Horsing Around

Summer sunsets stun and beckon us to enjoy, and one of the best ways to enjoy them is on the back of a horse. Escape to the mountains or the trails of Taos with a furry friend on an adventure for riders of every experience.

By Lily Sanborn and Virginia Clark

Ride through La Lama Hills and the Sangre de Cristo mountains on one-hour, slow-paced trails, or wander through the piñon and juniper forest along the gentle slopes of the Sangre de Cristos.

Two-hour ride trails wander through the Cebolla Mesa and Red River Fish Hatchery, or offer a gentle ride through the Red River overlook or the expansive Cebolla Mesa.

Three-hour rides cover the same areas with endless territory to explore. Trail choices are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Courtesy Taos Ski Valley

Full day excursions are offered by some outfitters for those who want a more advanced and full-length ride, riding to Gold Hill or traversing the classic Cebolla Mesa to the Río Grande Gorge overlook. Ask about all-day rides to Wheeler Peak, the tallest peak in New Mexico.

Some half-day rides allow you into the meadows above Taos Ski Valley. The ride begins by following the Bull of the Woods trail as it climbs up alongside the Río Hondo creek. Stunning treelines and wilderness present a perfect lunch spot, all typically provided to the riders.

There’s no better way to explore the land of Enchantment than on horseback. Courtesy photo

“Majestic views, dancing mountain streams, cool whispering pines, and lunch served in a wildflower covered meadow,” Río Grande Stables says online. Whether you take a more a challenging adventure or a more relaxing ride, guides ensure you will have the most enchanting time horseback riding in New Mexico. For an even more adventurous time, some companies offer a horseback and river rafting day combination, riding through the Cebolla Mesa and then descending into the deepest part of the Río Grande Gorge and Del Norte National Monument to the banks of the Río Grande. Group minimums are typically required, from two to four people depending on the season and availability.

Riding season typically opens the first part of May through September.

Bob Cat Pass Wilderness Adventures
575-754-2769  |  Owned and operated by the Lewis family, Bob Cat Pass is a favorite of families and adventure seekers; plus Cowboy Evenings, it’s a must-do on the Enchanted Circle.

Cieneguilla Stables
Pilar 575-751-2815  |  Located just down the canyon south of Taos, a mile or so north of the village of Pilar, your trip advisor/ride guide Melissa Hejma gives complete historical backgrounding and great rides.

Red River Stables
575-754-1700  /  Serving the outdoor enthusiast for over 30 years,  Red River Stables, owned by Dirk and Kathy Neal, invites you to come ride the scenic Sangre de Cristo mountains of Northern New Mexico the way it was done 100 years ago – on horseback!

Río Grande Stables
888-259-8267  /  Offers half-day, full-day and evening rides for that picture-perfect trip, allowing you to unwind while enjoying stunning vistas over the mountainous landscape.

Roadrunner Tours
Angel Fire 575-377-6416
Beginner/advanced, newcomer tours perfect for small children, gold panning, foothills, high meadows and mountains, you name it, Nancy Burch’s Roadrunner Tours have it.