by Robin B
Horses are gentle animals and riding them can be both fun and educational. Does your child ask for riding lessons every time you drive past a riding stable or farm? If so, below are a few suggestions on places that offer horse riding lessons and/or camps around the Kalamazoo area.
Horseback Riding Lessons
True Vine Equestrian Center is located in Lawton and its purpose is to provide therapeutic horseback riding for people with special needs, youth at risk and able-bodied students. Their goal is to combine equine companionship and professionally designed riding programs for physical, personal and spiritual growth. True Vine also hosts group events and Birthday parties and offers volunteer opportunities.
Cedar Lodge is located about 30 miles west of Kalamazoo and offers residential and day camps for children between the ages of 8-16. It is a family-run lodge that has been in operation since 1964. They have a full equestrian program with strong emphasis on English riding and jumping for beginner through advanced level (8 years – adult). Cedar Lodge has 25 school horses that specialize in all levels of riding, four outside arenas, and an indoor arena and heated observation booth for family viewing. Cedar Lodge has a competitive show team and an IEA (Interscholastic Equestrian Association) Team for more advanced riders that show all year long.
Cedar Lodge also specializes in vaulting (gymnastics on horseback). Vaulters start out practicing on a stationary barrel, and proceed to the horse at a walk, trot, and eventually canter while the horse is being controlled by a lunger. There is a Vaulting Team that competes locally and some members attend Nationals.
Eastfork Farms, 10392 N. 44th St., Augusta | 269-501-0529
Eastfork farms is located in the heart of Augusta, Michigan, between Battle Creek and Kalamazoo, situated on 65 acres of beautiful horse country. They specialize in horse riding lessons for all ages – with classes for children beginning at age 5 and up. They offer beginner through advanced, birthday parties, and special events.
Eastfork offers lessons that run during the week. Private lessons are available upon request.
Eastfork also offers week-long summer camps where campers between the ages of 4-14 will learn a wide variety of horsemanship skills, ranging from stable management to gymnastics on horseback. Students will spend their time surrounded by horses, with an average of one hour riding independently each day. The camp runs from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm with the option for extended hours. The 2015 camp dates are as follows:
Lou-Don Farm, 4115 N 36th St., Galesburg | Contact Kate at 269-447-0458
Lou-Don is a family-run historic horse farm located in Galesburg that was established in the 1950’s. They offer riding clinics and also special events such as hosting birthdays, hayrides and scouting activities.
Lessons at Lou-Don farms are for all levels: Beginner through Advanced, Hunter – Jumper, and youth lessons. Trail rides are available as appropriate after lessons. Lesson times vary according to the season/weather and rider ability.
Hillcrest Equestrian Center, 2615 S. 9th Street, Kalamazoo | 269-353-9276
Hillcrest is conveniently located near US 131 and I-94 in a beautiful setting in which to learn about, and enjoy, all things equestrian. Lessons are given with Saddleseat instruction and are geared toward teaching students to ride not only a horse, but a show horse. Driving lessons are also available. Lessons are available for ages 4 through adult. Beginning lessons are geared toward learning basic horsemanship regardless of future intent.
Every Stride Dressage LLC, 13482 S. 29th St. Vicksburg | 269-547-0647
Every Stride Dressage is a full service dressage training facility, focusing on the education and well-being of horse and rider. It is home of accredited dressage trainer / instructor Erin T. McElmurry. They provide dressage lessons for all ages & levels of riders from introductory through FEI Levels, developing a confident & balanced seat, a patient & skilled rider with the techniques needed to succeed up through the levels of dressage.
Beginner Lessons (age 6 and up) are 1/2 hour long in the saddle plus student gets hands on learning to groom, tack and untack before and after riding lesson. Advanced Lessons are 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Visit the website or email email@example.com for more information.
Opened in 1970 as the first therapeutic riding center built especially for the purpose of serving those with special needs in North America, the Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center serves riders of all ages who have physical, emotional or cognitive disabilities.
Therapeutic Riding and Therapy Services are offered to clients all year round with programs in both fall and spring semesters and camp programs in the summer.