Well run dude ranch at White Stallion Ranch
White Stallion Ranch has been owned and operated by the True family since the 1960’s. This is a busy ranch with lots of fun activities.
One quickly gains an appreciation for how well this ranch is run. The owners are on-site every day making sure operations run smoothly. Staff members are everywhere and always friendly. The grounds are immaculate. The horses are well trained and the trails are safe to ride. Fast loping rides are just the right speed for the kiddos. Meals are exceptional with lots of choices. Expect heaping mounds of steaks, hamburgers, ribs, pork chops, chicken and sausages – all freshly grilled. My favorite was the bottomless cookie bowl.
Kid-friendly White Stallion Ranch
A father remembers his horseback riding vacation
When my own daughter was nine years old I was three years divorced and in my third year of law school. I didn’t really have the money but I was determined to take my daughter on a proper winter vacation. I had neglected her over my law school studies and needed to make up for lost time. Besides, I was just one semester short of surviving law school and sitting for the bar exam.
After learning the Lazy K Bar Guest Ranch had long since closed, I chose the Kay El Bar Guest Ranch in Wickenburg Arizona. The ranch was everything I could have hoped for.
Kay El Bar Guest Ranch
The wranglers at the Kay El Bar Guest Ranch were wonderful. During our first ride, our wrangler told us that this day was the cook’s birthday and for his birthday present we needed to bring him back: a rock, a stick, and a dead thing. My daughter’s eyes lit up and she giggled at the idea of playing ‘a rock, a stick, and a dead thing’ while riding on horseback through the desert. After we had carefully selected our three items, on our way back to the ranch, our wrangler played cowboy songs on the harmonica while my daughter hummed along. She will never forget that first ride. She fell in love with her horse and the Kay El Bar Guest Ranch. My dad ratings improved markedly.
Winter horseback riding vacation to Arizona
After a year of working as a solo practice attorney, I was able to plan a winter vacation with my daughter again. The recession had forced the Kay El Bar Guest Ranch to close. I resolved to find an even better ranch. Unfortunately, I would fail in this endeavor.
Rancho De La Osa Guest Ranch
For our 2012 New Years vacation I chose Rancho de la Osa Guest Ranch in Sasabe Arizona. Their website looked great. Sunset magazine wrote an article ranking them in the top ten dude ranches. Reviews on tripadvisor.com were good. Unfortunately, we were terribly disappointed. (You can read my review on tripadvisor.com and yelp.com)
After complaining to the Dude Ranchers Association, White Stallion Guest Ranch generously offered my daughter and I an equivalent stay at their dude ranch. Wow! Thank you D.R.A. and White Stallion for being Awe-Some!
White Stallion Guest Ranch
We arrived at White Stallion Guest Ranch on Easter Sunday 2012. Lunch was still being served and the office staff suggested we relax and take advantage of the buffet before checking in. After eating more submarine sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies than we should have, we were given a tour of the grounds. The ranch was large and all the buildings were gorgeous. The grounds were immaculate and beautifully landscaped. From the moment we entered the ranch we were impressed. Everything was as it should be. Every last detail had been attended to and not one thing was out of place.
Petting Zoo at White Stallion Guest Ranch
We spent the next several hours just checking the place out. First stop was the petting zoo. The goats wanted treats and so my daughter fed them pieces of hay she found lying on the ground. Then we pet the horses. They were so gentle they came right up to us. My daughter was enamored.
The ranch was booked solid during our stay but the grounds were large enough where it never felt crowded. In fact, the large number of guests created a lively environment and my daughter never had trouble finding kids her age to play with.
Zoo night at White Stallion Guest Ranch
Each night the ranch offered entertainment. Activities included line dancing, art projects, and western history. The show stopper was ‘zoo night’ where all the kids enjoyed seeing desert animals including a rattle snake, scorpion, tarantula, and assortment of snakes.
The horseback riding was exceptional. Our first horseback ride was the ‘blueberry pancake’ ride. After twenty minutes on the trails, riders dismount at a pavilion and feast on freshly made blueberry pancakes, eggs, and hash browns in the desert.
Team penning on a horseback riding vacation at White Stallion Guest Ranch
For our afternoon ride, my daughter went on a fast loping ride and I tried my hand at team cattle penning. We had a blast. There were also mountain rides, all day rides, half day rides, and wine and cheese rides.
White Stallion Guest Ranch has been owned and operated by the True family for over fifty years and they have essentially mastered the art of providing guests a fabulous dude ranch experience.
Cowboy hat tip to True family and the Dude Ranchers’ Association
My daughter and I are thankful for the generosity and good will of the True family and The Dude Ranchers Association. She has already informed me of my plans to return in 2013.
If You Go:
(888) WSRANCH (977-2624)
Tucson, Arizona 85743