What could be better than romantic sunsets, breathtaking views, and dramatic desert landscapes? Travel back in time and live like a cowboy with horseback riding in Arizona. It’s the perfect way to get in touch with nature and experience the land like a local!
The state of Arizona has so much to offer. There are an endless amount of fun and unique activities for visitors to get involved with. However, sometimes you need to get out of the museums and hotels and dive into the real Arizona countryside. While you are camping, travel off the beaten track and soak in the incredible views with horseback riding. Saddle up, put on your cowboy boots and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!
Rich Horseback Riding History
There is a rich and extensive history of horseback riding in Arizona. Its origins trace back to the 1680s, following the Pueblo Rebellion. After the conflict, many of the horses escaped into the wild. Many of these wild horses were captured by the local Native American groups. This horsepower dramatically changed their lifestyle, hunting techniques, and travel options.
After the Civil War, the cattle business began to thrive in Arizona. Horse riding was the backbone and lifeblood of the large cattle ranches that began to spread across the state. This also resulted in a significant population of wild horses being reduced. They were captured and tamed and many became ranch horses. There are still wild horses and burros (donkeys) found in Arizona today. Originally, the burros were used as pack mules for solitary gold hunters who were scouting the vast land to find their fortune and strike it rich.
The history of horses in Arizona is complex and fascinating. By taking part in horseback riding you can travel as far back as the 1600s. This is a great way to experience what it’s like to be a rancher or Arizonan cowboy.
It’s time to stop watching those John Wayne and Clint Eastwood flicks, and start living the cowboy dream!
The Landscape and Views
Arizona is well known for its astonishing views, from sweeping desert ranges to unique native flora and fauna. One of the best ways to soak it all in Arizona style is horseback riding. There are many different companies that offer a variety of packages and immersive experiences to suit every budget. There are so many horse-riding experiences and each local company offers something special. You can catch a romantic sunset, try some wine at local vineyards, or travel through breathtaking valleys.
Travelers may also catch a glimpse of treasured historical sites. This may include miner cabins or ancient Native American petroglyphs. Many horse-riding companies also include fun add-ons, such a ranch accommodation, and authentic Southern-American BBQ.
Horse riding will help you to get in touch with the Arizona nature and travel like a local!
Horse Camps and Trails
There are many different areas that offer horse riding trails through Arizona. Some of the favorite hot spots are Cave Creek, Sedona, Black River, Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area, and Tonto National Forest, to mention but a few. One of the most popular destinations also takes in the spectacular view of the Grand Canyon.
Specific places for camping with horses include Groom Creek and Little Elden Springs Horse Camp. Go Trail riding among beautiful groves of Ponderosa Pine and Gamble Oak. The camp is connected to an entire system of riding trails on the mountain, but also is within easy access of other areas within the forest.
The best part of horse riding is it’s flexible depending on what you’re after. If you’re a first-time rider, many outfits will provide a short and gentle trek, which also includes a basic lesson.
For more experienced riders, there are more challenging rides that can take anywhere up to a week. Each different horseback riding company has a variety of packages that can suit your individual needs. If you have anything special in mind always get in touch to see if they do custom rides!
Be Well Prepared
If you’re going on a horseback ride remember to take a bottle of water, sunscreen, appropriate footwear, and a snack (if the company doesn’t provide one.) If you’re traveling in the colder months, you may also need to pack thermals, scarves, hats, and jackets.
Get in touch with the company you are traveling with for any advice on what you should bring and further information on what they provide. Each organization will be different, so even if you have gone horse riding in the area before, always check with your provider for more details.
Take the Kids
Most horseriding companies have an age restriction. Generally, a child has to be over six to ride unassisted. However, there are a handful of outfits that offer pony leads for children that are under this age limit.
There are many companies that have a family-focused approach and will provide a service that any age group can enjoy. The ride will usually be less intensive and more conducive to your party. Some ranches even offer event spaces for birthday parties, access to petting zoos, old-style Western games, and hayrides. This is a great way to immerse children in a new environment and teach them a valuable lesson about different lifestyles and where their food comes from.
For the Locals
Are you local to Arizona? If so, horseback riding can still be a fun and exciting way to explore your own backyard. Many Arizonians discover something new when they immerse themselves in a traditional horseback ride through the countryside.
On top of this, many horseback riding outfits offer special rides for wedding parties and proposals. A leisurely ride could be the perfect way to pop the big question or celebrate your love by immersing yourself in the stunning natural setting of your home.
There is something special for everyone with horseback riding. Whether you’re a city slicker looking for a new experience or a local wanting to see another side of your home. Horseback riding tours are always led by knowledgeable and friendly guides that can open you to the heart of what the country has to offer. There is no better way to see the Old West come back to life than a relaxed ride through the incredible state of Arizona.