Horseback riding is more than just a fun outdoor activity; it’s a unique experience that offers a deeper connection with nature, animals, and our own inner selves. This thrilling pastime combines physical challenge with mental relaxation, creating a fulfilling experience that many describe as therapeutic.
In Denver, Colorado, the popularity of horseback riding has led to the emergence of a variety of stables that cater to both residents and visitors, providing diverse equestrian experiences across the stunning landscape of the region. From the breathtaking Rocky Mountain views to the sprawling plains, Denver’s horseback riding trails offer a spectrum of picturesque settings that promise unforgettable rides.
Whether you’re an experienced equestrian looking to embark on a new adventure or a novice rider seeking your first horseback experience, Denver’s stables have got you covered. Many of these establishments offer a range of services, including guided trail rides, horse riding lessons for all levels, and even equestrian camps for younger horse enthusiasts. Each stable has its own charm, offering unique horse breeds, trail types, and riding styles.
Denver’s horse riding stables are deeply committed to the well-being of their horses, prioritizing ethical treatment and ensuring they are healthy, well-cared for, and happy. This focus on horse welfare, combined with a dedication to providing exceptional service to riders, makes horseback riding in Denver an activity that is as rewarding as it is enjoyable.
From the scenic foothills of Golden to the lush valleys of Sedalia, Denver’s horseback riding stables invite you to saddle up and embark on an unforgettable equestrian journey.
Best Stables and Ranches for Horseback Riding Near Denver, Colorado
Whether you’re an experienced rider seeking a new trail to explore, a family planning a fun-filled day out, or a beginner ready for your first ride, you’re sure to find a location that perfectly suits your needs. Let’s saddle up and embark on a journey to discover the best stables and ranches for horseback riding near Denver, Colorado.
1. Bear Creek Stables
Address: 15600 W Morrison Rd Morrison, CO 80465
Telephone: (303) 697-9666
Bear Creek Stables is tucked away in the foothills of Denver and offers a scenic backdrop for your riding adventure. Highlights of this stable include:
- Guided trail rides for all experience levels
- Horseback riding lessons
- Horse camps for kids
2. Chatfield Stables
Address: 11500 N Roxborough Park Rd Littleton, CO 80120
Telephone: (303) 933-3636
Located within the Chatfield State Park, Chatfield Stables provides an authentic horse riding experience with stunning views. A few offerings include:
- Guided trail rides
- Hay rides and night rides
- Horse riding lessons
3. Tanglewood Trail Rides
Address: 8841 E Tanglewood Rd, Franktown, CO, United States, Colorado
Telephone: (303) 279-1290
Tanglewood Trail Rides, nestled in the Pike National Forest, is a premier destination for horseback riding. The main highlights of the stables include:
- Scenic trail rides for riders of all levels
- Private rides for those seeking a more intimate experience
- Winter rides offering a different perspective on the landscape
4. Denver Equestrians Riding School
Address: 5200 W Coal Mine Ave Colorado Equestrian Center Littleton, CO 80123
Telephone: (303) 973-0077
The Denver Equestrians Riding School is perfect for those looking to enhance their horse riding skills. It’s conveniently located in Littleton, a suburb of Denver. A few key features of this riding school include:
- Comprehensive horse riding lessons for beginners to advanced riders
- Summer horse camps for kids
- Indoor and outdoor arenas
5. 12 Mile Stables
Address: 5547 S Parker Rd Aurora, CO 80014
Telephone: (303) 699-6128
Located in the breathtaking Cherry Creek State Park, the 12 Mile Stables offers horseback riders over 35 miles of nature-filled trails. A few highlights of the stables include:
- Variety of horse riding lessons for all levels
- Daily trail rides
- Moonlight rides and dinner rides for a unique experience
6. Sundance Trail Guest Ranch
Address: 17931 W County Rd 74E Red Feather Lakes, CO 80545
Telephone: (970) 224-1222
Located in Red Feather Lakes, Sundance Trail Guest Ranch offers an authentic dude ranch experience with daily horseback riding included in your stay. Some features include:
- Comfortable lodging and hearty meals
- Riding instruction for beginners
- Scenic trails for experienced riders
7. Paint Horse Stables
Address: 4201 S Parker Rd Aurora, CO 80014
Telephone: (303) 690-8235
Paint Horse Stables, located in the Evergreen area, offers trail rides and horseback riding lessons. Some of their offerings include:
- Guided trail rides in the mountainous terrain
- Horse riding lessons for all levels
- A focus on natural horsemanship
8. Elk Mountain Ranch
Address: 13303 W County Road 270 Nathrop, CO 81236
Telephone: (719) 539-3430
Although a bit further out, Elk Mountain Ranch in Buena Vista offers an all-inclusive vacation package with unlimited horseback riding. Features of this ranch include:
- Varied riding programs for riders of all skill levels
- All-inclusive vacation packages with meals and lodging
- Beautiful views of the Colorado Rockies
