Updated: Jul 19, 2020
OMG for all of you guys that have never ridden and want to just learn to ride a horse GO TO Wild west trail rides, Kohl's Ranch Stable in Payson AZ. I cannot express how fun this is. You get to cross streams, go on super high mountains, and so much more. Please please go, you will not be disappointed.
Near Payson is this cute little town called Pine. In Pine-top there are a lot of antique shops a Dairy Queen, Dutch Bros, Bashas, Safeway, hotels, Starbucks, old fashioned fudge and ice cream shops, and a ton of restaurants. And yes, there are TONS of bathrooms for all you guys that have to go to the bathroom every 10 minutes (I do too 🤣) Kohls ranch stable is actually in Payson but is really close to pine. Connected to it is the hotel which consists of mini cabins you stay in. The lobby has bathrooms and s connected to a playground and pool center for hotel guests. Here is the address of the stable:202 W, Kohl's Ranch Lodge Rd, Payson, AZ 85541. It is about a 2-hour drive from Phoenix to pine top and a 1 hour 30 min drive from Scottsdale to pine top.
When you first start horseback riding you may feel nervous. That is totally normal. Things that your instructor might tell you is that you always have to be aware of the horse because even the super old and calm ones can get spooked. That is totally true. But if you just want a horse that you can trust and ride without constantly having to calm them down then Kohl's Ranch Stable ride is great for you. The horses basically know their own way around the trail so you don't have to do any steering. Yes, you should still be careful but you don't have to check on them every second. The horses are so sweet and let you sit back in your saddle and take pictures without getting lost from the group. You don't have to worry that a branch falls and then they will take off. The most they will do is decide to trot a little to catch up with the group. You can relax knowing that you are in good hands. Who knows, you may get a little nuzzle from your 4 legged companion during the ride! <3
What to Wear
This isn't like a normal ride. It is an hour and a 30-minute hike with your horse (and the instructor along with a group). Like I said, you are in good hands. I would wear something comfortable like leggings and a soft tee shirt. For shoes, you can wear boots but you don't have to. My sister wore sneakers and they worked just fine. Definitely bring water because they give you this saddle bag to put your phone and water in. Unless you are a child you actually don't need a helmet. Wear your hair up if you're a girl.
What you do
On the ride, you cross streams and rivers (same thing, right?). You hike across the big mountain, on your horse of course, and follow a path. None of it is scary, there were young children doing it. You don't need any experience to do it, my dad and sister never rode a horse and they were fine. If you are a young child and don't feel comfortable on your own you can ask to have a rope connected from your horse to one of your parent's horse. It is so fun and I totally recommend it.
Yummy places to eat
Don't even get me started on all the restaurants they have in pine. The restaurant we went to o was called Old County Inn. They are so good and they have pizza and salad. I had a simple pie and it was so delish and big! They also have dessert. Here is the address: 3502 AZ-87, Pine, AZ 85544. We also went to Dairy Queen. The last time we went to pine we went to this cute little shop that sold fudge and ice cream. I forgot what it was called but it had such good fudge. I got orange creamsicle flavored and I couldn't stop eating it LOL! Luckily for my parents after fudge, I had a sugar crash and was quiet on the way home.
I had so much fun at Pine top and Payson today and I can't wait to come back! Contact me if you have any questions. xx The Desert Rider
This is Poncho. he is such a sweet horse!