Monday, August 6, 2012

Dead Broke Horse Farm

We've been all about horses here lately (watching equestrian events in the Olympics has fueled those flames, too) and lucky for us Dead Broke Horse Farm in Raleigh offers a spot for the entire family to try their hand at horse riding.

Dead Broke Horse Farm is, first of all, large.  Over 90 horses live on the premises complete with a miniature horse for petting, bunnies, chickens, roosters, dogs, and who knows what else around for seeing.  Most of the animals are free range except for the chickens and bunnies, which are kept in a very large pen for safety.  In short, this is a child's dream.

The Farm is also beautiful.  Sure, it's a farm so there is dirt and manure around but I found this farm to be well-run, friendly, and completely functional.  We pulled up for our ride time right when summer camp was saddling their horses so it took my breath away.  So many gorgeous horses out, set against the NC summer greenery, kids all was fabulous.
With over 116 acres Dead Broke is primarily about trail riding, not ring riding.  However, unlike a lot of horse farms in the area, they cater to all ages.  This was one of the few places where C could get on a horse.  But here's the deal: kids 2 - 5 years of age are going to be tandem rides on horses.  This means that parents are going to have to ride, too!  You get a big ole horse, an extra large saddle, and the horse is hand-led.  I was a little surprised by this turn of events when I arrived since I had purchased a *pony* ride. (This hand-led horse ride is what Dead Broke calls a 'pony ride.'  DBF believes that horses have better dispositions and are safer than ponies.)  Luckily I hadn't worn flip flops as originally intended but jeans sure would have been preferred over shorts.  The saddle had plenty of space for both of us, though, and it was actually really comfortable. Western style, of course, for those interested.

The prices for kids to do hand-led horse rides are $25/child for 15 minutes or $40/child for 30 minutes.  No charge for ridealong guardians.  It isn't cheap (keep a look out for Living Social and Groupon deals like we did) but also isn't exorbitant.  Also, since the guides are very nice we were able to ride longer than 30 minutes.  Tipping your guide if they do well is appreciated so bring cash.

Dead Broke has a full playground and picnic tables on the premises for visitors to enjoy as well as well as a heated clubhouse.

DBF does full family rides and group rides, too, if the whole gang wants to go.  See their website (below) for details.  They also have birthday party packages as well as a slew of camps (summer and trackout) that look like a lot of fun.

One of the things I really like about DBF is that they have a horse rescue program and have saved and rehabilitated over 50 horses.  A big MiCHill hug for that.

I could talk loads more about this place but overall we really enjoyed our short experience here.  C got to feed our horse when it was done, loved his helmet, and still talks about Nick, our guide.  Thanks to DBF for making his first horse ride fun.

Dead Broke Horse Farm
6921 Wildlife Trail


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