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Sadly, too many Americans these days have never ridden a horse. Happily, you can update your horseback status easily in the Black Hills. How long should a novice's first trail ride be? That depends your tolerance for a little backside soreness when you sit down for dinner later. But by no means should you let that deter you from enjoying Black Hills scenery from a saddle. One of the prettiest rides, through pines and past granite outcrops, is found just north of Custer, off highway 16/385, at Rockin R Trail Rides. You can choose rides lasting an hour, hour and-a-half, two hours, or half a day. Or you can throw caution to the South Dakota wind and arrange an overnight horseback adventure. Rockin R horses are gentle. No experience required to ride -- if you're age six or over, you're qualified.

Photo by Maggie Schneider

Follow Paul Higbee:

Paul writes about the Black Hills for in-flight airline publications, academic magazines, South Dakota Magazine, public TV, newspapers and websites. He is the author of five books, all Black Hills themed. He lives in the Black Hills. He's obviously no Renaissance Man with varied interests, but if the Black Hills are your thing, he's your guy.

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