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Along with my travel mates Ali and Heather, I leave the Calgary airport in our rental car, stock up with snacks and refreshments, and head to The Grandview Stage Inn just outside of Rocky Mountain House, AB, where we bed in for the night. The next morning, we start off for the Cutoff Creek Staging area in the Bighorn Backcountry. The herd of wild horses grazing in a small clearing at the side of the road is so complacent with our presence that the foals remain lying down as we snap photos. Upon arrival, we spot a group of women gathered in the staging area, their gear laid out on the grass. Introductions reveal that our fellow riders are from Manitoba, Winnipeg, New Brunswick, Ontario, British Columbia, and as far as Australia and New Zealand. Most are new to Wild Deuce Outfitters, and a few are repeat visitors like me, although it was eight years ago.

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Travel to exotic places is a dream for so many people. France, Italy, Mexico, Kenya, New Zealand, Ireland and so many more are destinations filled with tantalizing historic, cultural, geographical and scenic wonders that would enthrall any traveller. But, as an equestrian, what if your trip was a horse riding vacation where you could ride wonderful locally-bred and trained horses, stay in beautiful accommodations in fabulous locations and enjoy mouthwatering food prepared in culturally rich cuisines?

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The Big Creek Lodge is located in the remote and beautiful wilderness of British Columbia’s Chilcotin ranges. In every season visitors can experience pure nature and Canadian wilderness, and enjoy incredible views of forests, water and mountains.

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Bear Claw Lodge is located in British Columbia’s Kispiox Valley, just one-and-a-half hours’ drive north of Smithers, BC. Bear Claw features a 15,000 square foot post-and-beam luxury lodge on the world-famous Kispiox River, and more than 50 kilometers of well groomed trails, meadows, river canyons, and hills to explore.

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It’s a beautiful day to head out to the mountains for some playtime. You grab your horse and tack and head out in the afternoon for a quick ride to your favourite spot. It’s 28 degrees Celcius and you don’t see a cloud in the sky. You grab a light windbreaker for “just in case,” get on your horse, and soon you’re enjoying the peaceful sights, sounds, and smells of the forest.

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Canada’s Oldest Guest Ranch - The Flying U has been the western heartbeat of the Cariboo since 1849. Canada’s oldest running guest ranch was first popularized as a tourist destination by rodeo personality, Jack Boyde, nearly a century ago. The original log cabins from Boyde’s rodeo days still provide the quintessential cowboy experience today. While the complete ranching experience remains steeped in tradition, there are some exciting changes abreast at this iconic ranch.

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Summer Horsepacking Adventures - UC Davis Extension’s summer horsepacking programs teach students from the back of a horse, with the Sierra Nevada mountain range serving as the classroom. The courses combine a superb outdoor adventure with a rare opportunity to learn about wild horses, livestock management and hands-on veterinary medicine. Students spend “class time” immersed in either the rugged High Sierra country or the Inyo National Forest of California, surrounded by blooming wildflowers, mountain meadows and towering vistas.