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Best Places For Horseback Riding In Sacramento

Horses, anyone? The greater Sacramento area has a rich history of horses, riders, and wagons. There are still plenty of places to ride. If you don't have your own steed, taking lessons or riding with a group from an area ranch works out very well. Time to saddle up, no experience needed. You don't even need a cowboy hat or boots. What you do need is a horse, and lessons, perhaps, on what to do once you mount up. Here are a few places that welcome anyone who wants to ride. Who knows, maybe there's a horse in your future, or at least a pony.
Camp Richardson Corral And Pack Station
4 Emerald Bay Road
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
(530) 541-3113

What a great place to get your boots wet. Camp Richardson's corral is located just across from Lake Tahoe. What you'll get here is an introduction to riding, in an incredible place. You have to be at least 6-years-old and able to mount up without a whole lot of help. Your first ride will be a guided tour through the forest on a gentle horse or pony with very experienced leadrers. You can also tap into steak dinner rides, hay wagon rides and, in winter, sleigh rides. There is that lake across the road too.

Paradise Ranch Equestrian Center
4381 Paradise Lane
Placerville, CA 95667
(530) 409-2496

You've been on your first ride or two and you'd like to know more and do more. Head to the foothills and find this outfit just outside of Placerville. Learn to ride the English way or Western style. They've been teaching horsemanship since 1980 and there's a horse or pony here that will fit you just right. Learning how to ride well may be the best horse investment you can make.

Zephyr Cove Stables
825 US Highway 50
Zephyr Cove, NV 89448
(775) 588-5664

Another wonderful place to ride a horse in Lake Tahoe. Zephyr Cove all by itself is a wonderful setting, right on the shore of Lake Tahoe. Rides here can be 1 or 2 hours long, and the bonus that's thrown in? Lake views, from the saddle. Take a breakfast, lunch or dinner ride to extend the wonderment of simply being here. Friendly cowboys and cowgirls will help you all the way. You do have to be at least 7-years-old to mount up. Families, groups and singletons are all welcome.

Related: Ask A Sacramento Expert: Keeping Your Kids Entertained On A Day Off From School

Shadow Glen
4854 Main Ave.
Fair Oaks, CA 95628
(916) 989-1826

With 35 years experience, they are one of the best in the area. Whether you want to simply go on a ride or take lessons and really get into the horse sense of it all, Shadow Glen has a history of providing what you need to have a great day in the saddle. They are located in the Mississippi Bar area and your ride will take you through a fantastic urban/wildlands interface. You'll find yourself riding by gold rush history, vernal pools and whatever wildland critters that are willing to be seen. Miles and miles of land that you probably didn't even know existed, right here in Sacramento.

Boarding On The Lake
9095 Auburn Folsom Road
Granite Bay, CA 95746
(916) 397-0510

How about a trail ride that takes you on the trails around Folsom Lake and Granite Bay? Your 2-hour ride will be on a horse that is kind to you and happy to have you aboard. What better way to experience a day in the saddle? Your horse will be a perfect fit for you. The cowboys and cowgirls here take the time to make sure your saddle is perfectly adjusted, stirrups in the right place, before you set out on your adventure. This is another wonderful ride in the country side that Sacramento is famous for. Giddyup!

Related: Ask A Sacramento Expert: After-School Activity Ideas

Charles Ferris is a freelance writer who has lived in the Sierra, halfway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, for the last 41 years. In 2010 he retired from teaching after 36 years . He and his wife hike, kayak, cross country ski, snow shoe, ride mountain bikes and road bikes, year round. His work can be found at
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