Horse farms and ranches have been a part of American history since the first settlers came here. Horses were needed as modes of transportation and to pull heavy loads. Although they do not have the same role as they did, horses are still a major part of society today as recreation and therapeutic animals. Ranches and horse farms are essential because they are a vital part of the economy and tourism across the US. The horse industry adds $122 billion to the US economy each year and creates jobs for thousands of people, Ranches produce high-quality meat and other products for people to use. The purpose of this article is to show you 10 of the best horse farms and ranches across the country and explain what makes each so special. The three main criteria for choosing these places are facility quality, services and experiences offered, and the landscape. To learn even more about equestrian vacations, check out rosegreyequestrian.com.
East Coast EscapadesThese are some of the finest facilities on the east coast for racing, breeding, and simply enjoying the companionship of horses and the experience of riding.
Sagamore Farm, Maryland: Breeding ChampionsSagamore Farm was founded in 1925 by Isaac Emerson and was given to a man named Alfred Vanderbilt on his 21st birthday. Vanderbilt turned Sagamore into a top thoroughbred breeding farm with international acclaim. The most famous stallions kept at Sagamore are International Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame inductees: Discovery, Bed O’ Roses, and Native Dancer. Their filly, Shared Account, won a Breeder’s Cup Race in 2010 against world-champion thoroughbred, Midday. Sagamore also has a thoroughbred retraining program called Next Move that gives thoroughbreds a new life if they are not suited for racing. The Sagamore website says that they are still closed for tours and events due to COVID-19. You have to join their email list to find out when activities will resume.
Newport Equestrian Academy, Rhode Island: Family-Friendly Horse FunNewport Equestrian Academy was established in 1987 and is run by a mother-daughter team to help people gain confidence as riders and cultivate a passion for horses. They offer trail rides and horseback riding lessons for the whole family. The trail rides cover two beaches and wildlife preservation. Instructors will teach you the basics, so no riding experience is needed. Remember to wear closed-toed shoes and long pants. Helmets are provided, For questions and reservations, call 401-837-4188,
Midwestern MarvelPlanning a trip to the Midwest soon? Here’s one of the best farms to visit.
Tempel Farms by Michael Lehet via flickr
Tempel Farms, Old Mill Creek, Illinois: Where Lipizanns DanceTempel Farms was founded in 1958 and runs as a full-time training and breeding operation for Lipizanner horses. They follow the same training schedule as the Spanish Riding School in Vienna and received an award from the Austrian government for helping preserve their traditions. At the farm, you can purchase tickets to watch the Lipizanners perform, take a public or private tour to learn more about the facility and horses or be part of a clinic at the facility. Tour highlights include meeting stallions, and observing a horse training session. The VIP tour also includes a tour of the breeding shed to visit mares and foals.
Western WondersThese are the best horse farms and ranches to visit in the western US.
Double Rafter Cattle Drive, Wyoming: A True Cowboy ExperienceDouble Rafter is a working cattle ranch that offers guests the opportunity to go on cattle drives like they were in the 1880s. Each cattle drive is unique because you can’t predict what will happen as you are taking the cattle to their destination. Testimonials say that the drive is authentic, the company is warm, the scenery is spectacular, and the experience is unforgettable.
Bitterroot Ranch: Wyoming: For Adventurous Horseback RidingBitterroot Ranch is a full-service dude ranch offering clinics, retreats, and of course trail rides. The trail rides are 3 and 5-day pack trips where you explore beautiful scenery, watch animals in their natural habitat, and have the time of your life in the open wilderness. These rides are for the adventurer at heart. Visitors say that coming to Bitterroot is like coming home, and they cannot get enough of its beauty and serenity.
Return to Freedom, California: American Wild Horse SanctuaryReturn to Freedom is a wild horse and burro sanctuary dedicated to preserving the Mustang through conservation, education, and advocacy. Return to Freedom is the home of Spirit, the Kiger Mustang used as the inspiration for the 2002 Dreamworks movie. Through their conservation efforts, Return to Freedom is ensuring that the spirit of the Mustang endures for years to come. You can tour the sanctuary by making a reservation. Guides will show you the grounds, educate you about the history of the Mustang, and let you observe herds and meet Mustangs
Southern CharmsThese are the best horse ranches and farms to explore if you are visiting the Southern US.
Triplecrown120 at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons