By Christian Kendzierski
As the temperatures begin to warm up, many families start peeking out their windows looking around for some fun outdoor activities. Horseback riding combines history, nature, family fun and exercise all in one exciting adventure. We looked around and compiled a list of some of the top places you and your family can go for lessons, learning, riding and fun!
Misty Manor Riding Stable
7621 Ridge Road
Marriottsville, Md. 21104
11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Lesson and rental fees vary
Along with the stable-full of well-groomed and well-behaved horses, Misty Manor Riding Stables is located just steps from Maryland’s Patapsco Valley State Park, which makes trail riding super convenient and quite an experience. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, the staff makes sure you get an experience like no other. They safely guide riders through streams, hillsides and open fields. Misty Manor can accommodate groups up to 25 people and they always suggest calling ahead to reserve a
time no matter how large or small the group.
Graham Equestrian Center
10301 Harford Rd
Glen Arm, Md. 21057
Hours of operation vary. Call ahead
Lessons begin at $50
The Graham Equestrian Center is located just north of Baltimore and a gallop away from Gunpowder State Park. The mission of the center is to teach horseback riding and with reasonably priced lessons and top-notch instructors, its mission is alive and well. They offer beginner to intensive expert level lessons, boarding facilities, trail competitions and is the home to the Volunteer Mounted Patrol, who keep a watchful eye over the Gunpowder State Park. Horse rentals are not available.
Equilibrium Horse Center
1685 Underwood Road
Gambrills, Md. 21054
Hours and lesson prices vary according to season
For the serious horseman, Equilibrium is the place for you or your family to get started or hone your horse-riding skills. Located in rural Gambrills, just southeast of Baltimore, Equilibrium encompasses 80 acres of riding country. The center boasts its dedication to “the art of classical riding, education, and horsemanship.” They offer boarding, lessons, camps, trail riding, competitions, clinics and indoor horse riding, so weather is never an issue! If your kid is interested in teamwork and friendship, the center also has show teams to join.
Columbia Horse Center
10400 Gorman Road
Laurel, Md. 20723
Hours: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Call ahead for reservations
Hourly lessons begin at $71 per hour
The Columbia Horse Center with a convenient location just south of Baltimore has everything a horse lover and rider could want. Its 88-acre campus houses indoor and outdoor rings, a viewing lounge, a heated wash stall, horse boarding, adventurous and mild trails and lots of cross country space to gallop. The center welcomes beginners and experts alike and pairs up riders with well-trained and experienced instructors. The atmosphere focuses on safety and learning.
Gunpowder Riding Stables
12025 Philadelphia Road
Kingsville, Md. 21087
Hours vary. Call ahead.
Lesson fees begin at $35
This family-owned and operated riding stable is located in Baltimore County, not far from the northern city line. The owners love for riding shines through on their 10-acre space, which also offers boarding. Call ahead if you are interested in booking lessons but if you want to take the smaller children on a well-supervised pony ride, no reservations needed on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
City Ranch Incorporated
2601 Talbot Road (Suite 1)
Baltimore, Md. 21216
Lessons begin at $150 for youth and $250 for adults
The City Ranch is not like many you will find in the area. It has a mission of bringing the sport and love of horseback riding into urban settings, like Baltimore. The ranch’s horses will come to you, whether it is an event you are planning or a group outing at a local trail, the cowboys and girls of City Ranch Inc. will find you! The ranch offers memberships and lessons in an 8-week set-up for the young and adults. “Building character and pointing children toward the positive parts of life” is the goal of the organization. Ask them about how horse can be therapeutic as well. It is quite interesting!
Christian Kendzierski spends most of his time as a media specialist at Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland. He also works as a freelance writer and lives in Baltimore. See what’s going in Christian’s world by following him on Twitter @ck1media.