Arizona’s Best


Arizona may be a horse rider’s utopia, but that’s not all there is to this great state! Here’s some of our favourite stops. Don’t miss our Arizona Snowbird’s Special in the January/February issue of Western Horse Review, you can subscribe

Walk through a museum and an art gallery

Enhance your Arizona vacation, with a tour through a true southwestern sensual experience. Many of the country’s top western artists authors and architects, have been inspired by the state’s environmental and human history.

Desert Caballeros Western Museum

One of the top western museums and art galleries in the country, located in Wickenburg.

Notable: Collecting the West, the Tia Collection, exhibition Nov. 2 – Mar. 2. Paintings and sculpture by notable historic and contemporary artists capture interpretations of the panorama of western life, complemented by historic photographs, letters, and sketches from this private collection shaped by a passion for the culture of the great American West.

Heard Museum

World renowned for it’s collection of American Indian history and the tribes of the southwest, with both a main location in Phoenix and a North Scottsdale branch.

Notable: The annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market, held in March, features over 700 Native American artists and includes a juried competition.

Phoenix Art Museum

Step out of your box and become in tune with the very best of Arizona’s visual and performing arts. A vibrant destination for more than 50 years, Phoenix Art Museum presents festivals, live performances and independent art films.

Notable: Watch for the Hollywood Costume exhibit beginning late March.

Smoki Museum

Experience the history of Arizona’s American Indian culture, in Prescott’s quaint heritage museum.

Notable: The permanent collection includes I,000 year old artifacts, Yavapai baskets, Katsina dolls, Kate Cory Paintings, Smoki People history, models of dwellings and a hands-on children’s table.

Become a margaritas connoisseur

If you are into immersing yourself in some flavorful experiences, be prepared to get spoiled. A word of caution – once you are hooked on really good Arizona margaritas, it’s not uncommon to experience symptoms of withdrawals upon your return back home.

El Ranchero Restaurant

Top shelf margaritas, and authentic Mexican cuisine.


Cien Agaves Tacos & Tequilla

Home of the Tequila Hall of Fame


The Horny Toad

A biker’s haven with “margarita ready” atmosphere.

Cave Creek,

Elencanto Mexican Restaurant

A romantic old-world mission style restaurant with ambience galore.

Cave Creek,

Go back in time

If you’re up for a bit of “cowboy” try taking in some of Arizona’s authentic fixtures from the original Old West. From ghost towns, live dinner theaters and mining towns, discovering the Wild West couldn’t be more captivating.

Goldfield Ghost Town

Claim to Fame: “Phoenix, Arizona’s only Authentic Ghost Town”

Apache Junction,

Gold King Mining Museum and Ghost Town

Claim to Fame: “The largest ghost town in the U.S.A., and a history buff’s delight.”

Jerome (one mile north),

Rocking R Ranch

Claim to Fame: “Arizona’s oldest Wild West town.”


The Palace Restaurant & Saloon on Whiskey Row

Claim to Fame: “The oldest frontier saloon in Arizona.”


Rawhide Western Town & Steakhouse at Wild Horse Pass

Claim to Fame: “Arizona’s largest western-themed attraction.”


Give into your guilty pleasure!

You only live once, right? Besides, ‘til you drop shopping or a day in the saddle can certainly harvest a hankering for some swell dining. Thankfully, great food is one of Arizona’s best assets. From decedent to the greasy spoon, this state has all your food bases covered.

Cowboy Club

Big steaks served in a colorfully charming atmosphere.


Raceway Bar & Grill

Featured on the American Pickers television series and also home of the famous Canadian New Years Eve Parties.


Spotted Donkey at el Pedregal

Over 46 varieties of tequilas and a southwest fusion cuisine.


Wagon Wheel Restaurant & Coffee Shop

A classic 1960’s style dinner, which captures the flavor of an authentic greasy spoon.

Cave Creek

Go for a ride in the desert

The ultimate way to appreciate the raw beauty of this state is via horseback. Arizona has thousands of majestic miles dedicated solely to horse trails, and over 80% of the land in the state is parkland, so take advantage of it.

Cowboy Way Adventures

A great deal on picturesque trail rides in Wickenburg, Prescott and Sedona.


Cave Creek Trail Rides

Experience the West with a “family friendly” cowboy style escape.

Cave Creek,

Rancho des los Caballeros

A five-star historical dude ranch, frequented by Hollywood’s celebrities.


Hacienda Del Sol

An exquisite guest ranch and spa in historic Tucson.


Shop till you drop!

Discovering original pieces for your home decor and style collections can be a hard thing to do. After locating some of the state’s bounty of glamorous western wear and rustic rare finds, the only thing on your mind will be, “How will I get it all home.”

Double H Hat Man

Jimmy, the master hat maker, can build a cowboy hat to match any personality.


Cowboy Trading Post

Cowboy ecletic, carrying everything from hay to home consignments.”


The Lazy Lizard

Artwork, furniture, jewelry, vintage books and magazines – you’ll find it all at this super-cool cowboy and Mexican consignment store.

Cave Creek,


All the goods to furnish your house in high-end cowboy and accessorize your western dream.

Cave Creek,

Go a little wild

Why not, after all this is Arizona right? Warm starry nights skies with live music and fire pits may ignite your crazy bone. If you do go a little off the deep end, be warned – the state has a low tolerance for those who get a out of hand. That’s why spotting a couple horses tied outside the local tap house is still not an uncommon occurrence.


Rusty Spur Salon

Scottsdale’s first ever saloon, etched with age-old western character.


San Tan Flat

Fire pits and live music – the ultimate combo for a fun night.

Queen Creek,

The Crystal Palace Saloon in Tombstone

Step foot in a solid piece of history in the town too tough to die.


Arizona Riding

Experience Horse Country

Diverging into Arizona horse country, is like discovering a decadent dinner buffet. Whatever your flavor or interest, there is an event, barn or picturesque part of the state that will feed what ever you’re craving.


