Open Barns Day in Fairmount Park

obd-general-flyerOpen Barns Day is a day to celebrate the horses living right here in Fairmount Park. All seven park barns will be open to the public for tours and special activities, allowing you to get up close and personal with the horses. Ask questions, watch equine demonstrations or just make some new four-hooved friends. Open Barns Days will be held on Saturday, May 18. Hours and events vary by barn – visit one or visit all.

  • Bill Picket Riding Academy and Hoof Prints (at Belmont Stables) – 2 pm – 5 pm
  • Chamounix Equestrian Center 1 pm – 4 pm
  • Courtesy Stable 10 am – 2 pm
  • Monastery Stables – 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
  • Northwestern Stables – 10 am – 1 pm
  • Pegasus Riding Academy – 10 am – 1 pm
  • Solly Stables – 10 am – 2 pm

Please visit our Facebook event page for up to the minute details. Download our flyer to print and share. This event also coincides with the Fairmount Park’s Love Your Park week which runs May 11-18.

Bill Picket Riding Academy and Hoof Prints (at Belmont Stables)

Fun times at Belmont StablesOpen Barns Day hours: Saturday, May 18, 2 pm – 5 pm

Scheduled events:
3pm  – Natural Horsemanship and trick horse demonstrations by the youth of Hoof Prints and BPRA
4pm – English vs. Western riding competition… who will win the riding battle!! You decide when you vote for your favorite riders!!
We will have tours and free face painting! Also photos with the urban cowboys, food, and games for a fee.

The mission of the Bill Picket Riding Academy and Hoof Prints is to build identity, pride and life skills among young people by immersing them in the lessons of self-reliance and confidence that are learned during comprehensive programs based in equestrian care, horsemanship, and personal accomplishment, as well as programs that promote an understanding of the history, culture, and contributions of the African American Cowboy and the role they played in the growth of America. We recognize the power of horses to heal, motivate, and mature young people on a level that other activities pale in comparison.

In addition to our passion for the development of young people is our passion for horses.  Too often the horse is treated like a machine or simply a tool or a prop for our recreation.  Our programs take students deep into the spirit of the horse by teaching that he is an amazing living being who deserves our reverence and respect.  Our students learn the importance of good horsemanship, effective communication, and a relationship with their horses based on kindness and respect.

We offer similar programs to the general public of all ages and levels of experience.  We offer riding lessons, horsemanship classes, and workshops throughout the year.  We also offer self-care and full-care boarding for horse owners.  Our facility is located on beautiful West River Drive and houses 20 horses.  We have a riding ring, a round pen, and access to miles of trails.  A truly wonderful place right in the heart of Philadelphia. 

Come and see us compete at the FPHS on Sunday!
Martin Luther King Jr. Drive (formerly West River Drive) just north of Montgomery Drive, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19131

(PLEASE NOTE: MLK Drive is closed to vehicular traffic on weekends. You will need to tell the attendant at the Montgomery Drive intersection gate that you are going to the barn. Drive slowly!)

Chamounix Equestrian Center

Fun times at ChamounixOpen Barns Day hours: Saturday, May 18, 1 pm – 4 pm

Scheduled events:
1 pm – 4 pm – Tack Sale:  Items used and new, 70-80% off retail
2:30 pm – Polo demonstration
3:30 pm  – 4 pm – Free pony rides
All attendees may enter a drawing for a free session of riding lessons or ½ day of summer camp. Winners need not be present at time of drawing.

Chamounix Equestrian Center (CEC, formerly McCarthy Stable) was built in 1973 to house the then burgeoning mounted police force that patrolled the parks and streets of Philadelphia. In 1994,  Work to Ride moved in as a fledgling non-profit to serve at-risk youth  as well as provide affordable equine related programming to the community at large.

CEC offers programming all year round with a focus on beginning and intermediate riders. Our foundation philosophy is focused on the horse-human relationship. Chamounix Equestrian Center is home 35 horses and several wonderful programs that promote horsemanship and learning. A multi faceted facility, CEC offers a wide variety of programs: Riding Lessons, Summer Camp, Boarding, Work To Ride Program, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Discovery Day programs.

