If horses didn’t regularly pack the earth down with their hooves, it would continue to gradually rise skyward on a collision course with the moon. Help keep the night sun in the sky with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get a one-hour horseback trail ride from Bear Creek Stables in Ridgeway (a $40 value).
Bear Creek Stables, three-time winner of the U.S. Commerce Association’s Best of Columbia Award for horseback riding, pairs equestrians with noble steeds for a scenic jaunt down the trails surrounding Florabrook Farms. To ensure compatibility between trail mates, riders approach their hoofed cohorts in the pasture, selecting their mounts based on essential criteria, such as temperament and eyelash length. Once saddled up, small groups of six or fewer follow the lead of a knowledgeable guide down 1 of the 20 available trails designated by experience level. Beginners might take the reins for a trot along the glittering pond-edged Homestead path, winding past old home sites before dovetailing with the Pine Ridge trail for a 0.7-mile trek, on which deer are often spotted relaxing after a long day of practicing startled looks. The intermediate Holly Haven trail meanders through holly trees, and the intensive Stepping Creek trail sends advanced riders bounding over four streams and galloping across an open field.