Banff Horseback Riding Tour

About the Experience

Experience the bluebird skies and alpine rapture  of Canada’s very first national park on our Banff Horseback Riding Tour! 

With your sure-footed horse, you’ll ride along the historic Erling Strom trail that runs parallel to crystalline glacier-fed rivers and meadows blurred with wildflowers. The wild blooms paint the broad hillsides with their palette of royal blue lupines, bright white and yellow alpine lilies and deep red Indian paintbrushes. 

Our days will be spent picnicking and riding into the panoramas of craggy Sundance and Cascade Ranges and venturing deep into the lodgepole pines and stands of fragrant spruce. 

On this signature 7-day backcountry riding adventure, you’ll be able to recharge with pampered stays at Sundance and Halfway Lodge. We’ll be in the company of brazen bighorn sheep, nimble mountain goats, grizzly, black bear, bugling elk, whisky jacks (aka: Canada or gray jay, or more appropriately ‘camp robber’) and playful marmots. Nights will be spent clustered around a stoked wood stove, sipping wine while swapping stories and guitar picks. This is Jann Arden and k.d. lang country–yes, there is an in-house guitar! It’s a prerequisite!

Following a historic pack trail, we’ll ride up Allenby Pass, where the Rocky Mountains embrace those in their daunting midst.

We eventually climb to an elevation of 2,468m (8,100 feet) on this trip but the terrain is gentle for most of the way, with a few short, steep sections on the trail to Allenby Pass.

For a soft cowgirl experience–this is it. You will be travelling at a walk (not cantering or galloping) on this trip. More experienced riders may prefer a more challenging Wild Women equine experience. Our Adventure Specialists and in-house horse trip expert can help you decide which riding trip is best for your skill set and desires!

Expect knock-out backcountry cuisine, deep sleeps and the relief of being far from the grasp of cell phone reception, internet and Wi-fi. 

 

 

Click here to see the full itinerary!
Banff Horseback Riding Tour

About the Experience

Experience the bluebird skies and alpine rapture  of Canada’s very first national park on our Banff Horseback Riding Tour! 

With your sure-footed horse, you’ll ride along the historic Erling Strom trail that runs parallel to crystalline glacier-fed rivers and meadows blurred with wildflowers. The wild blooms paint the broad hillsides with their palette of royal blue lupines, bright white and yellow alpine lilies and deep red Indian paintbrushes. 

Our days will be spent picnicking and riding into the panoramas of craggy Sundance and Cascade Ranges and venturing deep into the lodgepole pines and stands of fragrant spruce. 

On this signature 7-day backcountry riding adventure, you’ll be able to recharge with pampered stays at Sundance and Halfway Lodge. We’ll be in the company of brazen bighorn sheep, nimble mountain goats, grizzly, black bear, bugling elk, whisky jacks (aka: Canada or gray jay, or more appropriately ‘camp robber’) and playful marmots. Nights will be spent clustered around a stoked wood stove, sipping wine while swapping stories and guitar picks. This is Jann Arden and k.d. lang country–yes, there is an in-house guitar! It’s a prerequisite!

Following a historic pack trail, we’ll ride up Allenby Pass, where the Rocky Mountains embrace those in their daunting midst.

We eventually climb to an elevation of 2,468m (8,100 feet) on this trip but the terrain is gentle for most of the way, with a few short, steep sections on the trail to Allenby Pass.

For a soft cowgirl experience–this is it. You will be travelling at a walk (not cantering or galloping) on this trip. More experienced riders may prefer a more challenging Wild Women equine experience. Our Adventure Specialists and in-house horse trip expert can help you decide which riding trip is best for your skill set and desires!

Expect knock-out backcountry cuisine, deep sleeps and the relief of being far from the grasp of cell phone reception, internet and Wi-fi. 

 

 

DAY ONE: BANFF NATIONAL PARK

Did you know Banff National Park is the oldest park in Canada? Established in 1885 you’re stepping into history and Alberta’s most coveted playground!

