HI Spy: Your Favorite Place


    Trail rideA ride on your favorite trail or open field can turn a mediocre day into a day worth celebrating. Whether it’s the scenery, the terrain or the way your horse seems to perk up when you get there, having a favorite place to ride is almost as important as having a favorite horse to ride there.

    Some riders prefer the familiar trails that wind around their own property or boarding stable. Knowing exactly what you’re going to face can help you customize your ride to be a relaxing way to unwind or a challenge to work on training and conditioning.

    Other riders have a favorite off-site location, a network of trails they can only visit on certain weekends or even just once a year. Perhaps your favorite place to ride is somewhere you’ve only visited once.

    If trail riding isn’t your thing, your preferred location could be the main arena at a showgrounds you frequent, a cushy indoor arena with footing like a cloud at a stable where you once attended a clinic, or even the reliable training area in your own backyard.

    Click “Submit a Comment” below to tell us about your favorite place to ride. Some of our favorite responses could be published in a future issue of Horse Illustrated.

    One selected response may be selected by the editors to win a monthly prize! If you would like to be eligible for the prize, please include your email address in the comment form (email addresses are not publicly displayed.)

    See all HI Spy Questions >>


    1. My favorite place so far is Bryce Canyon. Riding through tall spires of mulit-colored rock in various formations just can’t be beat.

    2. I don’t really have a favorite place to ride and it’s the least of my worries. As long as I get to be with my horse, any place is great!

    3. My favorite place to ride used to be in an un-fenced pasture at the barn I board at. Sadly, that pasture was fenced in and horses are now in it, so I don’t ride there often. My other favorite places to ride are the trails we often ride at friends’ houses or simply in the arena where I can work my horse hard and teach him new things.

    4. My favorite place to ride is a trail that brings back a flood of memories about times that I’ve shared with my horse. It is a trail with lots of forks, switchbacks, hills, dusty cowpaths that wind around sharp cutbanks, amongst giant cottonwood trees that lay down their bedding of snow-while cotton; along the treeline of lush green fields, ponds that are surrounded with weeping willows that shout out glory with their small, perfect flowers; through an aisle of green poplars, a creek that runs beside an open field of wild strawberry blossoms; to the dusky trail that only lets a shaded amount of sunlight through. In those places, I feel true peace. And my horse feels it also, for every time we go there, he has a different way of doing things, and he and I truly understand what peace is. Along that trail, I have always felt closer to my horse. As if we were….One mind.

    5. When riding, whatever place that my horse enjoys going is where I like to go! We both like to ride in the dry riverbed by my house – miles of sand means galloping – fun for my horse – and switchbacks, turns and maze like trails made by the water means fun for me!

    6. My favorite place to ride as well as my horses is the woods behind my house. When i take the horses out during the summer they know right where to go… to the stream. The woods are not that big but theres nice deep spots in the stream that the horses love to go and slash around in and in some cases try to lay down in. I wouldnt trade these memories for anything.

    7. My favorite place to ride would just be in open spaces. It has taken me so long to get my mare to stay calm in the open that it is an accomplishment to just be able to have her stand still!

    8. My favorite place to ride is anywhere horses are allowed. If I am on my sweet mare, then I’m in the best riding place in the world.

    9. My favorite place to ride is in my neighbor’s field. It is a very nice place with woods on each side of it.Also it is wonderful place to get a gallop in.

    10. Kingsland Bay! It’s on the shores of Lake Champlain, and in the summer months, the evening is cool and the crickets are out. The horses love it, and I do, too!

    11. Up in Lake City, my favorite place to ride is by the lake. (Ironic, no?) The sun beating down on it all day makes it warm, and there’s nothing better than slipping bareback on a horse and riding through the lake. Even if your not riding, the lakeside is peaceful and tasty for the horse. 😉

    12. I love riding on the beach. (Classic, huh?!) I love the salty air and the noisy birds are great practice for green horses!! And it’s fun to splash in the waves(Duh!) with your best friend!!(by best friend i mean horse!)

    13. I love riding on a pine needle covered trail. The smell of the pine and beautiful forage surronding my horse and me. Plus, the pine needles add a soft landing haha!

    14. My favorite place is to ride anywhere out in a field! As long as its just me and my horse, no other distractions, unless a friend comes along, but no people out on the site, just nature, me and my horse!

    15. My favorite spot to ride is on any trail near a lake. Living in Texas, cool, damp trails are a great way to enjoy 100 plus degree summer weather.

    16. My favourite place to ride is always unknown, I get on my horse and we run. He leads me to the most tremendoud trails everytime, I like it this way because when all you know, is the unkown, all you can feel is free.

    17. It’s hard to choose one trail over another. Each time you go back to them they give you another great,different memory. But the most diverse trail ride I have been on is in Wittenberg, WI. It has water,fields,forests, and hills giving me a chance to expirience it all at any pace we choose.

    18. I really have no favorite, but I love to ride in the mountains here in TN, or across the rolling hills. I love jumping old fences, or just taking a relaxing ride on a back road. Really, as long as I’m with my horse, I’m at my favorite place:)

    19. I love to ride in the paddock early in the morning when the grass is wet with dew and it’s foggy and in the summertime it’s a perfect way to avoid the heat.The morning is beautiful!

    20. I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to ride in some beautiful places on some exciting and challenging trails. But overall my favorite place to ride is in my smallish, unremarkable arena. Its where my horses and I can enjoy each other with relatively few distractions. So much learning has taken place there that I look forward to using it every day.

    21. The beach, we have a place in Wa in grayland that offers corrals for the horses and camping or bed and breakfast for the owners. Its directly on the beach so all you need to do is ride over the dunes and hit the clean sandy beaches. The sun rise and sun sets are just beautifull!! Photo ops abound!! and its great for the horses legs to boot. No better place for me to be!!

    22. My favorite place to ride was on the trails at my old barn I used to go to. The horses would always start at a full-speed gallop and just dart their way through the entire trail! The sensation of the delicate wind blowing through my hair, the sound of the pounding hoofbeats, and the rush of adrenaline going through me was remarkable!

    23. My favorite place to ride is through the trails behind our pasture. The timelessness of the woods, the gentle rythm of your horse beneath you. Just the QUIETNESS of it, escaping from the daily noise and rush.

    24. I found my favorite place last summer at camp. On tha last day, they trail leaders took us to the “outback” or an unused giant rolling meadow that the camp owned. It was the most beautiful place ever. The sun lit up the grass so it looked like an unreal painting. It was like only the wind could have so many colors. I will never forget it.

    25. As much as I loved splashing in the ocean and hiking up the side of a mountain my all time favorite place to ride is the few trails behind my barn. Its a perfect multi-terrain area! A feild, woods, tall grass, a small puddle and a few hills. Its a great place to take my lease and he enjoys it too!

    26. There are several lakes around here with wonderful equestrian trails and the LBJ Grasslands are the best. But I’m happy to just around my place, in the trails across the street or the arena.. because what’s best is the time I spend with my horse

    27. My favorite place to ride are the trails that go thru the woods where I can’t hear anything but the sound of the birds, small animals scurrying thru the underbrush, my horse’s hooves on the trai and her breathing..so peaceful and relaxing!

    28. My favorite place to ride is Zenith Stables and Campground.We go twice a year and have been doing so for 5yrs. Anywhere from 10-20 of us go. What more could you ask for. Good friends and our horses.

    29. My favorite place to ride is the trails out behind the barn that I work at. When I was a kid I used to ride out there with my friends, and we would do all kinds of naughty things like race the horses, jump fallen trees bareback, and take the draft horse out triple bareback. Now that I am older I like to ride out there and enjoy the tranquility of it all, and reminisce about the good ole days.

    30. My favorite place to go riding is in a big camping area called Dupuis, specifically donated for horses out in the ‘Glades. It’s so peaceful there, filled with wild life, other horse owners, and beautiful trails. Any style of riding- English, bareback, Western- is perfect for a day (or week) in Dupuis!

    31. My favorite place to ride is on a cross country course. Just to feel the power of my horse galloping over the natural looking landscape is one of the best moments ever. One of my favorite parts of a cross country course is to gallop through the water obstacles, you feel as if you can do anything.

    32. My favorite place to ride is in the show arena. Most people would pick a peaceful trail ride over a ride on the show grounds. My horse and I both love to compete and the show arena is like our “peaceful trail ride” it’s where we get to earn a ribbon for what we love to do best.

    33. My favorite place to ride is just at my stable’s jumping ring. I’ve had so many experiences there (good and bad) and it’s the place that feels most at home to me AND my 2 horses. I enjoy jumping, especially with my senior horse, Cocoa! He hates to jump but we still work on it. And I also love to jump with my super young Dutch Warmblood Blitz.

    34. My favorite place to ride is out at My Uncle Walter’s farm. He has woods and plenty of trails. After a long or stressfull day, it’s important to relax and have peace. Enjoy the creation that God has given us.

    35. My Fave,is to camp with our horses at Otter Creek, Glenfield, NY, It has the best trails on NY state land to ride, there is easy to difficult trails. none that are dangerous. and the wildlife you may see, is great.

