“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man."
Winston S. Churchill
At Maverick Horseback Riding, we believe in learning in real-life settings. We operate fully on the trail, and have educated complete beginners up to walk, trot, canter. We work with advanced riders on more complicated subjects such as collection and engagement, how to handle a horse that is acting up, and everything from bareback riding and posting bareback to assuming good hunter form over low cross country jumps.
I do not believe that you have to have lots of money to learn how to ride, enjoy horseback riding, or become a good horseback rider. You don’t need to own your own horse, your own tack, wear certain clothes, or compete to be a good rider. In fact, we know a lot of people who own their own horses, spend lots of money on clothes and tack, and compete and saddle incorrectly, don’t know how to even fit a saddle or bridle, can’t answer questions like “Should you always mount from the left side?” and so on.
We are big proponents of understanding the fundamentals of Dressage, and applying that in a real way. You don’t have to ride around in circles to understand how to improve your horse’s health and longevity of use. Horseback riders can learn about these fundamentals of horseback riding on the trail.
That being said, there’s some serious skill to horseback riding on the trail, even if that means you’ve clocked 1000 hours on a horse and don’t know what collection and engagement are, how to stay straight on the curve, or properly post. Your horse would certainly THANK YOU if you did, but just because you don’t know these things doesn’t mean you’re not skilled.
Let’s imagine a world in which you combined the core concepts from Western and English riding in a real learning experience-- out in the open blue. Well, that’s kind of what we are-- a world of combinations. Come ride with us and see what we are all about.
Call to book trail rides at our beautiful ranch in Lockhart, TX
We are just 20 minutes from South Austin and 45 minutes from Downtown Round Rock
All trails are lesson-based. Trail times are approximate and will vary based on the speed of the ride. Confident, athletic groups typically experience a faster ride, because the horses know when to pick it up! We reserve the right to charge the full amount for no-shows or cancellations less than 72 hours before the ride. Please see the FAQ page for more information.
The Pasture Ride
Approx. 45 min in the saddle, 1.5 hrs total
The pasture ride is for families with children ages 3-7, or individuals with special considerations. Enjoy beautiful scenery with rolling hills and a 1.5 acre pond to stop by for a drink of water. For the horses only, of course! $75 per person
The Ranch Ride
Approx. 1hr 20 min in the saddle, 2-2.5 hrs total
This ride will take you through and along the creek for much of the ride. Enjoy the same route as The Buffalo Ride, but with an extended water crossing, in which we travel through the middle of the creek. Be ready to get wet or at least pull your feet up! Because this ride has trotting opportunities and may have an extended portion of saddle time (up to 2 hrs.), it is best suited for riders with some experience, or confident beginners within a healthy weight range. $100 per person
The River Ride
Approx. 2 hrs in the saddle, 3 hrs total
The River Ride is great for confident outdoor lovers who are totally new to riders, folks who rode way back when, or more advanced riders. If you think you might like to pick up the pace, this is the ride for you. Make sure you ask about a private ride if you are sure you want to attempt a faster pace. Generally, a group River Ride will include some light trotting. For safety reasons, please keep in $125 per person
River Ride to Downtown Lockhart
Approx. 2.5 hrs in the saddle, 4 hrs total
Get ready for the full Texas experience. Ride the best of the ranch ride and into the river. Enjoy splashing your way toward downtown Lockhart, where we can tie up and enjoy refreshments of your choice. Take a look at some of the amazing restaurants downtown for inspirational health food, drink, and of course Black's Barbecue. We will tie up at a destination of your choice so that you can enjoy a lunch or dinner while your faithful steeds wait to take you back home to the ranch. Don't forget to ask about overnight accommodations and multi-day packages. $225 per person
(All food and drink included)
Ride a painted pony!
How about a pony painting party for your birthday boy or girl! Spend 45 minutes painting the fabulous canvas of Maverick, our large, white namesake who humbly stands by as children write birthday messages, make handprints, or turn him into a zebra or unicorn! After the work is done, we'll throw a saddle on him and children can spend another 45 minutes taking turns riding. Enjoy a shady table under the tree with horse pastures all around you while you eat cake and open presents! You'll have access to the Ranch porch, Rec Room and Kitchen to entertain your guests for another hour after your horsey time is complete.
