Where you do you most of your horseback riding? We posed this question to our readers in last week’s online poll. More than 800 people responded, and we’ve tallied the results!

Of the 825 respondents, 370 (45%) said they do the majority of their horseback riding on their own private land or on the farm where they board their horses. Another 114 respondents (14%) said they ride on private land that doesn’t belong to them, and 105 individuals (13%) ride on public land that belongs to the state they live in. An additional 96 respondents (12%) said they mainly ride on public land belonging to the federal government, and 89 people (11%) do most of their riding on county and city parks belonging to their local jurisdiction. Only 3 respondents (<1%) ride on tribal lands, and 17 people (2%) were not sure who owns the land they ride on. The remaining 31 respondents (4%) do not ride horses.

Poll Results

Photo: TheHorse.com

Additionally, more than 50 people commented about where they ride their horses:

Several people mentioned that they ride on private land:  

  • “I ride on my own property only. Many acres of trails.”
  • “Either at home in my ring or the indoor arena where I haul to for lessons.”
  • “I did ride mostly on private owned land open for horse people, but it closed this spring sadly.”
  • “I’m lucky to live on a property with dedicated equestrian trails.”
  • “I ride where I board my horse, we have arenas and trails on the property.”
  • “I mostly ride on my land. We have 50 acres so lots of space for trail riding.”
  • “I ride on my own place, and at shows/clinics which are usually at other private facilities.”
  • “I board other people’s horses. I ride here, indoor or out.”

While others commented that they do most of their riding on public land:

  • “National Forests are awesome where I live in N. Arizona!”
  • “Majority of the lands that I ride on are public, but it is a mix of fed, state, city, and some private.”
  • “50/50: State and National Parks”
  • “I also ride USFS land. Public lands are very important to me and many others here in WA. State”
  • “My wife and I also ride on public land when possible – mostly Forest Service land.”
  • “I also ride in state and national parks in NY and Florida.”
  • “I want to be riding on Public lands!”
  • “City, county, state and federal land. Missouri is rich in trails.”
  • “I have my own riding facility but I love most is riding our county, state and federal parks!”
  • “State and county horse trails”
  • “NC/SC riding trails…FETA, CETA”

Some people said they use both private and public land for riding:

  • “I also use state public lands for riding, and I use my own property for dressage-type work.”
  • “We have one of each: private tree farm, BLM, state park, and National Forest.”
  • “Ride at stable, roping arena, county parks.”
  • “We ride on a combination of our own, other owners and state property.”
  • “Private Lands near my Barn, and State Lands.”
  • “Daily rides on private horse trails in this equestrian subdivision, plus state parklands and BLM land.”

And others left general comments:

  • “We are fortunate to have access to another adjacent farm to ours.”
  • “Open space for riding is rapidly disappearing!”
  • “We bought our farm based on its proximity to a state park with horse trails.”
  • “Increasing development makes it harder to find trails and open areas to ride without trailering.”
  • “Unfortunately most trails here are shared with motorbikes, which my spooky horse does not appreciate.”

You can find more information on locating trails in your area, the future of land resources for horseback riding, how you can help keep public trails open and accessible, and things to consider when building a horse property or arena at TheHorse.com! 

This week, we want to know: how likely is your horse to step into or cross a body of water, whether it’s on a trail ride or an eventing course? Vote now and share your comments at TheHorse.com/polls

The results of our weekly polls are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter, which offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters on our homepage and look for a new poll on TheHorse.com.