We had the good fortune of connecting with Adrienne Rubin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Adrienne, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
Horses are like children – you can’t fathom how much work, responsibility, and reward they are until you have them, and traveling with them takes a tremendous amount of effort, planning, and patience. Navigating the horse world can feel like a mountain range of learning curves; learning to ride or learning a new riding discipline, learning how to own and care for a horse of your own, learning how to compete, and learning how to travel with horses all present different sets of skills and challenges. Without the guidance of an instructor, friend, mentor, or family member to show you the ropes, it can be challenging for even experienced equestrians to explore new waters.
Many riders learn in the arena and then get stuck there, or ride the same trails over and over. It’s daunting to do something new, and horses add another dimension. By offering trips for riders who own their own horses, Equescapes gives riders the opportunity to dive in to traveling with horses while making it easy by handling the planning, cooking, and guiding. Riders who might not otherwise have the gear, knowledge, skills, or moxie to embark on a riding trip on their own now have a starting point from which to launch their own equestrian adventures, and resources to help them plan and guide them along the way.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
After a career of many years training horses and teaching riding, I was burned out. I wanted to spend more time traveling and trail riding, and less time in the competitive horse show world. I started Equescapes Equestrian Adventures to combine my passions for horses and travel while continuing to enjoy both.
Initially a travel agency for riding adventures worldwide, Equescapes has expanded to include trips we lead ourselves here at home in Colorado, which we developed when Covid shut down international travel. Thinking it would be a major setback, we pivoted to change the types of trips we offered, and now many of our trips are tailored towards riders who own and bring their own horses. In the wake of Covid, these trips allow guests to explore amazing locations around Colorado, all on their own horse, without having to deal with planning, cooking, or researching the trails, as we take care of all of that. Traveling with horses is a new and exciting way for many to travel while still staying relatively close to home. Our trips create a wonderful sense of community among our riders, who often continue to meet up to ride and travel together long after their trip. The trips also educate and encourage riders with regards to how to travel with horses, so that they are able to then do so on their own, the first step in a lifelong journey.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Since my best friends are all horse riders as well, obviously we would go on a riding trip! Our first stop would be a private ranch near Lake George, where we stay in cute, rustic cabins that were part of the original homestead back in 1904. From there, we ride out into the Pike National Forest and Lost Creek Wilderness areas, packing picnic lunches and exploring all day long before returning to the ranch. After 2-3 days there, we would head farther up into the mountains for more remote, off-the-beaten-path riding. Packing all our gear with us on pack horses, we would spend several days exploring the high country. The options are endless, from the Vail Valley to Aspen to Steamboat to Crested Butte. Traversing meadows of wildflowers, swimming in alpine lakes, and camping in a new spot each night where the horses graze on summer grass and we wake up to sunrise over snow-capped peaks. For the final leg of our journey, we would head down south, to another private ranch which borders the Great Sand Dunes National Park. On the ranch we ride alongside bison and cattle, and then ride right into the Sand Dunes themselves. The ranch itself is a treat – a historic lodge with delicious, ranch-to-table dinners and a wide range of activities to enjoy. These are some of the top highlights for a rider visiting Colorado!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I couldn’t have gotten to where I have without the support of my wonderful parents, Naomi and Russell. They encouraged entrepreneurship from an early age and supported my endeavors every step of the way. Today, my mom bakes all the delicious, homemade desserts for my trips, and my dad patiently answers all my business, tax, and legal questions. They are always a great sounding board for new ideas, and safety net when the new ideas don’t pan out.
Photo with elephant: Photo credit Kaskazi Horse Safaris. Tanzania Photo with giraffes: Photo credit Horizon Horseback, South Africa Photo with sand dunes: Photo credit Zapata Ranch, Colorado All other photos: Equescapes Equestrian Adventures