Our trip will begin in the afternoon. We’ll gather in the rendezvous hotel lobby at 5:30pm (please check-in to the hotel beforehand) and meet our energetic local guide for introductions and a snapshot of what lies ahead. We’ll strike out under the perennially bluebird skies, check out the famed Banff Ave. strip and swap stories over dinner at a popular go-to restaurant in the lively mountain town.

Meals Included: Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep:  Elk + Avenue Hotel

 

DAY TWO: INTO THE MOUNTAINS

After breakfast, we’ll meet for a 9am shuttle that will transport us to Warner Stables just five minutes away. Have your credit card on hand for the check-in process. You’ll need to leave a deposit for any extras you might enjoy on the trip. It will be credited to your card at the end of the trip or you can use it toward tipping the guides and staff.

Here our trusty horses will be specifically chosen for us.  They will know where to step even on the most precarious of trails, so we can fully trust this team of geldings to get us where we are going in style. When we arrive at the stable, the group’s personal duffels will be packed onto the patiently waiting mules and transported to Sundance Lodge, a backcountry retreat for horseback riders.

Fringed by forest just 16km (10 miles) from Banff against the daunting Sundance Mountain Range, the 10-room log cabin and surroundings are off-grid remote and the quietude is instant. 

The purity of the mountain air will clear and reset your mind. If you’re a Capricorn, keep in mind that things happen on “Western Time” here so we may not leave right on the dot. This is the ideal time to get acquainted with your horse and ask our guide any pressing questions.

Once we have organized our gear and saddled up, we will begin our scenic journey to Sundance Lodge, temporarily following the aggressive waters of the Bow River and fast-flowing run of Healy and Brewster Creek. En route, we’ll stop for a classic cowgirl cookout along the banks of the river – the perfect fuel to give you energy for a day on the trail.

Fuelled up and first day jitters calmed, we’ll saunter into Sundance Lodge at around 4:30pm. Our uber-friendly lodge host will direct us to our rooms where we can unpack and to the shared/common bathrooms for reviving hot showers. Our lodge host will cater to our every whim and ensure that we feel like a pampered guest in their home.

Expect total backcountry luxury at this rustic lodge–we’re talking cloud-like beds, crisp linens and cozy duvets. Our menu will be wholly gourmet and prepared by our talented host in the professional kitchen. 

After dinner, we’ll take a walk around the impressive grounds and visit the horses and mules. The antics of the resident marmots grazing on the lawn are also entertaining. 

Inside the lodge, there are plenty of board games and a guitar if you feel like strumming a cowgirl tune or two. This is Jann Arden and k.d. lang country after all! 

If it’s chilly, we can stoke the wood stove and feel the true cabin vibe. Who knows how to play the Indigo Girls “Closer to Fine”? It’s kinda the theme of this trip!

Please note: There may be other guests (co-ed) staying at Sundance Lodge with us!

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Sundance Lodge

 

DAY THREE: BACKCOUNTRY BLISS

Our cowgal adventure continues as we journey 14.5km (9 miles) southward. The jagged granite peaks of the Sundance Range loom over the eastern horizon as we follow the snaking historic Erling Strom Trail. 

We’ll be following in the footsteps (and hoofprints) of ambitious early Canadian Rockies explorers from a century ago. We’ll stop along the way for a picnic in the open mountain meadow. Those artistically-inclined will be triggered to capture it all in graphite or watercolour.

Tonight we will stay at the appropriately named Halfway Lodge, located at the midway point between Banff and Assiniboine Mountain. Weary riders have been stopping here to rest their laurels and horses since the 1920s. 

As we approach, the transition is obvious. Lodgepole pines and spruce begin to thin out with elevation and a cauldron of mountains dominate the backdrop of the treeline.

Halfway Lodge was constructed by Erling Strom in the 1920s as a stopover spot for the guests he led on trips from Banff to Mount Assiniboine. Strom’s resilient wranglers slept outside in tents!

With propane lanterns and candles providing ambient lighting and a wood stove for radiant warmth, the Lodge hasn’t changed much in the last 80 years. The only big change occurred in 1967 when a second story was added, due to an unexpected guest’s arrival. A bear made a surprise entrance–through the roof! The added roof height has proven to be an efficient deterrent.

Please note: There are no indoor bathrooms at Halfway Lodge. There is an outhouse and a gorgeous outdoor shower with hot and cold water.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Halfway Lodge
Time In the Saddle:

  • Riding time: Approx. 5-6 hours including picnic lunch
  • Riding distance: Approx. 14. 5km (9 miles)

 

DAY FOUR: BANFF’S WILD SIDE

After a giant breakfast, we’ll set off and ride into the sunset! Well, we won’t ride that long…but it just sounds good.

Today we’ll make the goosebump-inducing climb up Allenby Pass on horseback, an elevation of 2,469m (8,100ft). For many, this is the highlight (and HIGH) of the trip, as we’ll be rewarded with an enormous vista of the jagged rock formations and natural amphitheatre of the mountains surrounding us.

It’s mind-boggling to learn that millions of years ago, Allenby Pass was a sea floor. If you look closely, you can spot intricate fossils of vintage sea creatures on the rocks.

At the end of the day, cheeks flushed bubblegum pink with fresh alpine air, we’ll return to the comforts of Halfway Lodge. As the sun slips behind the mountains, we have no agenda but relaxing. If you need a to-do list it’s this: have a glass of wine, sit back, swap stories, laughs and photos with your fellow Wild Women!  

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Halfway Lodge
Time In The Saddle:

  • Riding time: Approx. 4-6 hours including a leisurely lunch
  • Riding distance: Approx. 5-8km (3-5 miles) depending on the time of year and trail conditions

 

DAY FIVE: ENJOY THE BACKCOUNTRY

Today is an official rest day at Halfway Lodge. There’s no pesky internet, Wi-fi or cell reception so we are off the hook! We can connect with nature instead and there’s an optional hike today. The trail leads to a shimmery glacial-fed lake at the end of the valley with extreme views of the valley below.

If you’d rather chill out, doodle, journal or cat nap, there’s no pressure! Halfway Lodge is the perfect place to tune into the wild versus the wildly pinging of notifications of our phones.

We can also spend time grooming our gorgeous, stoic horses. It’s a groom with a view, after all!

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Halfway Lodge
Time In The Saddle:

  • Riding time: None!
  • Relaxing time: A lot!

 

DAY SIX: BACKCOUNTRY RIDING

Today we’ll follow the winding trail along Brewster Creek back to our old stomping grounds at Sundance Lodge.

Our guide will slice us through the velvet backcountry where we’ll crisscross the valley in the ghostly shadows of early pioneers. We’ll stop to smell the wildflowers and have lunch along the way.

Back in the cozy comforts of Sundance Lodge we’ll have time for hot showers and glasses of wine before a decadent farewell dinner prepared by our doting professional chef and lodge host.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Sundance Lodge
Time In The Saddle:

  • Riding time: Approx. 5-6 hours including picnic lunch
  • Riding distance: Approx. 14. 5km (9 miles)

 

DAY SEVEN: FROM ROCKIES TO HOME

Yawn, stretch. Coffee! This is our last serene morning at Sundance Lodge. We’ll gather for a nourishing breakfast with all the spoils and say goodbye to our hosts and begin our journey back to Banff.

Our final day on the trail will involve a gentle 14.5km (9 mile) ride from Sundance back to Warner Stables. Our guide will lead us through the wild clutches of the backcountry. We’ll follow winding river trails and quietly move through tall stands of fragrant pine forests with the jagged peaks of the Rockies on our shoulders. 

We’ll stop along the banks of Healy Creek for a lunch of mile-high sandwiches, sweet baked treats and fresh fruit.

We’ll return to the stables late afternoon, brimming with tall tales from the backcountry. There will be big sighs, big hugs and the burning question–where next?

Transportation will be provided from the stables back to Banff town centre (4:30 – 5:30 pm  arrival). You will be dropped off at your hotel provided that it is in Banff. Please note that accommodation in Banff is not included on Day 7 but you should definitely consider spending a few extra days here, Lake Louise or Calgary to absorb a little more of Alberta!

