Riverview Ranch & Resort

Horse Ranch and petting farm

Pricing / Options / FAQ's


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

We have found that having more than 6 people 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. 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 do not take safety as seriously as I do. It is a sort of catch 22 situation. This is not a hard and fast rule and I understand it might be more convenient for visitors to bring more people in one group. You might perceive it would be more fun to bring more people. However, I have also 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.

How does the pricing work for Horseback Riding/Petting Zoo?


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.

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, even if they do not pay extra for the ranch experience. I call this the "wandering petting zoo."

The horses and goats often hang out in the indoor arena just outside the lobby equuarium. Rental Apartments 2 and 3 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. It is the wrangler's time, and access to the pastures and stable area, that we charge for. I can spend time giving a horseback ride just as easily as I can spend time giving meal worms to kids to feed to the chickens. So, it is up to the resort guest or ranch visitor and their children what we do. I let the guests and visitors decide what they want me to spend my time on and I charge for my time.

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. 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.

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 gate only (no trotting, galloping, cantoring, or jumping). 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.

As we become comfortable with a rider's ability to safely and compassionately control our horses we may offer more leeway in where they can ride and how fast they can go. It is our hope to provide an option for intermediate to advanced riders to ride a mini-trail ride around our property two horses at a time but this is not yet available.

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.

What is the price if we want the pet the zoo but not ride horses?

Little Tykes Petting Zoo:
Petting the zoo for 30 minutes - $80.

Little Tykes Petting Zoo and Cowpoke Photo Op: Get a photo of your little tyke sitting on Bullseye, the miniature horse, (50 lbs max) for an extra $20. An adult will hold the little tyke while he/she is seated on Bullseye. Bullseye will stand still for the photo with an authentic western tiny saddle. We will not walk with little tykes on Bullseye. We only stand still for the photo. The photo op adds 10 minutes to the Little Tykes Petting Zoo, so total will be $100 for 40 minutes. 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.

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

Petting Zoo/Boating Combo:
Guided Petting Zoo for 30 minutes and then go canoeing or kayaking for 2 hours. $160.

Comprehensive package:
Guided Petting Zoo and horseback ride for one hour and then go canoeing or kayaking for 2 hours: $240.

What is the price if we just want to go Boating?

Boating Only:
It takes me about half and hour to put the canoe or both kayaks in the water and to retrieve the equipment after the ride. I charge $80 for each half-hour of my time. It does not normally matter to me how long you have the boats out unless someone has booked them. Boats are booked for a two hour block. If you want to stay longer please text me after an hour and a half to see if anyone else is waiting for the boat(s). If I have a boat reservation for two hours after you leave I will need it back in time for the next boaters to take it out and your time will not be extended. I ask that boaters stay in telephone communication with me, normally by text message, so I can ensure the boats are available for the next event and also for boater's safety. If you want to guarantee you have the boat(s) for longer than 2 hours the cost is $30 for each additional hour. After you return the boat(s) to the launch site - text me that you are back, pull the boat(s) ashore, leave the equipment in the boat and drive to your home. Payment is made before launch, so you are free to go after your trip is done.

What is the price if we want the canoe and both kayaks?


All 3 Boats:
Add $50 to the prices shown above if you want to rent all three boats at the same time.

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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