Here’s a fun fact about me: I grew up in Maryland, but always wanted to be a Texan. Why? Because my romanticized view of the south included big starry skies and horseback riding through open fields.
When I moved to Dallas three years ago, I was well aware that horseback riding wouldn’t be included in my list of everyday activities, but that didn’t keep me from trying to ride. I just love horses so much- they’re such gorgeous creatures.
It’s funny, because I’ve never taken lessons. But hours and hours of Lord of the Rings mixed with Pride & Prejudice and romantic horse movies fueled my love for horses. To me they symbolize freedom, the wild, and simpler times.
So once I moved, I was still determined to ride these majestic creatures. Fortunately, there are quite a few trail rides available on Groupon, which is exactly how I found this Groupon for the Texas Horse Park near downtown Dallas.
The best part about the Texas Horse Park (other than the trail ride, of course!) is it’s love for charity and how it’s their primary focus.
What to expect
When you go to the Texas Horse Park for an hour-long trail ride, expect an hour long ride while learning about how to ride your horse, learning the history of the land, and the values of the Texas Horse Park.
When you arrive, your horse is already waiting for you. They actually pair you with a horse beforehand, once they find out your experience level, age, etc.
They start off by teaching you the basics about how to get on and ride a horse.
After the mini-lesson, it’s time to ride!
You ride in a group of six or smaller, plus your trail guides. Expect knowledgeable guides, who are skilled in riding and skilled in sharing the story of the Texas Horse Park.
You head out on a one hour trail ride, where your horse is walking the whole time. You aren’t allowed to take pictures while riding on the trail (they are really big into safety), but there’s a designated photo spot where your guide takes pictures of you by one of the lakes on the property.
The history of the land
Our guide, Chone (pronounced Shawn), rode his personal horse, Duke, and gave us plenty of information about the land and their horses.
We learned some really neat information about the grounds that the park sits on, like how Sam Houston captured Santa Ana on that land, or how Davey Crockett along with some Native Americans created the man-made lake that resides on its grounds.
They are constantly finding arrowheads and other neat Native American artifacts!
As an outsider looking in, I noticed three chief aspects of the Texas Horse Park: charity, safety, and family fun.
Expect a place that is extremely welcoming, whose goal is to provide for children who are lacking financially or physically. They offer a variety of scholarships and different events for kids who are without.
Beth, the woman we met at the front desk, was so kind as she explained how the Texas Horse Park gives back to the community. She spoke with kindness and honesty when she said there were so many stories she’d seen of how they had been able to make a difference in so many lives.
Their horses are so well trained- definitely the best behaved horses I’ve ever ridden. Their focus on safety means that your horse will be extremely obedient.
There was an almost-three year old girl up for her ride after we got back. It just comes to show how much trust they place in their horses and how they accommodate all sorts of ages.
They also do a monthly event on the third Thursday of each month, where they open their place up to the public. Families can come with their kids for some educational fun with pony rides, games, and more. Check out this little miniature horse, named Wizard! How cute is he?
They don’t do normal trail rides on the Thursday events. For regular rides, you can get your Groupon here! Once you’ve gotten your Groupon, don’t forget to call to schedule your ride!