of our superb guests. If you must pay the full cancellation fee, it is our hope that your overall vacation delight will soon erase any disappointment regarding our cancellation policy, and that you will go on to create a beautiful vacation slideshow.
Please do not book a ride on your travel day. Travel dilemmas are not an exception to the cancellation policy.
A full 48 hours and 5 minutes notice required to cancel, change, alter, subtract people, change your mind, get sick, stub your toe, eat too much, develop bad gas, find something better to do, have a brooding teenager, double-book yourself, have your plane delayed, or ANY, ANY, ANY other reason to avoid a cancellation fee equaling the entire ride price. Calling with an exceptional story, will not an exception make.
You are guaranteeing your arrival, and usage of the horse or yoga mat blocked out of the schedule, with your credit card. Calling to bluster and spout will not change this strict policy, and you wouldn’t want to miss out on the greatest adventure in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
What if it rains?
We have Frog Togs and yellow slickers, Colorado Style. YES! We do ride in the rain! Many guests have returned from a ride, beaming with satisfaction, claiming the ride was the best of their life. The forest sparkles and sings in the rain. Your ride may be delayed as long as 60 minutes to allow major storms to pass. Rides in progress may be cut short due to major lightning, and will not be refunded, nor issued rainchecks. No exceptions. We sit in the banana belt of Vail and normally do not have any problems with the weather.
The summer 2015, 2016 and 2017 AND 2018 weather forecast was wrong EVERY DAY!!!
The forecast has ruined many more vacations than the actual weather.
What should we wear?
Don’t ask Kade. The answer is always “clothes”.
Folks, we have seen everything from mini skirts and high heels, to parkas and leather pants, and the horses didn’t seem to mind!
We recommend; a fleece jacket, long pants, (jeans leggings, khaki’s, capris, etc.) (because chapped thighs are worse than chapped lips), t-shirt, sturdy shoes (tennis shoes, hiking boots, Keen’s, etc.) and a hat.
We do provide slickers and helmets FREE of charge. And we recommend that everyone wear a helmet. They don’t call them the Rocky Mountains because they are giant sand hills. If you opt out, we have many loaner hats.
We do not recommend flip flops or Crocs.
What should we bring?
It depends on what you want us to find on the trail next year.
Lost keys, phones and wallets are swallowed up by the forest floor. There are horn bags on the front of the saddles for your belongings. We’ll hold your keys if you trust us enough.
Small water bottles are recommended. It’s a struggle to fit a 40 oz water bottle into the horn bags!
Bring your camera a selfie stick and a big smile!
Bring a jacket.
Can I bring a camera?
Don’t forget it! Photo ops are plentiful.
It’s best if you bring a smaller camera that will fit in the horn bag. The strap around your neck is not the best idea. (worried mom) But it is done nearly every day without incident!!
The guides are always willing to stop on the trail to take pictures from varying angles. Because we care, we may suggest you suck in your gut.
Is there a restroom?
Sexy, unisex, vault-style, concrete facility, with a lockable door located in the parking area. Don’t forget to flush!
It’s cleaned every day. If you find it unacceptable, please don’t use the bushes. Someone will take your picture.
There are no restrooms located on the trail, so we suggest you visit the facility prior to checking in at the office.
What about water bottles, sanitizer and sunblock?
We do sell frosty, cold bottled water and have a large supply of sunscreen on hand.
It is recommended you apply 30 minutes prior to ride time.
We also have that germ-killing gel that helps you combat germs to make you healthier (cough), or sick more often. According to Aunt Pat, you have to eat a bushel of dirt a year, to be healthy.
We have various beverages available for sale in the office. After the ride, you can belly up to the bar at the Broken Spur Saloon for an adult beverage and tasty snacks.
T-shirts in various styles and all sizes.
Old tack used by the horses at Vail Stables over the last 30 years too. Pick anything off of the wall with a price tag and it can be yours!
Can I give the guide a gratuity?
YES, the guides pay for college with their tips. If you do enjoy your ride, hug your horse, and tip your guide.
Are the horses gentle?
That is all we allow at the ranch.
If you are looking for a spirited, fast horse where you can gallop with the wind in your hair, this may not be the place for you.