    36. My fave place to ride is at my old barn out in this big field where we can canter or gallop on the way back from a peaceful and relaxing trail ride. Otherwise it doesn’t matter as long as i’m with my horse.

    37. My favorite place to ride is in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains down in Gallipolis, Ohio. It is beautiful. It makes me feel close to history and feel closer to founders and explorers like Lewis and Clark. My friends and I go through trail rides through woods, and by overhangs. With over 1,000 acres to ride on and different terrains and elevations, it is always a new adventure, full of wildlife, cliffs, and scenery.

    38. My barn is in Bakersfield, CA. We do not have many good places to ride. But I think I enjoy riding down in a field nieghboring the barn. It is fun to ride the uneven roads made by dirt bikes and quads. I also enjoy riding next to the canal that meanders through. It’s actually quite realaxing compared to all of the things living in the city is. It’s not the prettiest place to ride, but beggars can’t be choosers, right?

    39. My favorite place to ride is at home, where my horse and his friends are there. I have a nice neighbor hood, with a nearby dirt road that I can gallop on. The weather is usually very mild there.

    40. My favorite place is at my aunt and uncle’s farm. They have a grassy clearing behind their house about the size of a regular riding ring and you could ride there for hours! I have so many memories there and I make more every time I go over there, riding a horse or not!

    41. My favorite place to ride is one of Indiana’s State Parks, Potato Creek State Park where they have horse trails and camping areas for the horse enthusiast. My daughter and I and our horse’s love it because we meet many other “horsey people” who just want to camp and trail ride our horses both in the woods and open fields. It’s close to home and yet feels like we are in another world enjoying the thing we love the most – riding our horses!

    42. Although I greatly enjoy being able to be outdoors in gorgeous weather with my horses, any where is good to ride for me, as long as I am with my horses. Whether its in the arena, out in the pasture, along the road or at a show, if I’m aboard my trusty steed, it doesn’t matter where we are.

    43. My absolute favorite place to ride is in the woods. I love dashing through the puddles and jumping over fallen trees! It’s so much fun! Not to mention wading through ponds or having picnics in the fields! I <3 TRAILS!!

    44. My favorite place to ride is my huge pasture in the winter. Bounding through the deep snow with my horse makes me feel like I am on a roller coaster!

    45. My favorite place to ride is brushy creek Mississippi Because it has plenty of hills and challenging obstacles and the woods are open enough to go and have a little fun:)

    46. I have a couple favorite places to ride, obviously scenic trails at camps in the midwest would be one. Another is the Ozarks of Missouri. My all time favorite however has to be trail-riding along beaches in the Caribbean!

    47. My all time favorite place to ride is at the rodeos.Not running in them but sitting on horseback to get a better look at the bukin broncos.It definitely beats sitting in the crowded bleachers.And also my best friend(my horse)gets the best seat as well.

    48. Although I enjoy riding anywhere I can with my horse, my favorite place to ride is through the woods behind our house-and Goldie loves when we come across a deer or two!

    49. I do not ride much at all. But if I ride on with a friend, it is usually at the Saddle Club. I love spending time with friends (including my horse besties)there and riding on the back of a saddle with them. 🙂

    50. Hi!
      I’m Paul from Lithuania.
      My favorite place to ride would be to the outskirts of a neighboring village. Scenery there is marvelous. You can see miles and miles away of the hilly horizon. Even my horse likes going there. He seems to be relaxed and calm while being there. Although, I wouldn’t say that the grass is better or ground is softer in that special place. I think that it just has something magical about it.

    51. I love to ride in the show arena. Something about the adrenaline, the competition, the crowd, and the unbreakable bond between horse and rider makes each ride unforgettable.

    52. I love to ride on our own property. We own 19.9 acres and a lot of it is forest. It is just wonderful to ride on one of the trails and listen to my horse clop along!

    53. I love to ride at my own home. We only have half an hour worth of trails, but it’s the best part of the day when I can take my horse on the grassy trails when the sun is setting and night is beginning to settle in, no matter what season.

    54. I love to ride on the beach, i do not own a horse, or live by the beach, but i have been on many vacations to ride on the beach. i like riding on the beach because of how the waves make a soothing sound when your walking, and when you just start the horses take off across the sand, and you can just take the time to forget everything! (other that your riding skills)

    55. A place where I find solace is a gully that is an oasis in the middle of the city. With a great variety of trails, not-so-wild animals and wonderful horsemen that love to chat, it is a little piece of heaven on earth.

    56. My favorite place to ride are the fields behind my home. There are many hills that overlook a large swamp, creeks, and pastures. I feel so free when I ride there, I can let my horse gallop and just let the worries fall away. Its so incredible to see the world change from summer to winter, to let the wind whip your face. It always makes me feel so free.

    57. there’s a secret pond that my friends and i ride to in the summer and we’ll spend hours swimming and sunbathing with our horses

    58. My Favorite Place to ride is the trails behind our house. After being stuffed up in a barn me and my horse enjoy the quiet serenity of the woods.My horse really likes the creek. He splashes up a hurricane!

    59. Me and my horse, Caroline, absolutly love to go trail riding at Daisy Mae in Morganfield, KY. There are so many trails that just seem to melt the stress of the day away. Caroline and I love all the horses, beautiful flowers, the wildlife, and the flowing streams. When we reach a stream, she splashes and has an amazing time! When we get the trailer out at home, she gets so excited. Running up to the gate and neighing! Daisy Mae is absolutly our favorite place!

    60. I love exploring new places on my older equine Spencer. Every place we go we make new memories that make every moment worth it!

    61. One of my favorite riding places is on the open plains and hills of Western South Dakota. Another great place is in the woods around my friend’s house.

    62. When I ride my favorite spot is right after my usual trail I take. When you are coming out of the trail there is this big opening up hill and I like to go galloping out and up the gentle incline. Then the hill stops and it’s flat for miles and miles and that is where I do all of my ground work.

    63. My favorite Place to go rideng is To the river the trek is a long but the reward of takeing your horse into the water and letting him play even swim in some of the deep pockets is just so special.

    64. My favorite place to ride is on any beach, on any warm sunny day, cantering along, and even swimming with my horse. That’s my little piece of heaven.

    65. I love to ride to the creek that runs on the edge of our pasture. I like to lead my horse though the shallow water, listening to the bubbling water pass over rocks.

    66. My favorite place to ride is anywhere outside. As long as it is raining! Although I will ride anytime and anywhere, the rain just makes riding more fun. My horse Max loves rain so we are like a match made in heaven.

    67. My favorite place to ride is in a field near our home. A really nice couple that we know owns the field, but doesn’t have any animals, so they are always happy to see me and my friends in the field. There are alot of trees that provide plenty of shade to relax under and for the horses to graze around on hot summer days. The grass is really lush and everything is quiet and peaceful there. The time seems to fly by when I am there, but I never want to leave!

    68. My absolute favorite place to ride is on my land, in the woods, with nothing but the wind making noise. My horse loves it too-I can tell. We are one as we go down the trail, with nothing but time stopping us.

    69. My favorite place to ride it just at the barn my horse is boarded at! It’s an extremely beautiful place next to the Yellowstone River. We just saddle up and ride around the numerous trails and even though they’re not far from the barn it is still super fun! I just need to do some more ground work so my Arab will stop spazzing when we get near the river!

    70. My favorite place to ride is Yosemite National Park in Mariposa County, California. Offering trails throughout almost every inch of the park it’s a breathtaking adventure every time I go. The park is trailer friendly and offers trailer parking at the stables and at several trailheads. Mariposa County also holds 1,000’s of miles of BLM land including Jerseydale which boasts an array of historical landmarks and old mining communities to explore.

    71. My favorite place to ride with my best friend,Buckaroo, is in my own arena, and on the trail behind the stables. I find peace with him just by being with him, and that will never change.

    72. My favorite place to ride my horse is at Pt. Reyes, Ca. I try to go every year with my friends and it’s the best place to vacation with your horse. We stay at a B&B, wonderful state park trails, adorable town and great local tack shop! It’s a horse persons dream vacation.

    73. I enjoy riding on early summer mornings when the gorgeous Ozark Mountains of Missouri are cool and the night sounds can still be heard. Any where will do but my favorite place to ride is through my neighbors apple orchard,where me and my horse can stop and have a snack anytime we feel like it. Just cantering through foggy orchard and gazing of into the Ozarks is enough to take your breath away. Even though we have moved, that place will forever linger in my mind.

    74. My favorite place is at home on my ranch.I love to ride the pipe line, driving cows, or just checking the ranch. When I am sad and tiered,I look at the big, blue,mountains garding our home.They make me feel at home.

    75. I have been to the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois and it is beautiful. You are surrounded by trees, creeks, and giant boulders. I have only been there twice but it is still my favorite. Luckily my Welsh Pony can make it through the whole thing so I can see all the beautiful sights.

    76. The small twisting logging roads that have been scattered across the mountains surrounding my house. Some of the roads that I find are brand new and others have been around for a century or two. My favorite thing about these hidden paths is that I never know where they will take me, and sometimes a surprise like an amazing view is waiting for me at the road’s end.


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