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: None
Time In The Saddle:

  • Riding time: Approx. 5-6 hours including picnic lunch
  • Riding distance: Approx. 14. 5km (9 miles)

Click here to see upcoming trip dates to book your spot!

Wild Women Expeditions and our local partners intend to adhere to the described itinerary. This is only a general guide to follow on your tour of the region. Our itineraries are subject to change, as we cannot predict the weather or other environmental conditions. We are continually striving to make improvements to all our trips based on feedback from Wild Women members, guides, partners, and other research. We reserve the right to alter itineraries based on the above at any time.

Arrival into Banff

  • Arrive in Banff on Day 1 – meet at the rendezvous point by 5:30 PM
  • Connect to Banff via Calgary International Airport (YYC)
  • Take the Banff Tours airport shuttle or read about other options here.
  • If you drive to Banff, you can park your vehicle at the Elk and Avenue Hotel for the first night nights of your trip.
  • On Day 2, you will head out on the backcountry portion of the trip. You’ll take a pre-arranged private shuttle to the Warner Stables. If you drive to Banff, you will drive to the stables. The address for Warner Stables is 100 Sundance Road, Banff. You’ll need to be there for 9:00 AM.
  • Please note that the parking lot at Warner Stables is not secure or monitored, so we recommend not leaving anything valuable in the vehicle. That said, we haven’t had any incidents.

 

Group Rendezvous Point

  • Date: Day 1
  • Time: 5:30 PM
  • Location: Front Lobby of Elk and Avenue Hotel


Departure from Banff

  • You’ll return to the stables late afternoon on Day 7, the final day of your adventure. Transportation will be provided from the stables back to Banff town centre.
  • You need to make your own arrangements to stay in Banff or head back to Calgary, after you are dropped off in Banff late afternoon.

 

Drop-Off Point:

  • Date: Day 7
  • Time: Late afternoon, approximately 5:30 PM
  • Location: Banff Town Centre (Downtown)


You are responsible for booking your own flights or other transport arrangements to the trip start location. These arrangements and any other independent arrangements that you may make are not a part of the trip booked with Wild Women Expeditions and are entirely at your own risk. Wild Women Expeditions accepts no responsibility, directly or indirectly, for any loss, damage or injury to property or person in connection with such arrangements. Should you require assistance with your travel arrangements, please contact: Megan and Zale | Now Boarding Travel Travel SpecialistEmail: wildwomen@nowboarding.travelNote: Now Boarding Travel only provides services of 3-star quality or greater. For budget alternatives, please refer to the Lonely Planet guide for your destination.

Important: For international and remote destinations, there is always the risk of flight delays, baggage delays and flight schedule changes which may cause late arrivals, which may, in return, result in you missing the group tour departure. For these reasons, we encourage you to consider arriving a day early, which will also help you overcome any jet lag from traveling!


You are fully responsible for your own visa requirements, permits, and certificates for your trip. It is the sole prerogative of each country or region to determine who is allowed to enter. It is your responsibility to check with the country’s Consulate and your country’s travel website such as Canada’s for up-to-date information about traveling internationally.

  • Passport

Most countries and airlines recommend passports be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your expected return to your home country. Before you leave, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

US citizens at land and sea borders have other options, such as an enhanced driver’s license, permanent resident card or NEXUS card. See Canada Border Services for approved identification documents.

 

  • Visa

Visitors from certain countries require a visa to enter Canada. Those who are exempt require an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA; $7 CAD), with the exception of Americans. This must be applied for prior to travelling and can be completed online. It usually takes minutes but can take days. See How To Apply for Electronic Travel Authorization.

 

Note: As fees and policies can change, we highly recommend that you contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent.


