(credit: Courtesy Ronald Reagan Library)

(credit: Courtesy Ronald Reagan Library)

It all begins when you are a child and you want nothing more than to ride a pony. Well now that you are grown, riding a pony is out of the question. But here in southeastern Michigan, there are plenty of places to get back in the saddle again. Whether you want to just take a long walk on the back of a calm horse or take the entire family on a horseback-riding outing, you can reclaim that youthful feeling at the stables listed below.

Maybury Riding Stable
20303 Beck Road
Northville, MI 48167
(248) 347-1088

Maybury Riding Stable is located close to home at Maybury State Park in Northville Township. All rides along the three-mile trail are guided so those who are new to riding will have all the help they need and experienced riders will have the chance to enjoy themselves along the way. Beyond private rental time for individuals and families, Maybury also offers special group programs ranging from a very special birthday celebration to rides for Scout and youth groups. Riding is not all that is offered because after the ride, groups can enjoy some time around a campfire or arrange for a tractor-drawn hayride.

Related: Get Away Guide: Weekend Trip To Petoskey

Brighton Recreation Riding Stable
6660 Chilson Road
Howell, MI 48843
(810) 534-5063

Take a tour of the beautiful Brighton Recreation Area on a horse where you will move through some of the most stunning scenery in the area. Brighton Recreation Riding Stable offers rides for everyone starting with the one-hour Cowboy Trail Ride at $35 per rider, to a family ride where even the little ones can ride with an adult for a 15-minute excursion at $16 per rider. For more experienced riders, there are the $45 night rides where you return to a campfire and s’mores and the two-hour Trail Tour which will challenge your riding skills for $60. Because trail conditions can change based on the weather, it is best to call for reservations and to check on the times when rides will be heading out.

Pine River Stables
1268 Stein Road
St. Clair, MI 48049
(810) 329-2968

Heading east out of the Detroit area, you will come to Pine River Stables, a family business that has been providing horseback-riding fun for over 40 years. Trails wind through over 100 acres of land that range from wooded splendor to open meadows and even some small hills. Seeing the wildlife of the area is common in the spring and early summer with a seasonal creek running through the area, where the animals make their homes. All rides are directed by an out rider, and depending upon the trail conditions and the skills of the riders, the pace can vary. Rates range from $25 per horse per hour on weekdays to $30 on the weekends.

Horse N Around Stables – Waterloo Recreation Area
12891 Trist Road
Grass Lake, MI 49240
(734) 637-4457

The Waterloo Recreation Area, located just west of Ann Arbor, is one of the largest in the state and Horse N Around Stables will help you travel through it in style on the back of a steed, all while taking in the beauty the area has to offer. For the beginner, there is a half-hour ride in the recreation area for $25, and for those who want to spend a bit more time on the trail, there are hour-long excursions $35. Families will find a fun time for all and there is also a discount offered for groups of seven or more.

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Horse N Around Stables – Pinckney Recreation Area
5833 Spears Road
Pinckney MI 48169
(734) 637-4457

Along with stables at Waterloo Recreation Area, you will find that you can take a bit of time on the trails for Horse N Around Stables at Pinckney Recreation Area. At Pinckney, the trails area is a bit more remote than at Waterloo, taking riders into an even more natural setting. As at Waterloo, rates are $25 for 30-minute rides and $35 for one-hour excursions. One of the unique features of Horse N Around Stables is the commitment the team has made to the equine world by operating one of the largest not-for-profit horse rescue organizations in the Great Lakes region. At Horse N Around, you will not only have the chance to enjoy a ride in some of the most beautiful scenery in southern Michigan, but at the same time help a group of people that work endlessly to help horses, the animals they love.

Award winning freelance writer and photographer Lawrence DiVizio is based in Southeast Michigan and works to convey in words and images the world around us. His work can be found at Examiner.com.