Our Philosophy emphasizes respect for both the horse and the wilderness that we cherish so dearly. We seek to educate our guests in the skills that will enable them to enjoy both to the fullest. While we camp comfortably, we minimize our impact on the fragile alpine environment so as to preserve it for future generations. Most of our treks take place in Kananaskis Country, a 4200 square kilometer wilderness area stretching from the foothills to the Continental Divide. Other riding areas are the Prairies of southern Alberta and the foothills along Highway 22, also known as the Cowboy Trail. We choose our horses carefully, train them well and treat them in a respectful and natural way.
The M&M Ranch – Neil Maclaine
Moose Mountain Horseback Adventures was founded by Neil MacLaine in 1991 to meet the needs of horse enthusiasts and adventurers who wanted to experience the Rockies with a well-trained, athletic and responsive horse. He likes to call the business “a hobby that went hopelessly out of control”. With his endless enthusiasm for adventure he continues to personally guide many of the back-country and custom expeditions. Neil’s love of nature, history and adventure is infectious, and his interests include canoe trekking, mountaineering and skiing, but he is happiest exploring the wilderness with an equally enthusiastic horse.
In addition to running the business, Neil also served in the Armed Forces from 1978 until his retirement in 2017. Among the highlights of his career were teaching Arctic Warfare in the 1980s, running a program known as “Bold Eagle” for Indigenous Youth across Western Canada from 2002-2008, and commanding the King’s Own Calgary Regiment from 2011-2013. He retired at the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.
Undine stepped into Neil’s life in 2004. Since then they have been building Moose Mountain Horseback Adventures together with a shared passion for adventure, horses and nature. Undine has been passionate about horses since her early childhood. She started English riding in her homeland Germany, having competed in dressage up to level 3 and show jumping up to 3’-6”. When she came to Canada in 2004 as a tourist she discovered a new passion for trail riding and adventure. Undine has started, trained and schooled many of the horses at the ranch. Undine is also an architect (educated in Germany) practicing with DIALOG, a national design firm, in their Calgary Studio since 2005. Neil and Undine designed and built the guesthouse at M&M Ranch.
The Human Side of Our Team
Robert was born into the ranching life, but spent a few years away from it pursuing musical and other interests until returning back to the family business in 2012. He graduated from Mount Royal University in Calgary in 2019 with a degree in Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership. He now serves as our main backcountry guide and leads many of our packtrips.
Kristen is a Southern California native who moved to Calgary after falling in love with the Canadian Rockies. After joining a ride with us in 2016, she developed a deep affection for our horses and land, which made her decide to come back to work for us the following summer. As an experienced horse person and having spent nearly her entire life riding, Kristen combined her passion for horses with the outdoors to fit right into our team. Now having been with us for 3 years, you will see Kristen running many of our lessons, clinics, and daily rides. Additionally, she uses her Communication Sciences degree to run our website, marketing, and creative content development.
Robyn is a third-year environmental science student at the University of Calgary. She began riding when she moved from Bermuda to Calgary at the age of 10. Her equestrian experience began in the English riding world – showing with Paramount Equestrian and eventually Diamond Willow Stables. In recent years, Robyn found her passion for Western riding and is currently spending her second season as a guide for Moose Mountain Adventures. In spring 2020, Robyn adopted a rescue horse and has been working with him on her free time.
Our seasonal team includes a group of enthusiastic and knowledgeable people who are like family to us. There isn’t always much glamour in the horse industry, but the amazing and dedicated people who work here never tire of sharing their passion for this lifestyle with our guests. Aside from varied and extensive horse experience, all guiding staff members have current Wilderness First Aid Training and Outdoor Council of Canada’s (OCC) Equine Field Leader certification.