Sixteen Stables Will Welcome Visitors April 24 & 25 for
the Pennsylvania Equestrian Horse Farms Open House
Young foals romping with their moms. A free ride on a gentle, fuzzy pony. A blacksmith forging new footwear for an accomplished dressage horse. The perfect weekend for families comes together April 24 and 25 during the Pennsylvania Equestrian Horse Farms Open House, a free, self-guided tour of professional stables that are open to the public only one weekend a year.
Sixteen stables in Adams. Berks, Bucks, Chester, Lancaster, Lehigh, Perry, Schuylkill, and York Counties in eastern Pennsylvania will swing open their barn doors and welcome visitors with tours, demonstrations, pony rides, sample riding lessons, discounts and more on Saturday, April 24 from 10 am to 4 pm and Sunday, April 25 from 11 am to 4 pm. The event, which caters to both experienced horse owners and families looking for a spring outing in the country -- one that costs no more than lunch money -- allows visitors to learn an amazing amount about horses, their uses and care, and ways to get involved with them close to home.
The southeastern quadrant of Pennsylvania, where most of the Open House stables are located, is horse country, home to many of America’s most prestigious equestrian events and to more than 85,000 horses, from Olympic medalists to family pets. A study completed by Penn State in 2003 showed that horses are a $10 billion industry in Pennsylvania, centered in the area the Open House covers.
The Open House includes farms specializing in hunters, jumpers, dressage, eventing, western pleasure, trail riding, halter and showmanship, racing, gaming, driving, barrel racing, breeding, therapeutic riding and rescuing and rehabilitating unwanted horses. Stables will offer sample riding lessons, carriage rides, games, live music, discounts, vendors and more. Six of the farms will offer pony rides, and Last Chance Ranch will have camel rides. Several farms will have young foals for visitors to enjoy. Each stable will conduct demonstrations using their horses, showcasing what they do best, from competing in (or hosting) nationally ranked horse shows to providing horse owners with a tranquil place to trail ride their beloved companions. Some farms offer boarding or breeding and sales only; others offer a full range of services from training and lessons to summer camps and hour long trail rides. Many will have horses for sale, or in the case of the rescues, adoption.
Among the demonstrations planned are yoga on horseback, natural horsemanship, jumping, barn fire safety, and equine dentistry.
Descriptions of the participating farms , their programs and what they have planned for the Open House weekend are in the April issue of Pennsylvania Equestrian and on the Pennsylvania Equestrian web site: www.pennsylvaniaequestrian.com. Google map tools on the website will allow visitors to get turn by turn directions to each of the farms from any location. Green and white Horse Farms Open House signs will help to guide them along the way.