Blazing the trail through Harriman State Park

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Students riding through a meadow. Photo credit: Delaney Lanham

When coming to college, many students leave behind their beloved pets and have minimal exposure to any animals while at school. The rare sighting of a puppy is met with wide eyes. As animalstarved college students, the opportunity to ride a horse for a few hours is needed.

The Outdoor Resource Center hosts many activities, including horseback riding at Harriman State Park during the summer. Students can register online through I-Belong for $25. The rides happen every Thursday, now through July 15. Riders meet at 3 p.m. at the ORC on the southwest corner of the BYU-Idaho Stadium.

Students are responsible to get themselves to the park, but some carpool. A $5 entrance fee per vehicle is required, and once everyone has arrived, students are lined up and assigned a horse. The ride starts off fairly flat, going through the forest, then opens up to a beautiful view of Silver Lake.

After a few small bridges and more forest, the trail starts to climb in elevation and difficulty, but don’t worry– the horses have it under control, and wranglers (horse professionals) are positioned throughout the group and leading the way.

“Everyone is super friendly and chill,” said Grace Malm, a freshman studying recreation management. “This was my first time riding, and it was wonderful. Very good but very sore.”

Once at the top of the hill, the trees break away for a stunning view of the distant Tetons and Silver Lake. Oddly enough, one can spot pelicans and seagulls in this landlocked lake.

The ride was very enjoyable with the potential to make many new friends, human and animal alike. Many students who participated had never ridden a horse before.

“It is a very natural experience,” said Travis Song Jian Wei. “I have never ridden a horse before and am very sore.”