Take the Ride of a Lifetime at Andy’s Trail Rides
A great feature of the Black Hills is all of the different attractions and activities they have to offer. Since they are so close to Rapid City finding activities for the kids is easy, but some activities are a little further out there. Two miles south of Lead, a little off the beaten path, is one of the best ways to pass the day in the Black Hills. Lead is roughly an hour from Rapid City, and there are many wonderful places to go horseback riding, but there is something unique about Andy’s Trail Rides.
Perhaps it’s the quaint setting, the rustic old building that we drove up to making us feel as though we had stepped back in time. The simplicity of our surroundings making it just about the horses and us; or perhaps it is Andy himself, a quiet man with a deep love for his horses and his trade.
Andy has horses for every age, every ability and every size (up to 390lbs). Two of the horses are retired Budweiser Clydesdales that pull a sleigh for him in the winter but give rides the rest of the year. He also has one horse, over 18 hands high, a true beauty!
With the sun shining bright, and the chill just leaving the air, our group saddled up for their ride. Each horse perfectly selected for the rider, the assessment quick and precise. Andy does have helmets to borrow, or you can bring your own.
As the group left the serene old barn, Andy lead the way with our five-year-old proudly by his side, her horse tethered to his, they quickly disappeared down the trail. Tours can last anywhere from one to 14 hours, with little ones we chose the one hour. The tour, depending on the length, meanders through the hills, valleys, rivers, across secluded elk trails, and stops at all the right places to enjoy the beauty surrounding you.
One hour of just the girls, the horses, and nature, at times the only sound was hoofs hitting the ground or the horse breathing. While there wasn’t much cantering because of the leftover snow, but the pace was ideal, with one beginner in the group. As the hour ended, they approached the barn, the sound of laughter and fun came with them.
Our girls are already talking about going back and which horse they want, because you know, if they ride it once, it’s theirs! A few sore thighs at the end of the day, but memories that will last a lifetime! Boots, ten-gallon hats, and oversized belt buckles not required.