From reiners to ropers- it doesn’t matter what type of riding you are into, Arizona is a melting pot of all types of industry professionals. While you are putting together your travel itinerary, be sure to investigate where all the top trainers and horses are and check out their programs. Getting in touch with the horse industry is well worth your time. There is nothing like partaking in an afternoon with some of the industry’s best professionals!


Taking a day to walk through a stallion station or prospect barn in the southwest, may give you some new options to check out. Having an eye on trending bloodlines in the horse game, will make or break you in many walks of the performance world. Whether you are investigating a junior stud or a proven producer, Arizona is home to an array of pedigrees options. Go tantalize your imagination and check them out in the flesh.

If you are in the market for a new prospect, the horse market in Arizona has you covered. Take a look online and see who is hosting sales this year. Maybe your next champion is in an Arizona stable.

Looking through the equine events in the Scottsdale area throughout the winter, is overwhelming.The state’s major exhibitions can put tens of thousands of horses and competitors into their shows, throughout the season.

Find all of this and more, including a feature on cowboy town Cave Creek, in our January/February Arizona special feature for snowbirds riding in Arizona. It’s not too late to subscribe and get an issue for yourself. BONUS – subscribe now and receive a free Equine Photography coffee table bookazine. Keep it for yourself or check one more gift given on your Christmas list.

Arizona Arena Round Up

It’s all about the arena. Here’s 11 worth checking out in Arizona. 

South Buckeye Equestrian & Event Centre

10300 South Miller Road, Buckeye

Worth checking out if you are hauling through Buckeye, this state-of-the-art boarding facility also has an adjacent River Ridge Veterinary Hospital and their newest addition, The Tack Room Saloon, Dance and Pool Hall.


Walking N Arena

7350 N. Henness Road, Casa Grande

Sign up for Winter Roping Camp or VIP daily roping instruction with professional roping instructor Rube Woolsey.


A & M Equestrian

16025 W Glendale Ave, Litchfield Park

(623) 907-5936

Horse boarding facility, with riding lessons and horse conditioning available.


J-6 Ranch Equestrian Center

3036 W Williams Road, Benson

Located conveniently off I-10, this 13 acre facility is only 25 minutes from downtown Tucson. Family owned boarding, training, rehabilitation, and lesson facility.


Dunn’s Arena

7653 N. Sarival Road, Litchfield Park

One of Arizona’s premier equine event facilities, featuring three arenas, monthly boarding and room to facilitate overnighters (both RV’s and horses), with restrooms and showers.


Simpson Ranch

501 S. Tegner, Wickenburg

Horse boarding and regular ropings for the jackpot junkies.

Wickenburg Stables

850 South Vulture Mine Road, Wickenburg

Horse boarding.



51802 US Hwy 60 89, Wickenburg

This is an original RV and horse boarding facility, with easy access to the main highway. Regular horse activities include drill team and mounted shooting.


Horse Lovers Park

19224 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix

Five arenas including a show and jumping arena, cutting arena, roping and gymkhana arena, paddock and community arena.


Rancho Rio

(480) 322-1189

A multi-use facility offering visitors a place to spend the winter in an RV resort, with miles of scenic trails along the Hassayampa River.

Rattlesnake Arena

41271 N Rattlesnake Road, Queen Creek

(602) 565-7365

This arena hosts barrel racing, roping and sorting competitions and practices.

Arizona Stopovers

route2backdoortrailerA look at some amazing places to stop and check out on the trip down to Arizona.

(Small print: please do check in with your intended overnights prior to leaving, as these things do tend to change.) 


Rim Rock Motel, ALTURAS. Launches all your outdoor activities, and has now expanded to 17 outdoor stalls and a diverse selection of 32 rooms for singles to two-room family units. (530) 233-5455,

CottonWood Canyon Ranch, MORONGO VALLEY. Box Stalls, Outdoor Arena, Jumps, Riding Trails, Riding Instructor and lodging for humans.One bedroom guest house, which sits on a 30 Acre Ranch, and has full access to miles of trails. Dave or Georgia: (760) 363-7475,

New River Ranch, WILLITS. Shower Stall, Box Stalls, Outdoor Arena and lodging for humans. Large open barn with stalls, concrete aisle, wash bay, experienced staff and also very close to trails, rodeo grounds and easy access to Hwy 101. Angie: (707) 456-9242 / (813) 833-5919,

Arroyo Grande Horse B n B, ARROYO GRANDE. Box stalls and lodging for humans. A small family ranch that offers box stalls and grassy pasture and can accommodate up to three horses and one truck and trailer. One private bedroom and bath in a large craftsman style home, gardens, hot tub and relaxing outdoor spaces. (805) 473-5716 / (805) 709-4641

The Oak Hill Ranch, SONOMA. Horse Bed & Breakfast, Horse Treks Around the World. Beautiful sites of the area, luxury accommodations, delicious cuisine, shopping and wine tours. Linda: (707) 363-5330,

Bear River Ranch, GRASS VALLEY. Offers a variety of individual, family, and group vacations, both self-guidedand guided: hiking, road and mountain biking, horseback trail riding, walking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. (530) 268-3000,

S & J Guest Ranch, ARBUCKLE. If you’re looking for a quiet spot to rest for the night and take a break from the interstate, offering overnight stay for folks travelling with their equine friends. Steve or Jane: (530) 921-2102,

Critter Cleaners & Triple C Horse Ranch, BAKERSFIELD. 40 indoor box stalls, alfalfa available, indoor arena, 2 outdoor arenas with lights, camper hookups, motels, parking for big rigs or trailers. Cathy: (661) 845-6937,

Sioux City Ranch, BAKERSFIELD. Clean, well-lit and maintained horse motel, with 24×24 pipe pens, turnout / roundpen, feed, RV hookups and guest house. Tim or Julie: (661) 588-0496,

Gold Country Equestrian Center, ELVERTA. Includes two bedrooms in charming detached residence near barns and parking, parlor, 1 1/2 bath, TV, breakfast, 20 box stalls with bedding, turn out, two sand arenas, wash racks, round corral, riding/driving trail. Jean: (916) 991-6324,

