'Best Of' Extras: Horseback Riding

If you want to see Washington on horseback, here are the best ways to do it.

By: Matthew Graham

Want to horse around this weekend? Here’s where to do it.

Best horseback ride for beginners: Rock Creek Park Horse Center, DC. A one-hour ride on sure-footed horses includes guides at the front and back of the line. You’ll forget you’re in the heart of the city as you ride through a forested valley. rockcreekhorsecenter.com; 202-362-0117; $40.

Best for experienced riders: River Bottom Trail Riders, Damascus. Both English and Western tack are offered on rides of two or three hours. The trail traverses several streams and includes steep and rugged terrain, open fields to gallop, and a chance to jump fallen logs. horserentals.com/riverbottom.html; 301-253-0999; $40 an hour (minimum two hours per person).

Best riding weekend: Marriott Ranch, Hume, Va. A variety of multi-day riding vacations are offered on this working 4,200-acre ranch. City slickers can learn horsemanship, working with cattle, and roping. marriottranch.com; 540-364-2627; $385 to $680 a person including accommodations and meals.

>> To see more 2010 "Best Of" extras, click here