Five great New Mexico rambles on horseback

Michelle Pentz Glave

ALBUQUERQUE

North Valley Equestrian Center. After riding through the river's bosque, splash with your steed in the Rio Grande. A favorite out-and-back heads to quaint Corrales, stopping for lunch at the village pizzeria. $30 per hour. 505/890-4338.

CHAMA

The Ranch. "Ain't no place in this country I ain't been to," says outfitter Reid Hollo. "We can go see wild horses out by the petroglyphs or go to waterfalls." Hollo will even get you hitched to your honey on horseback. $100 per day, including lunch. 505/756-2685.

PECOS

Bear Creek Adventures. Ride into the Pecos Wilderness and take your paint through a lush, 4-mile-long meadow choked with high-country blooms; cross streams to historic log-cabin ruins. $100 per day. www.bearcreekadventures.com or 505/757-6229.

TAOS

Rio Grande Stables. Not for the weak-of-rear: Ride all day up 13,161-foot Wheeler Peak, New Mexico's highest point. Guides pack a gourmet lunch ― roast chicken, corn and bean salad ― in saddlebags. From $35 per hour, including lunch. www.lajitasstables.com or 888/259-8267.

TAOS PUEBLO

Taos Indian Horse Ranch. Trot and gallop through the piñon pines, spying elk with native guide Cesario Gomez, otherwise known as Stormstar. For advanced riders, the Spirit Horse Rides ($115) include insights into Pueblo culture. From $45 per hour. 800/659-3210.