Interested in horseback riding in SC? Trail rides at Eden Farms, just outside Greenville, SC, are available on their sprawling 160-acre farm overlooking the mountains. Kristina took her kids and has all the details.
Thanks to Eden Farms for letting us do a trail ride so we could write the review!
I’ll take any chance to get close to the beautiful mountains surrounding Greenville and if it involves horseback riding, even better. This is exactly what Eden Farms in Marietta, SC offers to anyone who wants to enjoy their gentle horses, the sprawling farm, and the shaded trails.
About Eden Farms: SC Equestrian Center
Eden Farms, founded in 2001, is family-owned and operated. They have several pastures, three arenas (one of them is covered), and 160 acres of land with views of Table Rock, Caesars Head, and Paris Mountain. You can even catch a view of downtown Greenville on one of the trails.
They are perhaps most well-known for their horse therapy program, Happy Hooves, a nonprofit Therapeutic Equestrian Center that serves people with special needs of all ages and abilities. Since the nonprofit began in 2003, Eden Farms has served thousands of individuals. Happy Hooves Therapeutic Equestrian Center is the only one of its kind in the Upstate and one of five in the state that is a PATH International (formerly NARHA) Premier Accredited Centers. This basically means they have high standards of training and safety.
Eden Farms also offers birthday parties, camps, trail rides, riding lessons, horse boarding, and homeschool days. Our editor, Bethany, checked out one of their homeschool days in this great video, which includes a tour of the farm, horses, barn, and awesome playground.
Explore on Horseback in Upstate, SC: Trail Rides
I’ve ridden horses before but all in all, I’m still pretty clueless about horses. My kids have only ridden them at events around in a circle. We are all beginners to say the least, which didn’t matter at all when it came time for our trail ride at Eden Farms.
As soon as we got there, Becky, the owner, and her team made us all feel welcome and encouraged. Once I signed all the release forms (which you can do online beforehand to save time), we were off to meet our horses in the spacious barn. By the way, the barn is gorgeous. It is just so pretty and clean! And all the horses we met were very calm and gentle. You could tell they were happy.
When we booked the trail ride, Becky asked our weight and height so she could prepare the correct horses for us. My seven-year-old had a beautiful small horse named Twiggy. My daughter fit on her perfectly. And my oldest daughter at 11-years-old rode Hannah Eve, a gorgeous quarter horse. My horse, Rebekah, was a Belgian. She was huge but very gentle. I immediately could relate to this horse as she loved to eat while we were riding.
Once we got our helmets on and were introduced to our horses, we were taken out to one of the arenas to mount our horses from a wooden stand, which made it really easy. And then we rode around the arena for a few minutes while Becky and our guide instructed us on how to turn, stop, and go on our horses. It was really easy. And then we were off to the trail.
Meandering Through the Forest
My two kids each had their own guide walking alongside them as is the standard at Eden Farms. Kids ages 7-12 can ride but do have a guide with them for safety. I had never seen this before on previous trail rides when I was much younger but it made me feel very safe and secure to have them with my kids even though they were right in front of me. I was pulling up the rear with Rebekah and got to see the joy my kids felt while riding the horses. It was awesome.
The trail we were on was about a mile long and runs through the back of the farm on a dirt path and then up into the nicely shaded woods. But on our way up there, we were treated to beautiful views of Table Rock, Caesars Head, and Paris Mountain. It was just so peaceful. Like I mentioned in the beginning, mountains make me so happy. Seeing them is very calming for me and being able to ride such a sweet and gentle horse while watching my kids enjoy something so thoroughly was very special.
To give the best experience to their guests, Eden Farms only takes out four people at a time on trail rides. Based on my previous trail riding experiences, I had expectations of what it would be like at Eden Farms but it was so much better than what I had imagined. Becky and her team were so attentive and patient and answered all our questions while encouraging us in our handling of the horses. The horses were so well-behaved and gentle. I never felt unsafe or unsteady and really loved the experience. My youngest wanted to know how to trot by the time we were done and now she’s begging me to send her to summer camp there while my other daughter is already planning her birthday party at Eden Farms. It’s definitely a fun and welcoming place.
Booking Your Own Trail Ride
Eden Farms runs trail rides Monday – Saturday by appointment. Over the summer, trail rides go out at 8 am because of the heat. Make it a day trip and head to Table Rock State Park to jump in some waterfalls or hit up a nearby sandy mountain beach. During other seasons, rides are in the morning and early afternoon.
Give Eden Farms a call to schedule a trail ride at 864.898.0043. Kids are welcome and those ages 7-12 will have a guide walking with them on the trail but they will be the ones to control the reins. Kids need to be at least seven years old and riders must be under 225 pounds.
This would make an awesome date activity with your significant other or your kid(s). It’s a fun special occasion activity or just something enjoyable to do with your friends or family visiting as well.
Trail rides are about an hour long and include a safety lesson and helmet. They are $80/person.
4700 Dacusville Highway, Marietta
Learn More About
Eden Farms & Happy Hooves!