Riverview Ranch & Resort

Horse Ranch and petting farm

Pricing / Options / FAQ's

What's included for Resort Guests staying in an apartment?

Everything listed below is included, except riding a horse/mini horse is discounted 20% for guests.

Why the Maximum of 6 visitors at a time on the property?

We have found that having more than 6 visitors tends to compromise safety. My attention is divided when there are more people. Kids tend to be less focused on following my instructions when there are members of another family around. Parents tend not to look after their kids as diligently when they are talking to their friends. More cars in the parking area increases odds of a small animal being run over. Safety is our number one priority. Is this maximum a hard and fast rule? No. However, we have also found that the people who push to bring more than 6 in a group tend to be less safety conscious. So, if you ask to bring more than 6 in your group I will lean toward denying the request simply because your request itself indicates that you may not take safety as seriously as I do. It might be more convenient for visitors to bring more people in one group and you might think it would be more fun to bring more people. However, I have found that the magical effect of personal interaction with our animals seems elusive in larger groups. Its more fun and more intimate with smaller groups. Ultimately, this is my ranch and I make the rules. This rule is designed to keep everyone safe and to facilitate fun, healing, and memorable animal encounters. I will make an exception for families with more than 4 children accompanied by mom and dad, and for large families with grandma/grandpa.

Horseback Riding/Petting Zoo

How does the pricing work?

For groups of 1 to 6 people we charge $160 for an hour.
So, if a party of 4 visitors, two of whom will ride the horse, stay for an hour we charge $160. If a party of 4 visitors all ride for five minutes each and pet the zoo for the remaining 40 minutes we charge $160. If a party of 3 visitors spends an hour riding and does not pet the zoo we charge $160. If a party of 6 visitors come with two kids who ride for 15 minutes each while the other four watch and take photos, and then all 6 visitors pet the zoo for half and hour we charge $160.

Petting zoo is free for resort guests. Wranglers will spend time letting your family get to know the animals for no extra charge, but we charge for riding a horse (20% off for guests). Our sledding hills are great when the snow is right. Resort guests may use our sleds or bring your own (liability waiver required). We can use a horse to pull your kids on a sled in the snow for the same price as horseback riding (when conditions are right).

What will you be paying for?

Resort guests are surrounded by animals while they are staying here. So, in essence, the petting zoo experience is continuous for resort guests.

The horses and goats often hang out in the indoor arena just outside the lobby equuarium. Rental Apartments have windows that overlook the indoor arena so guests can watch the horses and goats as they sip their morning coffee. The horses also often graze under the apartments' view of the Mississippi river and setting sun so they enhance the already spectacular views we have. The dogs and pigs walk all around and often come into the lobby, so resort guests will see them up close regularly. We have guinea pigs that reside in the lobby so they are available to Resort guests any time of day or night. The chickens, goats, and ducks wander all over the place outside so resort guests will likely see them when going out.

Resort guests can pet horses over the fence, at their own risk, without a wrangler, but to go into horse enclosures or to ride a horse we need a signed liability waiver and escort by a wrangler. We let the guests and visitors decide what they want the wrangler to spend time on.

When a guest or visitor wants to ride a horse or enter a horse enclosure I will ask them to fill out and sign the liability waiver and get helmets for anyone who wants to ride. Even if ranch visitors don't plan to ride they still need to sign the waiver if they want to be on the property. Resort guests don't need to sign the waiver unless they want to ride a horse or enter a horse enclosure or use the bikes/boats/sleds. We'll figure out what type of equipment is best for the riders' size and a wrangler will saddle up the horse.

If a child is too small or afraid to ride by him/herself we can put Mom or Dad on the horse and then put the child in their lap, with a larger saddle. You can expect that we will begin the ranch experience with me leading one of our beginner horses. We will swap out riders periodically. How long does each rider get? That's up to you. If there are two riders we'll normally give two fifteen minute rides and then move on to the petting zoo. If the visitors don't want to do the petting zoo we can ride for half an hour each. We're pretty flexible so just tell us what you want.

While I am leading the horse with each rider the rest of the group will be watching, taking photos and petting our dogs, goats and other critters in the pasture. Feel free to walk alongside the horse to encourage riders or to take pictures. Sometimes young children will lean toward their parents if they are walking alongside. Just be aware of this potential safety issue and tell the child to sit up straight and centered. If you see their little derriere sliding off the saddle just push it back to the center position. Most kids figure out pretty quickly that they need to stay centered and balanced in the saddle. I take everything very slowly until the child is well balanced. Kids who are not riding are free to run around in the open pastures as long as they are responsive to safety instructions. Don't let kids run wild in enclosed areas, chase chickens or ducks, or run around near horses.

What is the price for visitors who want to pet the zoo but not ride horses?

Little Tykes Petting Zoo:
Petting the zoo for 40 minutes - $100.

