Denton County is one of the nation’s largest homes to horse lovers. I’m sure you have observed our wide-open spaces with mares and foals grazing, setting up one of the most beautiful scenes of the area. Riders of all disciplines and experience levels are attracted to the area in order to be located near some of the finest equestrian facilities and outdoor activities in North Texas.
On a personal note, my daughter has been taking riding lessons since she was seven years old. Her riding instructor’s interests led us to enjoy many wonderful equestrian trails throughout the area. There are at least four major trail systems in Denton County: Lake Lewisville, Lake Grapevine, Lake Ray Roberts and the LBJ National Grasslands.
The closest, and one of our favorites, is located on the western shores of Lake Lewisville. To access the 20-plus miles of groomed trails, take FM 407 and go north on Copper Canyon Rd. then right on Old Alton Rd. About 200 yards before you get to the Old Alton Bridge, there is a turn-in with ample parking for horse trailers with access to the trail. The trail at this point goes to the right for several miles to Pilot Knoll Park (the construction of FM 2499 temporarily blocks access beyond) and to the left you will cross the historic Old Alton Bridge and wind around towards Hickory Creek.
Our other preferred trail is the LBJ National Grasslands near Decatur. It is approximately 22,000 acres with several lakes. There are at least five mapped trails starting from about 11-miles long and up. The camping may be primitive, but the views are outstanding.
Three local riding clubs with which we are most familiar are Lewisville Saddle Club, Denton Round Up Club and North Texas Hunter Jumper Club. Both the Lewisville Saddle Club and the Denton Round Up Clubs hold several western play days throughout the year at their arena located off Mill Street in Lewisville and Ryan Rd. in Denton. For more information, the club’s websites are www.lewisvillesaddleclub.com and www.dentonroundupclub.com.
The other club is the North Texas Hunter/Jumper Club: www.nthjc.com. This club consists of a group of boarding stables, each with their own instructors, who put on a series of entry level horse shows. Each stable is responsible for producing a show, culminating in an awards banquet at the end of the show season. The shows are family friendly, team oriented, and foster a spirit of sportsmanship and camaraderie. Horse ownership is not necessary, as many of the children compete on farm-owned lesson horses. My own daughter rides with Hidden Lake Farm, here in Bartonville.
Involvement with horses is a fun and rewarding hobby that the whole family can enjoy. Riding is a relaxing escape from the grind of daily life and horses are a wonderful way to teach children compassion and responsibility. I invite you to take advantage of the many equestrian activities our wonderful community has to offer. I am sure you will be glad you did.
Gary Kuhatschek is a broker at RE/MAX Cross Country REALTORS located at 1990 Justin Rd. in Highland Village. He can be reached at 972 317-9401 or by email [email protected]