I have mixed feelings about renting horses. I've only done it twice in my life, and both times it seemed like the horses were pretty robotic.
The last time we did it was summer 2002 on the Oregon coast. We rode along a trail down to the beach, and then they let everyone canter their horses on the sand. It was fine, but I didn't feel like I had any real control of (or better yet, connection with) my horse. The string had done the ride so many times, they knew exactly what was expected of them. (Which is a GREAT example of how trainable and how smart horses really are.)
I called down to make reservations at Smoke Tree Stables because they have some of the best reviews and have been in business since 1927. Depending on whether or not it is too wet, from the rains they've been getting lately, we should be able to do a 3 hour private guided ride with them. If it works out, we'll have to trailer the horses out because the land around them is too wet.
Here are some pictures of their rides:
I was talking to my friend the other day and she said she doesn't like guided/rental rides. I understand, because I didn't either, but what better way to experience a region than on horseback??
What are your experiences with renting horse time? Do you have any suggestions for me?
I must say, I'm looking forward to it.
Here are some other options, a little further out:
Coyote Ridge Stable: You can rent a one bedroom house on the property for $150/night. They advertise that their horses are well trained, but retain their personalities.
There's also Crazy Horse Ranch. Here's a link to a newspaper article about them. They also have good reviews.