Horseback riding is a great way to explore the outdoors. Kids and adults alike can enjoy fresh air and the pleasure that comes from interacting with horses. Whether you are just starting out or want to brush up on your skills, Carriage Hill MetroPark Riding Center offers great opportunities for families to connect with nature.
“Riding is a physical activity that increases the heart rate, builds muscle, allows riders to develop core strength and work on their balance,” says Katherine Berg, Five Rivers MetroParks Riding Center manager.
Beyond the impact on physical well-being, horseback riding can have an impact on social and emotional development. “Children also develop confidence, learn to take instruction and develop communication skills,” Berg adds.
The Carriage Hill MetroPark Riding Center has more than 20 horses of different breeds and offers affordable opportunities for both beginners and more advanced riders. Now is the time to plan for many of the upcoming activities:
- In the spring and fall, horseback riding lessons are available in eight-week sessions. These weekly, one-hour lessons are available for youth ages 8 to 17 and adults ages 18 and older. The cost is $200 and registration for spring lessons begins March 1.
- Summer camps are ideal for children who are new to horses. Camps are available for youth ages 8 to 17 from June through mid-August. The cost is $200 per week and registration begins April 1.
- For children ages 2 to 8, pony rides are available on Saturdays from noon to 3 pm June through October. The cost is $5 per ride and reservations are not required.
For more information or to register for programs, visit www.metroparks.org/RidingCenter.
In addition, riders can bring their own horse and explore more than 28 miles of designated bridle trails available at several MetroParks, including Carriage Hill, Englewood, Possum Creek, Sugarcreek and Twin Creek. Visit www.metroparks.org and search by amenity for “horse bridle trail.”