Discover Cowboy Country
Denton County is home to some of the most pristine horse farms in the state. The loamy soil and warm climate are perfect for the thriving equine industry. Oh, and it should be mentioned, this is cowboy country! Situated 36 miles north of Dallas and Fort Worth, where I-35 E meets I-35 W, Denton is the county seat of Denton County. From the century-old courthouse and quaint townsquare to the world-class Texas Motor Speedway, Denton offers a setting where these diverse worlds meet and match the "fun-factor potential" of any destination anywhere!
Denton Convention and Visitors Bureau offers regularly scheduled behind-the-scenes tours. Call 888/381-1818 to reserve your seat on the next North Texas Horse Country Tour. www.discoverdenton.com.
A. The Flower Mound Equestrian Center, 7950 FM 1171/Cross Timbers, is a training facility for riders and horses specializing in Hunter/Jumpers and Dressage. The training is headed by Laura Hightower, who has taken abused and behavioral problem horses and turned them into champions and reserve champion horses. www.fmec.us, 817/430-3182.
B. T.O.P. Appaloosas, 225 Stonecrest Rd., or Thousand Oaks Performance Appaloosas is also known as "TOPS in Spots". Established in 1998, this small ranch is home to Gay Bar Silver, a 4-time World Show Cutting Horse. They pride themselves on having intelligent, athletic and colorful Appaloosas. www.topappaloosas.com. 940/464-4235.
C. Fossil Gate Farms, 816 Sam Davis Rd., is a beautiful farm owned by Gary and Linda Gordon and was established in 1976. It specializes in Quarter and Paint Halter Horses. This ranch boasts Sock Broker, the American Paint Horse Association's all-time leading sire of Paint Halter Horses and two-time Reserve World Champion. www.fossilgatefarms.com
D. Rose Gate Farm, 11995 Hilltop Rd., has been in business and winning awards since the fall of 2004. In our short 6 years, we've attended 10 world shows, winning 9 reserve and world titles in various breeds such as the Gypsies, Andalusians, Arabians, Appaloosas and Pintos. Along with our world titles, our students and clients have gone on to win countless riding awards in disciplines ranging from dressage to barrel racing. When it comes to showing horses and training riders for competition, Rose Gate Farm has a reputation for success. We are well-known for taking young horses and riders to shows and bringing them home with a positive experience. However, we are not purely a professional show barn. We are also glad to take on any horses that needs to be started with a solid foundation, needs to tone up for show or sell, or have past problems/training issues. We have only one stipulation, you must be involved.We believe in connecting horses to riders and building a strong foundation of trust for the future that lies ahead. Our philosophy is that when your head and heart are ready, the horse will naturally follow. But this is only made possible through mutual trust and that trust can only be achieved with a passionate and involved rider. Come out and meet Peter Lichau, the trainer that makes it happen and see a true champion at work. He'll tell you himself, "We ride horses here, we ride them right. We take care of them and we love them." www.rosegatefarm.com, 940/300-4530.
E. Spirit Horse Therapeutic Center, 1960 Post Oak Dr. provides all private therapeutic horseback riding services free to people with disabilities, children who are victims of abuse, battered women, children who are terminally ill, at-risk-youth, and wounded US Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. They currently serve over 400 children and adults each week. www.spirithorsetherapy.com, 940/497-2946
F. Riding Unlimited, 9168 T.N. Skiles/Ponder, founded in 1990, provides safe and affordable therapeutic horseback riding instruction for physically, mentally and emotionally disabled individuals in the North Texas Region. Visitors welcome. www.ridingunlimited.org, 940/479-2016.