Giddyup! 7 Horse Riding Opps for Little Buckaroos
Portland is surrounded by beautiful farmland. And farms mean horses. Whether she’s into a pony play date or wants to get started on the road to equestrian competitions, bring a bit of My Little Pony to real life with the following places your little horse fan can get her fix.
Photo credit: Wish Upon a Pony Facebook page
Wish Upon a Pony
Can you imagine a pony showing up to the party? It can happen. Wish Upon a Pony will bring a pony — or a bunch of ponies — right to your house or celebration site to ride and pet. You don’t need a huge yard for a pony party. They’ve been bringing ponies to sidewalks, cul-de-sacs, driveways, parking lots and even garages for years. The owners also truly pride themselves on the humane treatment of their little ponies, Cherokee, Buster, Squeekers, Bimini and Dusty, and consider them part of the family. The ponies receive high quality food, plenty of green grass to graze on, regular vet checkups and plenty of baths.
Online at wishuponapony.com
Photo credit: Cowboy Jerry’s Horses
Cowboy Jerry’s Horses
Kids as young as 3 years old can saddle up their very own pony and learn everything they need to know about caring for, understanding, and communicating with their ride. Their fully-enclosed facility is ideal for riding year-round. Cowboy Jerry’s is also known for their family days where kids can paint an actual horse using colorful (and non-toxic) paints. All of their parties include pony time (riding and petting ponies), horseshoe painting, goody bags filled with treats for the horses, time in the Club House and place settings.
17531 S. Henrici Rd.
Oregon City, Or
Online at cowboyjerryshorses.com
Once Upon a Horse
Once Upon A Horse offers lessons designed to introduce horses and riding to the very young or inexperienced. Children from the ages of two through 10 can enjoy private lessons, semi-private lessons, a birthday lesson, though some of the classes with younger children require parents to be involved. Classes for older kids allow them to be at the barn for most of the day with just the horses and the instructors. Safety on the ground, as well as on the horses, is their main focus. Once Upon a Horse also offers two-hour field trips for groups, like Girl Scout troops.
Trillium Creek Training and Rehabilitation Coalition
Lake Oswego, Or
Online at onceuponahorse.com
Photo credit: wikimedia.org via creative commons
Quarry Ridge Farm
This place really knows how to throw a pony party. After a riding session (with up to 15 kids!), the cowboys and cowgirls are treated to a pony-themed craft. Parents will need to bring snacks, bevvies and a cake, if they so desire. Insider note: make sure to book your party 2-3 weeks in advance so you don’t miss out.
25604 NE Manley Rd.
Battle Ground, Wa
Online at quarryridgefarm.com
Stafford Hills Equitation
During the summer months, Stafford Hills offers Wednesday riding lessons in English tack style of riding, but you can also learn both bareback and Western style. Group lessons consist of 2-4 students and take about one hour. Your riders will spend time grooming, tacking, and learning how to lead their horse. Lessons start for kids 8 years or older. If your kiddo falls in love with horseback riding, try signing them up for Stafford Hills’ awesome vaulting program — performing dance and gymnastics moves on the back of a moving horse. Whoa.
715 Rosemont Rd.
West Linn, Or
Online at staffordhills.org
Photo credit: Lake Oswego Hunt Riding Academy
Lake Oswego Hunt Riding Academy
This academy has been around for more than 70 years, offering instruction to kid and adults alike. Their Riding Academy classes begin with ground manners, horse care and lessons and can lead all the way up to equestrian competitions, as well as Parent and Pony classes for parents to join with their children. In addition to their large, well-maintained, state-of-the-art barn, they have an indoor arena, an outdoor arena and several riding fields. After the lesson is complete and the tack and horse have been put up, riders can head to the Horse and Hound Clubroom on site and grab a cool drink while chatting with new friends from the class.
2725 SW Iron Mountain Blvd.
Lake Oswego, Or
Online at lakeoswegohunt.com
Horses at these lessons are not all saddled up and ready to go. Part of the holistic learning experience at Myrewyn is also about learning how to care for the horse, as well as names of the parts of a horse and the tack (equipment). Kids four and up start with the basics on a leadline with the instructor. Lessons are 45 minutes, which includes saddling and unsaddling the horse and putting it back in its stall. The in-saddle time is about 15-20 minutes, which is perfect for newbies and their short attention spans.
Online at myrewyn.com
Did you take horseback riding lessons as a kid? Let us know in the Comments below!
– Suzie Ridgway