It's More than Just Horsing Around
Riding provides fun, exercise and a 6-ft. friend.

Whether it's the exercise, getting outside, improving balance and coordination or the fun of having a friend who's 6 feet tall, horseback riding has a lot to offer kids.

Several Delaware Valley farms and stables furnish ponies, which can thrill young children and spark an interest in horses. Other providers offer lessons, trail or arena rides, summer camps and therapeutic riding for kids with special needs.

When choosing where to try horseback riding, one consideration is whether you want your child to form a relationship with a horse. Sarah Mongnoni, owner and manager of Labrador Hill Farms in Waterford, NJ, has strong views on this subject.

"If you are not willing to take the time to get to know a horse on the ground — as an equal and companion and a partner — do not ride!" she says. "Riding is only 20 percent of horsemanship. The other 80 percent is a thorough exploration of the animals' intellect, emotions and behavior."

Joanne Moore, who with her husband, Abe, has operated the Haycock Stables in Perkasie, PA, for 47 years, sees it differently. Although Haycock offers lessons, its primary emphasis is on trail riding in nearby Nockamixon State Park. Moore uses trail guides who "know all the horses and names and personalities. Most of the riders are beginners and without a guide, the horses just wouldn't go."

"Once you get to know your horse, feel free to request a favorite," she adds. In addition to whether rides are guided, she suggests parents find out where the riders go, and about safety equipment such as a hard hat.

At Labrador Farms, trail riding is a function of lessons. "For independent riding off site, a minimum of two months of weekly lessons is expected," says Mongnoni. "Some kids take considerably longer than that to establish real control. Age is important also."

If you think horseback riding might interest your child, have your questions ready and contact one of these providers.


C Line Stables
PO Box 347, Odessa, DE 19730
Lessons; riding (indoor arena); summer camp.

Carousel Farm Riding
Stable / Carousel Park & Equestrian Center
3700 Limestone Rd.
Wilmington, DE 19808
Daily; lessons (age 8 & up); riding (trail rides); ponies; summer camp.

Deer Antler Riding Camps
1133 Deer Antler Rd., Clayton, DE 19938
2139 Choptank Rd.
Middletown, DE 19709
Lessons; ponies; summer camp.

Fair Hill Stables
Fair Hill Natural Resources
Management Area
Rte. 273, Fair Hill, MD
Mon.-Fri.; lessons; ($40-$45/hr.); riding ($30/hr., indoor arena & trails); ponies; summer camp.

Sunset Stables
Howell School Rd., Bear, DE 19701
Lessons ($25-$55/hr.); riding ($30/hr., age 10 & up, trails); ponies; summer camp.

Whispering Meadows Equestrian Center, LLC
77 Eastburn Dr., Clayton, DE 19938
Lessons; riding (lighted outdoor arena); ponies; summer camp; therapy pool.

Windswept Stables
Dawn Beach, Rte. 24, Lewes, DE 19958
Daily, 6am-7pm; riding (trails); ponies.


Ashford Farms 
PO Box 586, Lafayette Hill, PA 19444
Sept.-May, Tues.-Sat., 9am-5pm; lessons
($50-$75, ages 8 & up); summer camp.

Brigadoon Equestrian Center
formerly Little Bit Farms
901 Cherry Lane, Penns Park, PA, 18943
Lessons; riding (outdoor & indoor arenas,
trail rides); ponies; summer camp.

Chamounix Equestrian Center
98 Chamounix Dr., Phila., PA 19131
Apr.-Nov., Wed., Fri.-Sun.; lessons ($40-$50/hr.); riding (enclosed outdoor ring); summer camp.

Durango Farm
1469 Morstein Rd., West Chester, PA 19380 
Mon.-Sat.; lessons ($35-$40/30min.); riding (indoor arena, outdoor rings, trails); summer camp.

Epona Unlimited
1017 Miller Rd., Pennsburg, PA 18037
949 Merrybell Lane, Kennett Square, PA 19348
Daily, 10am-7pm; lessons ($50/hr.); riding
(indoor & outdoor arenas); therapeutic riding & hippotherapy.

Foxhollow Farm
271 Swinehart Rd., Glenmoore, PA 19343
Lessons ($40, age 3 & up); riding (indoor ring & outdoor arena); ponies; summer camp.

Gateway Stables
949 Merrybell Lane, Kennett Square, PA 19348
Daily; lessons ($30-$60); riding ($40/hr., arena, trails); ponies; summer camp.

Haycock Stables Inc.
1035 Old Bethlehem Rd., Perkasie, PA 18944
Tues.-Sun., lessons ($35/hr., age 4 & up.); riding ($30/hr., age 7 & up, by appointment); ponies.

Heaven's Gate Farm, LLC
5590 Bradshaw Rd., Pipersville, PA 18947
Lessons; riding (outdoor ring & indoor arena); summer camp; therapeutic riding.

Hickory Run Farm
426 Pineville Rd., Newtown, PA 18940
Lessons; riding (outdoor rings, indoor arena).

Memory Lane Farm
142 Township Rd., Macungie, PA 18062
215-805-6013, 215-679-2164
Wed.-Sun.; lessons ($25-$45/hr); riding ($25/hr., age 8 & up, trails); ponies ($10, ages 3-5); summer camp.

