Mac Olsen -
The weather was ideal, without rain, extreme heat or wind, to ride along the trails of EC Bar Ranch and catch glimpses of wildlife and the East Prairie River.
Owners Denise and Lyndon Drefs took a group horseback riding on their land Aug. 5, travelling 7 km of trails through the dense woods, meadows and crossing the East Prairie River a couple of times.
“It’s a nice thing to have locally,” says Wayne Stafford, one of riders. “It brings back memories of riding as a child.”
Isaac Langille, 12, came from Hantsport, Nova Scotia to visit relatives and welcomed the opportunity to ride. Langille rides horses at home every chance he gets.
Located 14 km southeast of High Prairie, the ranch has 25 km of trails and more have to be mapped.
“They’re all on pre-existing cut lines. They’ve been cleaned up and make nice trails,” says Denise Drefs.
“We offer a relaxing outing. You can see deer, beaver and the East Prairie River.”
A hunting outfitter encouraged them to make horseback riding into a business and they opened it in May 2009. They will offer it through September, although it could be extended until October if the weather permits.
The Drefs can take a maximum of 10 people, with a ratio of one guide of every five riders. All guides have first aid training and carry radios or cell phones in case of emergency.
No experience is required to ride. However, child riders must be six years old minimum and the guide will hold onto their horse using a lead-line. Children ages 10 and over can ride on their own if they’re comfortable with it. Children 17 and under must wear helmets, which are provided.
The rates are $30 per hour, per rider, with a minimum two-hour ride. A half-day ride of four hours costs $100 per rider, which includes a snack and beverage. Rides are by advance booking only and riders must sign a waiver of liability before riding.
To get to the ranch, travel east of High Prairie and turn south on Range Road 163 and travel for approximately 6.5 km. There will be horses grazing at the entrance of the property.