The best horseback riding spots in the US

Stef Zisovska
Horseback riding

Horseback riding is a beautiful outdoor sport that allows you to get close to one of the noblest animals on the planet. The art of horseback riding dates from the early ages of human existence, and of course, it was not always a recreational sport. Across the country, there are many spots that you can visit and get acquainted with this activity and also get to know more about horses. If your childhood dream was to have a horse and escape with it into some unknown wilderness, well, now you can choose a place where you would like to go and make your dream come true.

Rancho Santa Fe, California

Typical street view of Rancho Santa Fe in California near San Diego – Author: Tuxyso – CC BY-SA 3.0
Typical street view of Rancho Santa Fe in California near San Diego – Author: Tuxyso – CC BY-SA 3.0

Rancho Santa Fe is a town in San Diego County where horseback riding activities are available nine months per year. If you want to escape the bustle of San Diego and spend a day on the beach riding a horse, then Rancho Santa Fe is the perfect choice for you. A pleasant ride is what all horseback riding fans can find here at most times of the year.

Woodstock, Vermont

Woodstock is another American town where equestrian activity plays an important role in people’s lives. Events like Ride for the Cure, Fall Dressage Show and the Winter Sleigh Rally are some of the showcase events that you can visit and maybe even participate in if you are a professional. If not, take your time and join a riding school in the charming surroundings of Woodstock.

Nashville, Tennessee 

A riding horse
A riding horse

Everybody knows Nashville as a town with a highly-developed music culture, but what people are not familiar with is that Nashville has a horse culture as well. In fact, Nashville hosted the first championship in horse racing in the US. Here, an American born horse won the English Derby for the first time in history. The breeder of the horse was Belle Meade whose stables are open for tours today. The Iroquois Steeplechase is an annual horse racing event that you can visit next year.

Middleburg, Virginia

Middleburg is a small town in Virginia that has a significant horseback riding tradition. It’s America’s version of the typical English countryside where you can enjoy riding over the lush fields. Middleburg is famous for the Upperville Colt and Horse Show which was first organized in late 1853. If visiting a horse show is not something you really want to do, then you can just enjoy the mild climate of the town and ride out on your own.

Ocala, Florida

Downtown Ocala – Author: Luv24jmg – CC BY-SA 3.0
Downtown Ocala – Author: Luv24jmg – CC BY-SA 3.0

Ocala is a city in a northern Florida and has around 60,000 residents. Known as the 45th city in Florida, Ocala is also considered to be one of the few horse capitols in the world. It is because this not-too-big city has more than 1,200 horse farms and a perfect climate for riding during the winter months. The horseback riding scene in Ocala is a big thing and a part of the everyday life. If you want to experience a casual ride, then visit this city.

Louisville, Kentucky

Churchill Downs in 1901
Churchill Downs in 1901

The crown goes to Louisville in Kentucky. The best spot in the US for you to practice horseback riding or to attend the world-famous Kentucky Derby, where even the Queen of England visited. You can visit Churchill Downs track even if you’re not there for the derby, or go to the Kentucky Derby Museum where you can learn a lot about the equestrian history of the area.

These are just some of the best riding cities across the country that you can visit, enjoy a horse ride or even place a bet on your favorite. If horses are your favorite animals, then use this fall to travel, get more familiar with them and practice your dream outdoor activity. Good luck!

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stef-zisovska is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival