Ridge Valley Riding Stables

Grafton, MA USA


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Pumbaa the Pony

See the answers below for some of the most common questions we hear regarding trail rides.

Q: What is the appropriate clothing for riding?

Helmets are recommended. You may borrow a helmet which there are plenty of. A shoe with a small heel is strongly recommended. This prevents your shoe from going all the way through the stirrup and getting stuck in the process. An ankle boot or work boot is fine as long as they are not big heavy hiking boots. This could be an opportunity for new cowboy/cowgirl boots if you can get some shopping in between now and your ride.

Dress as though you are going hiking and it is 20 degrees cooler than what the thermometer says. In the winter, bundle up like you are going skiing. A thin hat to go under the helmet and gloves are wise to have along unless it’s summertime.

Some additional information may be found here on the clothing advice page.

Q: Do you allow riders to go fast on trails?

Trails are paced at a walk with some short trot segments to provide a fun experience and keep our horses and riders as comfortable and safe as possible. Our trail rides are great for all levels of riders and those whom have never ridden before.

We offer riding lessons for riding at a faster pace in an enclosed riding ring. Riding lessons are taught by professional, licensed riding instructors focused on balanced seat and good horsemanship.

Q: Do you ride in the snow?

Yes! Riding in the snow can be fun and beautiful. We are open year round and only cancel due to the cold if the temperatures drop into the 20’s or lower. Please dress warm, lots of layers!

Q: Do you rent horses to go out without a guide?

All trail rides are led by a guide from Ridge Valley Stables, it is recommended to make a reservation.

Q: Do you offer private trail rides?

You may book a trail ride with other riders, usually up to 4 riders, or you may book a private trail ride exclusive to your group of 1-4 riders.

Q: How do you mount the horse?

For best mounting practices, we use a mounting block with four steps. We use mounting blocks out of concern for our horses’ backs. If a person can’t get up using a mounting block, they may wish to reconsider getting on to begin with.

Q: What are the age requirments for riders?

The age requirement for our trail rides is 13+ years old. We do have some flexibility for children having ridden before.

When booking children, please also book adult family members so the rides have a balance of youngsters and beyond. We prefer not to take large groups of kids on trail rides.

Riding lessons are for ages 7+, and are a great way to start learning more about good horsemanship.

Lessons are also perfect for adults who would like to learn how to ride with a balanced seat at a walk, trot, or canter.

Pony rides and birthday parties do not have an age requirement.

Q: Are helmets required?

Helmets are not required, However we have plenty to go around. No need to run out and buy one unless you plan to ride consistently, We would be happy about that!

Q: What is the weight limit for trail rides?

The weight limit for riding is 230 pounds maximum weight. If we feel there are any factors which may pose a danger to our horses, staff or other riders we reserve the right to deny someone the opportunity to participate in any activity.

Q: How long are the trail rides?

Trail rides for either one or two hours include approximately 15 minutes of lead time to assist riders to mount up safely and help riders get acclimated to their horses. During this time, our Guides will also provide beneficial instruction prior to riding on the beautiful trails at the Ranch, to help make the trail ride as enjoyable as possible for both horses and riders. This time is a great opportunity to learn about the horse you are riding and to understand the practices the horses at the Ranch are familiar with. At the end of your ride, we also allow a few minutes to take everyone’s picture.

Q: Can I go on a trail ride if I don't understand English?

We’re excited about your interest in taking trail ride! For your safety and the horse’s safety, understanding basic instructions in English is essential. We want to make sure everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience on our trail rides. Riding on horseback independently in an open forest or road environment requires riders to understand basic English commands.

We’d love to have you join us, but speaking a minimum level of English is crucial for understanding the guide's directions and ensuring safety on the trail.

Q: Can I bring a treat for the horses?

Hand-feeding the horses we care for is limited for training purposes to reward for positive responses. We would love it if you will donate a bag of apples, carrots, or horse treats for us to reinforce positive behavior at appropriate times. The horses would love and benefit from your kindness. ❤️

At the Ranch, we make certain the horses have nutritious hay available 24/7 when they are not working, which is a sizable amount of time. 🤠 Having such a natural environment with so much hay keeps them very healthy and content.

Q: Do you reimburse or credit customers for cancelations due to inclement weather?

We try not to cancel rides if precipitation is forecast, because it can be intermittent, and storms often don’t materialize. If we do decide to cancel the ride, you may of course rebook at no additional charge, and we hope that you will! We also do allow cancellations and complimentary rescheduling up to 48 hours prior to a ride, and we will refund the reservation fee if you aren’t able to reschedule. Our service fees are non-refundable in any case.

However, if someone doesn’t show up at the last minute, and we have all the horses saddled and employees in place to take them out, we are unable to offer a refund because we need to pay our staff for their time that was spent preparing for the ride. You may opt to have ticket protection included, which covers your reservation should you encounter an unforeseen circumstance on the way to the Ranch; with a doctor’s note you may rebook without forfeiting the ride. This has been especially helpful when Covid has made scheduling more challenging.

Q: What weather is bad enough to cancel a ride?

Usually, trail riding will be canceled if it is a very steady rain with a high probability of rain throughout the day, ice or heavy snow. There is a good chance we will cancel trail rides if the temperature is below 25 degrees. We typically will just delay if there is a thunderstorm in the area. Threat of rain, lightning, or snow will usually NOT cause us to cancel a trail ride.

Please show up a 15 minutes prior to your scheduled trail ride if you haven’t been notified of a cancellation. If rides are cancelled you will be notified via phone or text. Please be sure to provide a number to text in the event email does not work.

Q: What if i wish to cancel a ride i have booked?

Please send your cancellation request via email. You will receive a confirmation email with rebooking instructions once your request is processed.

We require a 48-hour notice for all cancellations. This way we are able to open up the space available for someone else who wishes to book. The more notice the better, and we appreciate your understanding of the necessity and balance in having full rides, yet not overbooking.

Rides cancelled more than 48 hours before the ride day/time may be rebooked at no additional charge, or the ticket price may be refunded. Please note our service fees are non-refundable.

Q: Do I need to sign a waiver?

Yes, signing a waiver is mandatory to participate in any horse-related activities at Ridge Valley Stables. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

Q: What happens if someone is misbehaving or is not following RVS rules?

Anyone whose behavior is disruptive and/or causing an unsafe condition to ride for horses, other riders or themselves, or any rider who is not respectful of RVS policies and/or staff, will be asked to leave the premises.