Angel Acres Horse Hotel, LOS BANOS. For horses, includes: stall boarding, outside pens, indoor/outdoor warm water wash racks, groom areas, trailer parking, indoor-lit covered exercise round pen, outdoor-lit riding arena, alfalfa hay, three irrigated flat ground pastures with auto waterers. For people, includes: rooms, kitchen and bathroom. There is also professional dog grooming for all breeds. Contact: (209) 829-1560,

The Snickerdoodle Ranch, MORONGO VALLEY. Human lodging, overnights and short or long term boarding available as well as guided horse tours through the canyon. Facilities include partial covered 24×24 corrals, 12×12 covered stalls, large turnout plus a 50″ round pen. Randy: [email protected],


Pinecrest Stables, GREEN MOUNTAIN FALLS. Private paddocks, indoor and outdoor arenas, and riding trails. Located in beautiful Ute Pass, gateway into the Rocky Mountains; lots of well-kept trails, some leading into National Forest. (719) 684-9830,

Rockin “IR” Stables, WATKINS. Overnight horse boarding, including stalls, runs with shelter, large paddocks, large rig parking and round pen. Sleeping room available for up to three guests with kitchenette. Easy access to interstate. Marie: (720) 883-5325, [email protected]

Wonuka Farm, DURANGO. Guesthouse available and overnight stabling available for those traveling with horses. Three covered 12×12 box stalls with 20×12 runs plus pasture turnout area. Al or Marnie: 970-259-8848,

The Little Luck Homestead, FLORISSANT. Includes two 40×60 horse corrals with easy trailer parking. Set up as self-housekeeping arrangement; two bedroom, two bath house with full kitchen. Queen bed, two twin bunk-beds and day-bed. Debra: (720) 851-8084,

Dragon Pepper Farm, PIERCE. Family stable with stalls, arena, turnout, round pen, trailor parking, camper parking and bedrooms available with private bathrooms. Family style dining arranged for guests. Nate or Calida: 970-482-1103, [email protected]

Copper Top Acres, LAPORTE. Scenic setting near Lory State Park, Poudre Canyon and Rist Canyon. Three 12×12 stalls with 12×42 runs, and a working 120×90 arena, wash rack and hay available. B&B with air-conditioned room and private bath; plus, RV hookup with water and electricity available. Lee or Loralee: (970) 221-4382, [email protected]

Mary Bradley, LAFAYETTE. Indoor and outdoor stalls, holding pens, pasture, arena, feed, trails and B&B. Mary: (303) 665-9247

Craig Ranch B&B & Horse Motel, LIMON. Several large pipe corrals, indoor arena available if weather is bad, mountain grass hay for sale by bale. Two RV hookups (electric only) and large rig access. John or Beth: (719) 775-2658,

Porter Ranch, NEW CASTLE. Inclludes 3600 acres of private ranch riding, with open pastures, horse stalls under cover, cabin and tent. Building an arena, rv hookups,and covered runs in the spring. Terry or Mary: (970) 984-3269,

Hornecker/Mau Ranch, PENROSE. Overnight stalls and runs. Newly build guest house with a beautiful view that overlooks horses. Fred: (719) 372-6051

Beddin’ Down Bed, Breakfast & Horse Hotel, SALIDA. Stalls and runs, plus arena for exercise and pasture for longer stays. Reservation only. Lance or Patti: 1-800-470-1888 / (719) 539-1815,


Hidden Acre, BOISE. Full service B&B for horse and rider with one standard bedroom/one suite which includes full breakfast. Three covered stall runs with amenities and breakfast for horse. Also offering additional services, such as equine massage, grooming, vet care, farrier, etc. Fire pit, horseshoe pit, picnic tables and BBQ for your enjoyment. Judi: (208) 853-0723,

Days Inn, JERMONE. Corrals with locks plus parking. Other animals welcome. Includes 73 guest rooms, outdoor jacuzzi, TV/VCR in every room and free continental breakfast. Call for reservations. Darlene: (208) 324-6400, [email protected]

Idaho Horse Park, NAMPA. Includes 536 covered stalls, bedding, feed, washracks, 150×300 outdoor arena, 175×360 indoor arena, open year round, vet services, on site security; also, the Hampton Inn Suites is walking distance to the stalls. Contact: (208) 442-3335 (M-F: 8am-5pm), (208) 573-6210 (after hours),

Western Barns, KIMBERLY. Clean, safe and affordable overnight horse stable and B&B for travellers. Pets and late night arrival are okay. 24-hour vet care available. Box stalls, private paddocks, outdoor arena, riding trails, LQ trailer hookups (electric and/or water). Carol: (208) 423-6340


Rugg’s River Ranch, SUPERIOR. Private paddocks, riding trails, horse trainer, riding instructor, LQ trailer hookups (electric and/or water) and lodging for humans, including: two modern cabins and one kitchen. Contact: (406) 822-4240 / (406) 822-4915 / [email protected]

Box T Ranch, BILLINGS. Includes shower stall, outdoor arena, LQ trailer hookups (electric and/or water). Only 10 minutes from downtown and 15 from Billings Airport. Office: 406-252-4388,

Mill Creek Lodging, ANACONDA. B&B offers overnight stabling, horseback rides, and nature and geology jeep tours. Guests can ride from the property along the shoulder of Mt. Haggin or in the Mt. Haggin wildlife management area. David or Barbara: (406) 560-7666 / (406) 560-7676,

Gallatin River Lodge, BOZEMAN. Includes two indoor stalls, two outdoor stalls, four holding pens, pasture, feed, outdoor arena/round pen, trailer parking and 6 guest suites with all meals available. Steve or Christy: (406) 388-0148 / 1-888-387-0148,

Parsons Pony Farm, FLORENCE. Includes five stalls, seven holding pens, three pastures, hay/pellets, many trails, one great site for camper hookup and three rooms with bath for B&B. Contact: (406) 273-3363 / (406) 239-PONY

7th Ranch RV Camp, Bunkhouse & Historical Tours, GARRYOWEN. Includes new eight stalls, 50′ round training corral, large Linn Pipe and Post arena, full hookup RV sites, tent and teepee sites, soft artesian water, washhouse, laundry, bunkhouse, historic tours and room to ride. Sandy: 1-800-371-7963 / (406) 638-2438,

Deer Crossing Bed & Breakfast, HAMILTON. Pastures and stalls, plus trails right out the properties’ gate to hundreds of miles of wilderness. Please have health papers and certified hay. No charge to B&B clients. Mary: 1-800-763-2232,

Rugg’s River Ranch, SUPERIOR. Includes 10 paddocks (50×150) with heated auto-waterers and 8×16 shelters. Plenty of parking room, adjacent to Forest Service with lots of room to ride. Vet and farrier on call. Two cabins along the river available for people needing overnight accommodations. One with cooking facilities that sleeps two; the other has separate bedroom, loft and family room, and sleeps six. Ray or Kip: 406-822-4240,

Gaynor’s’ Riverbend Ranch, WHITEFISH. Includes eight indoor and eight outdoor large stalls, four large holding pens, and hay. Also, 100×200 outdoor arena, trails adjacent to ranch, parking with electricity and water, and a four-room suite, for five people, with kitchen. Pets ok. Don: (406) 862-3802


Neigh & Stay Horse Layover,  LAS VEGAS. Shower stall, box stalls, outdoor arena, lodging for humans. Huge parking lot and gates, accommodating the biggest rigs. Jones Feed & Tack is nearby with competitive diesel prices & easy access fuel up. Dogs are welcome. Lacey: (541) 499-5179 / [email protected]

Sweet Annie’s Bed, MESQUITE. Includes two 12×20 stalls with shade. Please phone ahead for reservations & directions. Bed & Breakfast and one room with private bath available. Coggins/HC req. Vet/farrier on call. Ann: (702) 346-1373 / [email protected]

 New Mexico

Broken M Ranch, ALBUQUERQUE. Horse motel, outdoor and indoor stalls, and guest house. Room for large rigs, and pets allowed. Keith or Susan: (505) 877-9433,

Desert Meadow Stables, LAS CRUCES. A seven-acre boarding facility with two large grazing pastures, large stalls with run-in sheds, attached paddocks, round pen, arena with jumps and access to trails. Full service boarding or layovers. Lodging for humans is available, including a fully furnished bunk house with two bedrooms, two baths, and sleeps four or five. Dogs are welcome as long as they will stay inside a four ft. fence. Contact: (575) 635-6662,

Open Heart G Stables, ANTHONY. Includes 23×23 box stalls, with rubber mats and deep bedding, and large quarter-acre turnouts with access to covered stalls, all with automatic waterers. Walker, arena and large round pen are available. Small rustic cowboy bunk house with A/C or heat, bathroom and shower, TV and wi-fi. Contact: (915) 920-5169, [email protected]

Blakley’s Spur Stables, ALBUQUERQUE. Includes seven indoor and six outdoor stalls, 17 stalls with runs, three holding pens, arena, walker, trails, camper hookup and guest house. Vet on call. Reservations required. Contact: 1-800-305-1851 / (505) 877-1851 / [email protected]

Slash M Slash Ranch, GRANTS. Includes 11 indoor stalls, outdoor pens, round pen/roping arena, feed, cattle, hookups for electricity and water, and bunkhouse. Ample trailer parking. Danny or Jodie: (505) 290-7836 / (505) 290-2645
/ [email protected]


NEIGH-bors, PENDLETON. Horse motel and B&B. New barn with four 12×12 enclosed stalls, very clean, corral and fields. Excellent and safe fencing. Trailer parking. Barn has an upstairs apartment with another basement apt. in the house. MaryAlice or Bob: (541) 276-6737,

Roaming Pony Enterprises, PENDLETON. Includes 12×36 pens, turnouts, trails, arena, round pen; guest house with refrigerator, microwave and continental breakfast. Peaceful setting surrounded by alfalfa fields and trees. Mary: (541) 377-6721 / [email protected]

Burnt Spur Ranch Equine B&B, SANDY. Includes six indoor stalls, holding pens, 96×144 outdoor arena, pasture, walker, feed, trails and electricity and water for campers. B&B within 3 miles, motel within 2 miles. Linda or John: (503) 668-9716


Tipsy Pig Overnight, ERDA. Overnight for up to six horses. Includes outdoor runout shelter, trailer parking, bed, bath and morning coffee. Gerry: (435) 882-6162 / [email protected]

Double Dollar Livestock Ranch, HOLDEN. Large working cattle and horse ranch with 100 box stalls, four arenas and many outdoor runs. Also, 7,000 acres of pasture and mountain range to explore in the beautiful high desert valley of the Wasatch Mountains. Overnight board or stay for a week to participate in ranch activities or mountain rides. Day trips available as well as overnight packs. Roping/cutting training with fresh cattle available daily. Contact: (435) 795-2626 / (866) 795-2626

J Diamond Ranch, JOSEPH. Includes 19 large stalls with rubber mats,  indoor wash rack, turnout paddocks, trailer hookups, a Large room for rent with full size and twin beds, two couches, TV and half bath. Lay-ups, farrier on premises. Dwayne or Angie: (435) 201-7785 / (435) 201-2034,

Paria Canyon Adventure Ranch Campground, KANAB. Includes eight corrals, two paddocks, 10-acre pastures and hay. Campground facilities include unimproved RV sites, tent camping, bunkhouse, new bathhouse with shower and laundry facilities and entertainment barn. Enjoy scenic rural setting with breathtaking trail rides in national monument. Contact: (928) 660-2674,

Hubbard House Bed and Breakfast Inn, MOUNTAIN GREEN. Lodging facility with outdoor corrals for horses. Don or Gloria: 1-800-815-2220 / (801) 876-2020, [email protected]

Red Cliffs Lodge, MOAB. Lodge, short and long term boarding, riding vacations, winery, museum, tours and activities. Contact: (866) 812-2002 / (435) 259-2002,


The Inn at White Pine Bed and Barn, LOON LAKE. Bed and Breakfast with overnight stabling for horses. Stalls with paddocks and adjoining pastures or pasture with a run-in are both available. Unlimited trail riding in the mountains surrounding Deer Lake are right outside the Inn. Lorie: (509) 233-2971,

