If anyone’s in the market for an adventure this summer, ranches and stables around Oklahoma offer horseback riding courses and excursions.
Husband and wife duo Keith Remer and Jeanne Keffer Remer own Honey Lee Ranch in Jones, and the stable provides guided trail rides for guests above the age of six. In 2008, Keith bought the land that would later become the ranch, and he spent years building it into what it is today.
“No one shared my vision of what the land could be,” he says, “because at the time, it was a literal dumping ground.”
In 2016, the ranch officially expanded into a business that offers not only trail rides, but space for party venues and horse boarding.
“I never imagined that people would soon come from every corner of the world to ride our horses,” says Keith. “I feel that our greatest accomplishment has been the joy and pleasure that Honey Lee Ranch has provided for many hundreds of people.”
The couple has spent countless years around horses and have both been riding since they were young; Keith borrowing horses from friends and family to learn, and Jeanne on her family’s quarter horse breeding and boarding operation in Oregon.
“Eventually, I became the treatment director in a wilderness treatment program that used equine therapy for juvenile delinquents,” says Jeanne. “We travelled 15 to 25 miles a day, five days a week, for 10 months at a time. That experience prepared me for long days, many miles and true joy in the saddle.”
Lakeside Trail Ride in Claremore also offers trails for anyone interested in learning more about the activity. Owner Holly Doner has always fostered a love of all things equine.
“I had cousins that had horses,” says Doner. “We would just try to catch them and stay on as long as we could, no saddles.”
Doner eventually went into the equestrian and horsemanship program at Rogers State University and purchased her first horse.
Lakeside Trail doesn’t discriminate on expertise – if you want to ride, you can.
“We can provide a trail for anybody,” says Doner. “It doesn’t matter what your skill level is.”
Soon-to-be owner of Sequoyah Riding Stables, Cheyanne Kirk, was raised around horses and even competed in professional barrel racing competitions.
“Now I’m into trail horses,” she says. “I just love being in nature and around the horses.”
Sequoyah Riding Stables in Hulbert currently offers a one-hour guided trail ride, but Kirk hopes to expand the trails soon so more adventures can be discovered.
“I’m wanting to add longer trails by the lake and looking into possibly opening a petting zoo,” she says.
At all stables and ranches, safety requirements are in place for both rider and horse protection. This includes quick but concise training on how to manage the horses on the trails prior to riding, and possible safety equipment, such as helmets.
“We have a lot of safety procedures that are tried and true,” Keith Remer says. “The vast majority of our guests have never ridden and shouldn’t have an experience where they are afraid of falling off.”
A few extra tips:
Wear protective headgear
If passing another horse, approach slowly and verbally indicate a desire to pass
Keep at least one horse length between animals as you’re riding
If you fall, roll away from the horse quickly to avoid trampling