Are you passionate about horses and looking to learn how to ride? Maybe you're an experienced rider looking for a new trail to explore with your horse? Whatever your level of expertise, Virginia offers numerous opportunities to spend time with these majestic creatures. Here are six options for lessons, trail rides, classes, and more.
1. Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park:
Known as the skinniest park in Virginia, this 45-mile paved trail between Shirlington and Purcellville is a haven for horse lovers. The park also features a 32-mile gravel trail specifically designed for equestrians. While the equestrian trail may cross minor streams and disappear into brush, riders will appreciate the scenic beauty it offers. Location: Shirlington through Purcellville. Admission: free.
2. Sky Meadows State Park:
Enjoy over 10.5 miles of bridle trails while taking your horses for a walk at Sky Meadows State Park. Accessible via the Corporal Morgan Trail, the west side offers almost four miles of bridle trails, while the east side boasts seven miles of horse trails and a trailer parking lot at Lost Mountain. Please note, state law necessitates carrying a copy of a negative Coggins report for each horse brought into the park, which is a test to identify if a horse is a carrier of Equine Infectious Anemia. Location: 11012 Edmonds Ln., Delaplane. Admission: $10 park entrance fee plus $4 equestrian fee.
3. Frying Pan Farm Park:
If you're new to horse riding, the Fairfax County Park Authority offers four-week classes for beginners and "advanced beginners" aged 8 to 14 at Frying Pan Farm Park. Adults and children over 4 can also take part in therapeutic horseback riding classes. Fall session registration opens on August 1st. Location: 2709 West Ox Rd., Herndon. Fee: $399.
4. Grovespring Farm:
As a Recognized Riding Academy with the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association, Grovespring Farm provides lessons for young riders and adults. Participants can learn about riding positions, horse care, and foxhunting etiquette. The farm assures riders of the safety and training education of their school horses. Location: 11323 Grovespring Rd., Culpeper. Lesson prices vary.
5. Royal Horseshoe Farm:
For guided scenic trail rides throughout the year, Royal Horseshoe Farm is the ideal choice. Their trails take riders through the picturesque meadows, hills, and woods of the Shenandoah Valley. Whether you prefer gentle pastures or more challenging narrow, steep, and wooded paths, the experience will vary depending on your skill level and trail conditions. The farm also offers lessons in both indoor and outdoor arenas. Location: 509 Morgan Ford Rd., Front Royal. Rides start at $50, lessons start at $40 per hour.
6. Turkey Hill Stables:
Turkey Hill Stables is a comprehensive riding facility that caters to equestrians' various needs. With access to over 10,000 acres of riding lands, the stables provide trails, indoor and outdoor arenas for riding and training. Furthermore, they offer personal lessons, teaching clinics, and horse training services. Location: 268 Fletcher's Mill Rd., Woodville.