Riverdance Stables, MONROE. Pastures and B&B amenities available. Also have room for LQ horse trailers. Nikki: (206) 817-3459 / [email protected]

Miari Stables, OLYMPIA. Includes 12×12 box stalls with mats, indoor and outdoor arenas, turnout paddocks, RV hookups plus electricity and water. Stallions are okay to stay. Hotels are five minutes away. Call for reservations. Kari: (360) 786-1628,


7XL Stables At Terry Bison Ranch, CHEYENNE. Includes 16 indoor and 12 outdoor stalls, outdoor pens, feed/hay, trail rides and trailer parking. Guest ranch offers horseback riding, wagon tours, fishing, RV park, cabins, bunkhouse, restaurant and saloon. Dan: (307) 634-4171

Stagecoach River Ranch Inc., CODY. Big Rig access with camping areas and bunkhouse lodging, with full kitchens, laundry, baths, TV and wi-fi available. Large corrals with auto-waterers and run-ins; 60×60 post and rail corrals and 12×16 Priefiert Rough Stock Pens, all with large feeders and water troughs. Heavy duty hitching rails for tacking and bathing your horses. Horse trailers available for clients free of charge. Certified hay for sale. Coggins Required. Linda: (307) 578-6074,


Ports of Entry Numbers:

Canadian Ports of Entry

  1. Emerson, MB (204) 534-6288
  2. Boissevain, MB (204) 534-6288
  3. North Portal, SK (306) 927-2255
  4. Coutts, AB (403) 344-3808
  5. Kingsgate, BC (250) 424-5311
  6. Osoyoos, BC (250) 495-6531
  7. Abbotsford, BC (604) 854-8029
  8. Pacific Hwy, BC (604) 541-3364

U.S. Ports of Entry

  1. Pembina, ND (701) 825-6262
  2. Dunseith, ND (701) 263-3364
  3. Portal, ND (701) 926-4281
  4. Sweet Grass, MT (406) 335-2142
  5. Eastport, ID (208) 267-2396
  6. Oroville, WA (509) 476-2635
  7. Sumas, WA (360) 988-5715
  8. Sumas, WA (360) 988-5715


Buying into Arizona

Purchasing a piece of Arizona, can lead you into experiencing a real horseman's paradise.

Purchasing a piece of Arizona, can lead you into experiencing a real horseman’s paradise.

Canadians love buying Arizona real estate. You’d know this to be true if you have a friend or family member who disappears to their “other” home south of the border when the weather begins to turn cold. This winter, instead of going through your Facebook privacy settings to prevent their vacationing photos from coming up into your newsfeed, ask yourself, “Why am I not in Arizona?”

Kathy McNiven

Arizona Home: Maricopa AKA “Little Canada”

For many snowbirds, purchasing a home in Arizona has given them their “happy” back. Since purchasing property in Arizona, Kathy NcNiven and her husband say their whole world dramatically began spinning in a better direction, and put the “smile” back into their lives.

“Coming down to Arizona totally changes your relationship,” says Kathy. “You get to be who you are.”

After buying their piece of land in the desert sunshine, McNiven said she learned how to smile again. It wasn’t just the warm sun and random afternoon happy hours that made the biggest difference. Living closely with your neighbors is normal here and it’s unusual to find someone in their house by themselves during the day.

“It seems like this community sucks you out of your house and puts you into activities, whether you want to be or not,” says McNiven.

Wine with dinner on their patio at the McNiven’s casa in Maricopa is a whole world away from an often hectic and frozen life in Alberta. After falling in love with this carefree lifestyle this area offers, the McNivens decided to purchase more properties and take advantage of other real estate options around the Thunderbird area.

“The first purchase was very impulsive. We came down to Arizona and we really didn’t like what we saw until we came to Maricopa.”

After reselling several properties, NcNiven explained they have no vision of ever selling their prized home in Maricopa.

“I am not sure of what the value would be right now, as we have no intention of selling. I don’t know what other parts of Arizona are like, but the sense of community in Thunderbird County and Papigo is absolutely incredible.”

Purchasing a home in the United States may seem like a stretch for some, but for the McNivens, the lifestyle and contentment they found in the state was well beyond what they had originally bargained for.

Kathy McNiven says the Arizona lifestyle, has put the word "happy" back into her life.

Kathy McNiven says the Arizona lifestyle, has put the word “happy” back into her life.

Val Nelson

Arizona Home: Wickenburg, AKA “The team roping capital of the world”

After several winters spent in Arizona ‘rv’ing’ it from her horse trailer, Val Nelson of Cochrane, Alberta, decided it was time to buy into the dream. Being competitive in the barrel racing world and having the ability to be away from Canada’s climate for months at a time gave Nelson the option of making this vision a reality.

With a bit of a background in various equestrian areas in the state, Nelson felt drawn to the town of Wickenburg. Besides the vast picturesque desert scene surrounding Wickenburg, the area is a bustle of horse activity, adorning restaurants and trendy shopping, which Nelson was aiming to take in.

“The people are so welcoming and the downtown is busy and safe – even at night when they have goat roping and dances off Main Street,” explains Nelson. “It’s very festive!”

When the opportunity arose in the spring of 2013 for Nelson to purchase a quaint piece of horse property, it did not take long for Nelson seal a deal. Being a realtor herself in Alberta, she knew that this chunk of paradise was the deal for her and now was the right time to buy.

“The dollar was at par, I just transferred cash. It was that easy.”

The deal could not have gone any better for Nelson. She did her homework before buying and found exactly what she was looking for in Arizona.

“Shop out the comparables or get a realtor who will find you a deal. I am a Canadian realtor, however I found an American realtor – Penny Arthur, who enjoys deal shopping too!”

As the cold blows into Canada this winter, Nelson will be nestling into her southern hideaway. By having this new home, she hopes to save money on renting and also gain a return on her initial investment.

“It saves me paying RV and horse board fees of $1,200 per month. When I sell it, hopefully it will retain its value or increase if the economy picks up.”