Painted Dreams Farm
941 Park Ave., Wrightstown, PA 18940
Lessons ages 3 & up, daily 9am-8pm ($35-$60), riding (indoor & outdoor arenas); ponies; summer camp.

Pegasus Riding Academy
8297 Bustleton Ave., Phila., PA 19152
Special needs only. Lessons; riding therapy.

Platz Horse Company
White Pine Farm
555 Twining Ford Rd., Richboro, PA
Sat. & Sun. & by appt.; lessons ($35/hr, age 6 & up); riding (arena, trails); summer camp.

Rainbow Ridge Farm
4841 Applebutter Rd., Pipersville, PA 18947
215-766 9357
Lessons ($55/hr., all ages, waiting list); riding (indoor and outdoor arenas); ponies; summer camp; therapeutic riding.

Red Buffalo Ranch
1106 Anders Rd., Collegeville, PA 19426
Sat.-Sun., 9am-4pm; summers daily; lessons ($35/30 min., age 7 & up); riding ($35/hr., trails); summer camp.

Reinbows End Farm
1086 Green Lane Rd., Malvern, PA 19355
Daily; lessons ($40-$100/hr.); riding (indoor arena, outdoor rings); summer camp.

Rosefield Farm
906 St. Matthews Rd.
Chester Springs, PA 19425
Tues.-Fri.; lessons (age 8 & up); summer camp.

Saddlebrook Equestrian Center
4870 Skippack Pike
Schwenksville, PA 19473
Daily, hrs. vary; lessons; riding (outdoor rings, trails); ponies; summer camp; therapeutic riding.

Sandy Hill Farm
1918 Sandy Hill Rd.
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
Riding ($30/30 min.); ponies; summer camp.

Sebastian Riding
3589B Water Street Rd.
Collegeville, PA 19426
Special needs only. Daily; therapeutic riding (indoor arena & lighted outdoor ring).

Sheeder Mill Farm
12 Sheeder Mill Rd.
Spring City, PA 19475
Daily., 10am-dusk; lessons ($35-$45); riding ($25/30 min, guided trail).

Special Equestrians
2800 Street Rd., Warrington, PA 18976
Special needs only. Tues.-Sat., hrs. vary; lessons (age 3 & up, $504 for 12 wkly. 30-min. sessions); therapeutic riding & hippotherapy (indoor & outdoor arena, sensory trail coming soon).

Three Diamonds Stables
3802 Kratz Rd., Collegeville, PA 19426
Lessons ($45-$75/hr.); riding
(indoor & outdoor rings, trails); summer camp.

Thorncroft Therapeutic Horseback Riding, Inc.
190 Line Rd., Malvern, PA 19355
Mon.-Fri., 8am-9pm, Sat. & Sun., 8am-5pm; lessons; riding (indoor & outdoor arena, trails); summer camp; therapeutic riding.

WillowMay Farm
5254 West Chester Pike
Newtown Square, PA 19073
Lessons ($45-$70/45 mins.); summer camp.

Worcester Stables at Our Farm
1600A Potshop Rd., Norristown, PA 19403
Daily, 7am-9:30pm; lessons ($40, age 4 & up); riding ($40/hr., indoor & outdoor arenas, trails); summer camp; equine swim therapy.


A Yesterday's Dream
Oxmead Rd., Eastampton, NJ
Lessons ($22/30 min., starting June 1).

D&D Stables
279 Pancoast Mill Rd., Buena, NJ
Daily; lessons ($30-40/hr); riding ($25/hr., ages 10 & up, indoor arena & trails); ponies; summer camp.

Field of Dreams Farm
141 Georgetown Chesterfield Rd. Chesterfield, NJ
Lessons; riding (indoor arena, outdoor rings, trails); summer camp.

Labrador Hill Farm & Studio
1665 Conrad Ave., Waterford, NJ
856-768 9980,
Daily; lessons ($40/hr., age 4 & up); riding (students only); therapeutic riding & equine-assisted therapy.

Liberty Bell Farm
117 Dutch Row Rd., Elmer, NJ
Mon.-Sat., 4pm-8pm; lessons ($35-$50/hr, ages 8 & up); riding (arenas); ponies; summer camp.

MJP Stables
162 Pecks Corner Cohansey Rd.
Alloway, NJ
Tues.-Sat.; lessons ($35-$50/hr.,
age 6 & up); riding (indoor & outdoor arena); summer camp.

North View Farm
2030 Cedar Lane Ext., Bordentown, NJ
March-Nov.; lessons ($35-$40/hr,
age 4 & up); riding (outdoor arena).

Riding High Farm
145 Rte. 526, Allentown, NJ
Lessons (age 6 & up); riding (indoor facility); summer camp; therapeutic horseback riding & hippotherapy.

Saddlebrook Ridge Equestrian Center
10 Saddlebrook Court, Shamong, NJ
Lessons ($45-$85/hr); riding (indoor arena & trails).

Woodege Stables and Equestrian School
116A Borton's Landing Rd.
Moorestown, NJ 08057
Lessons; summer camp.