A lot of people think that horseback riding isn’t an option if they don’t have a farm, or at least a lot of land. Fortunately, there are a lot of places all around the country that allow people to hire horses for an hour, or even an afternoon. These are great for families that want to get together and enjoy an afternoon of horseback riding, but don’t actually have horses themselves.
Almost all children are fascinated by horses. They represent strength, beauty, nobility, and a host of other traits that both boys and girls are drawn to. As a result, just about every little kid goes through a stage of wanting a pony. While most parents aren’t able to offer their children their very own pony, just about every parent can take their child on a horseback riding outing.
A lot of stables have horses for hire for trail riding, or “hacking.” Here, people hire horses, and go out as a group to ride along trails. Some people without prior horseback riding experience might be a little intimidated by the idea of riding a horse along a trail, but the truth is that it’s very easy. All of the horses hired out by these places are very well-trained, and have all of the trails around their barns memorized. Even someone who hasn’t ever ridden a horse before will find these animals pleasant and tractable. All most of them require is that their rider sit still.
Horseback riding outings are a great idea for families for a variety of reasons. As was mentioned before, children are fascinated by horses, and will love the chance to go for a ride. Parents who enjoy things like hiking or bird watching will enjoy the chance to do it from horseback, and even people who aren’t very outdoorsy will like the opportunity to relax and go for a calm, pleasant ride on a well-trained horse. More experienced riders can ride their mounts English style, which allows the rider closer contact with their mount, and a finer sense of control over the horse’s gait and direction. Inexperienced riders will enjoy Western style riding, which uses a bulkier saddle and a different method of controlling the horse that is less direct than the English style. Neither way is better than the other, but people should consider the differences between the two and their own skill level when they are choosing a riding style. Because Western riding tends to be easier and more comfortable for people who aren’t experienced riders, many stables saddle their trail riding mounts with Western saddles by default.
If you’re looking for an activity that’s a little different than other family outings, horseback riding might be perfect for you. It allows children to experience what it’s like to be on their own horse, while giving parents a nice, relaxing outing for the afternoon. Even if you live in the city, chances are there’s a stable that offers afternoon trail rides just outside your city limits.