My daughter turns five next month and so far she hasn't asked me to buy her a pony (good thing too as it's definitely not in our budget). However, she and my other two kids are constantly asking to go horseback riding. Although you might think that you need to leave New York City to hop on a horse, you don't. There are a number of stables in NYC that offer lessons and rides for aspiring cowboys and cowgirls.
Sadly, Claremont Riding Academy, the last remaining horse stable in Manhattan, closed in 2007 so there's no longer horseback riding in Central Park. However, there are stables in the other four boroughs that allow families to make like it's the Wild West.
Bronx Equestrian Center – the Bronx
9 Shore Road
Located in Pelham Bay Park, the Bronx Equestrian Center is great for even the youngest riders. The center offers pony rides every day year-round for just $5 for three rides per child. Walk-only trail rides are also available for riders of all skill levels and cost $65 per hour. The center offers riding lessons and educational programs for children ages 6 and up that include lessons in grooming, equipment, safety, and saddling.
Riverdale Equestrian Centre – the Bronx
Broadway at West 254th Street
This sprawling 21-acre center is located on the west side of Van Cortlandt Park in Riverdale. No drop-in horse or pony rides here, however the spot does offer private and group lessons for children and adults, as well as a after-school program.
Kensington Stables – Windsor Terrace
51 Caton Place at East 8th Street
We did a dedicated post about this Brooklyn stable last year. For little kids, Kensington offers pony rides that go up and down the block for $3. Children 11 and up can take one-hour trail rides along a 3.5-mile bridle path in Prospect Park for $37. Families with younger children who want to ride can request a grounds person to assist for an additional fee. Lessons are available for ages 6 and up in both English and Western riding styles.
Jamaica Bay Riding Academy – Mill Basin
7000 Shore Parkway
This family-owned riding center in Brooklyn offers a host of riding experiences including group trail rides for ages 13 and up, private trail rides for ages 6 and up, and pony rides for ages 8 and under. There are also Club Rides for experienced riders who want to take a horse out without an instructor or guide. Check the academy's website for a complete price list.
Lynne's Riding School – Forest Hills
88-03 70th Road near Ursula Place
Drop-in rides on a pony or horse cost $10, which gets you three times around the ring with a handler. The school also offers a variety of riding lessons, birthday parties and programming for schools and camps.
Seguine Equestrian Center – Staten Island
440 Seguine Avenue near Wilbur Street
The NYC Parks Department recommends this stable, which doesn't have a website. Call 718-317-1121 for information on Seguine's private or group lessons for children and adults.
Get Over It and Ride – Staten Island
2498 Veterans Road West
This boarding facility also offers lessons. Children as young as one can hop on a pony while kids three and up can start to learn to ride horses. Lessons are by appointment only and are usually private, unless you can get a group of two or more together. Call 917-500-2315 for more info.
Want to take a ride out of town? Find out where to go horseback riding in New Jersey and on Long Island.