If you’ve ever driven down NM 314 between Belen and Los Lunas, chances are you’ve seen it, standing there at nearly the center point between the two towns — a big, beautiful, turquoise building. Four months ago, Renate Wilder decided that Valencia County needed an old-fashioned honky-tonk, and she opened up the Wild Pony Saloon.
Boasting the biggest dance floor in Valencia County, the Wild Pony Saloon is country — from the donated chaps on the wall to the juke box cranking out country tunes. Of course, the jukebox really only gets a work-out three nights a week (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday). The other four nights are devoted to the vocal stylings of any number of people.
On Wednesday and Thursday nights the microphone belongs to any old average Joe or Jane who feels like stepping up on the stage for some karaoke fun. And, with daily drink specials and an extensive catalog of songs, the Wild Pony is a tough place to pass up.
If hearing yourself sing isn’t right up your alley, on Friday and Saturday nights the Wild Pony brings in the real talent, with live bands performing. The Wild Pony only charges a cover on special nights and has been seeing an increase in business weekly.
Owner Wilder says the place is a nice, laid-back bar, where any ol’ cowboy can come out and dance or just sit and have a good time enjoying the music. Most nights, Wilder’s smiling face can be seen behind the bar or out among the customers, making sure everyone is having a good time.
“We don’t have a lot of young people coming in here, so there aren’t any fights or anything like that,” Wilder said.
Plenty of tables, a fully stocked bar and good music are a few of the things that can be found at the Wild Pony.