Ticket to ride at Porter Ranch
NEW CASTLE – It’s a Colorado dream: gorgeous mountain scenery, wildlife and cattle roaming the countryside – all viewed while sitting in the saddle on a beautiful bay quarter horse. That’s what happens on the Porter Ranch south of New Castle on Alkali Creek, which has now been made open to the public with the offering of horseback trail rides and tours on the 3,700-acre ranch, which includes extensive mountain views and a 12-acre reservoir.The Porter Ranch opened its trail riding business in mid-May 2007 and accommodates riders of all ages and abilities. Shana Devins of Edwards, who has worked with horses all of her life, was hired to manage the business. Sergio DeMoraes, originally from Brazil, is the wrangler.The ranch has been in the Porter family for generations and is now operated by fifth and sixth generations of the family. The working ranch has cattle, elk and hay.
“This is something my dad (Barton Porter, now deceased) had always wanted to do,” said his son, Terry Porter. “He always wanted to do something with recreation instead of just cattle.”Horseback riding on the acres of the Porter Ranch is nothing short of spectacular. Seven horses are available to riders, and even if you’re not an experienced equestrian, DeMoraes will teach the basics you need to know to enjoy your ride.”Grab the horse’s mane and the back of the saddle and put your foot in the stirrup,” he demonstrated on how to mount the horse. “Think of the reins like a joy stick – left, right, forward and backward.”And keep your heels down and your toes up in the stirrups.”When we go uphill, lean forward,” DeMoraes instructs. “And when we go down, lean back.”
Horseback rides are available in different increments from one hour to all day. Children must be 7 years or older to ride on their own horse, but younger kids can ride a pony in the corral for free.The rides also may be customized. If you want a white tablecloth with your lunch and a glass of champagne – fine. Or if you want to combine your ride with a stop to fish in the reservoir, that’s OK, too. It’s your choice.”If a group of four calls and books a ride, we’re not going to put anyone else with that group,” Devins said. “We’ll travel at the speed and terrain they’re most comfortable with. The possibilities are endless.”Whatever type of ride you’re after, the Porter Ranch will accommodate your tastes. But you can be guaranteed that you’ll have spectacular scenery and friendly, knowledgeable guides to make the experience enjoyable.As you sit in your saddle and get comfortable, you might even start feeling like a real cowboy and find yourself singing a song.
“Whoopee-ti-yi-yo, git along little dogiesIt’s your misfortune and none of my ownWhoopee ti-yi-yo, git along little dogiesYou know that (Colorado) will be your new home.”
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