What industry brings over 50 million dollars into the Denton County economy, as well as grace, refinement and tradition? It is not TWU, nor the music and arts. This big breadwinning title goes to the horse industry.
Denton County is home to 300 horse ranches that raise champion cutting and reining horses, to the most gorgeous halter horses, and even dressage horses.
So, Denton Horse Country Tours, in part by the Denton Visitors Bureau, created a daylong excursion to show folks the ins and outs of Texas horse ranches. From 9 am to 3 pm, guides Judy Watkins and Vanessa Helvey from the Denton Visitors Bureau and about 50 participants ride a bus down winding, picturesque country roads while taking in a wagonful of knowledge about horses.
Hosting ranches are rotated so that each tour is different. Some ranches will display their fine Arabian horses, the only horse breed whose lineage can be traced back to nearly Biblical times, while others will literally put on a pony show for guests. Some will educate about the customs of breeding and training, giving demonstration or allowing for photo opportunities, and yet others will let visitors feed horses and explore. The day is full of experiences for those who know horses and those who have yet to saddle up.
Grazing on new tidbits of knowledge alone would not be enough for hungry travelers. But this tour includes a full country lunch. Sometimes ranch owners host a chuckwagon meal on site. Other times lunch is devoured at a local eatery in Aubrey like Lucy’s Moms on Main. Either way, a traveler’s heart is full after beef and a bun.
After a hearty mouthful, the bus is reloaded for more ranching and roadsurfing, learning what a gelding is and how a horse is determined to be warm-blooded or cold, the science of body work and just how to enjoy taking care of these beautiful creatures as they continue to drive Texas forward. For $40 online or $45 the day of, citydwellers and country folk alike, will be delighted to spend a day with equine royalty.