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A Guide to Horseback Riding in Kelowna

A picture of a person in riding gear sitting on a brown horse.

When most people think of the Okanagan, they think of vibrant wineries, bike rides, and scenic lakes but there’s another way to explore its natural beauty – on horseback. Horseback riding in Kelowna has become increasingly popular, attracting seasoned equestrians and curious newcomers looking for a unique and unforgettable adventure.

A Seasonal Adventure

While horseback riding in Kelowna is possible year-round, spring and fall are the best times to hit the trails, especially for beginner riders. Spring brings lush greenery and blooming wildflowers, while fall paints the landscape in a palette of fiery hues and cooler temperatures. 

If you choose to ride in the summer, we recommend going in the early morning or evening to avoid getting too hot and dusty. Winter rides can be magical, especially after a fresh blanket of snow, but can get chilly. No matter what time of year you go, make sure you’re prepared for the elements. 

Spotted Out on the Trails

Horseback riding offers people a different way to connect with nature and discover hidden gems in the Kelowna area. Trails wind through rolling hills, lush forests, and scenic vineyards, providing breathtaking panoramas and a sense of serenity. 

One of the highlights is the opportunity to encounter a diverse array of flora and fauna along the trails too. Keep an eye out for native species such as mule deer, elk, and black bears, as well as a variety of birdlife including bald eagles and osprey. 

The region’s rich biodiversity is reflected in its flora, with forests of ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, and trembling aspen providing habitat for an array of plant species, including wildflowers such as lupine, arrowleaf balsamroot, and Indian paintbrush.

What to Expect on Your Next Horse Ride

A bearded man in a grey hat and grey shirt standing with a brown horse petting its head.

A typical horseback riding experience begins with a brief orientation session where riders are matched with a suitable horse and provided with basic instructions on handling, steering, and stopping. 

Once mounted, riders set off on their chosen trail under the guidance of a knowledgeable and experienced trail guide. Along the way, riders have the opportunity to soak in the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape, with plenty of opportunities for photo ops and wildlife sightings. 

As you explore Kelowna’s trails on horseback, take the time to appreciate your surroundings. The great thing about riding horses versus driving or getting around on a dirt bike is that it’s pretty quiet and the horse does the work while you enjoy nature. Listen to the rustle of leaves in the breeze, inhale the scent of pine needles and wildflowers, and keep your eyes peeled for signs of wildlife. And don’t forget to pause and take in the panoramic vistas that unfold before you.

When you return, riders can sometimes groom and feed their equine companions, forging a deeper connection with these majestic animals.

Types of Rides

There’s a horseback riding experience in Kelowna for everyone. Popular options include:

  • Scenic Trail Rides: Explore winding trails and soak in the stunning scenery. These rides are perfect for all experience levels and offer a relaxed pace to enjoy the natural beauty.
  • Private Rides: Tailored to your preferences, private rides provide a more personalized experience on trails or scenic routes.
  • Overnight Adventures: Embark on a multi-day adventure with an experienced guide, camping under the stars with your trusty steed.

Safety First

A child ready to go horseback riding standing at a fence looking at a horse with more horses in the background.

Safety is paramount when horseback riding. Most, if not all, facilities provide helmets for you to wear. It’s also a good idea to dress for the elements to ensure you have a good time while out on the trails. Sunny days call for sunscreen and a hat while rain gear and layers will keep you cozy on the not-so-nice days. 

No matter the weather, you should always wear long pants and sturdy closed-toe shoes so you don’t hurt yourself on the horse. 

While horseback riding offers a thrilling adventure, remember that horses are large, powerful animals. The key to safety around them is respect. Always follow the instructions of your guides and avoid loud noises or sudden movements. Never attempt to ride a horse beyond your skill level. By prioritizing safety, you can make sure it’s a fun and rewarding experience for both you and the horse.

Top Places for Horseback Riding in Kelowna

Kelowna offers a variety of equestrian-friendly trails and ranches catering to riders of all skill levels. They cater to both locals looking to get out for a mosey and also tourists that want to try horseback riding for the first time. Their excursions are tailored to each rider group’s preferences, from strolls to more adventurous treks.

Here are some of our top picks of where to go:

Kelowna Riding Club

Kelowna Riding Club, a non-profit organization, offers riding lessons, summer camps, and trail rides through scenic backcountry. They’re a great option for beginners and those seeking a more social riding experience. Explore Kelowna Riding Club events.

3745 Gordon Dr, Kelowna, BC
4 min (1.6km) drive from the Shore

Trapalanda Farms Kelowna Horse Riding Lessons

Trapalanda Farms specializes in riding lessons for all ages and skill levels. They offer a safe and friendly environment to learn horsemanship and build confidence in the saddle. 

1130 Kamloops Rd, Kelowna, BC 
6 min (3.2km) drive from the Shore

Kyra Londos Equestrian

If you’re looking for regular riding lessons, getting into competitions, therapeutic programs, or pony rides and birthday parties for kids, Kyra Londos Equestrian is a great choice. It’s a little further out of town by the airport but a beautiful spot with friendly and experienced staff. 

5280 Whelan Rd, Kelowna, BC
27 min (17.9km) drive from the Shore

Broken Rail Ranch

Nestled amidst vineyards, Broken Rail Ranch provided guided trail rides with breathtaking views of Okanagan Lake. Unfortunately, due to fire, they are now closed indefinitely. They are looking for new homes for their horses. If that is of interest, you can explore those options.

674 Petterson Rd, West Kelowna, BC
20 min (14.1km) drive from the Shore

Giddy Up and Go

Kelowna boasts a welcoming equestrian community and a diverse range of riding options. Horseback riding is an opportunity to reconnect with nature, challenge yourself physically, and create lasting memories. After you’re done riding, head back to town to grab some dinner and dessert and share your favourite part of the trail with your fellow riders.

Life at the Shore

An arial shot of the Shore Kelowna taken from above Lakeshore Drive.

After a day of riding, take advantage of your fully equipped suite back at the Shore. Toss your trail-dusted clothing into the in-suite wash, rustle up a post-ride snack from the kitchen, or simply head out to your private deck to enjoy a quiet moment taking in the beautiful Okanagan views.

Apply today for a long-term stay in our modern suites.