Horseback riding in Amarillo, Texas.
By Hope S. Philbrick
When planning my Texas visit, one thing felt like a “must do”: horseback riding. It’s the quintessential Texan experience, right? Ok, so maybe it’s second to eating Tex-Mex. But still.
In Amarillo, I booked a ride with Cowgirls & Cowboys in the West, a company that was started by Phyllis Nickum with the goal of introducing travelers “to the exciting experiences of the American West.”
Upon reading her mission statement, I knew she and I were on the same page. And then I met her and felt an instant friendship; it’s a special treat when that happens while traveling.
What we’d originally scheduled as a morning ride was postponed to evening due to rain and high winds, which was even better from my point of view since sunset over Palo Duro Canyon sounded too lovely to miss.
Finding Los Cedros Ranch is a breeze—as long as you follow the directions provided and not your GPS, however reliable it typically may be.
Before riding we had to wait a bit to let the winds die down, but that gave us time to get acquainted before the ride. Once the winds subsided we hopped up into saddles and headed for the Palo Duro Canyon rim.
Phyllis, her husband, another trail guide and I comprised the riding party that evening, though on any given ride you may encounter other fellow horse-loving travelers from around the world.
On the trails, Phyllis shared information about Amarillo, Historic Route 66, Native American history, the Comanche tribe, Texas and U.S. history, and general Western culture.
As for scenery, expect wide open spaces that open to the second largest canyon in the U.S. Definitely bring a camera.
I learned to ride horses as a young girl when my friend put me on her horse, slapped its rear end, and told me to hang on. As a result, I am very good at not falling off horses, but lack the grace that comes with professional training. While riding with Cowgirls & Cowboys in the West, Phyllis offered some helpful pointers and I had time to practice what I was taught.
This is real horseback riding on alert horses, not trail riding ‘zombies’ that walk along a memorized route. The horses are well-trained, friendly and you’ll get paired with a Quarter Horse that’s the right match for your riding experience level.
If I could, I’d travel the world on horseback. Whenever I’m in Amarillo, I’ll definitely ride with Cowgirls & Cowboys in the West.
- Year-round horseback riding for the novice or experienced rider
- 1-, 2-, 3.5 and longer riding experiences available; rates from $59/per person + tax
- Western-style riding on locally made saddles
- Overnight, multi-day horseback riding vacations available
- Tour themes options include a focus on Route 66, Palo Duro Canyon, “the Cowboy way of life,” photography and more
- Cowgirls catering at Los Cedros Ranch
- Chuckwagon meal events
- Burn 250 calories during every hour of general horseback riding!
- Odds of Encountering Children: Relatively low. Children under age 7 may not ride individually.
Cowgirls & Cowboys in the West
Los Cedros Ranch
19300 South FM 1258
Amarillo, TX 79118
Phyllis: 806.672.9256 / Carol: 806.683.1157 / Katie: 806.676.6709
– Photos © HSP Media LLC
Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion.