Home on the Range
We sent our intrepid Stops contributor, Mandy Sinclair, on assignment to try her hand at horseback riding with a stop at Home on the Range.
It was a hot, late-summer afternoon as I mounted the horse I would be riding through the expansive fields and forests at Home on the Range near Londesborough.
Hugo Bontrup, co-owner of Home on the Range, very much dressed the part in his cowboy hat, blue jeans and cowboy boots as he led us out on a two-hour ride around the property.
With only a few of us in the group, we were able to take our time, enjoying the tree cover and cool as we rode through the bush. While the fields we trotted alongside were filled with crops – beans and corn stalks (my horse even helped himself to a cob of corn) - I could only imagine how gorgeous the property would be during an autumn ride. The leaves would soon be changing colour and the harvest underway, I thought to myself.
I didn’t let my mind wander too much to the article I needed to write. Instead, I soaked up the silence as we trotted along, up small hills and down, winding our way through the forest. In what felt like an endless forest, I began to wonder if we were riding in circles. We did occasionally repeat a trail, before stumbling upon new forest we’d not yet discovered, or even new stomping grounds. We enjoyed a cold beverage as we sat at a picnic table, just steps from the campfire area. Now retired, Hugo leads these trips ``just for fun” and conversation. As other staff joined us all glowed as they talked about what a great job they have.
The pace here is certainly laid-back. There are small buildings dotting the property, including a blacksmith shop and others whose signpost lettering had fallen off, certainly adding to the frontier town style one envisions. And that’s before even stepping inside the saloon.
Back on our horses, we rode through the coniferous forest where I imagined how magical a ride would be here after a fresh dusting of snow, or perhaps I was just looking forward to cooler temperatures.
Hugo and his wife Freidy own Home on the Ranch and live on the ranch with several horses, ponies and their friendly dog who greets visitors upon arrival (and may even join them along the trails). Riding equipment, including helmets, is provided. Sturdy close-toed shoes or boots are recommended in place of cowboy boots. For rates and to book a ride, call 519-523-9478. 41073 Londesboro Rd, Londesborough.