Horses require human guidance to keep from brushing against barbed wire, eating poisonous rocks, and galloping triumphantly into the ocean. Take the reins with this Groupon.
$275 for a One-Week Horseback-Riding Camp ($500 Value)
Children aged 5 or older assemble on the farm, where they spend a week enjoying Western horseback-riding lessons, guided trail rides, and wagon rides. When they aren't moseying along on horseback, they can play with animals ranging from dogs, cats, and rabbits to chickens and peacocks. A deluxe jungle gym and merry-go-round afford opportunities for levity between lessons on cleaning and oiling tack and farm chores. Dead Broke Farm suggests campers bring lunch, a snack, plenty of bottled water, and apples and carrots for the horses.
This summer's weeklong camp sessions run from Monday, June 10, to Friday, September 27. Drop-off for campers takes place between 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m., and pickup occurs from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Dead Broke Farm
Dead Broke Farm's name derives not only from the cost of owning horses, but also from the terminology for teaching a horse to wear a saddle—known in the industry as “breaking a horse to ride.” Trainers stable “dead broke,” or thoroughly saddle-trained, horses, alongside more spirited animals on the 110-acre farm. They also house steeds saved through their horse-rescue program, with more than 70 of their mounts avoiding fates in slaughterhouses and other undesirable ends since 2004.
Horses show off their trotting chops during farm trail rides, carrying riders on explorations of the rolling hills and whispering creeks scattered across more than 10 miles of bridle trails cut through woods populated by deer, cranes, and other wildlife. Private rides allow for more personalized routes and can incorporate stops at scenic ponds for proposals or more challenging terrain for advanced riders. Instructors also schedule horseback-riding lessons, teaching balance through rides over undulating terrain rather than through exercises such as riding a horse that is riding a seesaw.