Horses were once considered man’s best friend, but after the invention of the dog, the horse was rebranded as man’s eccentric, oat-obsessed uncle. Take a journey with the kindest of kinsmen with today's Groupon to Dude's Ranch Equine Rescue Center in Acton. For $55, you get your choice of a two-hour private trail ride (up to a $130 value) or a two-hour riding lesson (a $110 value). Accounting for the time involved in check-in and grooming and tacking the horse, Groupon customers should expect to spend between three and four hours at Dude's Ranch when they redeem for a trail ride.
A nonprofit charity dedicated to rejuvenating and rehabilitating at-risk and abused horses, Dude's Ranch Equine Rescue Center gives wayward stallions a second chance to prance. Amid the panoramic Western backdrops and tumbleweed quartet harmonies of the Acton ranch, the center reintroduces horses that have been abandoned or injured. Riders grab the reins during a two-hour trail ride, which begins with a supervised bonding experience as aspiring stable hands prepare their steeds for departure with grooming, tacking, and a complete oil change.
Hit the ranch's rustic roads with trails catering to a variety of experience and scenery options. Would-be gauchos learn the horseback basics with the Trail Clinic, search for rust beetles in the friscalating dusklight of the Sunset Ride, or hike through picturesque landscapes alongside burbling rivers, crevasse-centric canyons, or ponds of flaming quicksand.
If trail riding seems daunting, novice equestrians can whet their riding whistles with one of the ranch's two-hour riding lessons. Go over grooming and tacking basics before moving on to more advanced maneuvers including mount psychology, proper equitation, and how to translate horse sonnets into English. Skilled instructors ensure the safety and pleasant vibe of the entire adventure.