Horseback Riding in Colorado Springs: Trails and Tips


Colorado Springs offers a unique and thrilling horseback riding experience, with over 60 miles of trails winding through diverse landscapes. From the stunning red rock formations of Garden of the Gods to the lush forests of Pike National Forest, riders of all skill levels can enjoy the region’s beauty on horseback.

Keep reading our guide to horseback riding in Colorado Springs to plan a fantastic outing.


  • Colorado Springs boasts a variety of trails suitable for horseback riding, from beginner-friendly routes to challenging backcountry adventures.
  • The best times for horseback riding are spring through fall, with mild temperatures and beautiful scenery.
  • For an enjoyable and secure experience, beginners should choose a reputable stable, wear appropriate gear, and follow safety guidelines.

Understanding the Terrain and Trails

Colorado Springs‘ diverse geography creates a range of horseback riding opportunities. The city sits at the base of the Rocky Mountain range, with elevations ranging from 6,000 to over 14,000 feet. This varied terrain includes rolling foothills, steep mountain trails, and wide-open plains.

Some of the most popular destinations for trail riding include:

  • Garden of the Gods: This iconic park features towering red rock formations and easy, well-maintained trails suitable for beginners.
  • Pike National Forest: With over 1 million acres of wilderness, Pike National Forest offers endless opportunities for experienced riders seeking a backcountry adventure.
  • Palmer Park: Located in the heart of Colorado Springs, Palmer Park has a network of trails perfect for a leisurely ride close to the city.

Planning Your Horseback Riding Adventure

The best seasons for horseback riding in Colorado Springs are spring through fall when temperatures are mild, and the trails are dry. Summer can be warm, so planning rides for early morning or evening is best to avoid the heat.

When choosing a horseback riding tour or stable, consider your rider skill level and the type of experience you’re looking for. Many stables offer guided tours ranging from one-hour scenic rides to full-day excursions. Be sure to communicate your horse riding experience level and any concerns to your guide.

Pack appropriately for your ride, including:

  • Comfortable, closed-toe shoes with a heel (boots are best)
  • Long pants to protect your legs
  • Layers for changing weather conditions
  • Sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen)
  • Water and snacks

Essential Gear and Preparation

In addition to appropriate clothing, riders should always wear a helmet to protect against head injuries. Most stables provide helmets, but you may want to bring your own for the best fit and comfort.

Before your ride, attend the pre-ride briefing to learn about horse behavior, riding techniques, and safety protocols. Your guide will teach you how to mount, dismount, and communicate with your horse using basic commands and cues.

Remember to stay calm and confident, as horses can sense your emotions. If you feel nervous, take deep breaths and trust your guide and horse.

Horseback Riding Tours and Stables

Colorado Springs is home to several top-rated horseback riding tours and stables, each offering unique experiences:

  • Academy Riding Stable: Located in Garden of the Gods, this stable offers guided tours through the park's stunning red rock formations.
  • Old Stage Riding Stables: With rides through Pike National Forest, Old Stage Riding Stables is perfect for those seeking a mountain adventure.
  • Triple B Ranch: This family-owned ranch in Woodland Park offers scenic rides through the Black Forest area, suitable for all skill levels.

Tips for Beginners

If you’re new to horseback riding, it’s essential to understand basic horse behavior and riding techniques. Horses are sensitive animals communicating through body language, so be aware of your posture and movements.

Use gentle, consistent cues to communicate with your horse, such as squeezing with your legs to ask for more speed or pulling gently on the reins to stop. Avoid sudden movements or loud noises that may startle your horse.

Remember that it’s normal to feel nervous or unsteady initially. You’ll gain confidence and develop a stronger connection with your horse with practice and patience.

Safety Measures and Best Practices

To ensure a safe and enjoyable horseback riding experience, always follow these guidelines:

  • Wear a helmet and appropriate clothing
  • Listen to your guide's instructions and stay on marked trails
  • Approach horses calmly and confidently, avoiding sudden movements
  • Keep a safe distance from other horses and riders
  • Dismount carefully, and never walk behind a horse

Follow your guide’s instructions in unexpected situations, such as a spooked horse or a fall. They’re trained to handle emergencies and will prioritize your safety.

Enhancing Your Horseback Riding Experience

To make the most of your visit to Colorado Springs, consider combining horseback riding with other outdoor activities like hiking, rock climbing, or fishing. The region offers countless opportunities for adventure and exploration.

After your trail ride, explore the city’s vibrant downtown area, which features unique shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions. Stay in one of the many lodging options, from cozy cabins to luxury resorts, and enjoy the warm hospitality of the local community.


What is the best time of year to go horseback riding in Colorado Springs?

The best time for horseback riding in Colorado Springs is from spring through fall when temperatures are mild and trails are dry. Summer can be warm, so plan rides for early morning or evening.

Are there horseback riding options for beginners in Colorado Springs?

Yes, many stables in Colorado Springs offer guided tours and lessons suitable for beginners. Be sure to communicate your experience level when booking a horseback ride.

What should I wear for a horseback riding tour?

Wear closed-toe shoes with a heel, long pants, and layers for changing weather conditions. Bring sun protection and wear a helmet for safety.

How long are the typical horseback riding tours in Colorado Springs?

Horseback riding tours in Colorado Springs range from one-hour scenic rides to full-day excursions, depending on the stable and trail.

Can children participate in horseback riding tours, and what are the age limits?

Many stables offer horseback riding tours suitable for children, with age limits typically starting at 6 or 7 years old. Some stables may have weight limits for riders. Always check with the stable for their specific requirements and recommendations for children.


About the author

Shannon Persad

As a seasoned journalist and Colorado native, I bring a deep-rooted connection and comprehensive understanding of Colorado to my work at My appreciation for the state’s rich history, vibrant culture, and pressing environmental issues drives my commitment to exploring its evolving landscape—from the bustling urban centers to the tranquil mountain towns.