Today I spent my afternoon doing some horseback riding. I came up with a bucket list, which I want to accomplish during the sweltering heat of this New York summer. Taking a riding lesson and/ or doing horseback riding was definitely on top of that list. So after doing some research, I saw that there are two solid horseback riding stables in my vicinity. One is the Kensington Stables just south of Prospect Park and easily accessible by public transport.
After the holiday weekend and all, today a friend and I decided to go on an adventure in Brooklyn so we got off the Fort Hamilton stop on the F/G train. We had spontaneously made an appointment two days in advance and were impressed by the fast response and easy appointment. A guy helped us out in picking out horses according to our expertise. We overheard a riding lesson going on indoors in the background, which was for children. They also offer lessons for teenagers and adults. I guess now that the summer is here, it’s a great time to bring your kids to the stables and have them connect with nature and horses.
We waited around for a bit and two teenage Ukrainian girls joined us. We ended up riding with them, so we were a party of four people total. My horse was called Tinkerbell and she was a 17-year-old rebel, who kept shaking her mane and dropping her head down to the bottom. After being a bit terrified in the beginning, I kind of got used to her quirks and the ride ended up being calm. My friend sat on Dakota, who just wouldn’t stop eating once we got past the stables and into the road. Since we had to proceed to crossing the streets quickly, the guide eventually gave up on teaching my friend how to be less gentle to Dakota. Instead, he took her to the front and made sure that the rest of the ride was not distracted by any excessive branch eating or exploring of grass from horse-side.
We rode through the park and then took a short nature trail before we ended up back on the same way again. The entire adventure only lasted about one hour. It was a great activity to do on a summer day and I will be back here to perhaps take a proper lesson or go on another trail ride. I liked that we were able to take control of our horses but of course no heavy gallop or running was allowed for safety reasons. It was certainly a different experience than jogging through the park and everything looked quite different when being on top of a horse.
Another horse riding school is the Jamaica Bay Riding Academy in Queens. It might be harder to get to but I’ve heard that scenic rides take you along the water and other nature, which seems like a sweet prospect to me. Perhaps I will try this one out, too. Who says you can’t get a good portion of nature and feel connected to animals in a city as big as New York? This city has it all!