University Community Engagement Center brings free horseback riding program to West Baltimore

The University of Maryland, Baltimore is partnering with City Ranch and the UM BioPark to bring a youth horseback riding program to surrounding community.
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BALTIMORE, MD. – In partnership with City Ranch and the University of Maryland BioPark, the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Community Engagement Center (CEC) is offering a free introductory horsemanship program for youth ages 10 to 15 in the greater southwest Baltimore neighborhoods.

A riding instructor talks to students in an urban setting.

Participants in the horsemanship program will learn basic horse skills along with lessons in leadership and critical thinking. 

Participants will learn basic horse skills through safe and fun hands-on activities. This unique program gives 24 Baltimore youths and opportunity to participate in a number of activities, including: horseback riding, horse care and grooming, general horse equipment maintenance, and lessons in leadership, listening, critical thinking, and self-control.

The idea for this program came about when faculty and staff were brainstorming ideas for new programming that could be safely implemented in person for youth in the surrounding community.

The program takes place every Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the University of Maryland BioPark on the Southwest corner of W. Fayette Street and Fremont Avenue.

About City Ranch

Since its founding in 2007, The City Ranch has been dedicated to giving urban children lifelong memories on the backs of horses and providing accessible and affordable horseback riding to the greater Baltimore community and surrounding counties. The purpose of City Ranch is to develop positive character in children through the joys and responsibilities of horsemanship, and to bring horseback riding to the urban environment.

The city of Baltimore has a long and rich history with horses, but in recent times our connection to that history has been all but lost except through Pimlico Racetrack and thoroughbred horse racing. At the same time, as a city and a community, Baltimore has struggled with violence and a scarcity of positive alternatives. We want to change that by restoring equine activities to the city and create employment opportunities for the people of Baltimore. City Ranch's mission is to help redirect urban youth away from violence by offering opportunities to foster personal growth through working with animals.

While most programs around the country take the children out of the city, City Ranch has reversed this model and instead brings the horses to the children. Rather than remove children from their environment, City Ranch helps to create safe opportunities WITHIN local neighborhoods.

City Ranch's lessons are designed to be educational and engaging for people of all walks of life. Adults can also learn how to ride, making the experience a family affair. Click here to learn more about our riding programs and here to make a donation to City Ranch.

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