When my son was three he wanted to learn how to ride a horse. I didn’t think much about it because he was so little he often had grand ideas. When he was four, he talked about horses all the time and I began to think that his interest wasn’t simply a passing phase. When he was five I called all the stables in our area and tried to find someone that would give him lessons. By the time he was six and he could begin those lessons we couldn’t afford the $25 plus dollars a lesson that it was going to cost. Eventually he quit asking and never rode a horse until last week.
Who knew that he’d actually get a chance to go horseback riding in Alabama and get a glimpse of one of his dreams?
Star HB Farms, located atop Drake Mountain in Huntsville, offers horseback riding and lessons for children ages 3 and up. At the request of a friend, the kids and I decided to visit and give horseback riding a try. All I can think of is what took us so long?
As we entered the gate we saw this cute little expecting mama who announces everyone coming and going- you really can’t sneak past her.
You’ll find more than just donkeys and horses here though. We also discovered a sacrificial goat. If you get too close, she’ll fall over. We learned that sacrificial goats actually have a birth defect that was bred into them. Shepherds would keep one or two in their flock and if they were attacked by wolves or coyotes, the sacrificial goats would fall over and become prey for the hungry predators while the rest of the flock was able to scurry away to safety.
Star HB Farms has a herd of 22 very gentle horses that are available for riding. Here are three of them in the pasture.
It appears that these horses want inside the barn or are just really nosy.
Here’s a look at one of the pastures where you’ll find some of the horses.
Star HB Farms not only offers horseback riding in Alabama, but there is also limited broading for horses as well.
Since our friends broad horses at Star HB Farms we were able to get really hands-on. The kids began their lesson by brushing the horses.
Next, they received a lesson on horse anatomy, tack and the proper way to saddle a horse.
It was all very interesting and they listened intently.
There are different types of saddles and bridles that work best with different riding styles and preferences.
We learned that when you mount and dismount the horse you need to do so in one fluid motion. This is often the most dangerous part of horseback riding.
Once the kids were each on a horse, they practiced riding in the pen.
Just look at that smile- his dream finally comes true!
After they’d practiced and were comfortable on the horses, they headed out on the trail. I wish I could have taken pictures of the trail because the kids said it was really beautiful.
If you’re looking for a place to go horseback riding in Alabama, you may want to give Star HB Farms a call. Prices range from $20 an hour per rider, to $100 for the entire day. You are also welcome to ride their trails for only $10 if you bring your own horse. In addition to horseback riding Star HB Farms also gives lessons, pony rides and offers birthday parties.
You’ll find Star HB Farms at 4483 Juniper Drive Huntsville, AL 35810 and can reach them at 256-527- 5399. They are open Saturday and Sundays from 8am-4pm and weekday evenings by appointment. You can visit their website for more information.
© 2011 – 2012, Tonya Prater . All rights reserved.