There is no obligation to tip your guides and other staff, but many participants do when they feel they were provided great service. On this trip, all tips are pooled and shared amongst the staff who work together to make your trip fantastic. This includes your guides, the packers who bring your food, bedding, towels, and personal belongings to each lodge by mule, and the staff who host you in the lodges, cleaning, cooking, and making sure you have everything you need. A suggested amount for each individual to tip the whole gang is in the range of $300-$500 for the trip per person. You can do this by cash given to your lead guide, or you can charge it to your credit card, back at the main stables where you begin and end your trip. CAD or USD are both fine currencies for tipping.

  • Rooming Arrangements

Our trip price is based on shared accommodations. Hotels and mountain lodges are two women per room.

  • Potable Water

Potable water is provided throughout the trip. Extra bottled water is carried with our lunch by mule for the daytime, and available at the lodges when we’re not riding.

If you would like to join Wild Women Expeditions in its commitment to reducing single-use plastic, you can travel prepared with your own water treatment system!

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  • Elk & Avenue Hotel

Just a few steps from the quaint streets and ample restaurants, shopping and nightlife of downtown Banff, Elk + Avenue Hotel brings an upscale twist to the classic mountain escape. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing après-ski sanctuary or a big night on the town, the contemporary designed rooms pair clean, minimalist design with cozy Rocky Mountain-inspired elements to create the ideal accommodation for exploring the best of Banff.

  • Sundance Lodge

Sundance Lodge is a rustic 10-room log cabin that was built in 1991. Set against the looming Sundance Mountain Range and surrounded by thick woods, Sundance Lodge feels remote and secluded despite being just 16 kilometres (10 miles) from town. The lodge is powered by solar and heated by burning wood and there are indoor washrooms and heated showers onsite.

Check our Facebook posts. Reminders: you need to be a member of our amazing fun group to see the posts!!!

  • Halfway Lodge

Set at the base of Allenby Pass, weary riders have been resting their heads at Halfway Lodge since the 1920s. Things are kept simple: propane lanterns and candles provide the lighting while a woodstove provides the heat and keeps the coffee warm. Meals are produced in a small, but fully functional kitchen, and the shower facilities are in the great outdoors (yes, there is hot water!).

  • Other People At Our Accommodations

Yes, there will be other guests on-site at the Hotel and Lodge, and there may be others riding through on horseback or mountain bike.



Banff National Park is Canada’s first national park. It is a visually spectacular area with mid elevation grasslands, subalpine and alpine meadows, alpine lakes and mountain peaks. There are broad valleys and ridges with interconnecting trail systems. Over 200 km of trails through broad valleys, alpine meadows and ridges offer an excellent variety of loop trips of varying difficulty and distances for hikers, horse riders and mountain bikers. Visitors to this park will have an outstanding wilderness experience.Banff, Alberta is about 1.5 hours from Calgary, Alberta

Temperatures during summer can reach 30°C or higher, but it is not uncommon for overnight temperatures to be around 4°C, dip below freezing or to have a quick snowfall at any time. Thunderstorms and wind can be fierce here, especially along the ridge tops – so come prepared. While you may not need all your warm layers if you have favourable weather on your trip, you’ll be glad you brought them if you do!Although March, April, and May are, more or less, the official months of spring, snow often falls in May, many lakes may remain frozen until June, and snow cover on higher mountain hiking trails remains until early July. During this period of the year, the mountains are often affected by low-pressure weather patterns from the southeast, creating continuous days of rain, especially in the south.Things warm up in summer. July is the hottest month, with Banff, Jasper, and Canmore’s average daytime temperature topping out above 23°C (73°F) and Radium Hot Springs and Golden enjoying average daytime highs of 29°C (84°F) and 27°C (81°F), respectively. On hot days, the temperature can hit 30°C (86°F) or higher along lower elevation valleys. Because of the dryness of the air, these temperatures are more bearable here than in coastal regions experiencing the same temperatures.By late September the fall mountain air begins to have a distinct chill. October brings the highest temperature variations of the year; the thermometer can hit 30°C (86°F) but also dip as low as to -2°C ( 28°F). Mild weather can continue until early December, but generally the first snow falls in October, and by mid-November winter has set in.

