Folk wisdom about looking a gift horse in the mouth is obsolete, now that horses are no longer bred to belch blinding ammonia. Enjoy improved equine exhalations with today’s Groupon: for $69, you get a 90-minute trail ride for two at Rancho La Rosa in Alvarado (a $150 value).
Personable guides shepherd riders and their equine transports through the more than 125 adjoining acres of verdant country terrain that spills across Rancho La Rosa. Up to six individuals per excursion take part in a safety lesson to ensure a sound ride for both man and beast, then set off for a relaxing traipse through the countryside. As hooves clip-clop along, perceptive eyeballs may be able to spot such wildlife as cows, turkeys, and chickens, provided they mosey into the field of vision allowed by the rider's blinders.
Rancho La Rosa
There's rarely a dull moment at Rancho La Rosa. Sprawled across 50 acres, the half equine resort, half event center consistently stirs with activity. Many days, instructors are busy leading riders through lessons in three disciplines: beginners, trail, and competitive barrel racing . For especially young visitors, they scale lessons back into fundamental "love, hug, and groom" sessions—a similar mantra used by horses protesting the mistreatment of Mister Ed in the 1960s. Away from the practice areas, scenic picnic layouts and a clubhouse make an ideal backdrop to weddings, birthday parties, and more common gatherings such as family cookouts.