My family and I were recently visiting Lake Tahoe, and my 13 year old girls wanted to try horseback riding. There are several choices in the Tahoe area, but then I came across the Sheridan Creek Equestrian Center through a Travelzoo deal. It advertised a one hour ride, for 2 people for $39. An excellent price!
I checked out their website and it does indeed clarify on there that the Travelzoo deal is good for a "ranch ride", which is essentially an hour long ride around their huge (100 acre?) pasture. Since my girls had never ridden a horse previously this was actually perfect for them. A nice way for them to become familiar with a horse, and have the experience of riding one in a fairly controlled setting, without the worry of them off on a mountainous trail ride.
I sent an email to the company through their website, and received a phone call from them within 24 hours to set up a reservation time. It was quick and easy.
When we arrived at the ranch, the gate was closed but there is a code clearly posted to gain entry into the area. We were met by Becca (I think that was her name) who was there working in the barn. We showed up for our reservation about 15 minutes early, but she was happy to get us started. After signing a brief waiver, the girls rode Chief and Gunther (sp?) and they loved it. Helmets were provided for their safety. It was a hot day, and my girls were wearing shorts from an activity earlier in the day. I had packed them jeans for the ride but accidentally left them at home. I was worried they wouldn't be able to ride in shorts, but Becca said it was okay.
The town of Gardnerville, NV is a nice place, and only about a 35 minute drive from where we'd been staying in South Lake Tahoe. It's a great place to go for beginners to take the ranch ride or for more experienced riders to sign up for the trail ride.
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