Best Horse Farms Around Baltimore

August 20, 2011 5:00 AM

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Photo Credit: Joe Klamar/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Joe Klamar/Getty Images

By Lurdes Abruscato
It’s a little-known secret, but common knowledge among equine pros … the state of Maryland vies Kentucky for great horse country. Equestrian centers around Baltimore offer an array of superb lessons, trails, boarding, rescue farms, breeding programs and more. Here’s just a sampling of facilities.
148458 161336553908649 161329633909341 285651 7397879 n Best Horse Farms Around Baltimore

Photo Credit: City Ranch Facebook page

City Ranch Inc.

3818 Chatham Rd.
Baltimore, Md. 21215
(410) 456-2195
Hours: 3- 8 p.m., lessons April 1-Oct. 31

Price: youth multi-week lessons – $250, adults – $350; mini workshops – $65/rider; private lessons – $65/hr.; parties – $150/hr., 2-hr. min.

You don’t see this in the heart of most metropolises: a 60-ft. round riding pen used for lessons and horsemanship workshops. Although City Ranch’s site is temporary as it works out zoning for a permanent spot, its city location is intentional. After the Preakness and Pimlico, anything horse-related fades from memory for Baltimore’s city dwellers, says manager Ahesahmahk Dahn. Until now.

City Ranch aims to improve equestrian accessibility and affordability among its urban population. It partners with city schools, and hosts the usual array of birthday parties. In the future, the organization hopes to expand to therapeutic offerings, trail riding, and maybe even a city polo team.

graham equestrian center educational program Best Horse Farms Around Baltimore

Photo Credit: Graham Equestrian Center

The Graham Equestrian Center

10301 Harford Rd.
Glen Arm, Md. 21057
(410) 663-4445
Hours: Trails – dawn to dusk
Price: Boarding: $400/mo.; educational programs vary

Review, Directions & More Info 

This non-profit is not your typical lessons barn: While it offers a variety of educational programs and competitive trail challenges, it does not offer lessons and visitors typically bring their own horses. Participants who just want to watch a program can audit for a smaller fee.

GEC is a private boarding facility, with 20 acres of fenced pasture, a 22-stall barn, lighted outdoor arena and a 60-ft. pen. Its major annual event, the Day of the Horse, is scheduled for Sept. 10, and features demonstrations, vendors, silent auctions and kids’ activities.

74046918 Best Horse Farms Around Baltimore

Photo Credit: Joe Klamar/Getty Images

Misty Manor Riding Stable

7621 Ridge Rd.
Marriottsville, Md. 21104
(410) 781-4810
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., later for groups
Price: trail riding – $25/person/hr.; lessons vary based on type; boarding starts at $200/mo.+

Under 30 minutes west of Baltimore, this stable has an array of equestrian options, including access to more than 8,000 acres of trails through Patapsco State Park, western and English lessons, summer camps, boarding, horse sales and leasing, and an on-site tack shop.

The stable has an active rescue program, and channels funds to charitable causes, including local seniors. In addition to catering to riders’ needs, Misty Manor touts its many horse-care components, including equine dentistry, farriers and hoof care, as well as equine massage and acupressure.

h123 Best Horse Farms Around Baltimore

Photo Credit: Hawks Hollow Farm

Hawks Hollow Farm

7615 Bradshaw Rd.
Kingsville, Md. 21087
(443) 414-8199
(410) 592-3428
Hours: 8 a.m.- 9 p.m.
Price: Lessons vary according to type/instructor specialty, private – $50; classes start at $15; horse leasing and boarding varies

This full and field care boarding facility, located 30 minutes from Baltimore, offers year-round riding instruction in all disciplines (English, western, dressage, hunter/jumper), courtesy of an indoor arena. The center promotes the practice of “natural horsemanship,” has instructors certified by the American Riding Instructors Association and Certified Horsemen Association, and has access to Gunpowder State Park’s trails.

Along with an array of lessons, summer camps, birthday parties, workshops and classes, the farm staffs two registered therapeutic riding instructors who also are equestrian Special Olympics coaches.

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(Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

Days End Farm Horse Rescue

1372 Woodbine Rd.
Woodbine, Md. 21797
(301) 854-5037
(410) 442-1564
Hours: Tours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Price: This 501(c) 3 non-profit relies on volunteer/charitable contributions

Reviews, Directions & More Info

Love horses but can’t imagine saddling up? Less than 45 minutes afield of Baltimore, this farm has become a nationally recognized rescue and rehabilitation facility housing 50-70 previously neglected or abused horses. Visitors are encouraged to become active participants in the lives of rescued animals as volunteers, through a horse training program, or with food/supplies/monetary donations.

Participants also can take part in “foster” programs, visiting the horse and providing hands-on care or as a “sponsor,” whereby you take the horse to your own facility for ongoing care. Full-fledged adoption programs are available for approved candidates.

Lurdes Abruscato is a local freelance writer. She lives with her family in a small community surrounded by horse farms.

View Comments
  • Crystal Kimball

    For a complete list of all the stables (almost 600) in Maryland offering lessons, boarding, guided trail rides or the hourly rentals of horses, please visit
    The Equiery is a free information service for the Maryland equestrian community. Visit to learn more.

  • Gina

    Wow…this is very informative. Thanks for the great article.

  • amy

    Misty Manor is the best horse farm in Maryland!! They do the best guided trails and have the best horses!!! They cater to not only people who know how to ride but to people who have never been on a horse before. They are also an awesome rescue to horses and most of their trail horses have been formally rescued from death sentences. If you want a nice affordable horse back riding experiece look no further than Misty Manor!!!

  • Carolyn Binkley

    Hunting Ground Farm 2022 Whiteford Road Whiteford MD 21160 is THE BEST farm for children and adults to take riding lessons. They compete in local and rated shows! I grew up riding with Laurie Kiser Mace!

  • green

    great site and very informative

  • TopHonor

    Misty Manor is not registered as a Recuse under the Maryland Department of Agriculture, Maryland Horse Industry Licensing. Do your research before going there? Know what a healthy horse looks like? Not the skinny, scrawny, depressed horses you will see there. Its a sad sad place to go to and don’t feel sorry for the owner, the owner could invest much more money into taking care of these animals.

  • Missy

    Graham Equestrian Center now offers private and group lessons! You can use their lesson horses or bring your own.

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