Horses appeal to even the littlest adventurers so it’s pretty lucky there are plenty of places around LA for little cowboys and cowgirls to get close to them all year long. Scroll below for all the places your kid can horse ride their way through Los Angeles.
photo: Charlene C. via Yelp
Griffith Park Pony Rides
If there’s a one time-honored tradition LA is known for, it’s the Griffith Park pony rides. Located next to a ride-a-long train, little cowpokes ages 1 and up can choose from a variety of different rides depending on their comfort level. From a gentle pony sweep where you ride in a circle, slow ponies with an easy walking pace, medium ponies with a trot to big ponies that do more of a fast jog, there’s something for everyone.
Hours: Tues.-Sun.; 10 a.m.—4:00 p.m.
Cost: $5 per ride.
4400 Crystal Springs Dr.
photo: Andrius A. via Yelp
The Gentle Barn
As a majestic sanctuary for abused animals, this Santa Clarita gem will not only be a fun-filled day trip for your little ones but even more importantly, a life lesson in compassion and kindness for all living creatures.
On Sun., the Gentle Barn opens its heart and doors to families who’d like to feed and groom their rescue horses, snuggle with some goats and even give pigs a belly rub or two. Hungry tikes can also check out the snack shop for vegan pizza and cupcakes to keep their blood sugar up for all those hugs they’ll be doling out.
Good to Know: Reserve tickets in advance to avoid being turned away at the door.
Hours:Every Sun. 10 a.m.—2 p.m.
Cost: A $10 for kids, $20 for adults donation is suggested for admittance.
15825 Sierra Hwy.
photo: Creative Commons
Will Rogers Polo Club
Looking for a chance to dress your kiddos in fancy floppy hats while they sip lemonade with their pinkies out? Um hello, who isn’t?! As the only remaining polo field in LA, Will Rogers Polo Club gives tiny tots a chance to be the posh people they were always meant to be (you know, under all that drool and dirt).
Wooden mallets swish through the fresh summer air as colorful horses thunder across the field, thrilling even the smallest equine enthusiasts. In between matches, kids often have a chance to meet players and pet the four-legged stars of the show. Check the schedule for up-to-date matches.
Hours: Sat. 2 p.m.—5 p.m.; Sun. 10 a.m.—1 p.m.
Cost: Free to watch but parking cost $12 per car
1501 Will Rogers State Park Rd.
photo: Andie Huber
Will Rogers Trail Rides
If watching the horses isn’t enough for your eight-and-overs and they want to ride a real horse, head up the hill to Will Rogers Trail Rides where expert guides will lead you on a 50-minute tour through Will Rogers State Park. At the top, on clear days, you can see across the Los Angeles basin to Catalina Island, Palos Verdes and Malibu.
Hours: Tues.-Sun.; holiday Mon.; On the weekends, they run every hour, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: $75 per rider plus $12 per car for parking
1501 Will Rogers Park Rd.
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
Seabiscuit made history at this very racetrack. Now, if your kids are clueless as to who that is, just tell them he starred in a movie with Spiderman and they’ll instantly get on board. The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is well worth the almost two-hour trek down from LA (we promise) and offers your pint-sized jockeys plenty to do.
Since they’re not quite old enough to wager on their favorite fillies, Del Mar’s family-themed days may be the best time to go. Check their website for specific family events and ticket prices.
Cost: Parking is $10 per car.
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.
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–Jennifer O’Brien & Andie Huber