9. Broken Bone Ranch
Broken Bone Ranch in Golden, CO offers trail rides with beautiful views of the mountains and the city of Denver. Features of this ranch include:
- Guided trail rides for all experience levels
- Picturesque setting at the base of the Rockies
- Riding lessons and horse boarding
10. American Safari Ranch
Address: 1484 County Rd 7 Fairplay, CO 80440
Telephone: (719) 836-2700
Located in Fairplay, American Safari Ranch offers horse riding in the South Park area, with transportation available from Denver. Some offerings include:
- Horse riding in open grassland and mountain trails
- All levels of riding experience are welcome
- Cowboy and cowgirl experience with real working horses
11. North Woods Ranch
Located in Sedalia, North Woods Ranch offers a unique and personal horse riding experience, with beautiful views and a tranquil atmosphere. Features include:
- Guided trail rides
- Horse riding lessons and horse training
- Opportunity to participate in caring for the horses
12. Stockton’s Plum Creek Stables
Address: 7479 W Titan Rd Littleton, CO 80125
Telephone: (303) 900-2973
Stockton’s Plum Creek Stables in Castle Rock offers a variety of horse riding services. Key features include:
- Guided trail rides with experienced staff
- Horse riding lessons
- English and Western riding styles taught
13. Windy Pine Ranch
Windy Pine Ranch in Watkins offers a variety of horse services, including riding lessons and horse training. Highlights of this ranch include:
- English and Western horse riding lessons
- Horse boarding and training
- Beautiful trails and friendly staff
14. Larkspur Horse Ranch
In Larkspur, the Larkspur Horse Ranch offers a friendly atmosphere with a focus on horse riding education. Features of this ranch include:
- Comprehensive horse riding lessons
- Horse boarding and care
- Variety of horses to ride and learn from
15. White Harvest Farms
White Harvest Farms in Brighton offers a range of equestrian services from riding lessons to horse boarding. Features of this farm include:
- Horse riding lessons for all ages
- Trail rides for experienced riders
- A welcoming community atmosphere
16. Cornerstone Farm
Address: 8270 North 87th St Longmont, CO 80503
Telephone: (303) 828-9040
Cornerstone Farm in nearby Littleton offers a variety of equestrian services, emphasizing English riding style. Some of the notable offerings include:
- Horseback riding lessons tailored for beginner to advanced riders
- Competitive show opportunities for those interested
- Horse leasing and boarding services
17. Table Mountain Ranch
Located in Golden, Table Mountain Ranch offers western-style horseback riding experiences against the beautiful backdrop of the Table Mountain. Features of this ranch include:
- Guided trail rides
- Group rides for special events
- Horse boarding
18. Evergreen Equestrian Center
Evergreen Equestrian Center, located in Evergreen, focuses on teaching riding in a fun and safe environment. Features include:
- English style horse riding lessons
- Summer camps for kids
- Horse boarding services
19. Legacy Valley Farm
Legacy Valley Farm in Brighton provides a family-friendly environment with a strong focus on horse care and training. Some key features include:
- Horseback riding lessons for beginners to advanced riders
- Horse leasing and boarding
- Specialized training in English, Western, and Dressage
20. Two Pine Farm
Two Pine Farm in nearby Longmont provides a range of equestrian services with a focus on Dressage. Key offerings include:
- Horse riding lessons specializing in Dressage
- Horse boarding
- Training for both horses and riders
Tips to Consider Before Horseback Riding Near Denver, Colorado
Horse riding can be an enjoyable and unforgettable experience. Just ensure you are adequately prepared and informed to make the most of it.
Rider’s Weight and Age
- Most stables have a weight limit for the safety of both the rider and the horse, typically around 200-250 pounds, but this can vary. Always check with the specific stable for their policy.
- The minimum age for riders also varies by stable and the type of ride (trail ride, lesson, etc.). Many stables set a minimum age of around 7-8 years for trail rides, while some offer pony rides for younger children.
- Some stables also require an adult to accompany riders under a certain age.
Booking Your Ride
- It’s generally recommended to call ahead and book your ride in advance, especially during peak seasons or for larger groups.
- Some stables may require a deposit at the time of booking.
- Cancellation policies can vary, so be sure to ask about this when you book.
What to Wear
- Wear long pants to protect your legs from chafing against the saddle.
- Closed-toe shoes are a must, and boots with a small heel are ideal.
- Helmets are often required for safety. Some stables provide them, but you can also bring your own if you have one.
Other Important Information
- Be honest about your riding experience so the stable can match you with a suitable horse and ride.
- Arrive a bit early to get acquainted with your horse and receive any necessary instructions.
- Most stables have specific rules for their trail rides, such as no racing or passing, to ensure everyone’s safety.
- Remember to respect the horses and follow any instructions given by your guide or the stable staff.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I need prior horse riding experience to go on a trail ride?
A: No, many stables offer beginner-friendly trail rides and provide basic instructions before you set off. However, it’s always best to inform the stable of your experience level when booking.
Q: Is there a weight limit for riders?
A: Yes, most stables have a weight limit for the safety of the horses, usually around 200-250 pounds. It’s important to check with the specific stable about their policies.
Q: What should I wear for horse riding?
A: Long pants and closed-toe shoes, preferably with a small heel, are recommended. Some stables require helmets, which they may provide, or you can bring your own.
Q: Is there an age limit for riders?
A: Most stables have a minimum age requirement for trail rides, often around 7-8 years old. Some stables offer pony rides for younger children. Adult supervision may be required for riders under a certain age.
Q: Do I need to book in advance?
A: Yes, it’s generally recommended to book your ride in advance, especially during peak seasons or for larger groups. Some stables may require a deposit at the time of booking.
Q: How long do trail rides usually last?
A: Trail ride durations vary by stable, but they typically range from one to two hours. Some stables offer longer or shorter rides.
Q: Can I bring my own horse?
A: Policies vary by stable. Some stables may allow you to bring your own horse for a fee, while others may not. Always check with the stable in advance.
Q: Do stables provide horse riding lessons?
A: Yes, many stables offer horse riding lessons for beginners to advanced riders. These may need to be booked separately from trail rides.
Q: Can I take photos during the ride?
A: Policies can vary, but generally, you may take photos as long as it doesn’t interfere with managing your horse or disrupt the ride for others. Some stables may also offer photo packages.
Q: What should I do if I need to cancel my booking?
A: If you need to cancel, contact the stable as soon as possible. Each stable has its own cancellation policy, which they should provide at the time of booking.
Q: Are there horse riding options available year-round near Denver?
A: Yes, many stables operate year-round, weather permitting. However, it’s recommended to check directly with the stable for their operational schedule.
Q: Can I feed the horses at the stables?
A: Some stables allow feeding the horses, but only with food provided by them due to dietary restrictions of the horses. Always ask for permission first.
Q: Are there different types of rides available?
A: Yes, many stables offer a variety of rides, such as guided trail rides, moonlight rides, or rides combined with dining options. The availability of these rides can vary by stable and season.
Q: What should I bring with me for a horse riding trip?
A: It’s advisable to bring a water bottle, sunblock, bug spray, and wear appropriate clothing. Some stables may have storage lockers for personal items.
Q: Do the stables accommodate riders with disabilities?
A: Many stables make efforts to accommodate riders with disabilities, but it’s important to discuss this with the stable in advance to ensure they can provide a safe and enjoyable experience.
Q: What happens if the weather is bad on the day of my ride?
A: Stables generally prioritize safety and may cancel rides due to bad weather. Most will offer to reschedule or refund in this case, but it’s advisable to check their specific policy.
Q: Are there horse riding camps for kids?
A: Yes, several stables offer horse riding camps for kids during the summer, which can include riding lessons, horse care education, and other activities.
Q: Do the stables offer group or private rides?
A: Most stables offer both options. Private rides may require an additional fee and should be arranged in advance.
Q: Can I request a specific horse to ride?
A: Stables usually assign horses based on the rider’s experience and the horse’s temperament. While you can request a specific horse, the final decision will be at the stable’s discretion.
Q: Is there a guide or instructor accompanying us on the trail rides?
A: Yes, typically a guide or instructor will lead the group on trail rides to ensure safety and provide instructions as needed.
Denver, Colorado’s diverse equestrian scene offers an array of horseback riding experiences tailored to meet the needs and skills of every rider. From tranquil trail rides that meander through serene woodlands, to exhilarating gallops across wide-open fields, Denver’s stables deliver unforgettable adventures for everyone.
As you traverse the varied landscapes surrounding Denver on horseback, you’re likely to encounter a rich variety of local flora and fauna. Majestic deer, graceful birds, and maybe even the occasional fox or coyote may make an appearance during your ride. You’ll also get to appreciate Colorado’s native plants and trees, as well as the stunning backdrop of the Rocky Mountains.
The stables themselves offer a welcoming atmosphere, professional guides, and well-cared-for horses, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all riders. Moreover, the stables’ strong commitment to ethical treatment of their animals further enhances the satisfaction and fulfillment that come from horseback riding.
In conclusion, horseback riding in Denver provides a unique way to explore Colorado’s natural beauty, encounter its wildlife, and experience the joy of equestrianism. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a beginner, the stables around Denver are ready to guide you on a remarkable journey through Colorado’s breathtaking landscapes. The experience promises not only a physical activity but a bond with nature that you’ll cherish long after your ride is over.