Featured Image Source: Max Pixel
by Amelie Dube
Are you looking for a place to ride horses out in Edmonton? lf you are, then this list that we’ve put together today is exactly what you need.
We searched around the greater Edmonton area for the best places for equestrian activities, taking into account their services, prices, reputations and client feedback.
But before we tackle the best horseback riding facilities in Edmonton, let’s talk a little bit about price first.
How Much Does Horseback Riding Cost in Edmonton?
The average cost to ride a horse for 30-minutes around an arena or short trail located within a farm is about $50. This usually includes a short tutorial from a certified instructor and staff will ride or walk alongside you while you’re riding.
The table below shows the average prices for lessons at a ranch or farm that offers horseback riding.
|1-Hour Group Lesson||$45.00|
|30-Minute Semi-Private Lesson||$55.00|
|30-Minute Private Lesson||$75.00|
|Guided Trail Ride||$65.00|
The Best Horseback Riding in Edmonton
Now that you know how much it will cost, let’s take a look at our picks for the top places to go horseback riding in Edmonton.
1. Whitemud Equine Learning Centre Association (WELCA)
|SERVICES||Horse Riding Lessons, Field Trips, Therapeutic Riding, Events, Mini Riders, Junior Riders, Learn To Ride, Adult Learn To Ride, Horse Rider Summer Camps, Pony Up Half-Day Summer Camps|
|ADDRESS||12510 Fox Drive, Edmonton, AB T6G 2L6|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone: (780) 435-3597 |
Email: [email protected]
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday to Sunday: 6:00am – 10:00pm|
Whitemud Equine Learning Centre Association (WELCA) has been around for over twenty years, offering the opportunity to discover the joy of horses to its fellow Edmontonians. Located right in the heart of the city, they provide easy access to residents without needing to travel out of the city limits.
Not only do they provide horseback riding lessons to people of any age, but they also offer therapeutic services for those struggling with mental and physical health disabilities. Whether you’re studying to be a future veterinarian or just want to learn more about these magnificent creatures, WELCA is open to everyone.
With instructors that are certified coaches with Equestrian Canada, you can rest assured both your safety and knowledge are guaranteed to be of the best calibre. However, you can’t just walk into WELCA and ride since all registration must be accomplished online first.
The only downside to WELCA is that classes can be prone to cancellations or rescheduling due to the number of participants or the availability of instructors. Take note that any deposits made are not refundable so you can only reschedule a class instead.
They offer group lessons that can accommodate between 4-6 people for adults, while the mini or junior riders group can have up to 8 riders. However, take note that WELCA can change up the members in a group according to skill levels, so keep this in mind if you’re going with a group of friends.
The lessons are 8-week courses around 1 hour long which include games and activities to help the riders be comfortable on horses. They’ll learn basic rider positions, walking, halting, steering, and trotting.
We like WELCA because they have an Equicizer, a mechanical horse that beginners will try out first before getting on a real horse. These off-horse lessons are important for learning general skills, practicing, and ensuring everybody’s safety.
Billie MacFarlane facilitated some riding sessions for therapeutic purposes and was extremely pleased with the services at WELCA. He shares:
“I volunteer with the Little Boys Therapeutic Riding Association. What they do and offer is truly invaluable to the community. The horses all their own personalities and are treated extremely well. The instructors are fabulous. I had no idea it was more than just being on the back of a horse. It is heartwarming to see the impact on the disabled people and their families. Thank you for all you do!”
Diana Dai, another customer, took her child for some riding lessons and was not disappointed. She writes:
“My daughter just started her riding lessons at WELCA this summer and is loving it. Staff are very friendly and knowledgeable. She looks forward to the Horsemanship program in September.”
2. Keno Hills
|SERVICES||Boarding, Lessons, Summer Camps, Farrier, Horse Shows, Birthday Parties, Tack Shop, Trail lessons, Group fun events, tractor-drawn hayrides, tours|
|ADDRESS||52165 Range Road 210 Sherwood Park, Alberta T8G 1A1|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone: (780) 922-2941 |
Fax: (780) 922-6874
Email: [email protected]ills.com
Keno Hills is a fully-equipped equestrian facility that’s been operating for over three decades. Whether you’re looking for riding lessons or want to rent one of their stables for your horse, they’ve got it covered.
