Garrod Farms offers unique horseback riding experience

January 21, 2010 — by Sarah Hull

While typical students may want to hang out at the mall or go to the movies, horseback riding with friends at Garrod Farms provides a more unique and unusual experience that, for those daring enough to give it a go, will create lifelong memories.

Located only three miles from SHS in the Saratoga foothills, Garrod Farms offers over 23 miles of trails that are located on both Garrod Farms’ property and the Fremont Older Mid-Peninsula Open Space Preserve. The trails are at an elevation of over 1,000 feet and therefore overlook the entire Silicon Valley as well as San Francisco Bay.

The riders are able to view the breathtaking scenery and natural flora and fauna, which include majestic oak trees, flourishing vineyards, mule deer, and the occasional coyote in addition to the entirety of Santa Clara County below. These vineyards are owned by senior Sophia Cooper’s family who have been in the wine making business for generations.

“I think the trails are good for people who don’t ride frequently or haven’t ever been riding but want to see the nice scenery,” said sophomore and long time rider Sophia Wang.

Anyone is allowed to ride as long as they are over age 8, and no previous experience is necessary. The qualified staff know the trails like the back of their own hands and are always willing to help out or offer up stories about the history of the ranch. All of the trail rides are led by one of these staff members and last approximately one hour.

“The people who work there are really nice,” said Wang. “They help you get on your horse, adjust your stirrups and stuff like that.”

Despite the daunting prospect of trying to control another living creature, all of the horses available for these trail rides are well behaved and easy to manage.

“While some of the he horses are stubborn, most of them are really sweet and calm,” said sophomore Ansha Hussain.

Although horseback riding is a bit pricey, running at about $45 for a one hour trail ride, the benefits greatly outweigh the costs. The experience is unforgettable and the memories produced will be cherished forever. So why not break out an old pair of tennis shoes, put on some worn out jeans, grab a few friends, and allow that cowboy side of you shine through?

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