Minnesota sports more than 92,000 horses on 14,000 horse farms, according to the USDA. This popular avocation, not readily available to the urban resident, can be tapped by connecting with a riding stable. There are several different venues worth checking out, all within an hour’s drive of the metro area. See information on River Valley Ranch, HHH Ranch, Hiddenbrook Peruvians, Bunker Park Stable and Roselawn Stables is a recently published article, Best Places For Horseback Riding In Minnesota. Read on for five more options.
Windy Ridge Ranch
2700 Manning Ave. S.
Develop your skills in equitation and horsemanship and find many ways to enjoy your time with horses at Windy Ridge. Owners Mark and Katie Ward focus primarily on teaching riding skills. Students can enroll in group riding lessons at every skill level or take private lessons for special needs. You can learn Western or English equitation, dressage, horsemanship, games, jumping and trail riding.Students participate in many other fun riding activities as well. A particularly novel share-a-horse leasing program allows one to bond with a horse, but at a more economical alternative than owning and boarding. The Windy Ridge Ranch has been operating since 1979 and now has around 50 well-disciplined horses.
Bob Jensen Stables, Inc.
19650 Judicial Road
Bob and Linda Jensen have a stunning set of horses housed in a first-rate professional training facility and backed up by a cadre of excellent trainers. The Jensens privately trained their American Saddlebreds show horses and amassed a large string of lesson horses. The horse are housed in a beautiful 60-stall barn, and riders train in an oversized heated indoor arena. The attached lounge has viewing windows making for the utmost in comfort. Take summer lessons outdoors in a picturesque fenced-in court. Riders get special attention at an individualized pace from a staff of trainers who, along with Bob and Linda, support their clients with enthusiasm from their first ride all the way to national competition.
340 Glenmont Road
River Falls, WI 54022
As both owners and trainers, Tom and Liz McCadden strive to instill their customers with expert riding skills and good horse sense. Riding lessons not only teach you how to ride, but also how to connect with horses in their own language. Lessons are two-hour sessions—longer than offered at most other stables. Students can attend horse care and management classes or participate in equestrian-themed social activities to learn more about interacting with horses. Horses are chosen to match the different skill levels and are generally tolerant and well-mannered. The Seventh Farm riding stable is in nearby Hudson, Wisconsin just across the St Croix.
Rolling Hills Arabians And Farm Tours
18339 407th St.
Onamia, MN 56359
Ruth Hughley offers a little something for persons of all ages. Take a trail ride in picturesque Kathio Park on the weekend. Take a half-hour ride on the farm any day. Riders 10 years and up are welcome and Ruth will give lessons before the trail ride begins. Longer half-hour riding lessons are also available to persons of all ages. Birthday party groups get a farm tour and a pony ride. Farm tours are also available for any group and can include a nature walk or pony ride. Bring your own lunch so you can stay a while and enjoy the fresh outdoors. Ruth’s farm is filled with chickens, turkeys, rabbits, goats, pot-bellied pigs, horses, a miniature donkey and a llama.
We Can Ride In Minnetonka
14300 County Road 62
Minnetonka, MN 55345
Every year, about 300 individuals with cognitive disabilities benefit from this Accredited Therapeutic Riding Center. Horseback riding offers a unique form of therapy for individuals living with disabilities. For example, a horse’s gait is much like a human’s walk. Riding may improve posture and coordination by strengthening pelvic muscles and the spine. In addition, consider the emotional uplift derived from the thrill of traveling by horseback to places beyond the reach of wheelchairs, crutches or walkers. Mastery of riding and bonding with a magnificent steed is likely to enhance confidence and self-worth for any individual. We Can Ride is a member of Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International and is staffed with certified instructors, licensed therapists and trained volunteers. Any person with a physical or cognitive disability is encouraged to apply by downloading a new client registration packet from the website. Services are also offered at Marine on St. Croix.
Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from Richfield High School and then the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for Examiner.com, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at Examiner.com.