Attached the horse tack and put on your matte black hat, partners: After an 18-year absence, public horseback riding will return to Golden Gate Park this Saturday. Chaparral Ranch will bring horses to Bercut Equitation Field for a six-month pilot program.
In addition to equestrian trail rides in the city’s largest park, Chaparral Ranch will offer children’s pony rides, horse camp, and riding lessons.
“Horses play a big part in Golden Gate Park’s history and we’re thrilled to have them back,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg.
The opening of ranch marks the park’s first public equine offering since 2001, when a similar program, which had been in operation for many years, closed due to the cost of maintenance. The ranch also promises to clean up after the horses every 30 minutes, using their waste as fertilizer in the park.
Trail rides and lessons range from $40 for a 30-minute ride to $80 for an hourlong ride. Pony rides are $15 for 15 minutes—or $1 per minute.
Chaparral Ranch will also offer free rides for San Francisco public schools and underserved communities. The facility will be available to local organizations for therapeutic riding programs for disabled and disadvantaged youth.
If galloping isn’t your idea of fun, there are a slew of other exciting things to do in the 150-year-old park, including archery at the Golden Gate Archery Range, boating in Stow Lake, and fawning over flora at the Conservatory of Flowers.