Riding horses for recreation is a joy that often gets overlooked by those of us in the big city. The folks at Gallop NYC are working to change that. Using therapeutic horseback riding to improve the lives of children and adults facing developmental and physical challenges, they also sponsor several annual riding events and offer weekly lessons to 150 riders at three locations. On Saturdays, December 10 and 17, you can enjoy their free one-hour introduction to horses, including a brief riding lesson. Open to adults and children age eight and up, this is a great chance to saddle up and relieve some of that pre-holiday season stress. Spaces are limited, and, of course, this is a weather-permitting event.

Sat., Dec. 10, 10 a.m.; Sun., Dec. 11, 11 a.m., 2011