  • Environment Canada Weather for Banff Keep in mind that the city of Banff is at an elevation of 1383 metres (4540 feet), and you will be climbing to 2470 metres (8100 feet) on this trip, where it is generally a few degrees cooler.

The pace for the majority of this pack trip is a walk. This is due to the nature of the trails and the rough terrain experienced in the mountains, for the safety of both riders and horses. There will be a pack horse or mule, ponied by one or your guides, carrying your lunch, drinks and snacks, and they cannot go faster due to their heavy load.Mountain terrain is radical and you have to be able to adapt your riding from going through 2 feet of snow to 2 feet of mud, to crossing fast moving water to traversing across steep hillsides and going up and down rugged mountainsides. The scenery is spectacular though (to reward your efforts) and your mountain horses are sure-footed and familiar with the trails.While most of the trails and paths you will be riding on are wide and gentle, there is one steep, challenging section of trail, leading to Allenby Pass, the highest elevation you’ll reach on this trip. Don’t fret! Your horse is an expert and has done this many times. Your guide will direct you to lean forward (going uphill) and lean back (going downhill), and it’s always great to take ahold of the saddle horn, or grab a handful of mane (it doesn’t hurt the horse!) to add to your feeling of security on this short section of trail.

Our partner boasts a mighty herd of 320+ mountain horses and mules that vary in breed but predominantly Appaloosas, Quarter Horses and Draft Crosses. Most of these horses have been rescued and been given a second chance at living an enjoyable life. These horses have spent their lives in the mountains, they are surefooted and have incredible endurance.The mules on our trip will carry our gear. One mule will be with us as we ride, ponied along by one of the guides, carrying our lunch, water and snacks. Another “string” of mules will go ahead of us each day, led by two “packers” on horseback. This string of mules (exact number depending on group size), will take our food, luggage, bedding and other supplies out to the lodges where we stay each night.

Common animals include: grizzly and black bears, mountain goats, mule deer, moose, California bighorn sheep, bison, golden and bald eagles, and loons. Consider familiarizing yourself with the Parks Visitor Info here. Your guides will instruct you on how to safely view wildlife to protect both humans and animals.Banff National Park provides rich and diverse habitats for a variety of wildlife associated with high-elevation mountain and plateau habitats. Lush alpine and subalpine meadows, broad upland valleys and extensive shrubby wetlands are only a few of the habitats available. Cold, long winters restrict the variety of species, but the quality of habitats attracts large numbers of some species, especially during the short summer and fall seasons. This provides visitors with some outstanding wildlife viewing opportunities.

Wild Women Expeditions recommends that each participant should bring enough cash in local currency or available credit/debit funds to cover their meals during travel to and from their destination. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, meals not included in the trip package, shopping, etc., and we also suggest you have access to emergency funds.

  • Currency Exchange Offices & Banks

If you need to change currency you will usually find a currency exchange counter at international airports in Canada. You will have to show your passport in order to be able to exchange money.

Please check online for current exchange rates. Wild Women Expeditions likes XE Currency Converter

We highly suggest you read this article: Where to Exchange Currency Without Paying Huge Fees for more information about this for your trip.

  • Automated Teller Machine (ATM)

One of the most convenient ways to get cash in Canadian dollars is by using an ATM. You will often receive better exchange rates, even though you have to pay a service fee, as with most ATMs outside your bank network.

  • Credit Cards

If you have a credit card, you can use the ATM to purchase Canadian currency directly. Your monthly balance usually shows the exchange rate you received on purchases made with the credit card.

  • Cash

The best way to offer your tips to guides and ranch staff (tips can also be charged to your credit card for this trip).

  • Taxes

Alberta uses GST and the current rate is 5%.