Are these rides nose-to-tail?
We are not sure how it could be anything but nose-to-tail. The trail is only 12″ wide! The USFS would frown upon our treading on the area to the side of the trails. The fact that we climb 600 feet in elevation in the first 20 minutes, keeps most riders very occupied. After that, the Aspen trees are so close together, one could conceivably clunk their knee pretty hard if they went off trail.
There are the various horse personalities that are involved. Some do not like others to pass or invade their space. There is a heirarchy within every herd. The horses are lined up according to their friendships.
Having said that, we do allow trotting for the first time ever in 2018!! The guides will show you the safest spots to kick it into 2nd gear.
Where do you go on your rides?
Scenic, mountainous terrain that goes up and down, up and down, much like the ski slopes. Heavily treed in some areas, wide open vistas in others. Mountain meadows, forested areas, immense Aspen glades. No cliffs or drop-offs to worry about. The horses stay on the trail in all of the important areas.
Can I bring a friend or relative’s 15-17yr old minor child?
Click the link for the waiver. Have the parents sign and you can deliver.
So sorry, we practice equality at all times. No coupons in any of the guide books discounts nor specials.
(Unless you call direct and ask for Kymmy Sue, bring cookies and pay cash upon arrival, then you can receive a $10 discount per person on horseback rides and $5 off Goat Yoga or Goats & Wine (or Soda).)
How do we get up there?
Most of the hotels in Vail will run you up in one of their shuttles and retrieve you after the ride. Otherwise, taxis can be reasonable if you work the sticker price before entering the cab.
Buses do not come our way.
Don’t let anyone (wink, wink, concierges) tell you we are close to town, and that you can just walk up the hill. A one mile, uphill walk doesn’t seem like a problem, until you are in the middle of the mile. Unless you are in the actual town of Vail, everything is up a hill.
How to complain effectively.
But if you have a serious complaint, please submit in the following format:
THESE ARE ACTUAL COMPLAINTS RECEIVED BY “THOMAS COOK VACATIONS” FROM DISSATISFIED CUSTOMERS:
1. “They should not allow topless sunbathing on the beach. It was very distracting for my husband who just wanted to relax.”
2. “On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food.”
3. “We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish.”
4. “We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our own swimsuits and towels. We assumed it would be included in the price.”
5. “The beach was too sandy. We had to clean everything when we returned to our room.”
6. “We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as white but it was more yellow.”
7. “It’s lazy of the local shopkeepers in Puerto Vallartato close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during ‘siesta’ time — this should be banned.”
8. “No-one told us there would be fish in the water. The children were scared.”
9. “Although the brochure said that there was a fully equipped kitchen, there was no egg-slicer in the drawers.”
10. “I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local convenience store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts.”
11. “The roads were uneven and bumpy, so we could not read the local guide book during the bus ride to the resort. Because of this, we were unaware of many things that would have made our holiday more fun.”
12. “It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It took the Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair.”
13. “I compared the size of our one-bedroom suite to our friends’ three-bedroom and ours was significantly smaller.”
14. “The brochure stated: ‘No hairdressers at the resort.’ We’re trainee hairdressers and we think they knew and made us wait longer for service.”
15. “When we were in Spain, there were too many Spanish people there. The receptionist spoke Spanish, the food was Spanish. No one told us that there would be so many foreigners.”
16. “We had to line up outside to catch the boat and there was no air-conditioning.”
17. “It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel.”
18. “I was bitten by a mosquito. The brochure did not mention mosquitoes.”
19. “My fiancée and I requested twin-beds when we booked, but instead we were placed in a room with a king bed. We now hold you responsible and want to be re-reimbursed for the fact that I became pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked.”
Vail Stables is uncompromisingly Colorado, specializing in beautiful mountain horseback rides near the town of Vail. We have been the leading provider of tours on horseback for over 17 years and offer adventurers an all-access pass into the backcountry of the White River National Forest. Our gentle horses, friendly, experienced guides, and awe-inspiring trails await your arrival. The spirit of the Old West rides on the breezes flowing through the quaking Aspens and echoes in the squeaking leather saddles. Our passion is to create transformational experiences through horseback riding.