Posted on 3/23/2012
Many of our Ocean Reef guests visit us to go relish the beach, enjoy championship golfing, play tennis, shop at America's largest designer outlet mall, attend art shows or live musical concerts, dine at fine restaurants and go horseback riding. Horseback riding? Yes, now you even have that option during your South Walton Vacation. Imagine riding for hours with friends or family exploring the southern piney wood forests, picturesque coastal dune lakes and catching glimpses of the emerald toned waters of the gulf beyond.
At Arnett's Gulfside Trail Rides you can have it all. This locally owned, twenty acre family horse ranch is located in Santa Rosa Beach in South Walton. What's more, their stables border almost 14,000 acres in the Pt. Washington State Forest with trails that meander through wooded areas along Scenic Highway 30A and the Gulf of Mexico. These riding trails pass by creeks, lakes, and marshlands. There are also lush thickets of lustrous Magnolia trees, indigenous Palmetto Palms, fragrant Rosemary bushes, native Blue Lupine, colorful perennial wildflowers and the always abundant evergreen Lob Lolly Pine trees. In addition lots of wildlife can be seen if you're lucky enough including deer, raccoons, fox, eagles, falcons, ducks, egrets and Great Blue Herons.
An experienced "Trail Boss" leads groups of up to six riders at a time through these beautifully forested areas on horses that are well cared for, sure footed and happy to take you on board. The Trail Boss also provides fun filled facts and interesting bits of information about the area. For novice riders, instruction is provided to help get comfortable in the saddle before heading out on this adventure. With some advance notice, professional riding lessons are available from their Equestrian Riding Instructor Allison Richards. For those who develop a true love or passion for horses she teaches advanced riding skills, excellent horsemanship techniques, stable management, grooming and proper nutrition.
The barn itself accommodates fourteen stalls and is a very spacious two story structure with cathedral ceilings. There are three giant doors on the side which offer pastoral views of the horses trotting about or grazing happily in the adjoining field. This rustic but elegant, beautiful country setting has become a popular place to hold weddings, special receptions and corporate or charitable gatherings. A nearby "Patio Barn" provides another lovely setting for smaller groups of people for cocktail parties or picnics. There is also plenty of parking available for larger events and the Gulfside Ranch can provide lists of reputable approved vendors, caterers and service people. The ranch has also become a popular spot for kid's birthday parties which can include cake, refreshments, games and of course a horseback ride. The staff allows the kids to get "up front and personal" with the herd of horses, allowing party participants to pet them while sharing fun facts or interesting equestrian stories. For the little ones they have even added an inflated "Jump House" on the grounds where kids can frolic and play.
Many happy memories have already been created here at the Arnett Gulfside Trail Ranch in South Walton which have included wonderful wedding receptions, birthday parties, family reunions, cocktail parties and even honeymoon adventures.
Here at Ocean Reef we are always pleased to let our visiting guests and families know the latest trends, diversions, special treats and happily memorable, enjoyable activities that The Emerald Coast provides in full abundance. We have literally hundreds of fine, distinctive, privately owned vacation homes as well as condominiums available for your rental use. These properties include beachside mansions, luxury condominiums, charming cottages and everything in between. Take a moment to scan through your multitude of choices. Every property has a full description, special amenities available, amount of guests accommodated and rental rate information throughout the year. These beautiful properties all have their own distinct personality based upon their architectural style, furnishings, size and individual location. You will also find a variety of photos of these properties so that you can tour each one from room to room. Our user friendly website will help you find your own perfect place depending upon your needs whether it be the family vacation, friend reunion, wedding, anniversary, birthday or special holiday. Happy trails to you!