15 Places to Go Horseback Riding, Get Riding Lessons & Go Trail Riding in West Michigan

horseback riding lessons girl and pony

West Michigan Horseback Riding

Dream of being a cowpoke, trail riding, or training for the big show?

Grand Rapids area horse farms have amazing classes and riding opportunities.

Whether you are a seasoned rider with a well-worn saddle or just want to wander off into the sunset on a dusty trail, West Michigan can easily accommodate you.

And riding isn’t just for little girls; everyone can get in on the fun, no matter their level of experience. 

Featured Partner

Horseback Riding

Legacy Stables dance guide vaulting

8001 Patterson Ave SE, Caledonia MI 49316


Our riding programs are all designed to help riders build a special connection with a horse.

We do this by teaching safety, allowing riders to brush their horse/pony, teaching how to communicate with your horse while riding, playing games on and off the horse, and of course feeding the horse a treat at the end.

We have a large indoor arena with enough natural light to allow us to ride year-round.

No experience required!

OFFERING:
Horse Riding Lessons, English Riding Lessons, Western Riding Lessons, Vaulting

(616) 570-1106
[email protected]

Ways to Experience Horseback Riding

While there are many styles of riding and types of horses, getting started can be as easy as wearing the right clothing and picking up the phone to make a reservation.

Trail riding and riding lessons are the two most common horseback riding options.

Riding Lessons
Riding lessons are a great option for those with a passion for horses and who want to ride regularly.

Lessons are typically an hour long. Choose between private lessons, where you’re the sole rider, semi-private lessons (you plus one), or group lessons which can be 3 or more riders (the number of riders varies from barn to barn.)

You can even ride year-round in Michigan.

If that’s your goal, be sure to find a stable with an indoor arena. Plan on spending between $45 and $65 per hour, per lesson. 

Trail Rides
If you are looking to take a leisurely stroll through fields and forests, trail riding is the way to go.

The stable provides the horse and the trails; you bring the desire for adventure or a meandering ride.

There is nothing more peaceful than hearing the swish of the horse’s tail as you wander through tall grasses and sun-dappled forests, seeing nature from a whole new viewpoint.

The average cost of an hour-long trail ride is $35.

Sleigh Rides
Perhaps you’d like to snuggle up and let a horse whisk you through a snow-covered forest.

That’s possible, too, if you book one of Michigan’s sleigh rides!

They’re highly dependent on the weather, but January and February tend to be promising months for this kind of horse ride.

Do you need to take lessons to go horseback riding?

You do not need to take lessons to ride a horse.

There are many places that offer trail riding in West Michigan to riders with no prior experience.

And don’t forget Mackinac Island – no cars here, just horses! 

What type of clothing or equipment is needed to go horseback riding?

The equipment for the horse will be supplied by the riding stable.

The stable should also provide a helmet but if you are taking lessons plan on purchasing your own soon. Remember to always wear a helmet.

Wear hard-soled shoes with a heel from day one.

While the importance of the helmet is obvious, the shoes can be equally important to help keep your foot safely in the stirrup.

They also protect those tender toes from being squashed. (My son recently learned that horse feet are heavy!)

Wear jeans: athletic apparel is slippery on leather saddles.

You may find that trail riding stables are more lax with their requirements for shoes and apparel.

What type of horseback riding is commonly offered in West Michigan?

English is the predominant riding taught in Michigan, but if you search hard enough, you can find a few places that offer Western along with English.

Also, most trail riding is done in a Western saddle.

Are there age limitations when it comes to riding?

Yes, there are age guidelines when it comes to horseback riding.

The limitations vary by location. Some stables start lessons as early as 18 months but most lesson and trail riding stables require children to be at least 5 years old.

Kids ages 5 – 8 may be required to have a “wrangler” or employee lead the horse or pony on trail rides.

What horseback riding style should a beginner start with?

Dressage riding is recommended for beginners.

This style teaches the foundational basics of riding, learning to control the movements and speed at which the horse moves.

Once you have mastered this, you can easily move on to other disciplines.

(Riders from other disciplines may disagree and say theirs is the best way, and opinion-wise, they wouldn’t be wrong.)

Five Unique, First-Rate Horse Riding Options in West Michigan

Ready to get your equine fill but not sure where to start?

It’s always great to get personal recommendations. Did you have that horse-crazy friend in school and she’s still at it? Give her a jingle.

Don’t have her phone number? Let us give you a leg up on your research.

