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Explore Montana on Horseback

RODEO at the Bar W

Rodeo Riding

All-inclusive guests spend all week improving their horsemanship skills, and toward the end of the week get the chance to participate in the Bar W guest rodeo, a non-threatening and friendly competition against your new friends and family that you can take as seriously, or as not seriously, at you want.

With events aimed at testing your steed’s fancy footwork, you’ll see how your horsemanship measures up in a fun arena atmosphere filled with music and the cheers of your fellow guests.

Barrel Racing

This timed event is perhaps one of the most recognized equestrian competitions in the world. Horse and rider work together to complete a clover-leaf pattern around three barrels set up in a triangle shape in the fastest time possible.

Barrel racing is a test of skill and coordination. You and your mount will race to each barrel (at whatever speed you feel most comfortable and in control), then slow your horse down at just the right time to make the tight turn around each barrel before racing for the finish line. It’s a thrill to perform knowing you have your very own fan section waiting on the sidelines to cheer you on. Expect to have the time of your life!

Pole Bending

Imagine the feeling you get when you slalom down an alpine ski course, hurtling back and forth between the poles. The precision. The control. The speed.

Now combine all that with a 1,000 pounds of horseflesh propelling you forward as fast as you can handle, and you can start to see the appeal behind this event.

Pole Bending is yet another classic rodeo event. While perhaps not as well-known as barrel racing, pole bending is perhaps more challenging, and thus more satisfying when its done right. The challenge lies in completing the pattern, which involves weaving in and out of the poles, without missing a pole or knocking them over. Its simple in concept, but the faster you and your horse go, the harder it gets to complete.

It’s fun to do, and it will improve your confidence and communication with your horse as you try to get the winning time of the day.

Other Rodeo Day Games

Rodeo day is fun for the whole family. Even those who don’t want to ride will be able to participate. After the riding events are finished, we’ll set up a couple that don’t include horses so that everybody gets the chance to play. On hot days we’ll set up a water balloon toss, which is popular with guests of all ages, or get ready to get down and dirty with a good ole’ fashioned tug-o-war or a sack race.

The kids love rodeo day as much as parents and grandparents, as it gives them a chance to showoff all their new skills and compete with their new friends. For the little cowpokes that aren’t ready to ride by themselves, they’ll still get to participate in all the fun while a wrangler leads their horse through each pattern; often to the thunderous applause from everyone watching.

Other Rodeo Arena Games

Each weekly group gets to try reigning with reins across several more arena-style events that will test your horsemanship and competitive nature in a non-threatening, but fully authentic atmosphere on a Montana dude ranch.

Kids love arena days as much as parents and grandparents as it gives them a chance to test their skills against their new friends and/or siblings.