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Travel & Outdoors

Top Spots For Horseback Riding Near Philadelphia

June 1, 2013 7:00 AM

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HorseHealing
Horseback riding is a great way to explore the outdoors with family and friends. Kids and adults alike enjoy the fresh air, winding trails and the pleasure that comes from interacting with horses. The health benefits from riding include improved coordination, posture and balance as well as lowered stress levels. From the city to the suburbs, these top spots for horseback riding allow Philadelphia-area residents to connect with nature.
Red Buffalo Ranch
1106 Anders Road
Collegeville, PA 19426
(610) 489-9707
www.redbuffaloranch.com

This privately owned facility offers guided trail rides, Boy and Girl Scout outings, summer camps and birthday parties. Evansburg State Park, with 3,500 acres and a variety of trails, is located next to Red Buffalo Ranch and is where the guided trail rides take place. From one- or two-hour rides to three-hour lunch ride excursions or even a western weekend campout, visitors of all abilities will find something that appeals to their inner cowboy or cowgirl. Summer camps teach kids eight to 14 years of age both western and English riding styles. The facility is open year round and reservations are required.

Haycock Stables
1035 Old Bethlehem Road
Perkasie, PA 18944
(215) 257-6271
www.haycockstables.com

Haycock Stables is a family-run operation that’s now in its third generation. Couple and family trail rides are a specialty at this facility, with horses available to adults and kids of all ages and abilities. Lessons are also available. Large groups are also welcome. Rides last from one to two hours and are available year-round, weather permitting. Requests at the time of reservation for specific or favorite horses will be honored whenever possible. Trail rides take place near Nockamixon Lake and western and English saddles are available for trail rides. Reservations are required, and same-day reservations are taken based upon availability. Trail rides begin at $30 per person. Helmets are available for customer use.

Happy Trails Stables
Route 590
Hamlin, PA 18436
(570) 698-6996
www.happytrailsriding.com

Trail rides include instruction beforehand on basic horsemanship, including reining, body position and safety. Trails are available for all ages and abilities. Trail riding is available year-round, providing visitors with the opportunity to experience the joys of riding in all four seasons. In addition to trail rides in the snow, the facility also offers sleigh rides in the winter. Lessons in both English and western styles of riding are offered, and boarding services are available. Beginning in May, 2013, Happy Trails Stables will be operating a second Pocono Mountain-area location.

Related: Getaway Guide: Pocono Mountains

Sheeder Mill Farm
12 Sheeder Mill Road
Spring City, PA 19475
(610) 469-9382
www.smfhorses.com

Trail rides at Sheeder Mill Farm are available for 30-minute rides to overnight camping. All rides are led by guides through scenic Chester County trails and dirt roads that wind along the French Creek and through nearby wooded areas. Extra time is given to riders who need help and there is no age or weight limit. All visits are by appointment only and same-day reservations will be taken based on availability. Payment is by cash or Paypal only. Picnic rides are available, beginning with one-hour packages, and one-day travel rides or overnight camping rides are also offered. In addition to trail rides, Sheeder Mill Farm offers on-site horse leasing, boarding and training services.

Gateway Stables Riding Center
949 Marrybell Lane
Kennet Square, PA 19348
(610) 444-1255
www.gatewaystables.com

Gateway Stables Riding Center offers group trail rides and family rides for families with children under the age of eight. Guided walking and trotting rides follow five miles of scenic trails through 200 acres of woods, fields and streams along the Pennsylvania and Delaware state border. All rides include a basic horsemanship class before heading out on the trail, with instruction in starting, stopping, steering and safety. Mounts are available from ponies to drafts, making the riding experience available to a broad audience of varying ages and weights. No open-toed shoes are allowed and long pants are recommended. Rides start at $45 and guests are advised to make reservations at least two or three days in advance.

Related: Top Summer Camps Or Workshops For Teens In Philadelphia

Christy Ayala covers sports, recreation, the outdoors, and leisure activities in the Philadelphia area. She earned a masters degree in recreation administration from George Williams College and managed programs in the Midwest, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.
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