Little girls always dream of owning their very own pony…and Sacramento has many ways of making that dream “come true”.

By Heather Crivellone

Whether you live in the country, mountains, the “big city” or even “suburbia”, one thing is always the same…  a little girl (at one point in time or another) will dream of ponies, horseback riding and owning their very own horse.
This dream may or may not come true for most little girls for obvious reasons… space limitations, cost of ownership, etc.  However, one thing is for sure, living in Sacramento, we have the opportunity to be in the “big city”, yet minutes away from rural farm land to give our little girls (and boys), and even ourselves that “dream come true”.

Just minutes outside of downtown Sacramento you can find stables, horse trails and opportunities galore to give even your littlest of horse-lovers the chance to get close to the beautiful creatures.
From pony rides  to guided trail rides along the American River.  Kids’ day camps to learn how to groom and ride.  Private and group lessons and even “mommy and me” classes for the youngest of riders can be found here in Sacramento.  I spoke with and visited a few of the local stables and was surprised to find how much was available to those of us “non-horse owners”.

Shadow Glen Stables, located in Fair Oaks has quite a few options for those of us who are interested in riding, but just can’t seem to find the space to house an animal in the backyard of our suburban home 🙂 .  Just minutes outside of downtown Sacramento, you can visit this stable and participate in one of their guided trail rides along the American River to Lake Natoma.   They also offer lessons and summer camps for children ages 8 and older.  Along with their summer camps, you can also contact them regarding hosting birthday parties.  What a fun way to celebrate your little cowboy or cowgirls birthday!

Another local stable that offers lessons is Hillside Training Stables in Orangevale.  They offer private and group lessons to children 5 years of age and older and they even offer a Mommy and Me class for children ages 3-5.  With the help of the parent, they will have the opportunity to brush, groom and ride the ponies in a safe and secure setting.  Along with lessons, they also host summer camps and a program that gives your little riders an opportunity to “Own a Horse for a Week”…  Talk about a great way to introduce your children to horsemanship!  They also host a variety of events including Girl Scout troops and birthday parties.  Call for more information and to schedule a time to visit.

The last stable we visited was a bit more my kids’ speed… Gibson Ranch Park.  This park has it all- Horse Trails, lessons for kids ages 8 and older, farm tours to let the smallest of kids pet and brush the horses.  And even pony rides for those who don’t want to invest in anything more than close-toed shoes, $5 per kid and a morning/afternoon at the ranch.

So, even if your kids are the youngest of riders you can start them off with Mommy and Me at the age of 3 at Hillside Training,  if they are older they can join in one of the many summer day camps…or even just a simple pony ride at the park, there is something in the area to let those little cowgirl dreams come true!

And these are just the stables that my family was in contact with…I found that there are many, many stables in the area that board horses, have lessons, summer camps, pony rides and birthday parties.  So go ahead- do a little research if these 3 aren’t enough to choose from.  From Auburn to Davis and everywhere in between you will find an opportunity to explore the great world of horsemanship here in Sacramento.


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