Explore the Hill Country on horseback

Austin offers horse-back riding opportunities.


Horseback riding is a classic pastime, and trail riding in particular invokes visions of sunsets and open land. Southwestern University is surrounded by the famed Texas Hill Country, and a trail ride is one way to take in the scenery, particularly as the days grow longer and the weather warms.

In addition, riding a horse has a multitude of physical benefits. Though it may seem like all that the rider does is sit, horseback riding exercises abdominal muscles that are otherwise rarely used, promotes balance and causes less stress on joints than walking or running.

Luckily, there are a number of opportunities to go horseback riding in the Central Texas area. For a basic group trail ride that offers a view of prime Texas countryside, head out to Post Oak Farm in Burnet. Bee Cave Riding Center in Austin also provides trail rides for riders of all skill levels. The Nameless Horse Center provides this service as well. Lack of experience should not discourage anyone from trying out a trail ride, as all three stables provide instructors to guide the more inexperienced rider.

For something a little more adventurous, try White Fences Equestrian Center in Manor. They provide trail rides of all sorts, including one that has a picnic in the countryside. Silver’s Trails has a special trail for the more confident rider that includes going through a creek. Finally, for the truly dedicated, Colbert Ranch in Bertram has trail packages that allow riders to explore the ranch and participate in a variety of activities throughout the day, including a home cooked lunch.

SIRA recently organized a trip to Colbert Ranch. Senior Callie Paige went on the trip and said that it consisted of a two and a half hour trail ride and a picnic.

Paige said, “It was loads of fun, and it was really nice to get away from campus out in nature. It’s always fun to be around horses.”

If you are interested in going on a trail ride, it must be scheduled via phone or email, and further information is located on each ranch’s website.

For those who are feeling truly philanthropic and want to be around horses, there is also the Ride on Center for Kids (ROCK), which provides therapeutic horseback riding services for individuals with cognitive and physical challenges. Check out the ROCK website to find out more about volunteer opportunities.

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