One unknown author has defined riding as “the art of keeping a horse between you and the ground.” If that concept appeals to you, you’re in luck: the Garden State boasts many private and public stables that offer riding lessons, recreational trail rides and other opportunities for kids and parents alike to swing up into the saddle.

Where to Ride

Riders ages 12 and up can hit the trails on horseback through Mercer County’s Trail Riding Program. Take a 45-minute guided trail ride around the Mercer Stables property. You must call 609-730-9059, ext. 401, to make a reservation. Rides are available from November through May.

There are also facilities in New Jersey that use equine therapy to help kids with different abilities:

Rocking Horse Rehab at the Essex Equestrian Center, West Orange, 973-731-8588
Mane Stream (formerly Somerset Hills Handicapped Riding Center), Oldwick, 908-439-9636
Pony Power Therapies, Mahwah, 201-934-1001
Reindancer Therapeutic Riding Center, New Egypt, 609-752-0900

For even more summertime fun, take your horse to the beach! Island Beach State Park allows riding from October to April on the southernmost end, and Brigantine Island’s North Beach lets you ride from October to March. Before you saddle up, check times and if you need a permit in advance.

Giddy up!

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