Colorado has long been a place for horse enthusiasts, blessed with a bounty of wide-open spaces and weaned on the non-fence-me-in approach of our forefathers. And, whether you're an accomplished equestrian or a weekend wrangler, there's no denying this reality: with a horse in the frame, even the most famous views of Colorado look just a bit better. These three unforgettable ways to kick your heels are just the beginning

Buck Up

Even though you've never set foot in a stirrup, you can still experience the flourishing cowboy culture of Colorado from a secure place in the bleachers— one of our many small town rodeos. The award-winning Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo (June 5-7, 2020) is a favorite for both locals and visitors; despite a possibly distracting perspective of the Rockies westward, all eyes will be on the exciting action in the arena.

Horse Sense

Don't let our rough exterior fool you— Colorado is a great place to be a greenhorn, and a picturesque trail ride is a great way to learn some fundamental horsemanship. Bachlers Stable near Ouray requires all-level rides through Gold Hill and pack trips along the Dallas Trail and San Juan Hut system. Diamond Hitch Stables from Pagosa Springs provides everything from pony rides for children to cowboy cookouts to cattle drives. And there's the Rusty Spurs Ranch in Kremlins for multi-sport kinds; their all-day Saddle & Paddle adventure combines a whitewater rafting trail ride.

Childhood Corral

There are dozens of equine rescue facilities and sanctuaries in Corral Kindness Colorado, and nearly all of them welcome volunteers. The Blue Rose Ranch of Springfield rescues and rehabilitates unwanted horses—including ex-racehorses and neglected animals — and helps them find their homes forever. The McCoy Mountain Valley Horse Ranch is dedicated to saving, rehabilitating and rehoming horses that are abused, neglected, abandoned and unwanted. Edwards Foundation finds love and space for roaming in Parker, horses with heart-wrenching pastures. Call in advance to suit the requirements of a center with your skill set.The drive, a Colorado tradition over more than 40 years,