Hidden Palms Ranch is a hidden gem and we are ecstatic that they are just a hop, skip and a jump away from downtown Sanford. Claudia, her two boys and myself were lucky enough to experience this peaceful excursion and we loved it!
When we arrived, owner Beki greeted us like we were old friends. We were introduced to the three horses that call Hidden Palms Ranch home and I just love their names! There is Moose, Marigold and Lemon Meringue or just Lemon for short. All three are some of the sweetest and most laid back horses I’ve ever been around. After our introductions the boys got a chance to get up close and personal with Moose for the Horse Experience. The Horse Experience gives anyone ages 3+ an hour to love on, brush, learn the proper way to “tack up” and of course ride a horse as well as asking as many questions about horses as your little heart desires. The boys each enjoyed their horse ride and kindly thanked Moose with a simple Thank You, more love and CARROTS!
Next it was Claudia and I’s turn to saddle up and head out on our Trail Ride. Beki chose the horses that she felt suited each of us best, helped us on the horses, gave us the directions we needed to direct the horses and fitted our stirrups to the length of our legs; extra long for me and my giraffe legs, and we were ready for our relaxing and serene ride. Although Claudia and I chose a shorter path for this specific day as we were pressed for time, a typical Trail Ride is around 70-90 minutes and is meant to be a relaxing and intimate experience, only 2 horses go out with Beki and I think that makes the experience even more special.
I can’t say why, but I love the sound of a horse’s hooves on pavement and listened as we headed down the quiet covered road and chatted with Beki as she and Marigold lead us into the direction of the Lake Jesup conservation. A canopy of live oaks and hanging moss line the trail and it’s absolute perfection! I have a soft spot for those old oaks and that ever so popular moss therefore it’s probably one of my favorite spots on the trail, but when you reach the end of the road and the trail opens up to the floodplains of Lake Jesup it’s one of those “I need to just stop and take it all in” moments. It’s a spot that you might see often as you go over Lake Jesup on 417, but not like this. And if you are familiar with that area then you’ll know what beautiful sight pops up there every year. Yep it’s a field of pure yellow as the wild sunflowers take over late summer. It’s a beautiful sight indeed.
Once we are back at the ranch we again tell Moose, Marigold and Lemon Thank you for a relaxing ride. Claudia and I both agreed that we were completely comfortable on both horses and that they were easy to direct, a win-win. Before we leave we get to meet a few more of the family members: Beki’s husband Todd, the goats and the chickens who provided Claudia with a dozen eggs and can for you too, if they are available. All in all this was such a treat and just what Sanford needed for a perfect date night, girls night or family time.
If you’d like to learn more about the Ranch and owners Beki & Todd and their sweet horses you can do so by visiting their website https://www.hiddenpalmsranch.com/ and to stay informed about the Ranch you can follow them on Facebook and Instagram, be sure to tag them in your photos on your visit so we can see all the fun you had!