So many choices, so little time. How do I decide? During our “life lived daily”, we are pummeled with information from blogs, websites, social media posts, emails that bloat our inbox and advertising for any consumer good or service you can imagine by every electronic media source on the planet. All the input becomes a like a swarm of wasps chasing us down, trying to get a big bite out of our precious time and our wallets. It is overwhelming to say the least. I too, am guilty of being both a wasp and the blood source.

Competition for the consumer who is in the market for a horseback riding vacation is very stiff, and we providers are all vying for the opportunity to give guests a “trip of a lifetime”, or a “once-in-a-lifetime experience”. If you have been shopping for some kind of equestrian adventure, you know that the options are many; luxury resorts that offer every amenity you can imagine, with indoor arenas and famous horsemen conducting clinics; working ranches where you can “be a cowboy” and get in some cattle driving; dude ranches that cater to families composed of generations aged 5 to 85, with activities ranging from float trips to square dancing to hourly horseback rides; guest ranches that fall in-between luxury and working, and maybe offer ATV treks or fishing excursions; and the back country outfitter, who can lead you and your gear into remote wilderness at a relaxing pace on a mule or horse on a single-file trail. We compete on most exquisite cuisine, the most luxurious bedding, the lowest staff:guest ratio, the most well-bred horses, the most comprehensive spa services, and on and on and on, more, more, more. Even the horse is competing for the attention of the guests with all of the activities and amenities being offered!

We determined a long time ago that we can “do” a couple of things very, very well and  “all things and all people” was not a unique niche. With Blue Sky Sage, we’ve turned down the competitive noise by settling the focus on just a couple of features – horses and nature.  It’s all about the horseback riding here, the working relationship that guests will develop with the horses, and time spent in big country, riding free through high desert sagebrush and buffalo grass with the wind at your back, and wild horses in sight. The opportunity to learn what a horse can really do outside of an arena or a maintained single-file trail is an enlightening experience that can change a riders’ perspective and elevate appreciation for the horse. Because we take you off the trail, there is more opportunity to show you the little things that can’t be seen from the road, and those chance encounters with a herd of elk in the desert sagebrush, or a lone wolf crossing your path become real because a horse can put you in the places to have those experiences.

And that nature thing . . . well, not only can you partake of it when you are in the saddle, we set things up so that your down-time is in nature too, in the best way possible. “Less is more” means your cell phone might as well be turned off because there is no signal, and instead of internet and cable television, you can be entertained or relaxed to the sound of the creek outside your sleeping quarters, or take a few easy steps to the top of the ridge and watch the sun rising or setting.  Outdoor living or “simple luxury” is how we accommodate everyone’s needs during the ride week.  The premise is to have everything required for people to be safe, comfortable, well-fed and well-equipped, without all the “noise” that buildings, electricity,  and all the accoutrements they support to interfere with the simplicity of an off-the-grid “home on the range” in nature. And yes, nature may throw a challenge out every now and then – a frost in July after a rain that freezes your tent zipper, or a fast-moving sleet storm that catches us out in the open, and the horses decide they are going to turn tails to the wind and wait it out. Or even a dry, hot summer that causes the dust to billow up around the riders at a long trot across the desert floor. Those are the realities of nature, and are all part of the experience that make it memorable, challenging, sometimes miserable for a little while, but mostly, rewarding and fun. It is those experiences you’ll remember and appreciate when you are telling stories about your horseback riding adventures, not what the thread-count of the sheets was.

Horses and nature – who knew they can be more than enough?