The Indianapolis area has a lot of horses. Sometimes you’ll notice them in someone’s backyard or you’ll pass a stable or a state park that offers horseback riding but if you are a someone who is new to the sport or deciding if you want to try it out, it’s important to find a place that really takes the time to talk to you, answer your questions and educate you. Natural Valley Ranch was that place for us!

Several years ago, my husband and I stayed overnight at a ranch for our anniversary and went horseback riding. Well, HE went horseback riding with the trail guide and I panicked while on my horse and ended up watching the two of them ride off in the distance. My fears were not resolved and I missed out on a really fun event because no one had time to talk to me about the issues I was having with my particular horse and make me feel comfortable. Just the amount of time that my new friends at Natural Valley Ranch spent with me on the phone gave me such a great feeling!

Natural Valley Ranch is located in Brownsburg (about a 20 minute drive for us) and they offer trail rides! You can take your family on horseback (recommended age is 5 and up – however you can share a horse with your little ones if you are comfortable with that and arena rides with miniature ponies can be set up too), for a 30 minute to two hour trail ride through the property. All riders wear helmets to minimize risk of injury. An experienced guide will take you through the 50 acres of wooded trails. Whitelick creek goes through property so you can go through water in some places and it’s a different riding experience every time you go because nature is always changing.

Even if you are not interested in trail rides, Natural Valley offers the perfect grounds for picnicking, family reunions and other fun! They have other animals on the property — miniature horses, pygmy goats, chickens, ducks, horses, dogs and cats. Have a scout trying to get a badge? Natural Valley is authorized by both the boy and girl scouts for kids to earn their badges, they even have a pond if your scout needs their naturalist badge. In the fall, you won’t want to miss their family fun nights!

Lulu, Scout and I took California Grandma to feed the goats. They like bread and fruit and veggies. We sliced up apples and brought hot dog buns leftover from our cookout. The goats were in heaven! If you are in the area (west side), stop by with a picnic lunch but bring enough to share with the goats!