Horseback riding is an enjoyable way to experience the outdoors and to get away from the hubbub of contemporary life. Unfortunately, owning a horse is an expensive undertaking and requires hours of work. It is a commitment most people cannot afford to make. Fortunately, in the greater Baltimore-metro area, there are numerous places that provide the opportunity to spend a few hours — or longer — riding horses.
Columbia Horse Center Inc.
10400 Gorman Road
Laurel, Md. 20723
Columbia Horse Center, located on 88 acres, is a full service equestrian center that offers lessons, boarding, camps, special activities and more. Courses in hunt seat, eventing, balance seat and dressage are provided to both children and adults. Classes and in-house shows are held throughout the year. There are both summer and winter camps offered for children and adults. For a free lesson, visit the center at 1 p.m. on Saturdays.
The Graham Equestrian Center
10301 Harford Road
Glen Arm, Md. 21057
Located near Gunpowder Falls State Park, the Graham Equestrian Center includes numerous trails through the park leading to Big Gunpowder Falls. Named for Dr. Albert Graham, who donated his farm to the park on the condition that part of its use continue to include equestrian activities, the site features a 22-stall barn, about 20 acres of pasture and a lighted sand round pen for training. In addition to boarding, the facility offers lessons for all ages. The center also serves as the home for the park’s Volunteer Mounted Patrol.
Gunpowder Riding Stables
12025 Philadelphia Road
Kingsville, Md. 21087
Located on a 10-acre farm, Gunpowder Riding and Boarding Stables is family-owned and features miles of trails. In addition to boarding services, the stable offers lessons for all ages. Pony rides for children are available noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Lessons are available for children age 4 and up. The stables also offer bareback riding lessons.
Hickory Hollow Horse Farm
219 Crooked Creek Road
Gettysburg, Pa. 17325
Combine horses, the outdoors and history by visiting the Hickory Hollow Horse Farm, located near the battlefield at Gettysburg. Family-owned, the company provides horseback trail rides and tours of the battlefield, with or without licensed battlefield guides. Tours of the battlefield are offered March through November. The minimum age for riders is 8 years old.
Mills Farm Therapeutic Riding Program
2890 Runnymede Drive
Westminster, Md. 21158
A non-denominational faith-based organization, the Mills Farm Therapeutic Riding Program in rural Carroll County provides riding programs for adults and children with disabilities. Staffed by volunteers, the program provides both individual and group instruction. The farm also offers boarding and other services. Sunday afternoons are reserved for pony birthday parties that include games, sports equipment and one craft per child. In June, the farm sponsors a summer horseback riding program for children 5 to 11 years old.
Jeffrey B. Roth has won numerous state and national news and feature-writing awards during his career. A well-known crime writer, investigative reporter and a feature writer, Roth writes for a number of magazines and newspapers. Listed in the Locus Index of SciFi and Fantasy authors, Roth is the author of a number of published short stories and poetry. His work can be found on Examiner.com.