Saddle up to learn the ins and outs of horseback riding. These stables and horse farms located across Connecticut offer riding lessons for horse lovers of all ages. Lessons aim to teach skill sets, leadership and how to care for horses. Select horse farms specialize in therapeutic riding programs, distinguishing themselves from others.
Valley View Riding Stables
91 Lake Road
Dayville, CT 06241
Valley View Riding Stables is home to over 30 horses. Seven days a week year round, it offers private and group riding lessons to ages three and up. The one-hour private rate is $45 and the group rate is $30. Valley View specializes in beginners learning to ride horses and timid riders. Instructors are NARHA certified and offer jumping, dressage, huntseat and therapeutic classes. Indoor and outdoor riding areas are located on site along with an obstacle course and 60-foot round pen. This summer, Valley View will feature a six-week summer camp Monday through Friday starting in July.
524 Bell St.
Glastonbury, CT 06033
Visitors can choose between horseback riding lessons on Hillside Stable’s horses or you may bring your own. Lesson cost is $35 for one hour or $25 for half an hour. Buying in bulk will save you money including six one-hour lessons for $189. Pony rides for children of any age are available by appointment on Saturdays. For $15, these pony rides last for 15 minutes. On 37 acres of land, Hillside features indoor and outdoor facilities, a round pen and trails. Its 2013 summer camp begins the week of June 24th, ending in the week of August 5th. Camp runs Monday through Friday for children ages six to 15, at a cost of $250.
High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc.
36 Town Woods Road
Old Lyme, CT 06371
High Hopes is a special riding facility for a special population. This therapeutic riding center has been in operation since 1979, servicing individuals with physical, developmental and emotional disabilities. Its philosophy follows the PATH International guidelines which include four components: recreation, therapy, sport and medicine. Riding lessons incorporate individuals’ therapeutic goals. Each horseback-riding lesson averages between 30 to 60 minutes. High Hopes services horse lovers from ages four to 84.
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New Canaan Mounted Troop
22 Carter St.
New Canaan, CT 06840
The New Canaan Mounted Troop has a variety of programs for students to choose from. Its weekly Horsemanship and Riding Program is offered to riders of all experience levels ages seven to 18 for one-hour sessions in groups of four to six. On weekday mornings, adults interested in horseback riding can join the adult riding program. New to this facility is a therapeutic riding and ground program. As part of the therapeutic riding program, New Canaan Mounted Troop will help to reach individual physical, cognitive, behavioral and communication goals, with a horse or pony set to their needs. Students will bond with horses in the ground program as they learn to care for them with brushing, cleaning and horse apparel. The goal of this horseback-riding facility is to instill leadership and responsibility through workmanship with horses.
Pee Wee Horse Farm
5 Silver Hill Road
Easton, CT 06612
Feel like a cowboy or cowgirl after horseback-riding lessons at Pee Wee Horse Farm. On over 130 acres of land, this farm offers riding lessons, trail rides, summer camp, pony parties and hay rides year round. Service prices start at $40 per person for a private 30-minute riding lesson. For $40 per person, you can enjoy a scenic guided 45-minute trail ride. Pony rides are offered at $40 per person for a 30-minute time period, which can also be broken into multiple children for the same price.
Kimberly Ord is a freelance writer and lifetime resident of Connecticut. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.