Located within Sea Pines is Lawton Stables, which offers leisurely trail rides, pony rides, petting zoo, summer camps with International Riding Academy and therapeutic riding classes. It’s a place where visitors of all ages can horse around in the Lowcountry scenery.
Horsin’ Around the Lowcountry
There’s no better way to experience the winding trails and beautiful scenery in the Forest Preserve than on horseback. Whether it’s your first time or your favorite pastime, Lawton Stables offers everyone the chance to ride through Hilton Head in its natural state.
The 603-acre preserve, complete with lakes, forestry and swamps is home to all kinds of wildlife. There are butterfly gardens filled with thousands of wildflowers, moss covered oaks, and turtles basking in the warm sun. There are beginner level trails and the guides go at a leisurely pace, so everyone can take in everything.
Lawton Stables offer hour-long trail rides for children and adults age 8 and up. All trail rides are guided and offered at 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 11:00 am, 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm, 7 days a week during the summer. For young enthusiastic riders, they also offer pony rides for children 7 years and younger.
Since its’ beginning in 1867, Lawton Stables has always been apart of Hilton Head Island. Through the changes in location and new owners over the past few years they’ve become an even bigger influence in the community.
There is also Wish Upon a Horse, a therapeutic riding program for children and adults with special needs. It’s a free program for participants that runs completely on donations. There are even therapeutic riding classes that locals and visitors can take advantage of.
Local Hilton Head residents and seasonal visitors are encouraged to help volunteer. They currently have 60-80 volunteers throughout the year ranging from high school students to retired horse lovers. All horses go through an extensive training program to ensure a happy and safe experience of therapeutic riding. Classes are offered several times a week during summer months and throughout the school year.
There’s no better way to end a long horse ride than to explore the animal farm. This petting zoo is home to chickens, goats, pigs, Shetland ponies, miniature cows, deer and a Clydesdale horse named Harley. It is free to all visitors and for 50 cents you can purchase a little snack and let these adorable animals nibble from your hand. Don’t forget your camera because you’ll want a snapshot of the expression your child gives you while feeding an alpaca for the first time.
If you’re planning on having an extended stay in Hilton Head, Lawton Stables offers boarding for seasonal visitors. Boarding is for Hunter/Jumper horses and if offered through the International Riding Academy.
The International Riding Academy also offers a program for serious student riders. It gives them the opportunity to live in Hilton Head for an academic year, attend Hilton Head Prep, and ride after school. Students have the opportunity to live in Sea Pines in student housing, take lessons, and compete in shows two weekends a month.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, this is where horse lovers of all ages can enjoy an equestrian experience. With an array of colors and sizes, ponies and draft horses, visitors will find themselves making memories that last.
Lawton Stables is located in the Sea Pines Resort at 190 Greenwood Drive, Hilton Head, SC 29928.