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Utah’s horse world – Summertime adventure on horseback

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Looking for some summertime adventure on horseback? Scenic Utah offers ample opportunity, whether you choose organized rides or prefer to blaze your own independent trail.

South of the greater Salt Lake area you’ll find the popular Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion’s National Park or Capital Reef, plus countless canyons west of the Colorado River. Replete with seemingly endless trails, the rich red rock landscape is sure to awaken the old west cowboy in anyone. For longer or more technical forays into the warm Utahan outback, you may want to consider enlisting the services of one of the area’s guided tour outfitters. Riding with these experienced organizations can add an element of safety to your exploration. Take a look at the Utah.com website to learn more about the costs and details of horseback riding trips.

Canyon Trail Rides is a terrific local resource that lets interested riders book their trips online for Zion’s, Bryce Canyon or even the Grand Canyon. Riders over the age of 10 and up to 220 pounds (simply due to limitations of the horses in their herd) are invited to partake in horseback tours from an hour or two, on up to a full half day. Their well-seasoned horses can be trusted to take you out and about without worry. Their fees ($80.00 and under, as of June 2014) are quite affordable.

To beat the heat you may prefer to head north or east of the Salt Lake Valley. The Stillman Ranch, located roughly half an hour east of Park City (or an hour east of SLC) provides horses for riders at all levels and riding excursions from one quick hour on up to an overnight stay complete with a cozy cabin. Kids (over age 8) and adults are welcome. Check out the Rocky Mountain Recreation site to find prices and scheduling information.

Out east in Coalville, Sueanne Clark’s Wind in your Hair stables allows experienced riders the opportunity to mount a trustworthy Paso Fino. The higher elevation of Utah’s mountain region offers cooler summertime temperatures along with breathtaking views and relaxing trails. Sueanne’s website lets you learn more about the breed, explains the gear you’ll need to bring along to enjoy your ride and gives detailed directions to the stables. While no beginners are permitted out on the trails, Wind in your Hair stables does offer lessons for less-experienced riders. Click here or go to windinyourhair.com to learn more!

Would-be riders along the Wasatch Front can also stay closer to home and take a scenic trail ride with Pegasus Event Center's Evan Topham. Their string of experienced and well-practiced horses let you pair up with a compatible equine partner. While the Pegasus rides don't have a regular schedule at this time, you're welcome to contact their management and visit the event center's website for more details. This premier Grantsville facility also offers lessons in a variety of disciplines and quality boarding with options to benefit most any horse!

The Stable Place, an equine rescue facility, horse hospice and urban riding experience, offers riding lessons and educational opportunities for youth and adults alike. It's conveniently located near West Valley; no need to haul the family far from your home base! Their lively Salt Lake group regularly heads out on the Jordan River trail or treks over to explore the trails of Dimple Dell, on the east bench in Sandy.

Whether you want to head out for a long-distance adventure or stay closer to home, Utah offers some fun and wonderful experiences for horseback adventure this summer. Get in the saddle and enjoy!

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