Work to Ride provides activities that promote discipline, self-esteem, motivation, social development, life skills, academic achievement and physical fitness through year-round programs that encourage long-term participation. In addition, educational and cultural resources are provided to participants and the community-at-large, as well as vocational guidance and opportunities for careers in related fields.
98 Chamounix Drive, Philadelphia, PA  19152
(GPS # 3250)

Courtesy Stable

Fun times at Courtesy StableOpen Barns Day hours: Saturday, May 18, 10 am – 2 pm

Scheduled events:
10 am – Going Barefoot! Our resident barefoot trimmer Kate Simmer demonstrates how to trim the hoof barefoot & talks about the pros & cons of going barefoot.  
11 am – East Meets West – Riding demonstration of the 2 different disciplines, English & Western, their differences & similarities including a brief description Reining and Dressage.
12 pm – 2 pm – Mini lessons
On-going fun & games, face painting & tattoos, and barn tours.

Horses, Humans & Habitat
Courtesy Stable is uniquely situated to offer residents of the surrounding community, as well as visitors to Fairmount Park, access to an equine environment that they might not otherwise be likely to experience.  Courtesy Stable is a place unto its own, where our relaxed atmosphere promotes goodwill and nurtures the equine spirit.  We are collectively unique in our walks of life, but our commonality is our dedicated approach to the care and well-being of the horse and his environment, as well as instilling good horsemanship practices in our youth of today.  Our mission is to create an equine friendly environment that provides a quality care facility for our horses as well as preserves the natural beauty and history found in the Wissahickon Valley.  We strive to offer the opportunity to improve equine awareness through education for groups, individuals, young, old, near or far, as well as ourselves, in any and all areas of riding, horse care and horse health. We aspire to encourage and enhance the relationship between the general public and the horse community in the neighborhood, as well as the entire Wissahickon Valley.

Courtesy Stable is home to 12 horses.
901 E. Cathedral Road, Philadelphia, PA  19128

Monastery Stables

Fun at Monastery StablesOpen Barns Day hours: Saturday, May 18, 10 am – 12:30 pm   

Scheduled events:
10 am – Big Tour: meet and greet the horses
11am – Natural Horsemanship demonstrations by the Hoof Prints
12 am – Riding demonstration by Philadelphia Saddle Club – Meet the Show team and see their practice ride!
Raffle, games and snacks for a fee.

Monastery Stables is a friendly, full-care horse boarding facility.  We are located in the Wissahickon Valley, a picturesque 1,800-acre paradise within Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park.  We are conveniently close to everything, yet as you come up the driveway, you feel as though you have slipped away from it all.  Come and experience a magical six-acre, historic setting with 21 happy horses, a charming stone barn and sparkling emerald lawns, all surrounded by beautiful trails and incredible wildlife.  The Monastery is truly a gem for all to enjoy.

Monastery Stables has long been home to the Philadelphia Saddle Club, a unique organization for adults offering experienced riders a cooperative alternative to individual horse ownership.  Members enjoy each other’s friendship and riding along the trails of the beautiful Wissahickon Valley.

Monastery Stables is also home to Hoof Prints, an organization dedicated to offering unique opportunities for people to experience the joy of horses.  Opportunities like Riding Lessons for all, Pony Power Club for kids, and Horsemanship 101 for adults, are just a few ways people can look into the wonderful world of horses.  Young or old, for every dream you’ve ever had about horses, our passion is to make all your dreams come true.

Come see all of the competitors at the FPHS on Sunday. Monastery Stables is a little slice of paradise hidden in the Wissahickon Valley. We are a friendly full care facility with people who love to have fun with the horses!!
1000 Kitchens Lane, Philadelphia, PA  19119
(At the bottom of Kitchens Lane, see sign for Monastery Mansion and Stables, and proceed up driveway)

Northwestern Stables, Inc. (at Northwestern Equestrian Facility)

Fun times at NWSOpen Barns Day hours: Saturday, May 18, 10 am – 1 pm

Scheduled events:
10:00 am – Ask the Vet! Dr. Dale Schilling, DVM answers ?’s.
10:30 am – Marie Riley of 16 HANDS demonstrates the integration of bodywork on a horse to enhance performance, maintain physical health/balance, and avoid the physical breakdown of joints and muscles. Life-sized horse skeleton!
11:30 am – Ask the Vet! Dr. Rachael Shuster, DVM will discuss equine acupuncture and chiropractic, including a live demo. Ask questions and check out bones, dental tools, and charts.
Tours available – Meet and greet with the horses, plus visit the parts of the barn rarely seen, including our hayloft, the basement (former home to the Philadelphia Mounted Police) and the manure pit!
Watch riding lessons on the hour – lesson level varies by time.
Enter our raffle to win a riding session! Light refreshments served.

