Horseback Riding Vacations and Nature Vacations

Cabins

Hill Country Equestrian Lodge's unique setting and atmosphere make it as appealing for a romantic get-away as for a family vacation or a group retreat. Accommodations are strategically nestled among the oaks and perched among the junipers with just enough distance between them to provide guests a sense of privacy without feeling isolated. The cabins and suites are within walking distance from one another, and from the equestrian area, the private park entrance, the cool pool and jacuzzi, and the 100 year old ranch headquarters.

Each accommodation has divided light windows and a wide front porch from which to take in the dramatic views of the rugged hills that surround our little valley. The historical styling of the cabins and attention to aesthetic detail add to the romantic appeal and soothing quality of the ranch. There are no exposed utility lines or noisy window units to interrupt the tranquilty of this superb natural setting.

lodging

Guests of all ages and skill levels will find the Lodge's specialized horseback riding program rewarding. Unlike many guest ranches, the Lodge's horses are not de-sensitized "dude string" horses, but rather gentle, responsive mounts. Group rides a kept small- no more than 5 riders- to allow guests to ride according to the group's skill level. Less experienced riders are tutored before and during the rides, making it a rewarding learning experience. Skilled riders will appreciate the lodge's well-trained and athletic mounts.

Note: A weight limit of 225 lb. is required for riders of Hill Country Equestrian Lodge's horses.

Couples may request a private guided ride through the hills, and private lessons are always available for riders of all ages 7 and over. Each guest usually rides the same horse throughout their stay, and everyone is invited to help with grooming, feeding, and care of the horses. For those wanting even more immersion into the world of horses, the Lodge's own Whole Horsemanship Clinic is available by advance reservation. (And don't forget, you can bring your own horses with you, if you prefer.) This is truly the ultimate horseback riding vacation

Full Kitchen

The ranch's location adjacent to Hill Country State Natural Area makes it the perfect place for all types of nature-based activities, from hiking and biking to birding. White-tail deer, wild turkey, jack-rabbits and cotton-tailed bunnies, and other wildlife are often spotted from the trails, or from the porch of a cabin or suite.

Birders may observe scrub jays, white-winged dove, bob-white quail, red-tailed hawks, painted buntings, vermillion fly-catchers, and many other species according to the season. The area's unique blend of plant life ranges from Prickly-Pear Cactus and Yucca to Wild Cherry, Spanish Oak,and Big-tooth Maple trees on the hillsides and in the canyons, to the majestic Live Oaks that grace the more fertile valleys. Abundant wildflowers dot the countryside in the Spring, (dependant upon rainfall), while Fall color decorates the hills and canyons by late October or November. (The short drive to Lost Maples State Natural Area to see the Sabinal Canyon's concentration of Big-Tooth Maples is a favorite fall activity.) Winter weather is generally temperate, full of crisp days perfect for outdoor activites. In the Summer, the spring-fed Medina River beckons visitors to immerse themselves in its clear, cool waters. Tube and Kayak rentals and shuttle services are available in Bandera.
Families find this the perfect place to spend quality time together. In addition to the activities listed above, the ranch offers seasonal family programs, ample fossil-hunting, and lots of open space for kite-flying, bicycling, and the like. Our little creek flows among the cabins about half the year, and children of all ages love to play in it. Since each accommodation has its own fire-ring, it's easy to show off your fire-building skills, roast hot-dogs or marshmallows, and tell stories around the campfire. And the ranch's night sky reveals a multitude of stars not visible in more populated areas.
Couples desiring a romantic get-away will especially appreciate the 22 foot tall limestone fireplace in each Private Cabin, private rides upon request, and the Spa Services available in the privacy of your accommodation. Candle-lit dinners in the 100 year old ranch headquarters dining room are also available by reservation.

The Lodge's away-from-the-everyday feel makes it the ideal location for private group retreats of up to 20 people. Its unique atmosphere transports participants beyond normal barriers, opens them to new ways of thinking, and promotes comraderie among group members. Team-building activities and catered group meals can be arranged upon request.