I love horses! They’re beautiful, majestic, amazing animals whose relationship with human beings spans centuries. And when it comes to the “western experience”, horses just come with the territory! Think about it – in every western movie, western-themed logo or promotion, horses feature prominently. As it should be! After all, how would the first tourists have travelled to Yellowstone National Park, if not by horse-drawn stagecoaches? Think of the influence the presence of our equine friends have held on our western heritage here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country – and how much of a presence they still are for those who come to visit!
Obviously, Cody IS Rodeo, and there would be NO rodeo without horses! They feature in every aspect of the evening’s entertainment – barrel racing, team roping, saddle bronc riding, you name it, horses are the main attraction. Even in bull riding, the cowboys are watched over and rescued by the faithful outriders on their trusty steeds. And the Cody Nite Rodeo runs from June 1 through the end of August, so there’s no reason at all to miss the action when you come to visit next summer!
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the western experience, most of the guest and dude ranches between Cody and Yellowstone Park feature guided horseback rides as an integral part of their guests’ adventure. From rides lasting a couple of hours to trips that take you deep into the mountains, guest ranch hosts will tailor your stay to fit your level of comfort and experience with horses.
Closer to town, Cedar Mountain Trail Rides operate in two locations – at the KOA Campground east of Cody and at the base of Cedar Mountain, just past the rodeo grounds. June through September, your entire family can spend a morning or an afternoon seeing Cody Country from a whole new perspective! With a stable full of horses, most of them gentle enough for children to ride, your visit to Cody/ Yellowstone Country can include a fabulous western experience your family will talk about for years to come!
But here in Buffalo Bill’s corner of the world, the horses aren’t all broke to ride – there are two herds of wild mustangs that live nearby and can be viewed from the comfort of your vehicle. The Pryor Mountain mustangs are descended from Spanish horses that were brought here by explorers of the New World; and the McCullough Peaks herd roam freely on protected land in the Big Horn Basin between Cody and Greybull. The Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center near Lovell is the premiere information repository on these amazing animals; and for an unforgettable guided tour of the McCullough Peaks Herd Management area, check out the Red Canyon Wild Mustang tours, based in downtown Cody.
If you love horses, Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country is THE place to spend your next vacation! Come take a ride on the WILD side…
Until next time, I’ll be lovin’ life in Buffalo Bill’s Country!
Corrie N. Cody