Back in the Saddle Again

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Billings, Montana

Just when I make a sweeping proclamation, I completely change my mind. I recently wrote on the Travel Chica’s site that I would never go horseback riding again.


But when in Montana…


I could not pass up the opportunity to ride a horse. This is cowboy country after all. I could not bear to be a city girl and snub my nose at it.

I tried to look at the upside to riding a horse through the countryside, it meant I didn’t have to hike it!

I’ll admit I don’t like being on horses because I don’t want to fall off one. Yes I’m afraid. But I don’t like to admit being scared and I had the perfect shirt for horseback riding so I went with it.


inspirational cowboy quote

girl on horse

The story of Bitter Creek Outfitters makes you feel good about entrepreneurs. It isn’t a dude ranch built for tourism but principally a cattle ranch that’s been around since the 40s.

Steve owns it and his daughter Theresa worked in tourism for years and realized instead of working for others on ranches built specifically for tourism she could bring people to a real cattle ranch.

It’s Theresa’s third summer and group size stays small with no more than six.

She gave me “Yellow” to ride, a horse she promised she would feel comfortable putting a 5-year old on, which is good because clearly I’m a baby.

horseback riding


It was a really nice leisurely ride mostly chatting, no galloping and only trotting a few times when Yellow needed to catch up to the group.

I should realize to never say never because I loved the ride and the views I wouldn’t have seen in a car. But something is very disconcerting…

Is Montana making an outdoors girl out of me?




Disclosure: I was a guest of Visit Montana, they did not ask that I write a favourable review. In fact they said I didn’t have to ride the horse, but seriously who goes to Montana without riding a horse? It’s the best way to meet cowboys!


Join the Conversation

  1. Some Amazing shots of the countryside there.Makes me want to go ride a horse.
    I’m glad you gave horse riding another go πŸ™‚

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Well it serves me right for saying ‘never’ as it is always the fastest way to go back on your word.

  2. Agness (@Agnesstramp) says:

    It feel great to back home, huh? πŸ™‚ Montana looks great and I wish I could go horse riding. Have a great time!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Montana is not my home, but you never know it is really tempting me.

  3. This post is yet another reason why your writing reminds me of me.

    While in Patagonia, Argentina, I rode a horse for the first time. With much hesitation. And I was put onto the horse that they give to children.

    I did learn that ‘normal’ horse backriding you have a saddle and something to hold on to. I only had the blanket I sat on and the reins.

    I do have the same fear of falling off but the views were absolutely incredible and I wouldn’t have seen much of it from the stable had I not ridden at all.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Wow just a blanket and reins! I would have been so frightened to do that. The saddle makes things so much easier.

  4. Glad you gave it another go – very brave (love that quote about saddling up anyway!) Love the pics xxx

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      How much of a pansy am I when people applaud me for getting on a horse again πŸ™‚

  5. Les Petits Pas de Juls says:

    Montana definitely is the place to do some horseback-riding and getting back to it. and isn’t it beautiful when you end up doing it with great people who can show you the bright side you couldn’t see before?!?

    Montana is my favorite place in the US because I lived there when I was 18; so many great memories…

    Hope you’ll enjoy everything there!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I didn’t know much at all about Montana before this trip but it is so beautiful. I don’t have plans to go to Glacier on this trip so I think I am going to need to come back soon.

      1. Les Petits Pas de Juls says:

        Definitely! if you don’t see Glacier this time, you’ll have to give it more the next you’re around. You’ll like it a lot!
        Otherwise, Montana still has a lot to offer, how long do you still have around?

  6. Ashley of Ashley Abroad says:

    It looks like you had a great time on Yellow! I love the pictures, Montana looks stunning. And you’re so lucky to get to pretend to be a cowgirl. Speaking of which, did you meet any cowboys?

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Oh did I ever…

  7. Chrystal McKay says:

    I’m glad wanting to meet a cowboy trumped being a city girl! Horseback riding is fun! And what great views.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I just could not pass it up, I would have always regretted it.

  8. Matthew Karsten says:

    Montana plus that shirt are turning you into an outdoors girl. Next thing you know you’ll be hiking. πŸ™‚

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Whoa whoa, let’s not get too crazy.

  9. Seattle Dredge says:

    Oh man, now that song is in my head. Love the horses name.. and this looks like fun :]

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Sorry about that, but horseback riding in Montana is definitely worth a go.

  10. Carmie Brogan says:

    When Ryan and I joined you in Ecudor, we really went horseback walking…up a mountain and down a mountain….this looks like a lot more fun when things are a bit more level!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      You would have liked this one, so much easier.

