I’ve been horseback riding about two times in my 23 years of existence, and both instances occurred years ago. These days, the closest I get to these majestic creatures is rocking out to “Wild Horses” on my iPod.
Since the times they are a-changin’, and by times I mean seasons, I’ve been trying to think of the best ways I can savor the warmth that’s still left, while also working some fall activities into the mix. What better way to do so than by heading to the stables for an afternoon of horseback riding?
Great Escapes Stables, 8250 S. Rushton Rd., South Lyon, offers weekly lessons, which can be taken with a group or individually. Great Escapes offers several different packages, giving you plenty of options. Four lessons range from $175 to $200 and eight lessons from $295 to $310. The instructor is USHJA (United States Hunter Jumping Association) certified, so you’ll be in good hands. Take a look at the fall lessons calendar and sign up!
West Wind Equestrian, 55535 Lee Rd., New Hudson, is located on a 30-acre farm where trainers Sue Pelto and Jen Samaha provide private, semi-private and public riding lessons. Whether you’ve never stepped foot near a horse or are close to a professional, there is a level for your skill set. Thanks to evaluation lessons, Sue and Jen will make sure you’re placed into the right group. Private lessons cost $35 for a half hour or $45 for 45 minutes. Group lessons last an hour and cost $35. If you get really good, they have horses for sale!
Maybury Riding Stable, 20303 N. Beck Rd., Northville, offers guided trail rides, which are perfect for this time of year. The three-mile ride will wind you through Maybury State Park, so if you’re going within the next month or so, you’ll see some beautiful summer-to-fall sights along the way. Regular rides cost $40 and are available Tuesday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. Private rides are available all week, but unlike the regular rides, you’ll need an appointment.
Mystic Meadows Farm, 9552 Wall Gene Rd., South Lyon, has hour-long one-on-one sessions that start with taking the horse out of the pasture, grooming and then riding. All that for only $45! If you’d rather skip the brushing, there’s another option that includes just a half hour of riding for $35. Either way, the Tennessee Walking Horses at Mystic Meadows are great to learn the ropes of horseback riding with. They’re well trained and allow you to work within your comfort zone, no matter how advanced you are (or aren’t).
Showcase Stables, 7447 Pontiac Trail, Northville, offers a variety of classes taught by several instructors. Private, semi-private and group classes are available, and are taught by Showcases’ owners, senior instructors and assistant instructors. Prices vary depending on the seniority level of instructor you choose, and lessons are available for between $27 and $42.
If the only horsepower you’re usually around comes from your Chevy vehicle, it’s time to give horseback riding a shot! Also, keep in mind that these stables and farms all have the same policies—long pants and close-toed shoes are required, so definitely keep the high heels at home. Practice makes perfect, and if you stick with it, you and Chestnut could be jumping over hurdles in no time!