Texans, in general, have an ‘unbridled’ affection for horses. There are approximately 80,000 in Dallas and Tarrant counties and more than one million horses in Texas, equaling 15% of the nation’s horse population. The issue confronting us is that land use restrictions and suburban development continue to push horse owners and facilities farther into rural areas and away from the urban population. In fact, metroplex residents and visitors have few opportunities to either view an equine event, own a horse, or simply ride a horse.
A horse park adjoining an 8,000 acre forested area, northwest of the Trinity River Audubon Center and close to downtown Dallas provides an unusual opportunity to interpret the legendary Texas experience and create a nationally recognized equine facility. The Texas Horse Park has two tenants: Equest Therapeutic Horsemanship and River Ranch Educational Charities. Equest offers therapeutic riding and an extension of Hooves for Hero Veterans Program. River Ranch provides free equine-related recreational and educational activities such as trail rides, special events, summer camps, etc. to underprivileged children and their families in the Dallas community.