Horses & Horseback riding in Iowa, USA

Horse Riding in Iowa, USA

Riding in the American Heartland, Horse Riding in Iowa is a real equestrian experience

Enjoying a horse riding adventure in Iowa is a great way to explore the legendary Iowan landscape.

The geography of the state makes it perfect for horseback riding beginners and experienced riders alike.

Equestrian activities and facilities are available in numerous locations throughout Iowa’s county conservation areas. There are over 80 horse riding trails and 38 equestrian campgrounds within county parks in Iowa.

The state also has many local riding trials, hosts a wide variety of horse riding events and is home to top quality equestrian centers.

All of which helps make horse riding in Iowa a great equestrian experience.

Iowa State Flag

Iowa Facts

The American Heartland is where Iowa can be found. The state is rich in culture and beautiful natural landscapes.

Iowa has a humid continental climate, with extremes of heat and cold. The average annual temperature being about 52degF.

The rolling hills, tall grass prairies and savannahs make horseback riding in Iowa a real equestrian experience.

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Breeds & Types of Horse in Iowa

One of the benefits of horse riding in Iowa lies in getting to choose from the many breeds of horse featured at the various equestrian centers throughout the state.

One breed that originates in Iowa is the American Cream Draft horse, a magnificent and rare animal that is renowned for being an easily trained horse. Sadly it is on the list of endangered species.

Another popular Iowan breed is the Pony of the Americas, also known as the POA pony which is used for jumping as well as trail and endurance rides.

And talking of trail rides, Iowa has an abundance of trails that are perfect for horseback riding, including the Yellow River State Forest which features more than 25 miles of quality, well maintained trails.


Horse Shows & Equestrian Events in Iowa …

Iowa is well known for having yearly horse shows.

One of the most popular is the Des Moins Springfest which occurs towards mid-end April and features multiple horse riding events including halter, pole bending, equitation and hunter under saddle.

Another horse show worth attending is the Great River Saddlebred Association Benefit Show which takes place in the third week of May. And another is the Iowa Equitation Cup at the Iowa Equestrian Center in Cedar Rapids.

So, as you can see, Iowa has an excellent mix of horse breeds, equestrian events and horse shows to suit most equestrian styles and disciplines.


Popular Iowa Equestrian Centers …

More great horse riding and equestrian businesses and events added by other equestrians.

Canterbrooke EC is just one equestrian center located in central Iowa, that provides an excellent program for horse owners. It also hosts several horse shows throughout the year.

Greenacres Horse Boarding Stables Greenacres Horse Boarding Stables is located a quarter mile from the heart of the Iowa bike and horse trail. We are a small horse boarding facility but we …


Jester Park Equestrian Center Iowa

Jester Park Equestrian Center – 515 999-2818

11171 NW 103 Court, Granger, Iowa, IA 50109

Providing child and adult horseback riding lessons in English and Western Riding. We also offer guided trail rides, summer camps, sleigh rides, horse boarding and an exceptional riders program educating clients of all ages, abilities and backgrounds about horses.


CanterBrooke Equestrian Center Iowa

CanterBrooke Equestrian Center – 515 233-3477

2250 W 190th St. Ames, Iowa, IA 50014

Canterbrooke offers the ultimate in care for your horse. With customized feeding and turnout programs we take care of your horse, whatever its needs are. We also offer an excellent riding lesson program (your horse or ours), and have several educational events and shows all year round.


Iowa Trail Rides …

The Chichaqua Valley Trail: 20 miles on asphalt trails. Available all year round. Phone: 515-323-5300
Trail Head: Baxter – on State Street; Ira – on limestone sunrise to sunset County Road F24; Mingo – Hwy 117; and Bondurant – 1 mile east of town on NE 88th Street

Gay Lea Wilson Trail: 8 Miles on asphalt available all year round sunrise to sunset. Phone: 515-323-5300
Trail Head: Altoona – east from Younts Depot to 7th Ave SE; west to Pleasant Hill – near Copper Creek Business Development off of Hwy 163/University Ave; Des Moines – Easton Blvd & Scott Street

Great Western Trail: 16.5 Miles on asphalt. available all year round sunrise to sunset. Phone: 515-323-5300
Trail Head: Des Moines – near Izaak Walton League Chapter House, 4343 Valley Drive; Cumming – 1 mile east of I-35 on County Road G14; Churchville – 1 mile west of Hwy 28 & Harrison Street; Martensdale – 2 miles east of I-35 off Hwy. 28 at Inwood Street

High Trestle Trail: 25 Miles on Concrete & Asphalt. Available all year round. Phone: 515-353-4237
Trail Head: Famous for it’s 13-story, 1/2 mile long bridge over the Des Moines River, this trail runs through the communities of Ankeny, Sheldahl, Slater, Madrid & Woodward. Bridge features artwork at either end an six overlook points.

Jordan Creek Trail: 8.9 Miles on asphalt & concrete. Available year-round 6am to -10:30pm. Phone: 515-222-3444
Trail Head: 50th & EP True; 22nd & Locust; S. 39th George Mills Parkway (South Woods Park)

Neal Smith Trail: 23.7 Miles on asphalt. Available all year round. Phone: 515-276-4656
Trail Head: Johnston – Bob Shelter 6:00 a.m.-10 p.m. Recreation Area at NW 78th Avenue; Sycamore Access at NW 66th Avenue; Cottonwood Recreation Area at NW 37th St. & NW Toni Drive; Ankeny – Cherry Glen Area at NW 94th Avenue; Oak Grove Recreation Area at 98th Avenue; and Saylorville Lake Visitor Center at NW Horseshoe Road; Polk City – Prairie Flower Recreation Area at NW Lake Drive; Sandpiper Recreation Area at NW McBride Drive; Mile Long Bridge Staging Area at NW 112th; Big Creek Staging Area at NW Madrid Drive

Raccoon River Valley Trail: 89 Miles on asphalt & concrete. Available all year round. Phone: 515-465-3577
Trail Head: Waukee – at Hwy 6 & Co. Rd. R22; Ortonville – at Hwy 6 & Co. Rd. R16; Adel – on 18th Street; Redfield – restored depot, north of Hwy 6; Linden – at Co. Rd. P30 & City Park; Panora – SE 6th St. just off Hwy 44; Yale – at SE edge of town on Co. Rd. F25; Herndon – Center of town; Cooper – Just off Co. Rd E57; Jefferson – restored depot at Co. Rd. E53; Jamaica – Co. Rd. P30, N of Hwy 141; Dawson – restored depot; Perry – restored depot; Forest Park Museum; Minburn; and Dallas Center. User Fee: $10 annually or $2 daily; special youth permits available for large groups. Visit www.raccoonrivervalleytrail.org for more information.

Horseback Riding in Iowa, Americas Heartland
Iowa has long been known for its horse friendly facilities, and it’s easy to see why.

Horse riding in Iowa is easily accessible in the state’s county parks, using the over 80 riding trails.

There are also plenty of campgrounds that welcome equestrians, the state has abundant equestrian centers and there are even horse breeds that originate in Iowa.

You won’t go far wrong if you choose Iowa for your horseback riding adventure.