To save time, please bring a signed copy of our waiver when you come to ride.
News & Updates
Sign up to hear about occasional Special Events & Offers. We will never share your contact information.
Private Sessions and Custom Packages
These sessions are $45 each, and tailored for children ages 3-8 years old. Sessions are 30 minutes from start to finish. Depending on willingness of the child, mounted times range from 5-25 minutes.
One Hour Private
$100 per session, 45 minutes mounted. Great option for complete beginner through intermediate riders ages 6 through adult looking for some quiet time with a guide. We can not guarantee private sessions every week.
Individual Riders who spend $800 in eight consecutive weeks will earn $200 to spend how they please on trails or private sessions. Riders can mix and match individual and group trail sessions to reach their goal.
Looking for something a little different? Let us know. We are a community-based management company, and we seek to respond to community needs. If you are looking for a more custom experience, please let us know and we will work with you to try and fulfill your needs.
Our Apprenticeship Program is an excellent way for individuals from a variety of backgrounds to get involved with Equine and Ranch Management. We have day-long, weekly and long-term programs available. Please Contact us for current availability. Student travelers are encouraged to inquire about overnight accommodations and off-property rides.
Horsemanship from the Ground, Up
What we do
Offer a partnership
For the work we do, our horses need to appreciate their job. That doesn't mean they always wake up ready to roll out the door and prance off to work (who does?), but it does mean that we expect them to present a good attitude and face challenges with poise. Our horses are expected to take on the roll of beginner lesson horse as well as guide horse, and all of our horses must be responsive to rider cuing without being overly bothered by constant miscuing.
"Some horses are born to be wild"
Most "problem" horses just don't understand their jobs
We have worked with horses that have learned to buck, rear, kick, bite and run from the halter, such as Happy the Appy in this photo. We do not use bribery to coax a horse into doing what we want. We establish a relationship, in which the horse understands his job and seeks to do it. After all, sitting in the same pasture day after day is boring. Jobs offer us the opportunity to get out and learn, to explore and see the world around you. We treat problem horses with empathy, not sympathy. What’s the difference? Click HERE.
Starting a horse can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For us, starting a horse begins immediately. And while we find it a silly approach to leave horses as pasture ornaments for the first eight years of their lives, we certainly don't promote hard exercise of young horses. Our breaking process is gentle but firm. Always with a focus on pressure and release, we teach horses about straightness just about as much as they teach us. Our horses come to understand how to move away from leg pressure and how that's different than bending around that leg. Our horses learn reining in a natural way on trail to produce a horse that is suitable to a wide range of disciplines from Hunter Horse to playday.
The Bomb-Proof Horse
A little on desensitization
While we would never sell a horse as "bomb-proof," or tell a rider that a horse is "bomb-proof," our horses are about as "bomb-proof" as they come. They've been through many rigors of desensitization, including night riding, road riding, community events and more. Our method uses pressure and release to reward the horse for approaching all things scary. While no training method is full-proof, we've been able to produce horses that will take the lead with beginner riders into water crossings, passing through new conditions and withstanding elements outside of the norm. Our horses approach most new situations with a ready hear for rider cues, a brave approach and a calm demeanor.
Just Horsing Around
Frequently Asked Questions
Where are you located?
We are lucky to boast the best of locations in the heart of the Texan BBQ Capital of Lockhart. Just 25 minutes from South Austin and 45 minutes from the heart of Downtown Round Rock, we are only a hop, skip and jump away from the Austin community.
Lockhart, TX is one hour north of San Antonio. Our Houston-based clients will be happy to know that our recent relocation brought us closer to the HTX area and surrounding.
Don't forget to enjoy a trip around the square. You'll find quirky boutiques and stores, an elegant cocktail lounge, relaxing wine bar, leather smith, boot shop, arcade, candy store and more! Don't forget to check out the Lockhart Courthouse, which is one of Texas' best preserved jail houses in the country. Visit with the Hatter's Club, grab some BBQ, or enjoy some healthy fare at one of our amazing downtown restaurants. Oh and... don't forget to ask about the Downtown Ride!