Please be sure to provide complete, accurate, and up-to-date information about your health & fitness level and keep us updated if there are changes. Wild Women Expeditions trips travel to remote areas where limited or no sophisticated medical facilities exist.A medical emergency situation is extremely unlikely; however, should it arise we need to be prepared with the necessary information to help you.Important Note: If you choose not to disclose a condition, infirmity, injury, or ailment herein and are subsequently deemed to be unfit for expedition travel due in whole or in part to such condition, infirmity, injury or ailment, Wild Women Expeditions guides, and partners shall have the right to remove you from the trip with no refund or compensation payable. Any evacuation expenses incurred are payable by the evacuee via their Medical Travel Insurance or personal expense.Getting FitYou don’t have to be a professional athlete to enjoy your Wild Women expedition. Not by a long shot! You’ll be surprised at what you can achieve with our experienced guides at your side and a little camaraderie.That said, you’ll definitely enjoy yourself far more if you do some preparation so your body is conditioned and ready to enjoy and make the most of the outdoors. 

Here are a few ideas to help you get ready:

  • Ride!

You will be spending many hours each day with your bum in a saddle, so please ensure you get some riding in before this trip. While this trip is rated “beginner,” we do recommend that you have some familiarity with horses, being around them and riding, at least a little bit, to make it a more comfortable and enjoyable adventure.

  • Work your Core

Keeping good posture and balance on a horse requires a strong core, especially when going up and down steep trails. Doing pilates, or a balanced (focused on strength as well as flexibility) yoga program, can be a great way to prepare for this trip.

  • Take every opportunity you can to be active.

You can improve your fitness a lot just by adopting some new habits; take the stairs at work, go for a walk at lunchtime, park your car away from work and walk. Aim for 30 minutes a day and keep a diary so you can look back on it and feel proud. These may sound trivial but they’re all building blocks!

  • Join a local walking or running group.

This is a great way to get fit and you’ll also see new places, meet great people… and make them all jealous when they find out what you’re about to go on your travels.

  • Warm up, cool down and stretch.

If you’re doing a workout then make sure you start and finish gently and stretch any tight muscles – this will help you avoid any aches, pains and pulled muscles. If you’re a member of a gym try some yoga, tai chi or pilates classes to build up your flexibility, stability and balance.

  • Hydration.

When you suddenly ask your body to walk or be active, it needs a bit more fuel than it needs when, say, sitting at a desk all day! The main thing your body needs is water, so stay hydrated and practice sipping water often. Getting a water bottle or hydration bladder is a great way to make sure you have it on hand at all times. Make a habit out of taking a bottle of water with you wherever you go.

  • Nutrition.

Eating little and often will keep your body well fuelled for outdoor exercise, especially food like nuts, dried fruit and bread. The odd bit of chocolate and a few boiled lollies are good for keeping your blood sugar levels up while you’re hiking as well!

  • Have fun!

The most important point of all! You are about to embark on the trip of a lifetime. You’re going to meet some amazing people, see some wonderful places and create memories that will stay with you for life. The more prepared you are to tackle the various challenges, the more fun you will have. Also, with all the endorphins you create from all this training, you’ll be smiling from ear to ear! It’s a great way to boost your happy vibes.

  • For more information on getting fit!

Check out our blog, Getting Fit: For a Horseback Riding Trip, which includes a 20 minute workout video specifically aimed at preparing the muscles you’ll need for riding.

 

Riding Skills

Our Banff Backcountry Riding Adventure is beginner friendly for those who are fit and up for the adventure.

A beginner is one step up from a non-rider! A beginner has begun the journey of riding horses, and has been on and around horses at least a few times. Maybe you’ve done a handful of trail rides, or taken a few lessons. Maybe you’ve been taking lessons for a few months and you’re still mastering posture and balance at a walk and trot. If you’ve begun your horseback riding journey, even if it was a few years ago (a refresher never hurts!), then you are a beginner!

If you are a non-rider, it’s essential that you spend some time on and around horses prior to embarking on any multi-day horseback riding trip.

 

Western Style Riding & Tack

The saddles used are western style saddles. Therefore, you should be familiar with riding on a western saddle and neck reining. On western saddles, riders keep their legs straight, and sit deep in the saddle, for a more relaxed posture. Western trail riding on mountain horses is like riding in a Sport Utility Vehicle, and you should expect an ‘off-road’ experience!


For general Wild Women Expeditions FAQs please click here.