Horseback riding fun in Massachusetts can be found at many private stables across the state. Even though some stables offer lessons or are involved in showing and sales of horses, many also include the trail ride option that allows people with limited experience to put themselves in a saddle and enjoy an hour or so of supervised riding. It may be just enough to convince you that once was enough, but in most cases getting a taste of riding will encourage you to return to take part in horseback riding fun in Massachusetts, possibly at one of these locations.
Black Sand Stable is located in the town of Orleans heading out towards the tip of Cape Cod. But don’t worry your ride isn’t going to be one of those jaunts along the seashore that look great but a little ambitious. Black Sand Stable is willing to work with you at your own ability level. By their own admission the owners of Black Sand Stable are less interested in showing horses ( though they do some of that upon occasion ) than they are in providing the opportunity for area kids and adults too to become acquainted with and comfortable around horses.
Black Sand Stable will make you feel comfortable because it is really run by family for families. This is a down to earth outfit. You can sign on for lessons here if you have the inclination, but you can also simply arrange to participate in a trail ride experience. Appropriately trail rides for beginners last between 60-90 minutes and riders are led through Nickerson State Park and town conservation land in the towns of Orleans and Brewster. If you are a more experienced rider you can also make arrangements for a three hour ride. A key requirement for participants is that they be at least 10 years old.
Black Sand Stable offers trail rides and lessons year round but is used to vacationers calling to arrange a trail ride during their stay on Cape Cod and being complete novices. Everything is done to insure the safety and security of such riders and groups always ride at the level of the least experienced member of the group. For more information or to arrange for lessons or trail rides call Black Sand Stable at 508-255- 7185
Crowley’s Sales Barn and Stables. You’ll find Crowley’s in Agawam, MA to be a very busy place but not so busy that it can’t provide you with a trail ride for a reasonable price. Trail rides at Crowley’s last approximately 45 minutes which I have found as a beginner to be more than adequate to get used to the idea and less than will incapacitate even out of shape adults. The cost of the trail ride is also something that isn’t likely to hurt too much. When you consider what you are receiving in return, $25 seems a very just price.
Trail rides are offered at Crowley’s daily beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing until sundown and at this stable there is no need to call ahead unless you want to arrange for a group trail ride with 10 or more riders involved. Then you will need to call to make arrangements at 413-786-1744. While Crowley’s will take on beginners there is an age limit for riders that is set at 8 years old. But if you have younger children in your party no need to panic because there are pony rides available at Crowley’s for only $15 for a half hour.
Crowley’s does offer riding lessons and has a riding camp too. A good first riding experience may encourage you or someone in your family to take their riding to the next level and Crowley’s has the staff to help that happen. You can learn more about the services offered at Crowley’s Sales Barn and Stables at their website http://www.crowleyshorses.com.
Blue Hills, Quincy, MA . In a very different style of trail riding, Blue Hills in Quincy, MA offers children the chance to begin to transition from riding ponies in the controlled setting of a ring to taking the reins and taking off on your own. For a half hour period children are guided by Blue Hills staffers in the management of a pony outside of the ring area. One staff person will walk along side of the horse as an extra precaution while the other staff member will lead the horse. During the 30 minute riding experience the child will be taught how to give their pony basic commands, teaching them how to both stop and get the horse to go forward.
From the parents point of view there is also activity involved. If you choose you can follow your child on foot and get a nice nature walk as part of the bargain as well as the enjoyment of watching your child begin to negotiate life on the back of a pony. For kids who have grown tired of or simply outgrown the typical pony ride around in circles in a ring, this is a wonderful advancement. Kids quickly appreciate the difference of being out into the real world of riding, even though they are protectively surrounded by trained staff members.
Parents need to make arrangements in advance at Blue Hills by calling at 617-472-0649. The price of this riding adventure is $25 for a half hour ride. Longer rides can be arranged if desired but parents are generally advised that 30 minutes is a long time in the saddle for a child and concentration can begin to wane.