The gentle gallop, steady trot, and subtle breeze are all calming as you explore nature with nothing but you and your horse. There is something amazing about horseback riding and the freedom it brings you. With the world continually growing with buildings and suburbs, it can be difficult to find places to ride and horse friendly venues. Every state has forests and trails set aside for your use, and with the help of horseback riding clubs and organizations these trails and venues can be found and enjoyed. Getting involved and finding a club is for every horse lover whether they are an experienced rider or hoping to start.
The best place to start riding or continue riding, is finding a place to go in or near your area. Most cities have parks and trails right around the corner that welcome horses. Take a peek at your local parks and recreation website and find the perfect trail for you. There are hundreds of trails throughout the US that are perfect for horseback riding and exploring the outdoors. Most counties have a list of horse friendly trails that not only allow horses but encourage them to come and enjoy the trails made just for them. If the idea of galloping along a trail has always been a dream of yours but your apartment doesn't exactly allow horses on the premises, then find a local ranch or farm. Ranches are the perfect place to test out horses while having the guidance of a professional teaching you the ropes of riding. These same ranches often offer lessons at great prices and are not only for the beginner. Lessons are a great way to work on technique and continually improve your riding and training. For those on a tight budget, try out a group lesson with some friends and cut the price of a single lesson in more than half.
Clubs and associations are a great place to learn more about the excitement of horseback riding. Clubs bring in loads of information on events, activities, trails, technique and horse information. The first step to finding a horseback riding club, is asking horse-riding friends and acquaintances if they are a part of any clubs. They can give you advice on the clubs they like or the positives and negatives of the group they are a part of. Social-networking gets the word out that you are looking for riding clubs to join. If neither of those work, trying a basic internet search should bring up club results in or near your area. When choosing a club, look for similarities in age and riding ability. There are many great clubs for kids getting started or children with learning or behavioral problems. Many clubs even have summer riding camps that offer riding lessons and fun horseback riding adventures.
For the more advanced, young-adult rider looking to take riding to the next level, there are colleges and universities that offer professional riding programs. Horseback riding is like any other sport and many colleges offer scholarships to get the rider to join their team. Competing in local horse shows before college will build your application and prepare you for riding on a college team. College equestrian teams compete against other colleges in riding, reigning and jumping events.
No matter what type of riding you are interested in, there are many trails and clubs available and are just waiting for you to find them. The collection of websites below that can help to get you started.
Colleges and Universities
Private and Recreational Horseback Riding Clubs and Organizations
Recreational Horseback Riding and Horse Friendly Venues
Written by Sharon Rogers