  11. Wow, I’ve never thought much about Montana before. Your photos are beautiful!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I never thought about Montana either, I am slowly learning that we have fantastic things already so close to us that we do not appreciate.

  12. I miss horseback riding. Despite being thrown twice and falling off multiple times, I still love it. Totally jealous of the scenery.

  13. Looks like it was a great day for a trail ride!

  14. I love those wide open spaces. They remind me of Alberta. πŸ™‚ So glad you were brave and went riding again!!! Sounds like it was worth it. πŸ™‚

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I have never spent much time in Western Canada so this is all totally new to me.

  15. Stephanie - The Travel Chica says:

    I only ride a horse for the view you can’t get from the road or a hike. And an excuse to wear a plaid cowboy shirt and boots is always good πŸ™‚

    1. Wandertooth (Katie) says:

      And the hat … don’t forget the hat!

  16. A Cook Not Mad (Nat) says:

    I’m scared of horses too. I’ve been riding twice in my life and both times I was so terrified I couldn’t relax. Tim loves it though.

  17. Wandertooth (Katie) says:

    Good for you for facing your fears! I am absolutely terrible at riding horses – those equines just don’t respect me! We went for a ride in Sucre, Bolivia, and my horse lagged behind everyone else’s, helping himself to farmers’ crops as we went along. He was very food motivated, and didn’t care what I wanted.

    Camels, however. Camel riding, I can get behind. And elephants too!

  18. I have serious issues with horses because they always panic around me. It’s a terrible cycle, I get nervous because I know they are going to freak out, and they freak out because I am nervous. Every horse ride has been rough for me, even when on a horse they said was “calm” I think, given the right motivation, I would go again, but it’s not something I look forward to!

  19. I went horseback riding in 2004 in Utah and absolutely loved it! This post brings back wonderful memories for me.

  20. I really want to explore more of Montana. On horseback sounds like a good way to do that. Next time you should make the horse gallop. πŸ™‚ It’s so fun!

  21. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures says:

    What a GORGEOUS place to explore on top of a horse!

  22. I love horseback riding, but I can only stomach doing it if I feel like the horses are being treated well. It sounds like that was the case here, beautiful!

  23. Emily in Chile says:

    I’m glad your effort at giving riding another try paid off! I feel like that landscape’s got to look perfect from horseback in a way it doesn’t on foot or in a car.

  24. Ayngelina these are some great photos and good on you for riding this horse… I’d love to do this!
    Haven’t been horse riding for years!

  25. Horseback riding is one of the few outdoorsy things I enjoy because it doesn’t involve carrying anything or walking uphill, ha! And I learned how to ride a horse (though I wouldn’t say I’m an expert) with my dad, in Montana. This post brought up happy memories for me! Montana is a really beautiful place, isn’t it?

  26. Recently I had a chance to ride a horse in Bromo, Indonesia but I didn’t, because I had to have a guide with me. While the guide is walking with the horse and I’m on the horse… something felt wrong. But I bet it was fabulous in Montana!

  27. Yay to becoming an outdoorsy person! I love that last photo.

  28. Caanan @ No Vacation Required says:

    My grandparents had horses, so we had a lot of opportunity to ride as kids. Having said that, I haven’t ridden in years. Maybe because it hurts so damn bad.

    Gorgeous photos. You know Kent and I think MT is the shiz.

  29. Roamingtheworld says:

    Your posts about Montana make me want to go back! And this time around have a horseback riding and rodeo perspective and experience!

  30. Raymond @ Man On The Lam says:

    Love that quote!

  31. Camels & Chocolate says:

    I worked on a horse ranch in Arizona for several summers, and as such, I have no desire to just ride “for fun” while traveling. Though I might change my mind for this scenery.

  32. I love riding horses! I just have horrible experiences with ermm… saddle issues.

  33. I loved reading your story on NomadicMatt, what a great idea! Good luck with the next destination.

  34. I have not been to Montana since I was a child, but your photos show how beautiful and deserted it is. I really love going horseback riding but rarely do it. Come to think of it, I should more often…

  35. You look quite the part as a cowgirl! We just need to work on the aversion to hiking now πŸ˜‰

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I bought the plaid shirt, but I still don’t have hiking boots!

  36. Danielle Marie says:

    Oh, that landscape looks almost like the one where I was horse riding in Croatia. I’ve also said I won’t get back up on a horse after first try as I thought horse riding is not for me. But this summer I went on holiday to Croatia and my boyfriend suprised me with a weekend stay at Linden Tree Retreat & Ranch in Velebit mountain. We went on a 2-hour ride. Although I was very nervous at the beginning, the staff was so suportive and helpful and I ended up enjoying that experience so much! And we stayed in real tipis!

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