I don’t know how it happened, but one day Grace and I started chatting about going horseback riding. I hadn’t been on a horse since I was about 10 years old, and I was thrown off that horse (a story for another day), but I was willing to give it another try.
Grace and I tried to don our best horseback riding attire—boots, jeans and some warm layers. After a quick call to make sure the ranch was open, we drove together to Coolville, Ohio, to the Double C Ranch.
Pulling up the gravel drive, our eyes were drawn to the open fields of grass and roaming horses. Double C Ranch boards about 20 horses and offers lessons and trail rides to the public. In the field, horses grazed and played with one another. Some even wore coats since the beginning of this spring has been unseasonably cold.
Double C sits on a beautiful hillside, right next to an alpaca farm. The horses graze the expansive property calmly and quietly, enjoying the clear weather on the Saturday we chose to visit on.
When we pulled up to the barn, we were greeted by some regulars who smiled warmly and welcomed us to the property. After going inside the office to sign some papers and pay for the trail ride, the ranch manager, Brian Hopkins, got two horses ready for us.
Upon first impression, meeting Hopkins was so welcoming, making sure both of us had some basic experience, he gave us a crash course review and got us on our horses. The trail ride was just the two of us, Hopkins and a woman who boards her horses at the ranch. Riding with such a small group was wonderful because we could talk with one another while enjoying the scenery and ride.
For Grace, Hopkins chose a beautiful white appaloosa named Blaze. To me, Blaze looked like an average-sized horse. She was hanging around other similarly-sized horses (as one would expect).
When Hopkins went to go get the horse I would be riding, he chuckled a bit.
“You’re not afraid of heights, are you?”
I laughed hesitantly, but said no. How tall can a horse be?
To answer the question, really tall. Tucker, the horse I was to ride, was close to 18 hands tall. I had to climb a ladder to mount the saddle.
“He rides like a Cadillac,” Hopkins assured. Honestly, he did. I didn’t have any issues, and Tucker followed the horses in front of us without hesitation.
The trail was rather muddy due to some heavy rain a couple of days prior, but the horses handled the landscape without any issues.
We began our trail ride up a large hill, making sure to lean forward on our horses in order to not fall off. On any decline, I made sure to lean far back. Tucker was so tall that I often found myself dodging tree limbs and branches.
Hopkins told us about his horse riding career as we rode through the forest. He was a jumper and often spent time traveling around the tri-state to compete.
Overall, Grace and I couldn’t have had a better experience at the Double C Ranch. Hopkins and everyone else at the ranch were kind and easy to talk to. If you’re looking for a relaxing and fun weekend activity, check out the Double C Ranch.
Double C Ranch is open 6 days a week (closed Tuesday). Hours for rides vary. Call 740-667-6311 to make a trail ride reservation.