Florida Travel: Riding Lessons and Trail Rides at Horsing Around Ranch in Lake Suzy

Trail Ride Through Florida Wilderness with Horsing Around Ranch in Lake Suzy, Fla.
Trail Ride Through Florida Wilderness with Horsing Around Ranch in Lake Suzy, Fla.
Trail Ride Through Florida Wilderness with Horsing Around Ranch in Lake Suzy, Fla.

Like many girls growing up, I loved horses and dreamt of having one and riding it through the fields and woods of my Western New York backyard. We had a barn where my dad and siblings kept a horse but my siblings and I ended up with goats and chickens instead. As a nearly-50-year-old adult, I still get all the feels when around horses and couldn’t wait to say, “giddy up,” I found out my former gym trainer opened a horse ranch in Lake Suzy.

Al Thurston, Owner of Horsing Around Ranch in Lake Suzy, Fla.
Al Thurston, Owner of Horsing Around Ranch in Lake Suzy, Fla.

About a year or so after moving into my new digs in North Port, Fla., (I purchased my house in 2012), I stopped going to the Port Charlotte gym I had been a member for several years. Al Thurston was my trainer, who had success in training beauty queens and bodybuilding champions, and I enjoyed his salty personality. However, the gym was no longer convenient in an ever-busy life, but, thanks to Facebook, I’ve remained connected to Al.

Pony Rides are Available for Kids at Horsing Around Ranch in Lake Suzy, Fla.
Pony Rides are Available for Kids at Horsing Around Ranch in Lake Suzy, Fla.

While helping others become the best they could be, Al started rescuing horses, some of which needed rehabilitation. He told me to date he’s rehomed about 50.

Over the weekend, I experienced the evolution of his horse rescue, Horsing Around Ranch, LLC, located in Lake Suzy, Fla., near Port Charlotte. Here, visitors can enjoy a guided trail ride (about 90 minutes) through the Florida wilderness or take English or Western riding lessons. The fourth Saturday of the month is Dude Ranch Saturday with trail rides, a cookout, bonfire, games, and good old chilling out (bring the bug spray and sunscreen!). Pony rides are also offered for kids.

A Tribe of Goats at Horsing Around Ranch in Lake Suzy, Fla.
A Tribe of Goats at Horsing Around Ranch in Lake Suzy, Fla.

Some of the horses at Horsing Around Ranch have been rescued while others have been cared for all their lives. In addition to horses and ponies, a tribe of lively goats entertain visitors.

I cannot wait to return and share the experience with friends. This is a fun activity to do when visiting Southwest Florida!

Reservations are required and can be made by calling Al Thurston at (941) 979-7293  or visiting the Horsing Around Ranch, LLC website.  The ranch is located in Lake Suzy, a short distance from Port Charlotte and minutes from I-175 at Exit 170. You will drive through a residential community (I thought I was going the wrong way!) and the ranch is located behind Faith Preparatory School of Lake Suzy.

Giddy up!

Horsing Around Ranch, LLC
SW Academy Dr.
Lake Suzy, Fla.
Tel: (941) 979-7293
horsingaroundranch.com

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to support this blog, my traveling habit, and my special-needs dog.

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Jenn

Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

One thought on “Florida Travel: Riding Lessons and Trail Rides at Horsing Around Ranch in Lake Suzy”

  1. Thanks for another great post. Coming to horseback riding as an adult always seemed a little daunting to me too, but it’s so much fun as an outdoor sport. Challenging at times, but such a sense of achievement and the interaction with the horses is great!

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