The mission of Northwestern Stables, Inc. (NWS) is to serve the community by welcoming people of all ages, incomes, backgrounds and equestrian disciplines by providing affordable, quality riding lessons and programs to the residents of the Philadelphia community and surrounding area.  We actively promote and maintain the equestrian heritage of the historic Northwestern Equestrian Facility (NWEF) and Fairmount Park. 

Home to 22 horses, we are situated on 10 acres at the foot of Forbidden Drive.  Our riders enjoy both an outdoor ring and indoor ring, which allows our programs to continue year round, and miles of trails within Fairmount Park. NWEF has operated as a community barn here since 1929, but we recognize the beauty of the modern world and are proactive in our environmental awareness; we recycle much of our manure with a local mushroom grower, and employ solar powered electric fencing.

Our riding program welcomes riders with varying skill levels, from lead-line to advanced jumpers.  We have a show riding team, a non-riding 4-H group, WHOA (Wissahickon Horse-Lovers Organization for Adults) and a popular summer camp.  Annual activities include The Fairmount Park Horseshow Weekend, Haunted Horses Halloween costume parade and the Holiday Bazaar. NWEF also hosts the Wissahickon Day Parade.

Be sure to come back on Sunday to see many of the park barns compete in the Fairmount Park Horse Show right here at Northwestern Equestrian Facility. Sunday will also host numerous retail merchants showcasing a variety of unique items.
120 Northwestern Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19118

Pegasus Riding Academy, Inc. (at Bells Corner Stables)

Fun at Pegasus Riding AcademyOpen Barns Day hours: Saturday, May 18, 10 am – 1 pm

Scheduled events:
10:45 am & 12:15 pm – Therapeutic Riding demonstrations
11:30 am – Meet the miniature horses
Take a tour of our Sensory Trail – a special trail for use by our riders with disabilities

Pegasus Riding Academy, Inc. is a non-profit organization that has been providing therapeutic riding services to a wide spectrum of people with disabilities since 1982.  The only full-time program of its kind in Philadelphia, Pegasus has served and helped to improve the quality of life for countless individuals in the community.  The ultimate goal of riding therapy, which uses the horse and its movement, is to achieve and restore an optimal level of movement and function, restore independence and improve self-sufficiency.  Our mission at Pegasus is to provide therapeutic exercise in various forms, while concentrating on ability rather than disability.

Our facilities include a state-of-the-art indoor riding arena that permits year round operation. Our stable houses 13 therapy horses, of varied sizes and breeds, in order to accommodate the needs of our riders.  The Pegasus program, which operates seven days a week, reaches over 100 participants each week, which translates into over 4,600 lessons per year.  Program staff consists of two full-time employees and nine part-time employees, as our many committed volunteers.
8297 Bustleton Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19152
Corner of Bustleton Avenue & Strahle Street  
 ** Warning** GPS devices tend to send drivers 3 blocks south of our location – we are not located at the Senior Adult Center
Note: Please park on Strahle Street or Bustleton Avenue – parking lot is reserved for students only.

Solly Stables

Fun times at Solly StablesOpen Barns Day hours: Saturday, May 18, 10 am – 2 pm

Scheduled events:
11:30 am:  Horse shoeing demonstration
Throughout the day – trail riding demos, intro to feeding and the digestive system of the horse, English/Western tack displays, horse shoe display. Raffles, Luck-for-a-Buck and Horse Smooch Booth fundraisers.

Solly Stable Riders Association’s mission is to provide a unique equestrian experience, building self-confidence, fostering independence and caring for horses by promoting compassion and leaning through riding and educational experiences.

We hold 4-H sessions three times a year to teach basic horse care and beginner riding to children (age 8 and up) and adults.  We also offer group and individual riding lessons.  We are a participating employer in the Philadelphia Youth Network program and offer a summer job to someone who wants to learn about horses.

Our barn, Solly Stables, is unique in itself; it has a “family” atmosphere.  On an ongoing basis, especially during the summer, whole families will come by the barn “to see the horses”.  We welcome and encourage visitors.  Most people have a romantic view of horses.  One of our goals is to teach people who wouldn’t get the chance anywhere else, how to work and be around horses safely, without losing that romantic view.  Allowing someone to experience the healing power of the horse spirit is a secondary part of our mission, but no less important.  We view our mission as a community event; just being around horses lifts your spirits!

Home to 14 horses, Solly Stables is the little barn in the middle of your neighborhood.  Come and see the horses!
1140 Solly Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19111