They have a diverse range of lessons that are offered all year from one-hour group lessons to 30-minute private lessons. They’ll even put you in a group depending on your skill level or which aspect of horse riding you want to learn to help you reach your personal goals.
For the kiddos, their Tiny Tots programs are ideal for those that are 2 to 5 years old. It’s the perfect introduction to horses as they are guided around a riding ring by an instructor.
If you prefer riding outside to enjoy the beautiful outdoors, Keno Hills offers a one-hour trail ride in a section called “Horsey Heaven” that’s exclusive for trail riding. Staff may guide you on foot if you’re a beginner, but those who are experienced will see staff riding alongside on horse.
They have a heated barn and arena that includes a grooming area with an indoor hot-walker, wash rack, cross tie grooming stalls, round pen, and large tack lockers.
Keno Hills can do special events such as horse-themed birthday parties and tours, but all people under 18 are required to wear a helmet anytime there are horses around or when inside the barn. Also, everyone in attendance must wear closed-toed footwear, while those riding must have at least 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch heel.
They have summer camps too which last for 4 days up to one week for 5-7-year-old kids, a senior camp for adults, and a one-week skill-based camp for riders. All camps include riding, games, and other outdoor activities, but take note that you’re required to bring your own helmets and other equipment for riding.
They also have Adult Introductory Sessions which cover the basics of handling horses. The sessions last for two weeks and classes are only held at night from 6:00pm – 8:30pm.
So if you’re looking to start a career involving horses or simply want to educate yourself for your child who has a passion for them, Keno Hills is an ideal place to start.
Lisa Davies who brought her daughter to Keno Hills loves it so much she wants to work there. This is her review:
“I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to all of the staff and instructors at Keno Hills. Abby loves her lessons there and every week she counts down the days until she can come back. You have a fine group of girls running the lessons and I truly appreciate their patients and passion for helping out the new riders. Abby has informed me that she is going to tell Erika and Cassie that she will work there when she’s 8 to help them out.”
Mike & Shelley also brought their daughter to this facility and was so pleased that she enjoyed the experience. They share:
“I just wanted to take a moment and say thank you for an awesome week that our daughter MaKayla had at your Horse Camp last week. Thank you very much! MaKayla had such a great time and has become so good in just one week of horse riding. She was so nervous on Monday when we dropped her off that at one point I didn’t think she was going to even stay but after staying for the day Monday it was hard to get her to leave each day after camp. And the huge surprise was that she stayed overnight for the sleep over!”
3. Birch Bay Ranch
|SERVICES||Summer Camp, Day Activities, Horseback Riding, Horses for Sale, Christmas Banquets, Merchandise, Cabin Accommodations|
|ADDRESS||51505 Range Rd 215, Sherwood Park, AB T8E 1H1|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone: (780) 922-2883 |
Fax: (780) 922-3944
Email: [email protected]; [email protected]
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday to Sunday: 9:00am – 9:00pm|
Birch Bay Ranch is nestled on 104 acres of land less than an hour away from the heart of downtown Edmonton. It’s been around since 1976 as a summer camp, providing children and adults with a wide range of activities to enjoy.
It’s important to note that this ranch has a “Christian atmosphere” to it, so you may want to keep that in mind before heading out. However, this really only applies to the various summer camps and programs they host and doesn’t affect any horseback riding you may do.
We like Birch Bay Ranch because there are just so many fun things to do such as wall climbing, obstacle courses, ziplines, and archery, just to name a few. You can even avail of one of their special packages that include cabin accommodations with groups of over 50 people receiving a special discount.
Birch Bay Ranch has several beginner horseback riding lessons offered in three tiers: Basic Beginner, Beginner, and Experienced Beginner. CHA-certified coaches will be conducting the lessons which are open to both children and adults.
Whether you have no experience at all or want to improve your basic skills, each class consists of six 1-hour lessons with one initial unmounted class to brush up on techniques, safety, and other basic skills. Birch Bay Ranch will provide you with helmets, but you’ll need to have the correct footwear to ride.
These are group lessons which will have on average 4-6 students per class, but if other classes lack members, it may be combined into one large group. You can opt for a private lesson, but you’ll be charged a higher rate.
Lessons will be conducted on a trail, but if the weather isn’t cooperating, it will be moved to a large indoor arena. If you want to cancel a session, this needs to be done at least 1 month before your first lesson or else your payment won’t be refunded.
Aside from offering horseback riding lessons, Birch Bay Ranch also hosts programs for residents to become Certified Horsemanship Association Certified Instructors. If you’re already a riding coach and have not yet received this certification, it’s a great step forward to strengthening your reputation and skills.
Lisa McNabb took her children to Birch Bay Ranch and they had an unforgettable experience. Now, her kids want to attend summer camp here as well. She shares:
“The best day ever!! Staff were absolutely amazing and so well organized! What a beautiful day and some very special memories we will cherish for a long time . The kids can’t wait to attend camp here! Very highly recommend. Thank you to all the staff for a wonderful time!”
Vitalii Rudoi, another customer, was also happy with his experience, as he adds:
“Thank you for the excellent Pony ride. My toddler had a blast! Izzy was super friendly and nice. We are looking forward to attend your ranch next time!”
4. Killerney Farm
|SERVICES||Indoor and Outdoor Board, Indoor Arena, Sand Outdoor Lunging Ring, Sand Outdoor Jumper Ring, Sand Outdoor 20 x 60 m Dressage Ring, Instruction from Beginner to the Show Ring, Instruction in Basic English & Western, Dressage and Hunter/ Jumper|
|ADDRESS||51303 Range Road 262, Spruce Grove, Alberta|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone: (780) 470-0260 |
Email: ki[email protected]
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday to Sunday: 9:00am – 9:00pm|
Killerney Farm first opened its doors in 1989 but they’ve had a long-time passion for boarding, caring, and training horses. This family-owned business even has Olympic team members in their family that also work at the farm.
Today, they find their joy in instructing others how to care for and ride horses, mostly for show training or at the competition level. They have 44 individual stalls, indoor and outdoor arenas, specialized tack rooms, and quality jump spaces for show practice.
Recently voted as one of Edmonton’s favourite Equestrian Facilities in the Edmonton Journal’s Readers Choice Awards, they’re best known for their laid-back atmosphere and proximity to Edmonton.
You don’t have to be enrolled in a lesson to be able to use their facilities either since you’re more than welcome to board your horse in one of their stalls. They can also schedule vaccinations and other necessary maintenance for your horse so that you don’t have to worry about it.
They have a large heated indoor arena, tack room, and barn which is set at an ideal temperature for horses to thrive in. Their feeding program consists of high-quality hay, and grains with special optional feeds and supplements.
Killerney Farm has lessons you can take from a certified instructor, however, only a limited number of horses are available. It’s best if you have your own horse and board it here since they focus more on the use of their facilities for show training.
You may want to keep in mind that you’ll be riding alongside highly trained riders or those who are training for competitions or shows here. Nevertheless, you’re more than welcome to just roam around with your own horse around the trails and fields.
Matlyn Wood was impressed with the facilities at Killerney Farm and recommends it to anyone that is training. He writes:
“Great Barn with great owners!!! Would be happy to recommend this amazing barn to anyone who asks. They have great coaches and boarders are there to help with any questions. If you are looking for a place for horse and rider to excel then this is the place for you.”
Charleen Frankard, another customer, adds her thoughts:
“Facilities are beautiful and people and organizers are great! Easy to get to..paved all the way.”
FAQs about Horseback Riding
And with that, our list of the best horseback riding facilities in Edmonton comes to an end. Whether you’re out to take some lessons or just want to try it out, we hope you found a place you like from our top choices.
Is one of your favourite facilities not listed here and you want us to check it out? If so, please send us a message so we can read up on your suggestion.
Now that you’ve checked out some of the best places to go horseback riding, you may need yourself a good utility trailer as well. Check out our list of the best utility trailer dealerships in Edmonton to help you out.