FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Many say Fort Worth is where the Old West begins, and if visitors want to tap into their inner cowboy or cowgirl, a unique experience in the Fort Worth Stockyards allows for a true Texas-sized adventure.

Kari Thorn, trails manager for Stockyard Stables, says the Stockyards were once vital to the West and Cowboy culture. “It was a major stop along the Chisholm Trail — so from farm to market they drove the cattle up here.”

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The cattleman making the journey on horseback from hundreds of miles away to sell their livestock on what is still today Exchange Street.

“As far as Fort Worth and the Stockyards, it’s just kind of the heart of cowboy culture,” she says.

With the help of the Stockyard Stables and one of their horses, you too can ride along the same paths as the cowboys did decades ago.

“We take people down to the Trinity River on the old Chisholm Trail towards downtown Fort Worth and bring you back and give people a real taste of being a cowboy and riding on the Chisholm trail,” Thorn explains.

Guests get to ride along the historic bricks of the Stockyards, taking in both the old and renovated parts of the area.

“They have made a lot of improvements, and it is beautiful down here, but it still maintains that authenticity about what the cowboy culture and what the heart of it was all about– the auction, the horses, the western heritage,” Thorn says.

Then, the ride takes visitors along a trail.

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“We ride over a bridge, over water and then to a tree lined path and you are thinking about the history of that area while riding along,” Thorn says. “It’s like a living piece of history really.”

The trail opens onto the banks of the Trinity River with a postcard worthy view of Downtown Fort Worth’s skyline.

“It’s like a juxtaposition there of country and city,” Thorn explains.

“You can see the courthouse across the river, and that’s been there since the cattle days, but then it is surrounded by all these high rise buildings and other things and you know there have been a lot of changes.”

An experience that connects people with the history of Cowtown, and maybe something a little deeper within themselves.

“They come back moved in a way that shopping and dining doesn’t necessarily move people — it is an extra experience that you have to feel.”

Stockyard Stables is open seven days a week from 10:30 AM to 6 PM, weather permitting. Reservations are not required because during operating hours, they have horses already saddled on Exchange Street and ready to take visitors on a trail ride.

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If visitors have a large group, they recommend calling ahead, so they can make sure enough horses are saddled and ready to go.

Madison Sawyer