Salt Lake Like the Pioneers Did It: This Is the Place Trail Rides

This is a sponsored post.
I received a product in exchange for an honest review.

Living in Utah, we talk a lot about the "pioneers."  It was their tenacity and faith that brought about the blooming of the Salt Lake & Utah Valleys.  During our recent visit to This Is the Place Heritage Park it was exciting to step back through time and see what the area would have been like when they were first here working and praying.  The park offers so many different hands-on activities that bring history to life and perhaps the most realistic of all is a trail ride in the park's outer hills.

Here is when I tell you that my niece, who came prepared for the day with pink cowboy hat, sparkly belt, and cowboy boots, decided at the last minute she did not want to go.  So, she and I had a nice time walking around Brigham's Forest Farmhouse while my husband and B went out on the trail. Since he went, and I didn't, I'm turning the reigns (Yep, terrible pun) over to him today as my first A Local Wander contributor...

The Joy of a Horse-riding Father

Growing up I had a horse. She was an ornery horse, spoiled, lazy, and slightly homicidal. She almost sent me to the spirit world seven different times and I'm sure she knew it.  We fought through a lot of stubbornness (on both our parts).  After breaking both our family saddles, she and I came to an agreement that I would ride bareback and she would accept me as her rider.

The horses at This is the Place Heritage Park are the exact opposite of my horse! It was refreshing to learn that horseback riding can be effortless and pleasant. The welcoming committee (a very friendly toddler) greeted us and welcomed us in to meet his Dad, the real McCoy of western cowboy fantasies. Our trail guide introduced 8-yr-old B to his horse and explained how to help her stop and go. Right from the start B was in charge of making sure Classy was walking and not always stopping to eat.

The ride wound through the park with incredible views of the Salt Lake valley and the historic pioneer buildings. It was amazing and rewarding to see my son commanding a beautiful horse and learning that even at the ripe age of 8 he was the one in control. We had a guide in front and a guide in back sharing information about the park and surrounding areas. The horses are so incredibly gentle and the guides are so confident in their abilities that any concerns I had of this ride being like those of my youth were quickly erased. I had expected them to take halter rope and lead him in a manner reflecting a circular pony ride, so when they gave him the reins and said, "Go," I was very impressed. It was a unique and relaxing way to spend some time with him..

I detest not being able to control my destiny, I like to drive my own ATV, I prefer to paddle my own boat, and I love to control my own horse.  I saw this in my son today. It was great to see the joy of accomplishment when we returned and he told his mom that he rode a horse!

The trail rides at This Is the Place Heritage Park are a great place for children and parents to take the ropes and experience the joy of riding a horse. It's a hands-on way for them to put themselves in the pioneer stories they've always been told.  This activity will enrich the great time families are already having at This is the Place Heritage Park.