Kate Devine, an out-of-town member of the Saddle Club, has invited Carole, Lisa, and Stevie out West to visit her family's dude ranch. This time the girls' parents are coming along, and the Saddle Club is looking forward to showing them how much fun riding can be—as well as how much work and skill are involved.
But out West, the family vacation doesn't go exactly as planned. Lisa's mom is acting like a total snob, and Carole's dad embarrasses her by dressing like a real Eastern dude. What's worse, none of the parents seems to be taking horseback riding very seriously. Soon the girls are wishing that their parents—or the "Saddlebags"—had stayed home where they belong.
Then, during an overnight cattle drive, a terrible rainstorm breaks out while the parents are off exploring an arroyo. The Saddle Club knows the "Saddlebags" are in grave danger—but can they rescue them in time?