Review: best horseback riding in New Mexico (really!)

At the end of August, my family and I went on a trip to New Mexico. We had a great vacation and enjoyed seeing the sights in Santa Fe, as well as visiting family in Albuquerque. My brother and I also had a fantastic time horseback riding with the Broken Saddle Riding Company, which is located on highway 14 between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. If you are in New Mexico and looking to go trail riding, I definitely recommend checking it out. We had a knowledgeable guide, well cared for and responsive horses and beautiful scenery to ride through. I don’t give this recommendation lightly–I’ve seen many trail outfits with poorly cared for horses who looked miserable plodding along nose to tail in big groups.

Here are the four reasons why I loved the Broken Saddle Riding Company, as well as some great photos from our ride: (Click on any photo to view a larger version.)

1. Great Horse Care
We arrived in time to watch the guides saddling the horses. Every single horse on the property was a good weight with a nice shiny coat. All horses were wearing fly masks, every horse got fly sprayed and saddles looked like they fit well. All horses are also ridden bitless, which means the horse doesn’t have a rider with poor balance jerking on their mouth the whole ride.

2. Only Small Groups or Private Rides
My brother and I went on a private ride (which only costs $10 extra). However, the maximum group size is 5 people. This insures the wrangler can keep a close eye on the group and tailor the trail ride to the particular riding abilities of the group. For advanced riders, they do allow trotting and cantering in some spots on the trail.

3. Knowledgeable and Interesting Guides
Our wrangler (who’s name I’ve already forgotten) was excellent. Because it was just the three of it, he was able to chat with us throughout most of the ride. He was very knowledgeable about the history and biology of the area and was also great at point out interesting sights–everything from old mine shafts to lizards sunning themselves on rocks.

4. Attention to Details
About ten minutes into the ride, our guide stopped the group, got off his horse and checked everyone’s cinch and saddle to make sure everything was tight and fitted right. As well, my horse had a small cut on his hock (very common when horses in the pasture roll on the hard New Mexico ground) and the man in charge held up our ride for 2 minutes so he could go get a bit of medicine to put on the cut. Everyone on staff was friendly and knowledgeable and they all seemed to genuinely care about the customers and about the well being of the horses.

When we got back to the stable at the end of our two hour trail ride, the horses were unsaddled, given water and carrots and turned out into the paddocks for a bit of rest.

So, if you are in New Mexico and looking for a place to go horseback riding, I definitely recommend checking out the Broken Saddle Riding Company!

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