Horses were once considered man’s best friend, but after the invention of the dog, the horse was rebranded as man’s eccentric, oat-obsessed uncle. Take a journey with the kindest of kinsmen with today's Groupon: for $22, you get one beginner trail ride with introductory lesson at Equestrian Ridge Farm in New Plymouth (a $45 value). Experienced riders can upgrade to a more challenging, longer ride or more advanced arena instruction instead of a trail ride (an additional $15 for each).
Equestrian Ridge Farm, led by instructor and trainer Jackie Stewart, who has four decades worth of horsey experience, claims 200 acres of meadows, wooded riding trails, and professional horse training facilities in the scenic Hocking Hills region of Vinton County. The beginner trail ride, which normally lasts about one hour, starts with an arena lesson, in which riders learn basic riding techniques, commands, and introductory calculus. Those who feel comfortable on their steed then head out to the wilderness with an experienced guide, where they stroll through meadows, fill their lungs with fresh air, and gaze at the scenery.
The upgraded experiences include the Meadows and Woods ride and the Wilderness and Wild American ride, both of which last about 1.5 hours. During the Meadows and Woods Ride, the shimmery coated stallions walk and occasionally trot along at a pace dictated by the guide and participants' comfort level. The Wilderness and Wild America ride travels deep into forests, down sharp hills, and underwater.
Equestrian Ridge Farm
The staff at Equestrian Ridge Farm has been tending to steeds and riders on its 200-acre estate for more than 10 years. During riding lessons in a medley of styles—including dressage, single driving, and trail riding—trainers educate equestrians of all levels at the facility’s two large, indoor arenas. The barn houses between 15–20 horses at any given time, a handful of which are reserved for lessons or reenactments of chase scenes from The Lone Ranger. Equestrian Ridge also offers under-saddle training for horses by an experienced instructor who tailors each session to the steed’s temperament and riding style.
26711 Pumpkin Ridge Rd.
New Plymouth, Ohio 45654