Mountain views from a horse’s back |

Mountain views from a horse’s back

Wranglers at the Rusty Spurr carefully match horses with their rider’s personality and ability level. They encourage riders to form a partnership with their horse, so they can work together as team during trail rides and cattle drives.
Meg Soyars/Sky-Hi News

Rusty Spurr Ranch is now open for horseback riding excursions


Wrangler Shade Yates waits at the corral to let the horses out into the field after their day of work. The horses are able to roam and graze on the mountain grass.
Meg Soyars/Sky-Hi News

“You can see what man made from the seat of an automobile, but the best way to see what God made is from the back of a horse,” said Charles M. Russell, a painter of the American Old West.

This statement is certainly true when it comes to views of the Rocky Mountains. Grand County’s landscape is even more impressive when framed by a horse’s ears. The county is home to a number of guest ranches which offer horseback riding excursions. The Rusty Spurr Ranch in Kremmling offers one of the most personalized and authentically Western experiences.

The Rusty Spurr opened for their summer season this week. Their season will run until the end of September. Owners Han and Connie Smith have been running Rusty Spurr since 2001.

“By opening earlier in the season, our guests can take advantage of the spring wildflowers, cooler weather and no crowds. This is our 21st year of offering guided trail rides and cattle drives in the beautiful Middle Park valley,” said Connie Smith. “We look forward to seeing our old friends and making new ones this summer!“

Connie and Han are both expert riders with more than 50 years of combined experience in the saddle. They offer rides on a beautiful property off Colorado Highway 9 just outside the town of Kremmling. The ranch owns 50 horses on 10,000 acres of both public and private land. Han and Connie provide dispersed rides, unlike typical trail rides where horses follow nose-to-tail, one behind the other. This allows riders more freedom to connect with their horse, enjoy the views or talk with fellow riders and their wrangler. Private or group rides are available. Guests can also participate in cattle drives where they work as a team to move cattle across the property.

Horses at Rusty Spurr enjoy a balanced and peaceful life so they’re not overworked. Each horse works an average of four hours a day, with 2 days off a week. On their days off, they roam 2,000 acres.
Connie Smith/Courtesy Photo

Overall, the ranch strives to teach guests the importance of horsemanship, land stewardship and the role that agriculture plays in daily life. To learn more about the Rusty Spurr Ranch, and to book a horseback ride or a cattle drive, please visit or call 970-724-1123.

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