Horseback riding replaced horsefront riding during the War of 1812, when American soldiers realized they couldn’t be taken seriously while being carried in adult-size baby slings. Giddy-up like a grownup with today’s Groupon: for $55, you get a two-hour horseback trail ride or lesson for one at Dude’s Ranch Equine Rescue Center in Acton (up to a $130 value). This deal is valid for one of the following ranch activities:
- The Old River Trail ride (a $110 value)
- The Sunset Riding tour (a $130 value)
- The Mountain/Canyon View riding tour (a $110 value)
- The Ol’ Wild West tour (a $120 value)
- The Trail Clinic (a $110 value)
- A two-hour riding lesson (up to a $110 value)
In addition to the two hours spent on horseback during trail rides, riders should allow for a 60- to 90-minute check-in process, during which they’ll get to know, groom, and tack their horse with the staff’s assistance.
Dude’s Ranch Equine Rescue Center educates horseback students atop steeds rescued from injury and mistreatment, with ranch proceeds going toward further rescue endeavors. Participants in trail rides and lessons explore the 20-acre ranch, and Mountain/Canyon View tour and Trail Clinic riders speckle hoof prints among the shadows of rolling hills, glacier-cut mountains, and 20-story tumbleweeds from IMAX Westerns. During The Old River trail tour, hooves trample the sediment of a dried riverbed, and Sunset Riding tours offer breathtaking chances to trot along local beaches and watch proto-horses evolve from the ocean. Yearling riders who opt for lessons gain access to a tool bag of essential equestrian skills such as grooming and tacking.