Little Tykes Petting Zoo and Cowpoke Photo Op: Get a photo of your little tyke sitting on Bullseye, the miniature horse, (50 lbs max). An adult will hold the little tyke while he/she is seated on Bullseye with an authentic western tiny saddle. Its up to you how much of the allotted time you spend on the photo op and how much time you spend petting the zoo.

Free rein rides for riders with some experience.

We offer free rein horseback rides on a case by case basis. These rides are limited to two horses at a time. The ride will be at a walking gait only. No trotting, cantering, galloping, racing, jumping, vaulting, sky-diving, or canon-balling allowed. If you want to go faster than a walk - talk to wrangler Roger about taking lessons. We do not take anyone's self-assessment of their riding ability. We will make our own determination of a rider's ability to ride a horse in a way that will not harm or frustrate our horses. Free-rein riders must demonstrate positive and compassionate control of the horse before we will allow them to ride outside the arena. We don't want anyone getting hurt and we don't want our horses to get bad habits so we will be very hands-on. We'll give instruction as necessary. Riders with experience, and teen-agers, will likely be BORED. We cater to kids mostly, but we can also let someone ride who may have been out of the saddle for a few years.

Price for free-rein riding is the same as for lead-line riding for one horse at a time. Two horses at a time free-rein riding will be $80 per hour more.

Canoeing or Kayaking

Included for Resort Guests.

General Info

We recommend you bring a sack lunch to eat on Beach Island (30 minute trip at moderate speed). At your scheduled time meet Riverboat Roger at the launch site. (4220'27.7"N 9024'23.8"W). Park on the grass just uphill from the launch site. Riverboat Roger will give you a quick safety lecture, make sure you have all the necessary equipment, ask you to sign a liability waiver, give you his emergency contact number, collect a refundable $20 equipment damage deposit, and help you shove off on your adventure.

What is the price if we want to pet the animals, and/or ride a horse, and also go Canoeing or Kayaking?

Guided Petting Zoo for 30 minutes and then go canoeing or kayaking. $180.

Horseback riding / Petting Zoo for one hour and then go canoeing or kayaking: $260.

What is the price if we just want to go Canoeing or Kayaking?

Canoe only: $100
Both kayaks only: $80
Canoe and one Kayak: $140
Canoe and both kayaks: $180
We deliver the boats to the launch site and to recover them after your excursion. Call Riverboat Roger when you are about 20 minutes from launch site. After you return the boat(s) to the launch site - Pull the boat(s) ashore. If Riverboat Roger was unable to meet you at the launch site, call and let him know you are back. Riverboat Roger will retrieve the boat(s).

How long will we have the boat(s)?

3.5 hours. We normally launch at 9:30 am and 1:00 pm. If you will be late, please call Riverboat Roger and let him know.

How far will we go?

Riverboat Roger will give you a paper map in a plastic bag which you can use to navigate. (Smart phones in plastic bags are also a great navigation tool.) Roger will point out the location of the Eagle's nest, Beach Island, and the rope swing, and answer your questions about the area. You can paddle as far as you wish as long as you are back to the launch site within your time.


Boaters are asked to stay in communication with Riverboat Roger, normally by text message, for boaters' safety during the trip. You will be provided with paddles, a life vest for each person on the boat, whistles, and maps. You should bring extra water bottles, bug spray, hats, and sunscreen.

How did our pricing structure evolve?

I played around a bit with complex pricing structures that seemed to need tweaking every time there was a different set of circumstances, which was every customer. Some people have riding experience, some don't. Some people want us to lead the horse, some want to ride free rein. Some people are afraid to get on the horse, some want to go too fast. Some people want to go on a trail ride, which we don't do. Some want to ride forever and others are more interested in the small critters or grooming the horses. Sometimes the weather is wonderful and sometimes we need to use the indoor riding arena to get out of the rain. It was difficult to nail down a pricing plan to address all the variables. I found that trying to account for all the variables in a complex pricing structure was confusing to customers and to myself. I've settled on a simple pricing structure now that seems to make sense for a variety of possible experiences. We are flexible with what we offer and a time and number of visitor based pricing structure seems to make the most sense. It preserves flexibility and allows each visitor to tailor their experience to their own changing interests in real time. You don't need to make up your mind about what you want and we don't need to tell you exactly what you will be doing until after you arrive. Horseback riding, petting zoo, and boating are available to you and you get to decide which you want to do in the time you pay for.

How long have we been in business?

We started giving horseback rides for hire in early 2020. We halted operations while COVID played out, and Started up again in spring 2021. The roof of our indoor riding arena collapsed in February, 2021 so, on the side of safety, we decided that we would not allow riders to control the horse themselves (free rein). Instead, I would walk in front of the horse with a rope clipped to the horse's halter and lead it while riders are on the horse. This is a very safe way for a beginner to ride a horse, but it might be a little boring for teenagers and adults, especially those with riding experience. Repairs of the collapsed roof was completed in August, 2021 so we now can allow experienced riders to ride free-rein under close supervision.

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