Looking for an equestrian paradise for your college years?
Try horseback riding in and around West Virginia’s panhandle, a little slice of heaven for horse lovers.
Between the beautiful foothills of the Allegheny Mountains, the mild climate of the Northeast Ohio River Valley region, and vibrant equestrian culture, it’s one of the best places to ride in the country.
You’ll find no shortage of opportunities here. Countless stables, trails, equestrian clubs, and competitive shows make horse lovers feel right at home.
So what exactly can an equestrian like you expect around here?
Horseback Riding in West Virginia
This region—from Wheeling, WV, to nearby Pittsburgh, PA, and charming rural farmlands between—embodies the equestrian lifestyle.
It’s a lifestyle that’s shared by all kinds of people from different cultures around the world. As one Spanish resort that features equestrian activities describes it:
“Equestrian lifestyle is unlike any other way of life. It starts with a great love for horses, life and nature … Horse lovers are some of the most passionate people in the world. They are also very disciplined and hard-working.”
Does that sound like you? If so, keep reading!
The Beautiful Northeast Ohio River Valley Region
The Ohio River Valley (or Ohio River Basin) covers over 200,000 square miles. It’s a huge region that encompasses most of Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, West Virginia, and part of Pennsylvania.
Though areas throughout the region have their charms, it’s the eastern parts that feature the foothills of the breathtaking Allegheny Mountains, part of the great Appalachian mountain range.
There’s no denying that this is an absolutely gorgeous place to go horseback riding. Even for non-equestrians, the sights alone bring people here from all over the world.
Numerous Stables in the Area
Given all this beauty, it’s no wonder there are so many horse stables in the area. These are just eight of several places that offer amazing West Virginia horseback riding opportunities (along with a few across the state line in Pennsylvania).
1. OGLEBAY RESORT
Among the most popular destinations in the panhandle, Oglebay Resort in Wheeling is one of West Virginia Tourism’s “7 Jaw-Dropping Horseback Riding Adventures in WV.”
Oglebay offers skiing, golf, fine dining, and fantastic horseback riding programs for all ages and skill levels. It’s also home to the Bethany College Equestrian Team. (Just about 30 minutes from campus).
2. MCCORMICK STABLES
Also close to the Bethany College campus, McCormick Stables is a “lesson and full-service boarding facility” featuring pristine stables surrounded by wide open spaces. Courses are for all skill levels.
3. LIFE & LIBERTY EQUESTRIAN CENTER
If you own a horse, Life & Liberty Equestrian Center is a great option for boarding. The property features large stalls, lush pastures, and both indoor and outdoor arenas.
4. ROWDY RHYTHM STABLES
Rowdy Rhythm Stables is another good option for boarding and lessons where they often host student clubs and professional trainers. A great place to visit with friends, family, or classmates.
5. STARGATE STABLES
Over the state line into Pennsylvania, along I-70 to Pittsburgh, you’ll find Stargate Stables. They boast a peaceful setting for boarding where your horse can get “a break from the hustle of the show grounds.”
6. SUGAR RUN STABLES
A bit further north, Sugar Run Stables is a nonprofit organization offering equine therapy to people with disabilities and special needs. They help riders increase self-esteem, confidence, patience, and much more.
7. PONY PALOOZA EQUINE EDUCATION
Pony Palooza specializes in introducing young people to horseback riding through lessons in pony care, riding techniques, and calming strategies. (Who knows? You might want to teach at a place like this one day!)
8. ROLLING HILLS RANCH
Pittsburgh area Rolling Hills Ranch offers “horseback riding experiences of a lifetime,” taking individuals and groups on guided tours through lush wooded areas. They also offer horse boarding.
Visit Bethany College for the Best in West Virginia Horseback Riding
With all the horse-themed attractions in this area, it’s no wonder the Bethany College Equestrian Club is so popular! Students love:
- Beautiful surroundings here in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains
- Plenty of places to board your horse, take casual tours, or participate in exciting horse shows
- Amenities at Oglebay Resort, the home of the Bethany College Equestrian Team
Students like you come to Bethany College for the West Virginia horseback riding, and they stay for the outstanding liberal arts education, close-knit community, distinguished faculty, and much more.