At Loose Reins, an American-style ranch, the “wild west” means Dorset. Before visiting, I’d fretted about being miscast as a cowgirl (I’m a regular rider but couldn’t hope to lasso even the statue of a cow) and my husband (an irregular rider) struggling to play John Wayne. But this place is run by Marc and Michelle Gibbs, who know their quarter horses and don’t require western riding expertise from their guests (although their ranch will make western aficionados cheer).
Nestled in the hills of Dorset is something unexpected – a way of embracing the great British outdoors from a distinctly American perspective. From atop an American quarter horse, and from the window of a ranch cabin, you can have an experience reminiscent of the pioneers who travelled west in search of space and freedom.
Conde Nast Traveller
I have been a keen rider since my teens and couldn't wait to get back in the saddle. So a weekend horse-riding in Dorset with my teenage daughters sounded just about perfect.
Surrounded by a forest of stately beech and jew trees, Loose Reins gives a pretty good impression of being in Colorado, especially when you factor in the American barn stables and paddocks, cedar-log cabins and tented family lodges with porches and rocking chairs.
Horse & Hound
Whether you’re looking for somewhere to get away with your significant other (what guy would pass up the chance to be a cowboy for a weekend?) or fancy getting a group of like-minded friends together for a break with a twist, we suggest you check out Loose Reins in Dorset.
Frock Me I'm Famous
We knew that we wanted to stay in a cute cabin, something very quintessentially British and we found the PERFECT accommodation via Canopy & Stars. We spent two nights at Loose Reins, an intimate setting with 3 standalone log cabins, complete with horse riding and the most welcoming staff! We arrived fairly late on the Friday evening and were warmly greeted and shown to our beautiful cabin; it was definitely love at first site for both of us! Our cabin was super cosy but had everything we needed from instant hot water, to a super comfy bed and a log fire burner – it was Instagram dreams!
Located in the quaint town of Shillingstone, Loose Reins provided us with a stay that left us feeling reconnected with nature! Set on a ranch with lots of stunning land, we felt so relaxed and refreshed during our trip; everything we wanted and more from our country retreat in Dorset!
The Blackmore Vale Magazine
Living and working in Dorset means you often come across special undiscovered spots on your travels and the setting for a new venture at Shillingstone is quite magical.
Tucked under Blandford Wood, a sweeping natural coombe is now home to several cedar clad cabins which blend seamlessly into the stunning surroundings. You almost feel as if you have stepped into a different country with a chalky outcrop rising up above the avenues of trees.
This is Your Kingdom
Loose Reins is a new and inspired place to get-away-from-it-all, tucked in a wooded fold under the Wessex Ridgeway. The pretty shepherd’s huts and larger pioneer tents surround tranquil paddocks where the Loose Reins quarter horses roam quietly in the valley.
Wannabe cowboys and girls the brand new riding retreat Loose Reins in Dorset has been tailor made for you.
Featuring trekking on American Quarter horses, cook-outs under the stars and stunningly beautiful cabins inspired by the Pioneers right down to the quilted blankets and rocking chairs, this is the full Wild West experience.
The setting in the heart of the Blackmore Vale is truly spectacular. You can come here just to escape and realign your chakras, lolling on your personal deck with a cold beer. Or you can sign up for day long trails, exploring 2000 acres of Wild Dorset countryside, riding Western style.
The brainchild of local farmers and passionate equestrians Marc and Michelle Gibbs, Loose Reins is a glamping destination with a difference.
They offer accommodation in the form of luxurious cedar-clad cabins and canvas lodges in a beautiful scenic location, but they will also take you out to discover the countryside beyond on horseback – and offer lessons to beginners and those hoping to brush up their skills.
Bride and Tonic
When we found Loose Reins, we instantly knew we had stumbled across something special. The perfect retreat to relax, unwind and escape in your own little Pioneer cabin. We couldn’t believe it was in Dorset, UK!
The place is set in a very special natural valley with fields and woodland all around- the perfect retreat for a mini moon or romantic getaway. The beautiful cabin is stylishly accessorised and the wooden veranda quipped with sheepskin clad benches and willow rocking chairs is the perfect spot to sit and watch the world go by.
The shoot was inspired by the Pioneers of the West, with a warm autumnal hues and beautiful bohemian gowns.
Frog & Field
Michelle showed us up to the most delightful cabin. Based on a pioneer cabin these have been hand crafted in Dorset and are just so cute! Filled with home comforts and so many details. Little touches like Christmas decorations, cotton wool pads, fresh eggs and a heated blanket. They really have thought of everything. There’s an honestly shop filled with yummy local delights and en route are the cutest Pygmy goats. Possibly Margaux’s favourite thing.