Considering all there is to do in the Chicago area, horseback riding is generally not an activity one believes they can easily enjoy in an urban setting. However, there are places near Chicago to enjoy the equine sports if you are passionate about doing so. Whether you’re an experienced rider looking for boarding or a horse to lease or a relative newbie just wanting to relax on a trail ride, there is a stable out there for you. Check out this overview of a few of our favorite spots.
Palos Hills Riding Stables
(Also known as New Traditions Riding Academy)
10100 S. Kean Ave.
Palos Hills, IL 60465
Palos Hills Riding Stables is reputed to make boarders and their horses feel like ‘one of the family.’ There are a variety of classes available with instructors experienced in teaching riding for gaited horses, show horses, western horses and trail horses. There is staff on hand around the clock so that if you choose to board your horse, you will never feel that it is unattended. There are also horses available for sale or lease viewable on the website here. Packages are available for private and group lessons as well as rates for going to shows out of town. If you’d like your horse to be spiffed up after shedding its winter coat or to look its best before a show, there is even a spa day service available for horses only.
Sarah’s Pony Rides And Trail Rides
8220 S. Kean Ave.
Willow Springs, IL 60480
If you’re looking for a more laid-back riding experience, try Sarah’s Pony Rides and Trail Rides. The guides tailor the pace of the trail ride (approximately three hours) to the experience of the least familiar member of the riding group and the horses never go above a trot. Each ride is equipped with two guides, one to lead and one to follow behind so that all riders are safe and no one will get left behind even if their horse is a bit pokey. After each ride, visitors are taken on a tour of the stables themselves to see the other animals that are stabled there. (It’s not just for horses.) For less experienced riders who just want some fresh air and a chance to take in some nice woodland scenery from horseback, this is the perfect option. There are also options for more advanced riders, for couples to book a private trail ride or for families to book a ride for their family only.
Forest View Farms
16717 S Lockwood Ave.
Tinley Park, IL 60477
Forest View Farms in Tinley Park has it all: lessons, trail rides, boarding camps, horses for sale and even horse breeding. Summer camps are available for kids who want to learn how to care for horses and other animals and horsey birthday parties are also available with a variety of packages, including customization options. Sleigh rides and hay rides are available and trail rides go out year round. All trail rides are about an hour long.
Fitzjoy Farm Riding Academy
12211 S Lagrange Road
Palos Hills, IL 60465
Fitzjoy Farm Riding Academy has everything from lessons to summer camps available for riding enthusiasts. On-site boarding is available and the facilities have both indoor and outdoor arenas as well as adjacent forest preserve areas for trail riding. Horse camps are offered during the spring, summer and winter months and packages can be viewed here for both the camps and party options. Horses are available for sale and lessons are available in any variation, from private one-on-one training to groups of up to eight. Both english and western styles of riding are taught.
Fox Meadow Farms
19100 Royce Road
Naperville, IL 60565
Boasting a heated barn with two indoor arenas, Fox Meadow Farms is reputed to be clean and well maintained with an assortment of professional trainers available to train both children and adults of all ages. There are group lessons available (no more than five riders per group) as well as one-on-one training. The owner lives on the premises and it is secured around the clock. Fox Meadow has its own private access to the adjacent forest preserve for trail rides. Boarding is available with veterinarians visiting twice weekly and horses are also available for sale or lease.
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Meredith Lyons is an actor, competitive fighter and fitness instructor in Chicago who also owns an amazing cat named Jake. Meredith has been writing on Examiner as the Chicago Martial Arts Examiner since 2008. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.