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  Horseback riding in Blue Hills
Horseback riding in Blue Hills

What to Bring

Long pants   Camera
Hat   Fleece (fall/winter)
Snacks   Water
  Low-heel boots or sneakers
jacket (fall/winter)


From Boston, Take I-93 South to Exit 6
Granite Street/Route 37
Turn left onto Granite/Willard Street
Follow Willard Street for about 1 mile
Drive past The MDC Shea skating rink on the left
The Riding Center is just after the skating
rink on the left
  Good to know in advance
Open year-round daily

Free parking

Reservations are necessary; to make an
appointment, call (617) 472 - 0649
Cost: $25 for a 30-minute ride
Rides are generally ending at 5 pm
One-day notice required when canceling a ride
Riding helmets are mandatory and are
Make sure your kids dress appropriately:
even in summer, riders must wear pants - shorts and capris are prohibited; for safety reasons, sandals and open-toed shoes are prohibited as well; boots with a low heel
are recommended but sneakers are allowed
Blue Hills Riding Center: 629 Willard Street, Quincy, MA02169, Ph: (617) 472 - 0649;
Respect all postings in and around the barn, as well as on Blue Hills trails
Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times in the Blue Hills Reservation – make sure your pet does not startle horses and is always in control around the barn

ID Card

Overall rating: Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating
Difficulty: 3/5
  Time from Boston: 30 minutes
  Duration: Few hours


  Main activity:

For families

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Nothing beats the Blue Hills as the setting for a horse ride for your kids. And as they hit the trails and learn the basics of horseback riding, you can follow them and explore the woods. No experience necessary.

This is not your typical pony ride. While most riding centers tend to keep their younger riders in the arena, the Blue Hills Riding Center offers the possibility to hit the trails and go explore the hilly woodlands right behind its barn.

Each kid will go with two staff members, one to guide the horse, the other one walking alongside and ready to help if necessary. While kids are not encouraged to formally take lessons until there are around 6, they will have opportunities during their ride to learn basic commands to steer their horse, stop it and make it go. There is no specific program for each ride, so do not hesitate to ask based on your kid(s) desires and dreams! A ride typically last about 30 minutes, but you can extend it - just remember that it can be tiring for children, and half an hour is typically enough, especially if it is the first time they are riding.

Kids will ride a variety of ponies for these rides. A pony is officially any horse 14.2 hands or shorter (a hand is roughly equivalent to 4 inches), and some of Blue Hills Riding Center's ponies are quite tall and near that threshold, adding to the excitement of children and the feeling that these are "real" horses.

You are naturally free to go on the trail with your kids, which is a good opportunity for an original walk in the woods. Horses are known to make wildlife feel less threatened than with humans, so it may be your chance to see a deer or two. The rides never stray far from the barn, but even a short loop is usually enough to find solitude and silence, only broken by the horse's hooves pounding on the trail's stones.

Rides are offered year-round, and take place except in extreme weather. Horses grow hair in winter and shed it in spring and summer, and are generally comfortable in a wide range of weather conditions. In summer, the trees provide ample shade for horses and their riders. In fact, a good idea for a summer day is to bundle a pony ride with a visit to nearby Houghton Pond for a refreshing swim

The center offers traditional pony rides in the arena too, so make sure you ask for a trail ride when calling for your reservation.

The center also offers adult riding lessons - call (617) 472 - 0649 for more information on their programs.

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