On a beautiful Friday morning, we decided to go horseback riding along the American River.
The Shadow Glen Family Stables are nestled off of Sunset Avenue in Fair Oaks, just a short drive from downtown Sacramento. It is easy to drive past the entrance and not even notice their sign. But it is a huge complex that houses 60 horses: 20 riding horses and 40 horses are boarded there. They also have some goats and chickens and cats and dogs. It is practically a petting zoo.
We signed up for the experience package. Our guide, Emily, showed us how to groom and care for a horse before riding. The horse we groomed was Beau, and it was nice to see that he enjoyed the experience. We brushed his coat, combed his mane and cleaned out his hoofs. Emily asked if I wanted to put the saddle on the horse. I was supposed to lift it up over my head and fling it on Beau. Well, it weighed about 40 pounds. Emily had to step up and help me. Note to self - spend more time at gym lifting weights.
I made sure that everyone who worked at the stables knew I was a “city girl” from Chicago. “Don't assume I know anything. Watch out for me so I don't hurt myself, please.” I've been riding once or twice before, but it's been several years. Both Janet and Cindy had more experience with horse riding and were very comfortable around the horses.
We finally climbed on our horses (using the platform of course). And we were on our way. The trail begins in a meadow where there are remnants of the gold rush mining. Emily let us try out trotting for a short distance. Back down to a walk, we crossed the bike path and rode along the river. You can see the Hazel Avenue Bridge and Lake Natoma. Then the trail goes up through oak covered hills and returns to the stables. It is very scenic. The horses are well behaved and responsive to any direction we gave them with the reins. They followed Emily's lead. It was a beautiful peaceful ride.
This was a wonderful Sacramento outdoor activity. Everyone at Shadow Glen was very friendly and helpful. We definitely plan to ride again.
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