Wild West Ranch

861 52nd St Fennville, MI 49408, 269-673-3539

Go dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh!

The knowledgeable, friendly guides will ensure you have a magical experience.

Wild West Ranch offers trail rides, private winter sleigh rides, carriage rides, and pony rides year-round.

By appointment only, rates for riding start at $35 per hour, and sleigh and carriage rides start at $100 per couple.

Wild West Ranch Fennville MI Sleigh Ride 800x600 1
📷 Wild West Ranch

Legacy Stables & Karin’s Horse Connection

8001 Patterson Ave SE, Caledonia, MI 49316
(616) 570-1106

Gymnastics on horseback? Ride to music? Combine your love of horses with your passion for dance or gymnastics!

Legacy Stables offers vaulting lessons on horseback, riding lessons, trail riding, equine-centered therapeutic programs, birthday parties, field trips, and summer camps.

Ride year-round in their two indoor arenas.

Lesson rates start at $28.

Legacy Stables Caledonia MI 800 x 600 Article Image
📷 Legacy Stables and Karin’s Horse Connection

Willow Ridge

3700 8th Avenue, Hudsonville, Michigan 49426
(616) 617-2497

Learn from a United States Dressage Federation Bronze Medalist, where they take a holistic approach to ensure the comfort and health of the horses.

Biomechanics (the science of movement of a living body) of the horse and rider are taught by a professional, knowledgeable staff.

Some riders trailer their horses in from an hour or more away to ride with these experts.

Adult private dressage riding lessons, horse leases and boarding are available.

Weekly lessons start at $65 each.

Willow Ridge Hudsonville MI 800x600 1
📷 Willow Ridge

Wolf Lake Ranch Resort

3640 Wolf Lake Drive Baldwin, MI 49304 (231) 745-3890

Head out for a unique dude ranch experience where many families have returned year after year for 20+ years.

Enjoy quaint cabins and wonderful hospitality.

The dude ranch experience includes horseback riding, home-cooked meals, campfires, a pancake breakfast ride, and water activities on a sandy beach.

Rates vary depending on the season, a 2-day weekend starts at $249 per person.

Wolf Lake Ranch Baldwin MI
📷 Wolf Lake Ranch Resort

Meadowview Farm Inc.

9914 Vergennes Ave NE, Lowell, MI 49331 Riding School: (616) 446-6968

Come enjoy this family-friendly, warm atmosphere.

With their well-run lesson program, each lesson starts off stress-free due to their organization and attention to detail. You will love the extra large indoor arena with a heated viewing area.

The primary discipline here is English, with an emphasis on jumping and polo lessons. Horse leases and boarding are also available.

Fun Fact: Meadowview is where the Grand Rapids Polo Club holds their matches.

Lesson rates start at $45 per hour.

Meadowview Polo Lowell MI
📷 Meadowview Farm Inc.

Looking for a few more riding lessons and horseback options?

Alpine Ridge Farms in Sparta

600 10 Mile Rd NW, Sparta MI 49345

Botsford Performance Horses in Sparta

11945 Sparta Ave NW, Sparta MI 49345

Double RR Ranch in Rockford

4424 Whites Bridge Rd., Belding MI 48809

Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding in Rockford

3777 Rector Ave NE, Rockford MI 49341

Legacy Stables & Karin's Horse Connection in Caledonia

8001 Patterson Ave SE, Caledonia MI 49316

Meadowview Farm Inc. in Lowell

9914 Vergennes Ave NE, Lowell MI 49331

Pepper Oaks Equestrian Center in Grand Haven

5611 Martin Rd, Norton Shores MI 49441

Rise & Ride Ranch in South of Grand Rapids

2855 36th Street, Allegan MI 49010

Rivendell Stables in Lowell

11555 W Grand River Ave, Lowell MI 49331

Stable Hill Farm Riding Academy in Hudsonville

9082 64th Ave, Hudsonville MI 49426

Stony Lake Stables in North of Grand Rapids

4345 S 44th Ave, New Era MI 49446

Thomet Stables in Ada

1900 Pettis Ave NE, Ada MI 49301

White Oak Farm in Lowell

11900 Vergennes St SE, Lowell MI 49331

Willow Ridge in Hudsonville

3700 8th Avenue, Hudsonville MI 49426

Wolf Lake Ranch Resort in North of Grand Rapids

3640 Wolf Lake Drive, Baldwin MI 49304

Just Published

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *