Horseback riding has been a tradition in Central Park for 150 years, dating back to when the park was originally designed. There is some evidence that Central Park was originally meant to be seen from horseback. Trails such as the bridle path adjacent to the Reservoir are made of hard, packed dirt and are as perfect for horseback riding today as they were when the park opened.
From 1927 to 2007, the Claremont Riding Academy, built in 1892, operated in Central Park, giving reasonably-priced horseback rides to anyone who wanted them. However, over time, the bridle path became frequently filled with other park users and it became too difficult to safely navigate on horse. In 2007, the stable was forced to close, and with it the only vendor of horse transportation in the park.
From 2007 to 2011, horseback riding was available from Riverdale Equestrian Center on a very limited basis. Private trail rides could only occur in the park by appointment. In response to public requests that horseback riding in Central Park be reinstated, the Parks Department began negotiations in 2011 with the Riverdale Equestrian Center to make horseback riding once again available to any visitor who was in the park during operating hours.
For the 2011 spring season, horseback riding was provided by the Riverdale Equestrian Center at 100 dollars per hour, up from 50 dollars in 2007. At present, the Parks Department website reports that there is no horseback riding at all available in Central Park, so it remains to be seen if the Riverdale Equestrian Center will reopen again next season. If you do have the opportunity to go horseback riding in Central Park, travel with an experienced guide and bring a map.
*Please Note* Horseback riding is not available in Central Park at this time. Please check back again in the future.