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winter park horse back riding

Bernie's Backside

My brother and his family plus my 77 year old dad were in town last week, so we decided to be tourists and headed to Sombrero Stables in Snow Mountain Ranch (a YMCA camp) for a steak dinner horseback ride. 

We had to arrive by 3:30 to be matched with our horses (I got “Hitch” who liked to eat grass). We were riding by 4:15 in a straight line with our nice guide who rode looking back at us to be sure we were ok. 

We rode the horses into a nice trail, thru some beautiful big aspens and by a meadow where our guide said she saw a moose just a few days before. We squinted and hoped, but no moose appeared.  It was very peaceful and not scary in the least, since they don’t let you go any faster than a walk, although we learned the trick of holding the horse back a bit and then got to trot to catch up.  

We arrived at our dinner spot – a wagon-looking grill and picnic area. By that point, one of my nephews was in the deep depths of a horse allergic reaction so they offered (and he accepted) to take some Benedryl and ride back down in the car.  He hung out with us for dinner though which was surprisingly good.  We had steak, excellent grilled potatoes, beans, and bread.  They even had “Cowboy Coffee” for the caffeine addicted. 

Wagon Grill

Got back on the horses and by that point we were aching a bit (knees, bum, etc) but we made it back before sunset and said goodbye to Bernie, Hitch, and the rest of the horses.  One hint – if you tell them you’re an experienced rider, they give you the horses that act up a bit so for the most enjoyable time, swallow your pride and tell them you’ve never put your foot in a saddle. 

Strongly recommend this fun activity for families with kids (age 3 and up) or groups that want to take enjoy the scenery and West without flying down a mountain on a bike or falling in the river on a raft.  Thank you, Sombrero Stables!

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