Although Nelson doesn’t swing a rope, she is an avid barrel racer. Wickenburg ‘s new Rancho Rio arena is scheduled to run Women’s Professional Rodeo Association co-approved jackpots throughout the winter and Nelson undoubtedly will be there. Having her horse in shape all winter will give her the extra edge on the competitions this spring in Alberta. This of course is just an extra bonus to finding a “vacation” home in Arizona.

Val Nelson purchased a horse property in Wickenburg in part to be close enough to participate in regular barrel racing jackpots all winter.

Val Nelson purchased a horse property in Wickenburg in part to be close enough to participate in regular barrel racing jackpots all winter.

Tim Bishko

Arizona Home: North Scottsdale AKA “The West’s most western town.”

In the Salt River Valley, known as the “Valley of the Sun,” Tim Bushko found his piece of horseman’s paradise. Within just a few square miles of where he purchased his property, resides a hot bed of the industry’s premier cutting, reining and cow horse trainers. For Bushko, this is awesome as his second home fits perfectly with his equestrian obsessions.

With all the abundance of arenas and horse activity (right at his fingertips), the Alberta native describes the north Scottsdale area as, “Fantastic, for whatever equine fix you need.”

Dunning, Fappani, Cushing, Wood, you name it – they all train right out of Bushko’s backyard. Being a part of this elite equine community while on vacation is exactly what most people only dream about. But for this part-time Albertan, it is a reality.

Aside from being a mecca of performance horse activities, the Scottsdale area also presents a variety of trendy, upscale amenities, with a sense of traditional southwestern character.

“North Scottsdale is a little less urban (than downtown Scottsdale),” explains Bushko. “It’s quiet, large lots, close to the things I like.”

In the winter, Bushko travels from his Priddis, Alberta home to his Arizona escape quite frequently. Unlike some snowbirds, once or twice a year is not enough for him. He likes to get the most of his southern property throughout the year. With a handful of top trainers and the best western amenities at your doorstep, who wouldn’t want to take advantage of the pristine qualities within the Scottsdale area.

Brenda and Stuart Derochie

Arizona Home: Chandler AKA

Leave the livestock behind. Home away from home for ranchers Brenda and Stuart Derochie is within a suburban gated community called Solera. Besides having convenient access to Arizona’s horse world knocking at their door, the Derochies didn’t purchase this property to share with their horses. Instead, this piece of paradise is meant to enjoy with their expanding family.

“We first bought in 2007,” says Brenda Derochie. “Our first home was a two bedroom home just off the second hole of the golf course. But as our family grew with grandkids, we decided to buy the house across the street that had three bedrooms, a den and a swimming pool.”

This piece of heaven is a large crossover from their world in Alberta. The Derochie’s life in Canada includes a small cow/calf operation, five miles west of Claresholm, Alberta. After 28 years of owning Frontier Western Store in downtown Claresholm, the Derochies sold the business and are enjoying semi-retirement on their piece of sunshine paradise. Despite being deeply rooted in the western lifestyle, the Derochies opted for a true vacation style home, without the burden of upkeep of animals.

“We had originally thought of buying a horse property, but with us not being there all winter the gated community was a better choice for us. There are many places you can board your horses and rope at without owning the property.”

In order for Stuart to rope during the winter, the Derochies were hauling their horses to Arizona. But the Derochies now stick to Arizona’s other extracurricular activities.

“Stuart has had two back operations and he is unable to rope anymore. So mainly right now we golf, hike and he is an avid hunter and shooter also. He eventually would like to do more riding in the desert.”

Without animals to tend to, life here is much more like a vacation. The Derochies’ home is conveniently located on the number three hole of the Lone Tree Golf Course. With no horses in their backyard, they can step right out their door and go golfing. For the Derochies, this is how to vacation in the winter.

Before You Buy

Four key tips for Canucks thinking of an Arizona location from Wickenburg horse property realtor, Penny Arthur.

1) See it in person: Distance sometimes makes it a necessity, especially on a property new on the market that fulfills all of our criteria and is priced well enough that it’s not likely to stay on the market for long. However, it’s best not to make offers on property you have not viewed in person.

2) Be ready: Have your financing planned out and approved in advance so when you see that good deal you are ready to move. Good deals don’t last long.

3) Think for yourself: Just because you have friends in a certain area doesn’t mean it is a good investment. Do some investigating on your own.

4) Utilize the fine print: After writing a contract you have a 10-day period to inspect your home and area- use it!

– Find out more about Wickenburg horse properties at Arthur’s website,

Other Helpful Tips

What about them varmints?

A monthly must of desert living, spraying for pests in your living quarters can cost around $45 a visit and targets scorpions, spiders and termites.

Taxes when selling

Any income you earn in the United States has to be reported to both the U.S. and Canadian governments, including selling your Arizona property. At that time you will need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). This is a nine digit numbered issued by the Internal Revenue Service, to those who do not qualify for a U.S. Social Security Number. Unfair, we know, but expect to be taxed by a percentage on profits made by both the U.S. and Canadian governments.

Arizona Horse Country

If you grew up reading Zane Grey, and watching John Wayne on the big screen, there is a good chance you’ve already been romanced by Arizona, but for the modern Canadian western rider there is so much more that Arizona has to offer – mild winter temperatures, desert riding, a plethora of horse competitions and events, unique cowboy towns rodeos, guest ranches and southwest shopping and dining. Oh, did we mention – a distinct absence of two other Canadian riding pestilences – wind and bugs? About 24 hours due south of Canada, everything is possible in the western state of Arizona. Whether you dream of riding across the desert washes and canyons, or crave the ability to get a leg up on your competitive year, Arizona may be calling you. It’s time to check it out, and discover what the hype in this state is all about.

Riding Utopia

When the winter season hits, towns all across the Canyon State explode with thousands of cowboy hats and horse trailers. To facilitate the mania – the lions share of which is generated from Canadian riders – arenas and boarding stables have sprung up in every direction.

"I love horses and love the Wild West, there is nothing better than putting the two together," says Janice Sullivan, owner and manager of Horspitality RV Park, near Wickenburg.

