Rocking Z Ranch is a small family owned and run guest ranch. The itinerary is flexible to accommodate everyone with a mixture of half day and all day rides. You ride over a variety of terrain. Sometimes to higher ground where you can see six different mountain ranges. Parts of the rides are steep climbing but where the terrain is appropriate you may have canters. A favourite ride is a sixteen mile ride to Medicine Rock with the opportunity for lots of canters.  Each week there is usually the opportunity to move cattle from one pasture to the next or bring the cattle into the arena to do team penning. If you are really keen to learn roping and cattle work this can be available on request.

Experience Parelli Natural Horsemanship put to a purpose.  Whether new to horses or highly experienced, you will have the opportunity to expand your skills.  Learn to work cattle from the back of a horse, ride long trails or play at liberty in a round pen – we do it all.  Private and semi-private Horsemanship lessons are always available upon request with no extra charge.

Those who are Experienced Riders have opportunities to work with and ride a variety of horses to suit their desired goals.  Riding here is independent – our well-trained horses go where they are told, when they are told to and at exactly the speed that is requested of them.   Beginner Riders will find that they learn a huge amount just by spending plenty of hours each day with and on the horses.

Rocking Z is a genuine ranch, set right in the heart of cowboy country, Montana, and not far from Yellowstone and little known but better Glacier Park. It’s a beautiful North American wilderness and if you’re lucky you might glimpse some of the local wildlife out on a ride, like eagles, bears, mountains lions and the very shy lynx.

Patty and Zack Wirth have been ranching and raising their children here for over 30 years – Zack is a 5th generation Montana rancher and works hard to preserve this life that he loves. The family are big followers of Parelli, so there’s also the opportunity to watch and learn about this training method. The other benefit to this is you can expect to ride very well schooled and responsive horses.

Because horses and riding are the centre of what we do at the Rocking Z, extra activities are done in non-riding hours.  The ranch also suits families, because we can cater to what each individual needs.

Key Facts

  • All year round arrive on Sunday
  • No minimum  / Maximum 12 riders
  • Ranch stay – Western working ranch & lessons
  • 7 Days / 6 nights (6 days riding)
  • 2 – 6 hours riding per day
  • Suits beginner to advanced riders
  • Suits non-riders
  • Weight limit 114 kilos

Riding Level and Horses

The ranch caters for beginners to advanced riders.

The ranch currently has over sixty horses, all much loved. They are mostly Quarter Horses but also include Appaloosas, Paints, Mustangs, smaller ponies and a couple of Belgians used for teaching driving. Most are trained on the ranch using Parelli Natural Horsemanship techniques.

You are encouraged to be involved in grooming and saddling your horse, the wranglers will show you the Western reining techniques.

The pace is varied from walking on the steeper slopes to a faster pace in the open spaces, which are great for canters.

Riding instruction is available in Parelli Natural Horsemanship, Western riding and reining.

The tack used is Western style with a couple of English saddles. The bridles have Mecate style natural reins with slobber straps & natural Hackamores.


The itinerary is set daily, and includes riding out with the wranglers, rounding up cattle, playing arena games like barrel racing, having a lesson, driving out the team of Belgians (a great activity for non riding partners) archery, fly fishing, and joining in with other general ranch activities, like cleaning out the barn.

Ranch activities revolve around the real ranch activities and vary by season.  There’s also lots of outdoor chill out space, a hot tub and a Saloon bar to practice lines dancing and have parties.

It is possible to extend your stay at the ranch or explore the beautiful landscapes . See activities below and ask us for more information.

Accommodation and Food

There are eight spacious guest rooms. Each room has an en-suite bathroom and a covered porch.  The porch area opens onto a lovely porch area for great views of the Montana countryside. The rooms have cast iron stove heaters for cool spring or autumn evenings. Air conditioning is available in some of the rooms, as is wifi.

The rooms are of varying size and some can accommodate up to four people on king queen or twin beds.

The main ranch lodge has a communal living and dining area where meals are taken with the family.

Meals at the Rocking Z are wholesome, home cooked and delicious and eaten around large tables, family style with freshly baked breads. The kitchen is open and friendly and guests are encouraged to help themselves to tea, coffee and snacks.

Expect pancakes, bacon and eggs for breakfast, picnics on rides or if at the ranch, soups and salads. Dinners are things like brisket, steaks and lasagne with vegetables and potatoes or pasta or rice. When weather allows there’s also cook outs, with good old fashioned beans, meat and fresh bread all done over the fire in a Dutch oven, not forgetting fresh coffee. Most dietary is catered for ie: Gluten and dairy free.

Dates and Prices
2020: Rates: 6 nights (Rates are in USD)
Jan, Feb & March     $1860.00
April & November    $1920.00
May & October         $2000.00
June & September   $2250.00
July & August           $2500.00
December                 $1860.00

The normal ranch stay is six nights; arriving on Sunday departing the following Saturday after breakfast. It is possible to stay for 10 or 13 nights but there are no organised activities and only simple meals provided on the middle Saturday.

Between November and March you can arrive and depart on any day and stay for as long as you like (3 night minimum stay).

CHILD DISCOUNTS:10% discount for children aged 4 to 12 years.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: No single supplement if you are willing to share. There is one small single room available at no supplement. If you would like to guarantee a single room please request the fee.

Note: All Prices are in American Dollars and are subject to a 2% Bed Tax by the State of Montana.

Rates are based on the USD dollar and subject to currency fluctuation, so please contact us for the most up to date pricing for your riding holiday. We use the ANZ sell rate to convert to AUD.


  • All accommodation in twin or double share rooms.  Single rooms subject 20% supplement. All meals from arrival dinner to departure breakfast. Includes continental breakfasts, picnic lunches and cooked dinners
  • 6 full days of riding on horseback, including horses and riding gear
  • Wrangler guide

Not included

  • International and internal flights and transfers to start of ride
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • USD Esta visa costs
  • Extra sightseeing, entry to sights, off ranch visits
  • Alcohol and items of personal nature and tips.  (This can be purchased in town)
  • Transfers Included from Helena at 11 am on a Sundays and return at 11 am on a Saturday. At any other time transfers are possible from Helena return (payable locally). Ask for rates.

We reserve the right to alter the itinerary or accommodation, and change horses where necessary, but will keep you informed at all times.

Other Information

The ranch is just half an hour’s drive north of Helena set in the grassy foothills of the Rocky Mountains of Montana.

Weather website: http://www.holiday-weather.com/

In June, July and August you may get to visit a local Rodeos with the family. Other activities can be arranged including fishing, canoe trip down the Missouri river and massage treatments.  At certain times of the year you maybe able to see the Migration of Tundra Swans, Snow Geese, and Canadian Geese – you can see thousands of swans and geese as they migrate north, March and April, or migrate south, November and December.

Yellowstone National park with is a 3 hour drive and a worthwhile add on.

Languages spoken

Closest  Airport
Helena or Great Falls Airport

Terms and conditions and terms apply to this riding holiday

Please contact Snaffle Travel for further information, booking terms and conditions to info@snaffletravel.com.au

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