Saddle Up at Shadow Glen


I’m not crazy about horses, but my daughter is, so once a month, I pay $38 for her to take a one-hour group horseback ride along the American River with one of her best girlfriends and a guide from Shadow Glen Family Riding Stables ( The stables, located off Highway 50 and Hazel on Main Avenue in Orangevale, maintains a bunch of gentle-natured horses that anyone could ride—the girls say they’re “bombproof”. Kids need to be at least 8 years old, wear helmets, long pants and closed-toe shoes that’ll stay on, and have parents who can stomach (and sign) the terrifying release form. Grownups can ride, too, by the way. The stables used to be closed from November through March, but ownership changed in August and now it’s now open year-round. This is great news because long pants and helmets are a lot more bearable this time of year than in July, and right now the parkway’s gorgeous with fall colors.