Wanting to do something fun with the family but can't afford a full-blown trip? Why not take what's known as a "stay-cation," and stick closer to home with a great day outing that everyone will enjoy. If you grew up in the city, this may not be the first thing that comes to your mind, but a day on the trail riding horses is an excellent choice for making you feel like you left town and did something unique and fun. Albuquerque, NM has many great choices for renting horses and these local stables know a thing or two about creating memories you'll hang on to forever. Kids and horses go together — Photo courtesy of justinplambert
Everyone at some point in their life, whether as a child or an adult, must experience being around horses. Feeling the ultimate softness under the whiskery lower lip, staring into the depths of the soulful eyes, petting the sleek long neck - these are just some of the things that will make you fall in love with this gentle creature. And after saddling up and taking off on the trail, suddenly the wonderments of riding and all its glorious history come to mind. Pet me, please... — Photo courtesy of The 5th Ape
This is what people did before cars! Being around knowledgeable and friendly stable owners who have an ultimate respect for the animal and the pleasures of riding makes one appreciate it all the more. These are usually very experienced, kindred people with great character, and/or just plain characters in general. This isn't city folk we're talking about, which is the whole idea behind this great escape from the norm.
Family fun for all — Photo courtesy of pagetx
Being on a trail ride, you can't get farther away from the hustle and bustle of a city and the stresses of daily life and schedules. It's hard to believe something so foreign and "country-like" can be so close to home, but many of these local Albuquerque stables are just a few miles away.
Running Horse Ranch, on Albuquerque's west side, offers rides along the Rio Grande River with wonderful views of the Sandia Mountains. Take a guide or not, and ride amongst the tall cottonwood trees - 2 hour minimum is required.
Take a Carriage Ride — Photo courtesy of New Mexico Horse Adventures
Just a few miles up the road in the village of Corrales, New Mexico Horse Adventures offers customized rides for you and your group in a variety of locales - the mountains, the foothills or the mesa, for one, two hours or overnight. They even offer you a photo cd from your day and a free sepia-toned western portrait. Take a horse and buggy wine tour or let their carriage (and Star, their trusted Morgan horse) transport you to your nuptials.
Trail riding in New Mexico — Photo courtesy of Peggy Johnson
Just 15 miles north in Bernalillo, Romero's Thunder boasts of providing the "best horseback ride in New Mexico." Packages include many options to choose from in the way of rides, with the option of even having a real Cowpoke Cookout out on the trail - available for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Sunset Rides, Romantic Rides or a Ranch Ride with a visit to see ruins are just some of the options to choose from.
Be sure to check policies regarding reservations, cancellation or age requirement rules for children before heading out. Some require a non-refundable deposit. And don't worry - if you've never donned a pair of spurs or been in the saddle, most wranglers will offer a brief lesson before starting your 4-legged adventure.
So enjoy the wide open spaces a few feet off the ground, and in case you're a little saddle sore the next day, let it be a friendly reminder of the great time your family shared together.