We recently took a trip up the Sea to Sky to meet one of the original outfitters of the Pemberton Valley - Bob Menzel. Bob and his wife Susan have been riding their whole lives and have raised their herd of horses from babies. Their ranch, Adventures on Horseback, specializes in custom adventures for riders of all abilities. Bob has been leading their trail rides since 1986 and has 45 happy horses wandering his pasture, from giddy, weak-kneed foals to gentle giants grazing through their retirement.
The Pemberton Valley offers endless options for horseback riding, with more horses per capita than any other area in British Columbia, so a trail ride is a must do during any trip to Pemberton! Adventures on Horseback’s most popular excursion is their 2-hour trail ride through open meadows on the edge of Mount Currie, for which they are offering Whistler Survival Guide readers 15% off from September 16th-30th.
Upon arrival, the first feeling you experience is one of warmth and authenticity. The ranch itself is a stunning log cabin, hand built by Bob some 35 years ago. Their oldest horse, Star, can be seen meandering along Prospect Street sampling the neighbour's grass. Not a bad retirement gig! In fact, Bob has a whole field of golden oldies that are allowed to live out their retirement in the ever-so-mellow senior's field.
We were fortunate enough to have local cowgirl Becca take us on a wonderful, two-hour afternoon trail ride. After discussing abilities, she paired us each with a horse to match our personality and experience, and we took off wearing massive smiles and stylish helmets (head fashion is optional, but recommended). All of their well-loved horses are matched to clients based on rider ability, as is the pace of the ride. For more experienced riders, a canter is certainly on the cards. Bob's staff take pride in their ability to cater each experience to the wants and needs of their guests.
Becca was incredibly knowledgeable and the time flew as we chatted and learnt more about the area, its history and wildlife. It felt more like a private tour of Pemberton's secret spots than a commercial 'nose-to-tail' trail ride. The horses were calm and confidence-inspiring, and our ability-diverse group rode at ease. We crossed cool, glacial-fed rivers and navigated through dense foliage. We cruised along open meadows, weaved through the forest and kicked up some dust, all whilst taking in the awe-inspiring vistas of the Pemberton Valley. Staring up at the towering Mount Currie atop your western saddle, you can't help but feel like you've gone back in time.
The highlight for the Whistler Survival Guide team was the option to trot and canter through the more open areas - an incredibly exhilarating experience that we have never been offered before. Tips and advice were always on hand when we wanted it, as Becca guided the entire tour to our taste, ability and desires.
If you're after a different kind of ride, Adventures on Horseback also offer private horseback excursions for those looking for a personalized tour or for families with small children.
For Whistler Survival Guide readers, Bob is offering 15% off 2 hour rides for the second half of September, from the 16th-30th. You need a minimum of two people to book a ride and take advantage of this deal! Simply call 604-967-2416 to book your tour.