Summer in South East Michigan offers a tremendous variety of outdoor activities for people of all ages. Whether it’s in the water or on land there is something for everyone to enjoy our great outdoors. Hiking, Biking, Swimming and Kayaking are fantastic options to work out while you enjoy the sun. For a bit of power why not add some horse power to the equation. Jet Ski’s and ATV’s can kick in a little more punch, but what about the four legged kind. Michigan’s Equine Community offers a wide array of options for those who enjoy a “stable” environment.
A great way to start your equine exposure is to visit one of Michigan’s recreational riding stables that allow you to take a ride with an experienced guide through some of Michigan’s State Park lands or through private trails. This offers the option to ride without having to own your own horse or equipment. Maybury
State Park , located in Howell, Michigan, is still one of the most convenient options that still offers horse
rental options for riders of all ages, families and groups. Having an experienced Wrangler provide a guided tour can be a wonderful and inexpensive way to get introduced to the equine world. Many of Michigan’s state parks also provide staging areas for anyone wanting to enjoy the parks on their own horses that can be brought in.
For riders wanting to expand their horse knowledge and riding skills there are a wide variety of local stables offering lessons in both English and Western sports. For English the disciplines consist of Hunter/Jumper, Dressage, Pleasure and Saddle Seat. Western riding can consist of Pleasure, Rodeo(Barrels, Roping, Team Penning) and Reining. Some stables offer Pony camps for children during the long summer months that give kids a greater understanding of horse care while building riding skills and having fun.
If competition is the name of your game, there are a multitude of horse shows and events that happen throughout the summer months for both participants and spectators. Genesee County has a strong 4-H presence for youths advancing in the Equine Sports. South East Michigan also offers local Schooling Shows in all of the riding disciplines as well as USEF Recognized Competitions. The outdoor show season runs from the Beginning of May through the end of September for the 2015 show seasons.
Although not right in the heart of Genesee County, a drive to the Ann Arbor area opens the door for further options for competitions at Woodbine Farms in Chelsea, MI that hosts both Hunter/Jumper and Dressage shows at all levels. Heading slightly further West toward Grass Lake, MI is the Waterloo Hunt Club that also hosts A rated USEF, as well as recognized USDF, horse shows throughout the summer. Waterloo Hunt also houses and hosts it’s own Fox Hunting Organization and Hounds on site.
Christopher Gentner of Gentner Equisports, LLC is one of many local trainers that can be seen competing or teaching clients at any of the area shows in both Hunter/Jumper and Dressage disciplines. Having grown up in Michigan and competed up through the levels, Christopher offers lessons to riders of all ages and levels. Although school horses are limited he tries to provide a safe and educational experience for anyone interested in the horse world. Christopher also has sales horses at a variety of levels, or, can find you the perfect horse to match your needs and budget.
No matter what your level of skill or knowledge is of the Horse world, Michigan offers a multitude of options to get your feet wet or just dive on in. Take advantage of our beautiful summers and experience Michigan sitting tall in the saddle.