What should I bring/wear?
Please bring the Equine Release Waiver signed for each participant. If you are unable to print the waiver, please read it before you come so that you know what you are signing. If you are unable to open the document, please plan on coming early. Thanks!
We recommend that horseback riders come outfitted with long pants, boots with a half inch heal or less, a hat that will not blow off (or better yet-a helmet), sunscreen and/or a long-sleeved shirt.
Bring water for before and after the ride.
What is the weight limit?
Our weight limit ranges from 210-248lbs, depending on conditions of the trails, work use of the horse, rider height, rider experience level, rider activity level, etc. Please Contact Us for more information.
How do I book a ride?
In order to book with us, whether that be a one-time trail or a lesson package, we will need to get some information from you. Each rider's age, height, weight and riding experience as well as a credit card number will be required in order to book. We reserve the right to charge in full if cancellations are made without a full 72 hours notice. In the event that we have to cancel because of unforeseen circumstances including inclement weather, no charge will be made.
We are very good at working with folks to get them rescheduled when necessary.
What's your inclement weather policy?
God Bless Texas. Luckily, we are able to ride all year round. In the event that weather makes conditions unsafe, we will cancel at no cost to the rider. If it drizzles, we ride. If it's hot, we ride. If it's cold, we ride. Ride on!
Summer, overnight and all-around horse camp!
It's time to get outside and get dirty!
For three years, we filled the summer camp at our former facility and did trail lessons, which were "the highlight of the week" for our young guests. This year, we are so excited to announce the start of a fresh new program which targets children between the ages of 8 and 16 who want to get up close and personal with living the barn life. Our summer camp boasts 1.5 hours of mounted lessons and trails every day, along with fun and educational activities that will teach young campers all the ins and outs of horsemanship.
Children will learn all the steps of preparing a horse to ride, as well as what it takes to keep a horse happy and healthy. Our camp guides are experienced, professional and fun. You won't find sulk teenagers running summer camp programs here! While we have many hands on deck to ensure that your children are in as safe of an environment as can be provided, it's healthy and experienced adults who are running your child's summer camp, ensuring a fun and engaging experience that they will never, ever forget.
For the full working horse ranch experience!
Central Texas has spoken, and we are listening. We understand that there is a need for a horse camp in the area with overnight options. Being just 30 minutes from Austin, 1 hour from San Antonio and 45 minutes from Round Rock puts us at a prime geographical position to fill this need.
If you are interested in learning more about overnight options, please call us at 512-230-8413 and speak with Joan Marie. As a company governed with principles of community based management, we are constantly evolving to adapt to community needs. Our ability to fulfill these needs is dependent on feedback from parents, students, and focus groups. If you'd life to be part of a focus group for overnight horse camp, simply let us know and we will be happy to include you in the process of developing an overnight camp that provides you with the services you need.
We are able to accommodate 6 individuals in our guest rooms.
Joan Marie MacCoy
Joan Marie began working with children over 16 years ago. Her natural ability to express information down into manageable parts led her to work with children as a habilitation technician, tutor and teacher between her undergraduate and Master’s degrees.
As a child herself, Joan Marie had foreign exchange students from Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, Japan and Russia live with her. These experiences along with a Rotary Club Scholarship to Costa Rica helped encourage a powerful interest in languages, culture, communication and animal husbandry.
It all came together during her experience as an interpreter and translator at the Partnership for Children (NC), where she realized that communication, childhood development, culture and educational experiences form the basis for each person’s unique unique outlook on the world.
During her Master’s in International Studies at East Carolina University, Joan Marie reflected heavily on the connection between language, culture, personal experiences and world view. Through her Hispanic Studies certificate, Joan Marie gained further mastery of the Spanish language, began exploring Chinese, Portuguese and Italian more in depth, and studied the art of community-based organizations and partnership formation and maintenance. Again, the importance of clean communication emerged.
Since relocating to Austin from a small town in North Carolina, Joan Marie has sought to utilize her diverse skills in communication by establishing a local business to serve the needs of students, special-needs individuals, and persons interested in developing confidence, skill, better self-awareness and communication skills by working with horses.