Judy Smith from Battle Ground, Washington has been a trail riding enthusiast for many years. She feels that the best places to ride are in the back country where you get your most experience trough greater diversity. She says: “You get your streams, your woods, your animals, your wildlife and all sorts of places you get to go. Luckily we have our beaches that we can ride, we have our mountains, the lakes and the high peaks and as you get into trail riding more and gain more experience your level of difficulty will rise also.”
Judy says: “Trail riding in the equestrian community refers to enjoying nature on horseback, whether traveling on a smooth trail in a park or a rocky trail deep in the woods.”
She emphasizes that different horses and riders react differently on different terrain and therefore to know which trails are right for you, your riding level and your horse’s fitness level. Trails come in different difficulty levels, ranging from smooth paths through fields and meadows, to wooded trails through forests and steep mountain trails that can be slippery and rocky. It is your job, as a rider, to identify the best location. The best locations, in our opinion, are AWAY from densely populated areas, without roads and traffic and WITH mobile phone/GPS signal access.
Riding Stables in Massachusetts (Horse Rental)
The Massachusetts’ park system is one of the largest state park systems in the USA with 450,000 acres of forests, parks, green-ways and historical sites all set in beautiful landscapes, seashores, lakes and ponds, many of which are open to horses. Here are a few horse rental and trail riding facilities you can contact. Many of their scenic guided rides will be cherished for a lifetime.
Bobby’s Ranch Public Trail Riding
When I didn’t own a horse, I was always looking for places where I could go on a led trail ride on a rented horse. Bobby’s Ranch is a riding stable that offers guided trail rides to the public in Eastern Massachusetts with many acres of trails to enjoy. Their horseback rides are guided by well qualified personnel. Experience the New England scenery, old rock walls, streams and forest year round. Offered are scenic Western style trail rides, year-round on over 1500 acres of conservation land. Bring your family, horse and saddle not needed.
6 Durkee Lane, Westford, Massachusetts
Call for reservations: (978) 263-7165
Cornerstone Ranch Public Trail Riding
Horse rental at Cornerstone Ranch is a wonderful experience! Open for your horseback riding pleasure year round it is conveniently located in Central Massachusetts, just one mile off of Route 68 in Rutland. Trail rides an hour long cost $45 per person and trail rides for approximately two hours cost $70 per person. Check their website for trail ride dates and times.
29 Dowds Lane, Princeton, Massachusetts
Call for information: (978) 464-4570
Crowley’s Public Trail and Pony Rides
Crowley’s Sales Barn & Stables in Western Massachusetts is known for their guided horseback trail riding on scenic trails. The rides are about 50 minutes long–no reservations necessary, just walk-in. They have plenty of horses from small to large, and if you don’t wish to ride yourself, bring your kids for a pony ride for some spontaneous family fun. Riders must be 8 years or older for the “big horses” Western style trail rides, children ages 7 and under may go on pony rides. Please note that Crowley’s trail rides are closed for the winter.
32 Shoemaker Lane, Agawam, Massachusetts
Crowley’s Horses in Agawam Trail Rides
Call for information: (413) 786-1744
Amethyst Farm Wagon and Sleigh Rides
Amethyst Farm in the heart of Amherst, MA offers public wagon and sleigh rides.
89 North East Street, Amherst, Massachusetts
Call for information: (413) 461-8877