Monday, April 27, 2015

An equestrian's guide to Tulsa


When you think of equestrian meccas, Lexington, Aiken, Ocala, and Wellington come to mind. Tulsa, Oklahoma wouldn't even make your top ten. But Tulsa's got a surprisingly robust equine scene.

Shows
There are a number of local organizations that regularly hold shows in Tulsa, but did you know there are several national events held here, too? Tulsa's Expo Square is a beautiful, enormous facility with four permanent indoor arenas, several outdoor arenas, and over 2,000 stalls (each with electricity, covered access to all indoor arenas, and restrooms). You could catch one of these shows on your next visit: 
  • Pinto World Championship, June 8-20, 2015: This 13 day long event features almost every discipline imaginable, including english, western, saddle seat, and dressage. There are almost as many vendors as there are competitors, so plan to shop!
  • National Snaffle Bit Association World Championship, August 8-15, 2015:  This all-breed show celebrates the pleasure horse and offers over $500,000 in cash and prizes! There's a large trade show, too.
  • Ariat Tulsa Reining Classic, August 31-September 6, 2015: Drawing reiners from throughout the country, the Tulsa Reining Classic is always a fun and exciting event.
  • U.S. National Arabian & Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show, October 23-31: The U.S. Nationals ranks as the most prestigious North American championship in the Arabian show horse industry. This flagship event will offer Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses while both amateur and professional riders or handlers compete in halter, native costume, reining, working cow, cutting, trail, show hack, sidesaddle, park horse, driving and english, western and hunter classes. World-class shopping, elaborate barn decorations, and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to get up close to some of America's most famous Arabian horses are part of this show!

Shopping
The Tulsa area has a surprising number of tack shops for both the english and western rider!
  • The Horse of Course, Claremore OK: Since 1995, The Horse of Course has been outfitting Tulsa's english riders. This charming store in downtown Claremore (about 25 miles north of Tulsa) sells show and casual apparel, tack, grooming supplies, and all sorts of other items. Bonus: I work here! 
  • EquiVenture Tack, Jenks, OK: Specializing in hunter/jumper apparel and equipment, EquiVenture has a robust consignment department and is the area's Antares dealer. It's located just south of Tulsa in Jenks. 
  • Mane & Tack Bootique, Jenks, OK: Featuring lots of cute, equestrian-themed apparel, gifts, and housewares, Mane & Tack Bootique is one of Tulsa's newest tack shops. They also carry a limited selection of tack.
  • Stable Style in Broken Arrow, OK: This little shop is Tulsa's newest tack store and is housed at hunter/jumper barn SonRise Stables. They're open by appointment only, but you can find all sorts of english tack and apparel there.
  • Mock Brothers Saddlery in Tulsa, OK: Mock Brothers is a Tulsa classic and carries everything the working rancher, rodeo competitor, or western rider needs, including saddles, ropes, hats, and boots. 
Riding
If you'd like to see the sights of Green Country Oklahoma, there's no better way to do it than from the back of a horse! 
  • If you're a local, load up your horses and head to Turkey Mountain, Tulsa's Urban Wilderness area. Located just 7 miles from downtown, this park has miles of trails, beautiful views of the Arkansas River, and plenty of trailer parking. You might have to share the trails with cyclists and hikers, though!
  • Locals can also explore miles of trails on Oologah Lake just north of Tulsa proper. The lake has a couple of areas for trailer parking, and you can ride for hours without seeing the same thing twice. Riding into the lake and racing along the top of the dam are some of my favorite summer activities. The trails aren't well marked or particularly well maintained, so be sure to turn on your phone's GPS and ride a surefooted horse! 
  • No horse, but still want to ride? No problem! There are several trail riding services in the area, including Sequoyah Riding Stables southeast of Tulsa in Hulbert, OK and Flying G Ranch west of town in Sand Springs.
English, western- it doesn't matter what kind of riding you do! Tulsa's got something for everyone.

11 comments:

SprinklerBandit said...

And the World Cup is coming there, isn't it? I'm slightly less baffled by that after reading your write up.

Stephanie said...

Sadly, the WC is in Omaha, Nebraska, which I also do not think of as an equestrian mecca!

Fun fact: every couple of years, the mayor of Tulsa gets on a jag about Tulsa hosting the Olympics. Equestrian is always one of the things he points to as already having facilities in place, even though the closest XC course is 1.5 hours from here and I think only goes up to Intermediate!

Wilbur, Ellie, and Emily said...

How fun! I had no idea there was such a large market there!

No Hour Wasted said...

Pony finals once held in Tulsa too!

Holly said...

So fun how much is there - I love showing in Tulsa!
Also, just as an FYI, NSBA is only open to horses registered with approved stock breed associations (AQHA, APHA, ApHC, PBHA, etc), so not technically 'all-breed'!

Stephanie said...

It always surprises me- especially the large h/j scene!

Stephanie said...

I didn't know that!

Stephanie said...

Good to know- thanks for the info!

emma said...

interesting! i don't get to travel much these days except for conferences... but maybe one day i'll end up in Tulsa and will have to take advantage of local equestrian scene :)

Tracy Beavers said...

This is awesome!! Would you hate me forever if I did one of these posts for my hometown?

Stephanie said...

Of course not!! I'd love it if everyone wrote an equestrian's guide to their city- then we'd all know where to go!

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