Get Out: Saddle Up and Ride
Written by Allison Kay Bannister. Photo: Legacy Stables. Courtesy of Allison Kay Bannister


Oh, hey… welcome to my little slice of Revue. I’ve been a regular contributor for a few years, covering topics from sweets, glorious sweets, to travel, events, arts, and more.

I’m also a huge outdoorist, and I recently asked Managing Editor Josh if I could write about some not-so-everyday activities to do outside, and he said, “Sure!” 

(Um, that was easy!)

If I told you I was super-stoked about this opportunity, I would be understating my enthusiasm. As the founder and primary event organizer for a West Michigan recreation group, I have a lot going on a lot of the time, and my aim is to keep it interesting. So, while we do go on leisurely walks or somewhat hilly hikes in the woods, I always have my eyes and ears open for something different for us to do, too.

One of these ideas was horseback riding. You’d think we’d have our pick, but for inexperienced riders who just want to give it a whirl, without signing up for a full slate of lessons, the options in town are few. However, I did find Legacy Stables in Caledonia, which offers guided, one-time horseback rides for people of all abilities and skill levels, ages 6-100. They also offer limited opportunities for younger kids. 

They run these rides year-round on most Saturdays, with two time slots in the afternoon. Each ride allows a max of six people and lasts 55 minutes. There are some height and weight restrictions, so keep that in mind.

When my group arrived, we signed some paperwork, suited up with helmets, and met our horses. Legacy Stables’ mission is to foster the human-horse connection, and, before riding, they encouraged us to have a bonding moment. This made a lot of sense to me, and I set to work getting my horse, Caspian, to like me through brushing and sweet talk. Trained staff then gave us instructions on how to hold the reins, and what to say and do to get our horses to stop or go. With that important info, we walked our horses over to the indoor arena, got on board, and accustomed ourselves to the experience.

Not. Gonna. Lie. I was a little nervous. I mean, imagine if your car or bike had a mind of its own? I tried not to. I did remind myself that these horses are gentle enough for children and therapeutic riding, so the chance of an incident was pretty low. This was not their first rodeo; and, in fact, not a rodeo at all. 

My group and I took a few rounds indoors, dodged some impromptu potty breaks, and left the arena for the grounds. On the trails, which wove through the property, we were accompanied by three expert guides who led the way, and offered help when our horses were more interested in eating grass than plodding ahead. We felt safe and in good hands, and the ride overall felt calm and relaxing.

The time was up quickly, but it felt like the right amount—and judging by how my rear felt the day after, it was plenty. Would I do it again? I would; and I know other members of my group would, too.

But, I also want to see what else is out there, and what our next adventure could be. Stay tuned for that!

Learn more about one-time rides, private parties, and lessons at 

Legacy Stables and Karin’s Horse Connection

8001 Patterson Ave. SE, Caledonia