By Betsy Natter
Horses have long been one of man’s closest companions. They come along side in work, provide transportation and capture the hearts of young and old alike. And while not everyone can own their own equine friend, several local farms share their beloved animals and knowledge of these special creatures with the public. Whether you are looking for a casual recreational trail ride, to improve your show riding and jumping skills or searching for a program to accommodate a rider with special needs, Montgomery County has several riding facilities from which to choose.
Saddlebrook Equestrian Center
4870 Skippack Pk., Schwenksville, PA 19473
Saddlebrook is a family owned business located on 30 acres in Skippack Township. The riding center offers a full line of services including boarding, training, lessons, showing, camp experiences and birthday parties. The center has both indoor and outdoor riding rings and a tack shop. Guided trail rides on the Perkiomen Trail are also available by appointment for riders ages 10 and up. Contact the staff at 610-287-0415 or visit their website at http://www.saddlebrookstables.com for rates and reservations
Simple Gifts Equestrian
2466 Bergey Rd., Harleysville, PA 19438
Simple Gifts Equestrian is situated on 56 acres in the northwestern section of the county. The full service boarding facility also boasts a lighted riding arena, lots of open pasture for cross country riding and easy access to the Perkiomen Trail. The riding school focuses on developing the relationship between horse and rider to create a safe, independent and confident riding experience established on classical riding principles. Contact owner Anita Imms to schedule a lesson at http://www.simplegiftsequestrian.com. Working student positions are available for students ages 13 and up for those willing to work in exchange for lessons.
Three Diamonds Stable
3802 Kratz Rd., Collegeville, PA 19426
Three Diamond Stables teaches riders horse handling and care and the proper techniques for safe riding and jumping. The 50 acre farm offers boarding as well as maintains their own horses for lessons. Students are taught skills necessary to participate in a variety of shows throughout the area. The farm features both indoor and outdoor riding rings, several paddocks and a large pasture for boarded horses as well as farrier services. Contact the stables for further information on lessons or boarding rates at http://www.threediamondsstable.com.
Worcester Stables at Our Farm
1600A Potshop Rd., Norristown, PA 19403
Located in central Montgomery County, Worcester Stables at Our Farm is located on over 150 acres just outside of Norristown. The grounds are host to nearly 50 horse shows annually and many competitive riding teams use Worcester Stables as their training base. The facility offers casual and trail riding and lessons for beginning through advanced riders from their team of professional instructors as well as a summer camp program for kids. Boarding of horses is also available. For more information or to schedule a tour call 610-584-5032 or visit http://worcesterstablesatourfarm.com.
Sebastian Riding Associates, Inc.
3589 Water Street Rd., Collegeville, PA 19426
Sebastian Riding Associates is an independent, non-profit organization that promotes therapeutic horseback riding and hippo therapy programs for children and adults with physical, mental and emotional disabilities. The team of physical and occupational therapists and therapeutic riding instructors offer services to clients age 2 and older. The facility also offers a program for individuals suffering from PTSD. Volunteer opportunities are available for anyone who would like to assist in a variety of roles within the program. Visit the organization’s website at http://sebastianriding.org to learn more about sessions and fees as well as application procedures.