Our Stories Resort Blog

Dig a little deeper into stories about our history, unique guest features, and what’s happening around the resort.


A 2-Day Itinerary to Pick Your Own Path at Our Stables

May 10, 2024
Stables at French Lick Resort

Ready to try something new? Giddyup and let’s do this.

You might be surprised how many different ways there are to experience our Stables at French Lick Resort, from horseback rides to quick in-and-out barn tours, and even horse-drawn carriage rides at French Lick and West Baden Springs Hotels. Happy trails on this two-day itinerary in and around our stables.

Day 1

Don’t worry, nothing too strenuous on the tail end of your arrival day.

After you get settled, hit up the weekend lobby bar at French Lick Springs Hotel or Ballard’s Bar at West Baden Springs Hotel for your favorite cocktail. (Worth noting: even though Derby season has passed, the Mint Julep and Kentucky Oaks Lily are still on the menu through the end of May at Ballard’s.)

a group of people sitting on a horse carriage

After that? Carriage ride time.

Your own private ride — for just the two of you, or the whole family — is a fairy tale come to life. Rides are offered every Friday and Saturday at both hotels, plus Monday & Wednesday at West Baden and Tuesday & Thursday at French Lick. (Just hop on the free resort shuttle for a lift to the other hotel.) Carriage ride reservations can be made in advance to ensure you’ll be riding in style and taking in the resort scenery.

To cap the day, dinner at Ballard’s in the Atrium hits the spot. The margherita pizza, salmon Caesar salad or the Classic Wagyu Beef Burger are always winners — with the signature West Baden Chocolate Dome to sweeten the deal for dessert.

a group of people riding horses on a dirt path in the woods

Day 2

It’s the dawn of the day of your choice – pick your path!

Path 1

Up and at ‘em early. Stop by Xanadu Coffee & Creamery or French Lick Mercantile Co. for the largest and strongest coffee you can muster for an action-packed day ahead.

a child on a slide on a slide outsideStart by heading to the back of the self-parking lot at West Baden Springs Hotel – there you’ll find the trail head for the Stables Trail that’ll lead you back to the horse barns. It’s a serene wooded mile to The Stables. Get there a few minutes so the kids can visit the goats, chickens and mini donkeys and wheeeee! their way down the wagon slide.




a goat and chicken behind a fence

After that? Time to saddle up. You can’t go wrong with an early trail ride reservation this time of year, a.) because the spring morning weather has been excellent as of late, and b.) the other wildlife is most active in the morning and you stand the best chance of spotting a deer, wild turkey or majestic bird.

From there, you’re off on horseback through the vast expanse of the Hoosier National Forest. No better way to unplug from everything and connect with nature. And these guided trail rides are truly for everyone. Riders as young as 9 years old can do trail rides, we’ve had folks as old as 90 hop on, and our stables staff matches each rider to one of the 27 horses in our stables that’s best suited for them.

a group of people riding horses

For the little ones, pony rides (8 and younger) make an unforgettable memory, and each little cowboy and cowgirl also gets to pick out a hat or bandana as a souvenir. (Pro tip: even if rain interrupts your plans, pony rides can still be done indoors in the barn as long as lightning and heavy storms stay away.)

a man and boy riding horses in a barn

With horseback and pony rides in the books, it’s back to the hotel to kill some time at the pool or relaxing in one of the rockers outside on the hotel veranda. You’ve worked up an appetite by now, so get cleaned up and head to 1875: The Steakhouse for a well-deserved feast to cap this day.

Path 2

If you’re more of the sleep in, feast for breakfast type, then head to The Grand Colonnade for the morning buffet or visit Café Sinclair’s for hearty eggs Benedict. (Grab a sandwich or snacks to munch on later.)

a girl riding a horse with people in cowboy hats

Once you’re properly fueled up, drive or take the resort shuttle up to The Stables for the afternoon. If you want the “express” stables experience you can do a shorter 45-minute horseback or pony ride, or a 15-minute stables tour of the barns. You might even get the chance to meet Pepsi, our miniature horse/adorable stables mascot. If it's a weekday you're in luck, because you can join a Horse Sense Class to meet the animals, learn about the day-to-day stables operations and embark on a trail ride.

a woman holding a gun

a group of men shooting a bow and arrow

Next: an adventure at the shooting ranges, which are a stone’s throw away from the stables. Take aim on18 stations at the outdoor clay pigeon shooting range that challenges even the best sharpshooter. Or, steady your bow and arrow and fire away on 3D targets at the archery range. Even if you’ve never gripped a bow or fired a gun, our instructors are there to assist. And by the end of the shoot, every beginner always tends to say the same thing: “Hey, I’m getting the hang of this!”

Once you’ve conquered the sporting range, those sandwiches and snacks you packed will be calling your name. Find a table in the shade at the Stables Pavilion, dig in – and drink in this peaceful pastoral scenery.

a man and child sitting on a bench

Tagged In: