From its stunning mountain vistas to its hot climate, there's no place quite like New Mexico. Nestled between Arizona and Texas, New Mexico has flown under the radar compared to many other southwestern states. Yet, New Mexico has so many of the elements people love about living in the Southwest. One of the greatest aspects of living in New Mexico is how horse-friendly it is. New Mexico is known for its wide open spaces and spectacular mountain views, making it the perfect destination for you and your horse. Explore some of the state's most beautiful trails on your own, or hire a tour guide to help you navigate the area. The possibilities are endless. From Santa Fe to Silver Lake, here are some of the best places to go horseback riding in NM.
Best Trails in New Mexico
Granny Mountain Trail
New Mexico 88038
Galisteo Basin Preserve
Caja del Rio
Caja del Rio, located just northwest of Santa Fe, boasts a unique horseback riding experience in its vast, open terrain. The expansive mesas and canyons make for an exhilarating ride, as riders can explore diverse landscapes with ample space to canter and gallop. The red rock formations and desert vistas create a striking contrast, making Caja del Rio a favorite destination for riders who crave wide-open spaces and the freedom to ride at their own pace.
Known for its breathtaking, otherworldly scenery, Ghost Ranch offers a horseback riding experience like no other. The crimson-hued mesas and towering rock formations add a sense of mystique to every ride. Visitors can follow trails that meander through the red canyons and beneath the iconic Pedernal Mountain. Ghost Ranch provides riders with a sense of connection to the land's rich history and an opportunity to explore the very landscapes that inspired Georgia O'Keeffe's famous paintings.
Nestled within the Santa Fe National Forest, Copper Canyon offers horseback riders the chance to immerse themselves in a lush, forested environment. Riding through tall ponderosa pine forests and alongside serene mountain streams, riders can experience the cool tranquility of the Rocky Mountains. Copper Canyon is an ideal destination for those seeking a change of scenery from the high desert terrain, with its crisp alpine air and abundant wildlife.
Cerrillos Hills provides a horseback riding experience steeped in history. This area, once a thriving mining town, is now a place where riders can explore a landscape rich in both natural beauty and cultural heritage. The trails meander through rolling hills, desert vegetation, and remnants of the region's mining past. It's a journey that combines scenic beauty with the charm of the Old West.
The Valles Caldera National Preserve, situated in the heart of the Jemez Mountains, offers horseback riders a chance to explore a massive, ancient volcanic crater. Riders can traverse grassy meadows, alpine forests, and encounter diverse wildlife while taking in the caldera's unique topography. The landscape's grandeur and ecological diversity make it a must-visit destination for those seeking a truly memorable horseback riding adventure in Santa Fe's mountainous terrain.
Best Horseback Riding Guides
Chuck Wagon Trail Riders
With over six decades in the horseback riding guide industry, it's hard to beat the Chuck Wagon Trail Riders, especially when it comes to legacy and customer service. Established in 1957, the Chuck Wagon Trail Riders is an award-winning group of horse enthusiasts and trail bosses dedicated to providing safe and enjoyable horseback riding expeditions for you and your horse. The Chuck Wagon Trailriders have long established themselves as the leaders in horseback riding expeditions throughout New Mexico, taking clients on one trip per year. Whether you are a novice or a professional horseback rider, booking an expedition with the Chuck Wagon Trailriders is bound to be a memorable experience.
Vision Quest Western Horseback Riding and Lessons
For many, horseback riding is so much more than a hobby, it's a chance to develop a passion for horses. At Vision Quest Western Horseback Rides and Lessons, Joaquin will guide you on the perfect horseback riding experience, no matter your experience level or the time you want to commit to the ride. You can take private riding lessons or go on riding expeditions. Joaquin goes above and beyond to ensure an exceptional riding experience tailored to your needs. Vision Quest Western Horseback Rides and Lessons is a Native American-owned riding company that offers year-round riding tours, making it the perfect outing for all equestrians.
Additional Resources for Horse Enthusiasts
NM Horseman’s Association
If you are a horse enthusiast, then chances are you want to be surrounded by other horse enthusiasts and be at the center of equestrian-related activities. The NM Horseman's Association is your go-to resource for all things equestrian. The NM Horseman's Association is a horse racing organization dedicated to promoting horse racing and horse recreational activities. You don't have to travel all the way to Kentucky to experience the thrill of horseracing when you have it right here in the heart of New Mexico! Find a local horserace and enjoy. The NM Horseman's Association's horseraces are a must-see for all horse enthusiasts.
The Horse Shelter
Need top-quality horse feed and supplies? Then look no further than The Horse Shelter, an equestrian-themed retailer located in Santa Fe. It also happens to be one of the most prominent horse rescue groups in New Mexico. Known for rescuing abused, abandoned, and neglected horses, the rescue group has rescued over 78 horses and counting over the past 22 years and continues to work hard to ensure the health and well-being of all horses in New Mexico. One of the best ways to support this non-profit organization is by purchasing horse goods through their retail store.
It is an exciting new chapter in our equestrian journey with the RCT Team! We're thrilled to introduce our newest addition to the family, Vesuvius, a spirited six-year-old Gelding. Vesuvius embarked on his journey with us when he joined a group of seven horses at the Horse Shelter and is currently undergoing a comprehensive evaluation.