My kids had never been on a full-sized horse before, so we recently decided to try a family trail ride at Wild Rose Equine Center, a local farm about 40 minutes from our house.
We found a Groupon for a ride for four, booked our time slot online, and had it confirmed through email.
Wild Rose is located in the middle of the country in Dearborn, Mo. The equine center wasn’t busy when we went, which was so nice, nor was it huge and overwhelming—a very family-friendly place!
We arrived a little early and one of the employees walked us around the grounds. They have cows and donkeys in addition to many horses. We got to pet all the animals as she told us how the farm functions in what became a kind of fun little bonus tour. I just started asking questions, teaching my kids that's how you learn.
It's hard to ride a horse—even one that's walking—for an hour. Our guide made it fun for the kids, and they did great. The staff makes sure everyone is comfortable on their horses, and allows time for everyone to take photos.
They teach you basics such as how to hold the reigns and turn your horse, as well as how to lean forward when going uphill, and backward when going downhill to help with balance. The horses moved slowly and our kids never felt scared. The scenery was so pretty, and they loved it. In fact, they didn’t want to stop, and have already requested to go back again.
Ages 4 and up are allowed to ride, and Rose Equine Center also offers riding lessons.
These are the kind of experiences kids—and parents—remember, so giddy up and give it a try.
Follow Andrea Larson @lifelovelarson