IPA Magazine-Luxury Travel Reviews

A Great Place to Horse Around

DSC_0439What could be more authentic to the Wild West experience than mounting a gentle mountain horse and hittin’ the trail in a scenic desert preserve?  Corral West Horse Trail Rides offers cowpokes from 6 years of age and up a shot at living the Cowboy Dream from one, to one-and-a-half to two or even three hours!  Dress up in boots, hats and chaps—all provided as a fun option, at no extra charge.

We headed out to Goodyear, Arizona, just a few miles southwest of Phoenix, toward 20,000 acres of Estrella Park where Saguaro cactus and Palo Verde trees welcome you to the some of the finest scenery the Sonoran Desert has to offer.  Only 5 or so miles south of the I-10 freeway, Corral West Horse Trail Rides are located within Estrella Park which charges a $6 per car entrance fee to help maintain this special desert ecosystem.  Estrella Park itself has a Visitors’ Center and ramadas as well as a network of hiking and equestrian trails.

Following the signs to the Corral West Arena, we were greeted by trail boss Josh and Deb who checked us in.  With grandkids ages 8, 6 and 4 we knew the youngest would not be able to ride, but he enjoyed the experience of being around the horses nevertheless.  The older kids donned mandatory riding helmets (adult helmets are optional) and were given a quick “riding lesson” from Josh. Josh explained how to sit in the saddle and use the reins on these well-trained horses.

If you’ve ever tried to slip your foot into a stirrup that dangles from a saddle about eye-level, you know that mounting up goes a lot smoother if you’ve got something—like an elevated platform—to stand on to get a leg up.  Well, Corral West has made it easy by having the horses stand in a depression between two raised mounds where cowboys and girls can hop abroad with ease.  Besides that, there’ll be someone there to help you up—so no worries about that part!

Make sure to bring your camera when you come—you’ll have fun re-living this experience viewing your photos.  You may be able to find a pair of boots that fit you when you arrive, but wear comfortable shoes that give you good support and protection nevertheless.  Sunglasses, sunscreen, and a bottle of water are also recommended.  If you don’t take advantage of the “loaner” cowboy hats that are available, bring your own favorite hat or cap to keep the sun off your face.  Also, you might find it more comfortable to wear jeans or other long pants instead of shorts.

Our trail ride was just an hour, but we found that to be a satisfactory length, especially considering our recent lack of riding experience.  First-IMG_1524

In addition to the many trail ride options, Corral West offers mouthwatering Cowboy Cookouts, Interpretive Wagon Rides and Campfires, Team Building, and End of the Day Sunset Rides.

These folks have many years of experience, starting out from Ketchum near Sun Valley in Idaho where they still maintain a business after 45 years.  They’ve been in Arizona for 17 years, 3 in their present location in Goodyear.  That’s why you’ll feel as comfortable with this outfit as a pair of your favorite jeans.

14401 W. Arena Dr.

Goodyear, AZ  85338

For Information and Reservations call:  623-882-3808

Website:  www.phoenixhorserides.com

Email:  info@phoenixhorserides.com

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