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Reviewed July 16, 2012

From first meeting to goodbye you are treated like a member of the family. This is no big anonymous operation, just Debbie her mum and dad and couple of wranglers (Kathy, Fin, Ashley and Kitt) and they do it all. With the main goal of giving you the best time they can.

Debbie somehow pics the right horse for everyone and their level of riding but that will challenge you and improve not only your riding but your equine knowledge. Within half an hour of catching Weasel my horse for my stay I had the amazing experience of him following me of his own free will! Here you go catch your horse, groom and help saddle up and at the end of the day you untack and groom again, so you get to really enjoy and form a great bond with your horse. Weasel suited both my riding and my personality.

The riding is mostly through mature forests with beautiful views and lovely lakes, lopes (canters) are usually on logging roads as the meadows are frequently gopher city's. If your lucky you may even see some wildlife on the rides.

As well as riding there are kayaks and canoes that you can take on the lake by the house, I loved going down to see the beaver dam in the evenings and for the more active there are mountain bikes. There is a TV but rarely used, no cell phone or internet but this was no problem, a great place to catch up on a good book if your not too worn out at the end of the day

For me the main highlights were connecting with a wonderful animal and watching Ashley schooling a horse which had either never been ridden before or only possibly once using natural horsemanship where you use the horses way of communication to gain its trust amazing!

As you can tell I enjoyed my trip here and leaving was hard.
If you have children this is also a great place every child even if they just came for a 1 hour riding lesson left with a smile on their face knowing that they had been really in charge of the horse not just being lead around the arena.

They do not claim to be a luxury ranch but the rooms are clean and comfortable all with a deck (mine was perfect for doing tai-chi in the mornings) and the food is plain english but plenty of it and they try hard to accommodate various diets, likes and dislikes.
Would I go back Yes

Room Tip: There are 2 cabins which are good for family's.and several rooms in the lodge with different views but all are ensuite and have a deck plus tea and coffee making machines. Also they do not charge single supplement no matter what room your in.
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank bluedragon52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2012

We just returned from Free Rein Guest Ranch, a place that makes one feel part of the family for sure! I had never been on a horse before and Debbie`s incredible teaching ability made me feel safe and able to ride. Her work with our 10 year old grandaughter and the way she made her feel so special was amazing. The knowledge that Debbie has of ranching and forests and of course horses, gave us such great confidence in our selection of ranch opportunites that were available. We met people from around the world which so added to the enjoyment of our time away. One night I got up and looked out our cabin window and saw the most spectacular sight: a full moon shining over the white mist rising from the lake! The wild flowers were spectacular and there were no bugs! Thanks to all!

Room Tip: Beautiful view and good space in the log cabins! sleeps 4; double bed on loft
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Sharleen K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2012

My family and I had a wonderful time! My wife and son had never been on a horse before this trip. The quality of the wranglers and horses are excellent. The horses are so well trained and behaved! Debbie and her family have created a wonderful environment where whether you are an experienced rider or just learning to ride you create your ranch trip experience and Debbie and her staff are there to make it happen. The smaller operation size allows the individual attention and caring that makes this a rare opportunity/experience. The countryside is beautiful. The rides are through pretty aspen groves, pine forests and along numerous ponds and lakes. Great place and I think a key question for any review is; Would you return? YES!

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank VacationGZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2012

Over ten years ago, my best friend and I started talking about going to a ranch for a vacation. We didn't know anything about them, just knew that we both loved horses, and wanted to do it together. On June 5, 2012 we made this happen. It was definitely a "bucket list" item for both of us.
From the minute we turned into the Free Rein Guest Ranch's driveway, the butterflies started and the excitement was unbelievable. This is a little bit of heaven, deep in the Cariboo. I had never been to the Cariboo before, and was so impressed with its quiet beauty and variety of sights and landscape.
The Ranch itself is breathtaking, from the lakeside cabins, to the beautiful lodge, and the majestic scenery. But more importantly than this, are the amazing people who get to call this wonderful place home - Deb, Kath, and Findlay. Never have I felt so welcomed, so loved and so much at home within five minutes of meeting them. Greeted with a huge bear hug by Deb, and big smiles from Kath and Findlay, I knew this was going to be a fantastic time. The wranglers, Ashley and Kitt helped make this time away from home so much fun. We laughed and talked during all of our rides, and both of them made me feel very comfortable when asking questions about all the knots I needed to know - even when I asked more than once or twice !
I had quite a bit of exposure to horses before I got there (albeit some time ago) and thought I knew horses quite well. Deb showed me a whole other side to these wonderful creatures. In the corral, I experienced a life changing moment where I learned to create a relationship with my horse, Boo, that was based on respect, teamwork and a deep level of understanding. Yes, it brought me to tears, and I will cherish that memory for the rest of my life.
This is not one of those ranches, where you show up, have the big fluffy white robes, and slippers waiting for you (although there was a nice bottle of wine!). This is a place where you go and get back to nature, be as involved as you want to be in the horses, ride as much or as little as you want, in the most beautiful setting, with the most giving, caring people!
Kath was very understanding and helpful with my limited diet, so the three meals a day we had were fantastic!!! We even had a bonfire, roasted marshmallows and sang one night !
The horses are very healthy, happy and eager to please.
This is a magical place that both my friend and I will go back to ~ with our daughters in tow I am sure.
Thank you to Deb and everyone else at the ranch for making my dream trip more than I ever imagined it to be ~ I felt like part of the family when we left.
Thank you !

Room Tip: If you can get a cabin on the lake ~ go for it. The views are unbelievable, and just to sit out on the deck at the end of the day taking it all in is well worth it !
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Julie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2012

I would like to thank Debbie, her family & Kitt for their great hospitality during our stay at Free Rein Ranch. I felt like I went home when I arrived at the ranch !! It was like we were in the company of family with their caring attentive ways. Each and every guest is treated this way !The horses are so healthy and tame and Debbie goes out of her way to share such valuable knowledge she has about these beautiful animals. She even teaches you how to bond with your horse in the corral before riding....it was so amazing how my horse walked up to me all on his own...brought tears to me eyes !!! The trail rides have such variety...open green acres, forested areas, lake side and much more!! The setting of the ranch is unbelieveably beautiful....log cabins on lake front with acres of breathtaking wilderness. The food was delicious!! I enjoyed how we'd all gather after dinner on the front porch of the lodge and chat about how our day went :) In addition there's a games room, sauna, canoeing, boating and camp fires!! The icing on the cake was Debbie...she is so full of life, laughter, wisdom and compassion !! :) This vacation was more then I ever dreamed it would be and I'll be going back for sure !!

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Shelley G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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