Hugh Trabandt pulls up to the Broadmoor clad in jeans and a white shirt with a brown sweater vest, his spurs jingle and sterling silver initials glisten on the side of his cowboy boots as they catch the light of the sun when he hops out of the pickup truck. His cowboy boots are covered in a fine dust from the Colorado Springs ranch. Only a 20 minute drive from the resort, we are worlds away from The Broadmoor’s manicured gardens and hanging flower baskets on the five star property.
The lean, spry cowboy has seen a lot in his 80 years of life. Born and raised in Poland, Trabandt came to Colorado in 1957 after a 20 year stint riding horses in the Military. He considers himself fortunate to own property surrounded by Colorado Springs Pike National Forest.
When asked how many acres comprise the Lazy T 2-Quarter Circle Ranch, I was politely told that it was ‘enough.’ To some land holders, it is a lot of acreage, to others, it is never enough – certainly it is nothing to brag about according to Trabandt.
Horseback riding in the forest
As the truck winds its way up the gravel mountain road, the Broadmoor fades into the valley below. Aspen and Ponderosa Pine frame the entrance to The Stables at The Broadmoor. Sixty to 65 horses live on the family-owned ranch, along with miniature horses, goats, elk, bison and pot belly pigs. That’s in addition to the fox, occasional mountain lion, bear, deer and turkey that live on the wild side, beyond the fence line.
Horseback riding after hip replacement
I sign the liability waiver and am offered a riding helmet for safety purposes. Thankfully, there is a mounting block waiting for me; something I appreciate after my hip replacement surgery. Turns out that my riding partner, Hugh, has had both of his hips replaced – one from a nasty encounter with a bison and the other from a fall from a horse. I should point out that 80 year old Trabandt does not need a mounting block to get on his paint horse! He swings up on his mount with ease.
Due to the rocky nature of these Colorado trails, these are walking only rides with Western saddles. My 12-year-old mare, Locket, a Quarter Horse, Percheron mix, navigates the trails with sure-footed grace. We ride passed an abandoned silver mine, beside a mountain stream and down to Cather Springs Pond. Vigil Mountain and the heavily wooded forest rise behind us in the distance.
Horseback riding for all abilities
Riders must be at least eight years old to participate in trail rides. Young buckaroos seven and under are led by hand on horseback ($20). Check the website for current pricing. Pony rides are not a proper description of the activity, as the children’s ride are conducted on gentle horses.
The Stable at Broadmoor offer one hour trail rides ($44.) $55 for wild life rides through the ranch and $66 for two hour horseback rides. The ranch is open year round and offers sleigh rides with the draft horses in the winter.
Additionally, the Stables at The Broadmoor offer several individual cabins for rent on the ranch with access to catch and release fishing on privately stocked ponds.
For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter @nancydbrown and TheBroadmoor on Twitter @thebroadmoor.
If You Go:
The Stables at The Broadmoor (866) 448-0371
6620 Old Stage Road
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Article photos and video by Equine Writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of The Stables at The Broadmoor.