Ranch 'n' Relaxation

Unwind after a busy horse show season with the AQHA and Dude Ranchers' of America QuarterFest Extravaganza vacation giveaway.

From AQHA's QuarterFest, with contributions from Kristin Syverson

We're not a bit surprised if your summer plans include a busy lineup of horse shows. But let's face it, everyone deserves some time for pure relaxation. Chances are, those hard-working horses of yours won't mind loafing around in their stalls for a few days.

You just might want to make room in your summer schedule for a relaxation-only trip complete with beautiful natural surroundings, plus a horse or two.

Attend the QuarterFest Extravaganza May 1 and 2 for a chance win a trip to a Dude Ranchers’ of America dude ranch in Arizona or Colorado.

The Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson, Arizona, and Tarryall River Ranch in Lake George, Colorado, are just itchin’ to host the winners from the QuarterFest Extravaganza.

I'm no rocket scientist, but that sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me!

The chance to spend your time soaking in the scenery while visiting a true working ranch sounds like a dream. You're not going to want to wake up! Keep the dream going when you open up the pages of AQHA's "Best Remudas" to see beautiful shots of the best ranches there are.

Nestled among the majestic natural beauty of the Rincon Mountains between Saguaro National Park and the Coronado National Forest, the Tanque Verde dude ranch, in business since 1868, is set on 60,000 acres of unspoiled southwest landscape surrounding plush accommodations, unparalleled amenities and a diverse menu of daily rides and activities.

Guests are invited to take part in a variety of horseback adventures, hit the trails on a mountain bike, or hike, fish, swim and just play at the Tanque Verde.

The winners of the Colorado dude ranch vacation will be welcomed to the Tarryall River Ranch by the Tesch family. At the Tarryall, you can fish, hike or spend the entire time horseback. You’ll appreciate the wranglers and the thorough instruction provided.

Beginners will be made to feel comfortable on the most gentle of horses, while intermediate and advanced riders will be matched with a horse that will perfectly compliment their abilities. With the choice of half-day or all-day rides, you’ll also be able to chose the ride you want: touring beautiful spots, instructional rides to sharpen your skills, leisurely rides or more advanced rides in groups or with your family. An overnight pack trip is available, too. There is also opportunity to work in the arena, team-penning or practicing for the ranch rodeo.

If you're not able to pack it up and head to a dude ranch, you can still catch a glimpse of the action with the stunning photographs found in AQHA's "Best Reumdas." Charitable giving never looked so good, as all proceeds from the book benefit the American Quarter Horse Foundation's scholarship, equine research and therapeutic riding programs.

With either one of these vacations, you'll feel just like you're in a scene from "All In a Day's Ride," a video from Quarter Horse Outfitters presenting the life of a cowboy.

The vacations, which must be used during the 2009 season, are both four-night packages for two people and are based upon availability. Airfare is not included, and some restrictions may apply. Again, one dude ranch vacation will be given away each night – May 1 and 2 – at the QuarterFest Extravaganza. No purchase necessary. Must be 18 to win. Sign up to win at the QuarterFest Extravaganza!

See complete contest rules.

Top 10 Things About QuarterFest

#9: The Dedicated Conservation Area! It's important to consider the impact we have on the environment every day, but since today is Earth Day, we thought it was especially important to celebrate the great conservation spirit of QuarterFest. AQHA is putting its money where its mouth is and will be kicking off its new conservation division May 1-3 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.