Central Coast Living: Ride a Clydesdale in Cambria

Posted at 4:12 AM, Apr 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-19 07:12:03-04

If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience this summer, your answer may be up the North Coast of San Luis Obispo County. 

In the rolling hills above the town of Cambria, 18-year-old Tara Covell is running a booming business by herself. 

"I was born into it but I was probably doing it full functioning by the time I was five," Covell said. 

Her colleagues are regal one-ton Clydedales, known by most as the horses in Budweiser commercials. 

"We were in a Miller Light commercial pretending to be the Budweiser hitch in 2007," she said. 

Three years ago, Covell and her father opened up their centuries-old, 2,000 acre Covell Ranch so locals and tourists alike could have the rare opportunity to ride the gentle giants. 

"It’s just a labor of love. We love the Clydesdales," said Covell. "We have shown historically in the past and now we do it as a family business."

Even for experienced riders like Atascadero resident Lacey Davis, riding a Clydesdale is like nothing else. 

"When I rode one I was like, ‘Oh, this is a whole different experience,’ so whether you’ve been riding horses you’re whole life or not, it’s still a new experience to be able to ride a Clydesdale and to enjoy them," Davis said. 

The view from the Covell Ranch isn’t bad either. 

"It’s fabulous," Davis said. "You can see the whole coastline. You have beautiful hills in the back and right now it’s green, so it’s even better,"

For $100, you can ride a Clydesdale on the ranch for about two hours. 

"It’s through the open pastures, a little bit of forest and you actually ride through some other horses and some cattle," said Covell. 

Nearly 70 Clydesdales live freely on the ranch as a herd of wild horses. Many are retired from successful show careers. 

Meanwhile, the ranch continues to grow. A foal was born just this week – perhaps a sign that Covell’s business is off to a running start. 

"We started this business only about three years ago and the amount it’s grown is tremendous," she said. "So three years from now, I can only imagine where we’ll be."

Reservations for rides at Covell Ranch this summer are already booking up. Call or text Tara Covell 805-975-7332 to schedule your ride.