At their best, horses are trusty companions; at their worst, they reveal your most intimate secrets in a series of elaborate, hoof-drawn murals. Encourage positive interspecies relations with today’s Groupon to Cornerstone Ranch, in Princeton. Choose from three options:
• For $35, you get an approximately two-hour guided trail ride (a $70 value).
• For $350, you get a weeklong summer riding day camp from July 11–15 (up to a $700 value).
• For $350, you get a weeklong summer riding day camp from August 8–12 (up to a $700 value).
Situated on 24 acres of woods and meadows in central Massachusetts, Cornerstone Ranch allows riders to savor the colors and smells of New England with a two-hour guided trail ride led by farm owner Sue Connell. Cornerstone Ranch houses an assortment of safe, tranquil horses fit for riders of any age, experience level, or cowboy hat fluid-capacity, with riders receiving instruction on mare-maneuvering basics. Cornerstone typically limits the number of children on trail rides to two, enabling staff members to give young ones additional attention. Call ahead or book online at least 48 hours in advance for a reservation, and be sure to arrive a half hour before your scheduled ride time.
For emerging equine enthusiasts, weeklong children’s summer riding day camps instruct beginners in the essentials of horse care and riding. After a week of learning about their gentle steeds, students put on a show demonstrating newfound skills, followed by a celebratory party featuring pizza, ice cream, and horse/human arm-wrestling matches. Participants must be 7 to 16 years old, and bring along lunch, sunscreen, long pants, and closed-toed shoes with a small heel. Helmets are available.
Though Cornerstone Ranch sometimes offers discounts online, this Groupon is still the best deal around.