“I love horses and love the Wild West, there is nothing better than putting the two together,” says Janice Sullivan, owner and manager of Horspitality RV Park, near Wickenburg.

Although it just opened in December of 2012, the cowboy town of Wickenburg’s newest arena has already kept itself tremendously busy. The Rancho Rio facility was built in partnership with Ty Yost, Ty Grantham and Bob Crosthwaite and is the fourth major arena built within a three-and-a-half mile radius of town. After a brightly successful debut season, the crew is anticipating another epic winter, filled with tons of competitions and flocks of snowbirds.

“Our peek season is definitely after Christmas,” says Ty Grantham.

Anywhere between January and March is the peak season in Wickenburg. To accommodate the influx of Canadian horse people, Rancho Rio is already expanding on its brand new facilities which include an outdoor arena and ample RV hook ups.

Roping is big business in Wickenburg. When Rancho Rio opened a few years ago, there were 60 ropings scheduled in that month alone. While the dirt at the Rancho Rio grounds gets groomed for another hectic winter season of team ropings, more events such as mounted shooting, team sortings and barrel racing competitions are also being penciled into the Rancho Rio calendar.

Down in Casa Grande, anticipation for the winter flush is also taking place at the Walking N Arena. As facility co-owner Carrie Woolsey, finishes up the final touches around the facility, she explains what their program here is all about.

At the Walking N Arena in Casa Grande, ropings are underway almost every say of the week.

At the Walking N Arena in Casa Grande, ropings are underway almost every say of the week.

“My husband teaches and we all work on our roping,” explains Woolsey.

Over the past 12 years, Carrie’s husband, Rube – multiple National Finals Rodeo team roping qualifier, has been taking in student ropers, to help fine tune their skills to prep or the upcoming roping season.

“We have geared our camp as a winter roping camp. We have some barrel racers, but we generally have clients who come to really get better at their roping. We rope Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. We do a team roping jackpot Thursday starting at 10:00 o’clock in the morning. Then we go into a barrel racing jackpot Thursday nights.”

For the roping snowbird aiming to make some headway next season, the Woolsey’s arena is certainly one to check out.

“We tend to have people here that really want to get better with their roping. We have everything from the open roper to the guys who are just starting,” says Woolsey, and adds in the typical lingo of a down to earth roper, “but we all get done what we need to get done.”

"People came here (Arizona) 30-35 years ago, just because of the weather. When it is snowing everywhere else, you can lope a horse in a circle 310 days a year and be sure it's not going to rain. It's a mecca for horse people. Because of the weather, this is performance horse central," explains senior ranch instructor at Cowboy College, Rocco Wachman.

“People came here (Arizona) 30-35 years ago, just because of the weather. When it is snowing everywhere else, you can lope a horse in a circle 310 days a year and be sure it’s not going to rain. It’s a mecca for horse people. Because of the weather, this is performance horse central,” explains senior ranch instructor at Cowboy College, Rocco Wachman.

Cowboy U

You may want to put on your working gloves, before you show up at the Arizona Cowboy College. While some people arrive in Scottsdale, Arizona, to live out their cowboy fantasies, those who pull in here better expect whole lot more then a dude ranch vacation.

Lori Bridwell and her late husband Lloyd Bridwell came to the Scottsdale area in 1969, with an idea to “put people on horseback.” In 1986, the Bridwells created a curriculum, geared to transform any type of student into a real working cowboy.

The concept for this original idea came along while Lori’s husband Lloyd was sick with a fever from a blister beetle bite, while down in Mexico. To ease the time healing himself up, he read through the classifieds in a local newspaper.

“He picked up a paper there and it said “You too could be a truck driver,” and he thought about the idea of, “You too could be a cowboy,” explains senior ranch instructor Rocco Wachman and longtime friend of the Bridwells.

“He later put an advertisement in the paper and it kind of driveled along from there. In 1999, after we were on the cover of the Los Angeles Times, it went crazy.”

In 2003, the concept of the ranch was made even more famous via a popular reality television program called Cowboy U. Audiences tuned in weekly to Country Music Television, as senior ranch instructor Rocco Wachman, challenged cowboy wannabes to develop basic ranch handling skills. Cowboy U ultimately was a hit and the program aired for four seasons.

Today the facility is still in full operation, steadily putting people on horseback. Over the decades of operation the team has become a fixture in the Scottsdale community.

Located on the edge of the Tonto National Forest, the ranch also offers a unique experience for people to haul into their facility and take advantage of the vast Arizona landscape. With hundreds of trails to choose from, it may be smart to take a trail guide along for the ride. Unless you feel like you are up for a real cowboy adventure.


How to Escape to Little Canada

Arizona Horse Country

Wintering in Arizona is a horse lover’s dream.

Snowbirds have many good reasons for wanting to purchase property in Arizona, to escape North America’s cold northern climate in the winter. So much so, that a small area of Maricopa has self described itself as “Little Canada.” However purchasing a foreign-property can still seem pretty intimidating to Canadians. Finding the answers to all your questions may seem overwhelming, but it can be done.

A very valuable Canadian resource in the Pinal County, Maricopa, Casa Grande, Province, Rancho El Dorado, Thunder Bird Farms and Hidden Valley areas is Mary Ann Toohey, of Maricopa Real Estate. She is not only a real estate agent, but a former Canadian, avid horse person and past Canadian Finals Rodeo Qualifier. For many of today’s top rodeo contestants and performance horse enthusiasts, Toohey has helped them to make their Arizona dream a reality. On her website you will find homes for sale, information for sellers and community links and info, for the Maricopa and Casa Grande areas. If you are in the market for a winter escape, Toohey has a wide variety of listings to suit almost any price bracket.

Canadians have unique questions for realtors. After several decades working within the Arizona real estate business, Toohey’s most common concerns from Canadians include:

How do I get financed? Both American and Canadian lenders do have financing packages for Canadians looking to buy homes in the U.S. Your down payment and lending terms vary according to which institution you choose, income levels and the purpose of your purchase. There are lots of options available, you just need to chose what you can afford.

How am I taxed as a Canadian, if I decide to sell my property? Any income you earn in the United States has to be reported to both the U.S. and Canadian governments, including selling your Arizona property. At that time you will need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). This is a nine digit numbered issued by the Internal Revenue Service, to those who do not qualify for a U.S. Social Security Number. Expect to be taxed by a percentage on profits made by both the U.S. and Canadian governments.

If you are seeking more important tips on purchasing property in the United States, check out the Jan./Feb. edition of the Western Horse Review and check out Toohey’s website for affordable horse properties for sale.

Maricopa Real Estate

This horse property located in Maricopa, is listed at $184,900.

A Visit to Wickenburg


Photos by Deanna Kristensen

About 60 miles northwest of Phoenix and nestled into the Sonoran Desert lies the cowboy town of Wickenburg, Arizona. With a population hovering around 7,000, this town is all about good country living, with a healthy measure of Wild West thrown in. We visited just this past week to deliver a few of the issues containing our first Snowbirds Guide to Riding in Arizona.

While there we decided to pop into the Desert Caballeros Western Museum. The space is small and intimate with the first floor housing one of the most impressive collections of western art. Just about every iconic western painter and sculptor of the 20th century is represented here in original work, including works by George Catlin, Albert Bierstadt, Joseph Henry Sharp, Oscar Berninghaus, Joe Beeler, Harrison Begay and several stunning bronzes by the likes of Earle Heikka and Gib Singleton. Right next to Charlie Russell’s iconic The Navajo, is Frederic Remington’s 1890 Vaquero. That sort of thing. It took our breath away.

Heading out of town we stopped at a recommended and local favourite – the Cowboy Trading Post. Another worthwhile stop, it’s a divine little mix of gear and cowboy accruements.

“We call it Cowboy Ecletic,” said owner Connie Lynne, who explained the town of Wickenburg really comes alive with horse activity from late October to March. Known as the “team roping capital of the world,” the town is buzzing all winter long with ropings every day of the week. Connie and her partner Tim Pearce, know their clientele well. Pearce is a local farrier, horse trainer and roper, who has been involved in the local horse community for 30 years. With all the staff combined, Lynne notes the store has a century-plus worth of experience among all of those who work here.

By the time I left I was privy to some local western trivia, had a rundown of the incredible western performance talent in the area, such as cutter Todd Adolf, Buddy Uldrickson, and new talent in the area like Jaton Lord, Ray Hunt’s grandson,  who had just returned to his place at nearby Skull Valley from this years Legacy of Legends in Las Vegas.

Finally, I made a sweet birthday present purchase. All in a day’s work. (smile)

Cowboy Trading Post

Owner Connie Lynne, left, and one of her knowledgeable crew.

Rancho Rio

Team Roping at Rancho Rio in Wickenburg.


A Stallion Station Redefining The Industry

At Silver Spurs Equine LLC in Scottsdale, Arizona, proud owners Michelle and Michael Miola, are passionate about managing and raising the best horses for the western performance horse industry.  As you browse across their stallion roster, you will recognize the names of their stallions, on the pedigrees of today’s top performers. Silver Spurs Equine LCC’s horses are simply, bred and managed to win.

Silver Spurs Equine

Conquistador Whiz (LTE $110, 225, OE $1,500,000), is one of the many top western performance stallions, that call Silver Spurs Equine LLC home.

The bloodlines showcased within their stallion alley, are packed with horsepower. Their team of influential sires includes: NRHA leading sire Boomernic (Reminic x Docs Leavem Smoke) OE $1,950,000;  Conquistador Whiz (Topsail Whiz x Sugarita Chex) OE $1,500,000;  Spooks Gotta Gun (Grays Starlight x Katie Gun) OE $400,000; Einsteins Revolution (Great Resolve x Fly Flashy Jac) LTE $352,720; Big Chex To Cash (Nu Chex To Cash x Snip O Gun) LTE: $220,160;  Tinker With Guns (Colonels Smoking Gun x Tinker Nic) LTE: $336,966; Nic It In The Bud (Reminic x Genuine Redbud) LTE: $148,765; Boom Shernic (Boomernic x She And Chic Dunit)  LTE $400,000.  is the ultimate dream team of stallions.

Amongst their Junior Stallion category, are five high caliber up and comers destined to also become industry greats. Their list includes: Finest China Rose (Footworks Finest x Smart China Rose); Haboomamatada (Boomernic x Fives Litte Lena); Catatomic (High Brow Cat x Miss Dual Cherlena); Ruf Conqueror (Conquistador Whiz x Lil Ruf N Trouble); Captain Barbossa (Gallo Del Cielo x Hustlers Sugar).

Recently, Silver Spurs Equine LLC acquired two new stallions to their list of trend setters. In 2013, the team welcomed multiple US National Arabian Reining Champion Stallion What It Takes (Ga N Khredible x Sonoma Sensation) and Docs Soula (Soula Julie Star x Docs Hickory Nut), to their barns. These two new sires, offer leading Pure Arab and Half Arab bloodline potential to their breeding program.

Silver Spurs Equine

Silver Spurs Equine LLC’s sale preview on November 1st, 2013.

The team’s first annual production sale in 2013, offered an exclusive list prospects sired by their senior stallion lineup. The 2014 sale, is also expected to offer a stellar showcase of the Silver Spurs Equine LLC breeding program. For updates on their annual sale, make sure to check their website for upcoming news and events throughout the season.

Silver Spurs Equine

Assistant trainer Lee Bielefedt exhibits Lot 39, Lomasi Command (Docs Frizzie Command X Money Honey), prior to the Silver Spurs Equine LLC’s first annual production sale.

The Miolas and the team at Silver Spurs Equine LLC, have a quest to offer nothing but the best. Make sure to check out their website or follow their page on Facebook. Their breeding program is unmistakably marking the leader boards today and preparing the champions of tomorrow.

Spooks Gotta Gun Silver Spurs Equine

Spooks Gotta Gun (Grays Starlight x Katie Gun) LTE $81,000; OE $400,000+