The finest cowboys are those who truly understand their equine better half, which is why centaurs make great cowboys. Establish a kindred horse-human connection with today's Groupon: for $139, you get a one-hour stable visit, a one-hour horseback-riding lesson, and a three-hour trail ride (a $300 value) at Isabella Farms, just south of downtown Clayton.
From its 15-acre estate at the foot of Mount Diablo, Isabella Farms helps riders of all levels, aged 16 and up, master the art of horseplay with small-group lessons (2-6 people per lesson) and guided trail rides. Upon arrival, students will shake hooves with one of several premiere horses and then blasting human-equine barriers with such time-honored activities as grooming, saddling, bridling, trust falls, and sitting for horse-drawn portraits. After an experienced instructor covers the basics of western riding and safety techniques, your group embarks on a three-hour guided tour through a lush landscape of verdant hills and old-growth oak trees. A mid-journey natural or organic treat will keep spirits chipper, and Isabella Farms provides guests with snacks and water. For total comfort, be sure to wear hats, gloves, jeans, boots with a one-inch heel or less, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
Yelpers give Isabella Farms' horseback riding lessons an average of five stars:
- I went this last weekend and had such a rad time! It was my first time riding a horse and right from the start the instruction was very good at allaying any nerves I might of [sic] had. – Dylan L.
- I have ridden at many bay area barns, and found this to be the most well-run and professional of them all. I highly recommend it to riders of all levels. – Micki B.