Saddle Up For 5 Unique Animal Rides in Texas
Texas is a popular destination for those who enjoy breathtaking landscapes and diverse ecosystems. The Lone Star State boasts unique rock formations, desert badlands and breathtaking coastlines. With this wide range of things to see, many adventurers head to Texas for some exciting experiences within nature.
More than all these, wildlife interaction is one of the most sought-after activities in Texas. Some unique animal rides can be an offbeat and fun way to explore the Lone Star State. Here’s a list of some thrilling animal rides you can enjoy throughout wildlife parks in Texas.
If you’re a fan of horseracing but did only get to enjoy it by placing a bet on horses online, Texas is a place where you can saddle up a horse and ride away. You can visit Big Bend National Park to learn more about horses and meet and ride one in person.
Guests in the park are welcome to bring their horses or use horses in the park. Just make sure that your horse has the state vaccination requirements. You must also obtain a copy of the stock use regulations and the backcountry use permit at the park service visitor center in advance.
You can ride your horse on the gravel roads, but you can’t ride them to picnic areas and nature trails. Make sure to bring your own feed for your horse since grazing is not allowed in Big Bend National Park. You can water your horse at the Rio Grande and in springs, but hauling water for your stock is recommended since these springs are unreliable during winter.
You can also camp with your horses at the park’s primitive road campsites. You can reserve 180 days in advance through recreation.gov since Big Bend National Park can cater reservations.
Riding ostriches is questioned since these birds can only carry a little weight. That’s why it’s offered in some parks with strict weight restrictions. Ostriches can sprint up to 43 miles per hour, and this can cause injuries to riders if ostriches are untamed. It’s faster than horses, and cheetahs are the only animals that can beat it in terms of speed.
You can enjoy exciting competitive ostrich races on tracks like Sam Houston Race Park. It’s a bizarre sport participated by expert ostrich riders. It’s pretty common for riders to fall in the early stage of races, and the ostriches would continue the race on their own.
You can try camel treks in Big Bend through the Texas Camel Corps. You can explore many miles of camel rides for multiple days and get the chance to ride these giants. You can use commands like “kush” so your camel would lower down so they can kneel, and you can settle into the paddled saddle. It’s a high-rise ride to enjoy the breathtaking scenery on your trek.
Of course, camping is a part of the adventure, so you can enjoy grilling meat and playing the guitar as you find comfort in front of the bonfire. You can also ask your guide about the history of camels and learn how these labor beasts helped the U.S. Army during the 1850s and ’60s.
Dolphins are one of the friendliest wild animals in the ocean. They are also intelligent water creatures who can understand and follow commands. SeaWorld in San Antonio, Texas, is one of the water parks offering in-water dolphin interactions for those fascinated by these adorable animals.
Dolphins in SeaWorld can also help you do the dorsal fin tow, so you can enjoy swimming with the dolphins. You will receive a towel and wetsuit before you immerse yourself in the water. The staff will talk about the dolphins on the shore. You can also ask questions during the Q&A session with their animal ambassadors. As you enter the water, a trainer will accompany you, teach you about the behaviors, rubdowns and feeds, and later allow you to enjoy a dorsal fin tow.
If you only want to watch the dolphins from the observer space, you must pay $30. Observers can bring electronic devices like cameras and mobile phones, but the participants in the in-water dolphin interaction are prohibited from bringing any. For convenience, you can make a reservation through their website.
The Preserve in Fredericksburg, Texas, features the ultimate elephant experience, where you can learn more about elephant preservation through their animal ambassadors. You can observe how elephants are fed and bathed and even pedicured.
But if you want to try riding an elephant, you can do so at the Texas Renaissance Festival during their daily shows. Camel rides are also available during the event.
East Texas Elephant Experience is also one of the places where you can interact with these friendly giants. They participate in breeding programs and professionally grow elephants. They also provide elephant and camel rides during the Texas Renaissance Festival.
Texas offers diverse adventures and experiences for tourists and locals, and the animal rides we have mentioned here have made the Lone Star State a more attractive destination for those who want to discover new things and step out of their comfort zones.