Contrary to conventional wisdom, one can in fact look a gift horse in the mouth, now that the mouth no longer houses the retina-scorching nuclear reactor that powers the horse. Get an eyeful of equine incisors with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get a one-hour trail ride at Wonder Valley Ranch Resort (up to a $40 value).
At Wonder Valley Ranch Resort, groups of wranglers trot along trails that wend their way through a 75-acre facility in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Riders ages 7 and older don boots that hide toenails painted with My Little Pony portraiture and follow equestrian experts who tailor tours for all skill levels. For a full hour, small or medium groups practice their posture in the saddle and feast their sun-swept eyes on the local flora and fauna. In the interest of all-terrain riding, riders should leave their skirts, dresses, and kilts at home in favor of jeans or other durable leg wear, preferably pants with hand-embroidered cowboy poetry.
Wonder Valley Ranch Resort and Conference Center
Fountain jets soar upward from the serene surface of an azure pond, their fine mist drifting away from the arcs of water crisscrossing the otherwise pristine reflection of trees and sky. Around the water stand the gazebos, patios, conference halls, and resort lodgings—complete with a pool and go-kart track—that compose Wonder Valley Ranch Resort and Conference Center. Beyond the precisely landscaped center, though, lies the untamed nature that spreads across the ranch’s 75-acre valley. Guides lead horse-mounted tours through this wild landscape, sallying forth from the stables to explore Sierra Nevada foothills tangled with a chaotic version of natural splendor rife with burbling creeks and fields often filled with sprays of wildflowers.
In addition to explore their beautiful surroundings, guests can challenge themselves with more physical outdoor recreation, such as archery practice or a ropes challenge course. A museum, replete with artifacts from the valley's history, limbers up minds and memories, equipping guests with the know-how necessary to calm a stampeding herd spooked by an upcoming pop quiz.
6450 Elwood Rd.
Sanger, California 93657