Horses are the heartbeat of our ranch, and we’re very proud of the herd we’ve built over the years. When you arrive, you’ll be given an equine partner to ride during your stay. There are Western riding lessons on Mondays and more pointers throughout the week if you’d like. The surrounding landscape is so big and varied that trail rides are always changing, with four or five different rides going out daily from the corrals.
Here are some of the ways you can saddle up at Nine Quarter Circle:
- Two two-hour rides each day for all levels of riders.
- Two all-day rides during the week for intermediate to advanced riders ages 13 and up.
- Overnight pack trip each week for riders ages 13 and up, taking you into the high country to camp near a mountain lake or stream.
- Extended pack trips in late summer into the Taylor-Hilgard Wilderness Area and the National Forest surrounding the ranch, and Yellowstone National Park.
- Gymkhana on Saturday mornings — fun, friendly games on horseback with awards for equestrian skill.
Weight Limit Our Weight Limit for riding is 250 pounds. It is your Client Responsibility to provide your true and accurate weight. Pregnant Women will not be allowed to ride. You must be physically able to mount your horse unassisted.
Pack trips into Yellowstone National Park Here’s your chance to see Yellowstone Park the way most people never do – on horseback, into the backcountry, and far from the main roads and parking lots where the vast majority of visitors stay.
It’s an ideal way to venture far into the territory deemed worthy of designation as the world’s first national park almost 150 years ago.
We take small groups, varying our destinations and trip lengths but always experiencing the great diversity of terrain, wildlife, scenery and geological features that Yellowstone offers. Our pack horses bring everything we need to have great meals and great times.
About our unique horses Every horse on the ranch was bred, born, raised and trained here, and is a product of our careful breeding selection program designed and maintained for many years now. That means we know the disposition, strengths and entire history of each individual horse. Among the most captivating things to see at Nine Quarter Circle are the year’s new crop of horses. Every June and early July, new foals are born – it’s quite a happy spectacle to see all those spotty little ones romping around in the meadows — and the Kelsey family names the new arrivals after some significant event or milestone of the year. We’re lucky enough to have those horses here at the ranch their whole lives.
All 120 horses in our ranch string are Appaloosa, a breed we specifically chose for their stamina, sweet temperament, and suitability to mountain trekking, not to mention their beauty. In addition, Appaloosa horses seemed particularly appropriate given their origin in nearby regions. The Nez Perce tribe of present-day western Idaho, Washington and Oregon developed the breed through strict and selective breeding, establishing breeding herds before 1750. By 1806, when the Lewis and Clark Expedition met the Nez Perce, Meriwether Lewis was moved to write about the excellent quality of the tribe’s horses.