On our annual fall trek to the mountains we decided to try something different at the request of Mini Me – Horseback Riding. I was a bit nervous. The last time I rode a horse…I fell off. Granted that was bareback, and I was OK, but you know, it was out there.
It was with a with bit of anxiety that I went into this Horseback Riding Adventure. I was nervous for myself AND for Mini Me.
Through google, we found Blanche Manor Stables in Copperhill Tennessee a short distance from the Cabin we would be renting in Blue Ridge Georgia. They offered trail rides for children as young as six and we felt our princess was going to be able to sit on the horse for an hour and 15 minutes. For riders 5 and under, they offer pony rides in their ring while other family members are off on the trail.
I called and made reservations for the Beginner Trail Ride for our party of 7 – at a very reasonable rate of $30 per person. I was asked if any of our riders were over 220, so they could ensure the right horse was chosen. I was also informed that Mini Me would be alone on a very gentle horse and led by a guide. I had to leave a credit card for the reservation. Blanche Manor has a 24 hour cancellation policy – as long as you call to change or cancel your reservation prior to 24 hours of your scheduled time, you will NOT be charged. If you have ANY no shows, then you will be charged. This made me feel good knowing if the weather looked rainy we could cancel with no penalty.
|Mini Me Saddled Up on Vegas In her Cowgirl Jessie Boots|
We arrived at the stables and were assigned our horses and provided helmets. Mini Me was SO excited to be on Vegas – “what happens on Vegas stays with Vegas”, as being the experienced traveler that she is, she has been to Las Vegas and loved it. I was on Jackson hoping he wouldn’t be too much the Thriller.
After all in the saddle, we received safety instructions and a brief education on how to handle the horses from our Guide Kathy. It had been a while since most of us were on a horse, though I think I was the longest. Two of the three kids had never been on a horse: Mini Me was led by Guide Kathy and the other newbie was old enough to go at it alone. We were assured our horses were all very gentle and familiar with the trail and that little guidance was needed.
The ride meandered through the woods, up and down hills, and through a stream where our horses got a drink. While not in full fall foliage coloring, the trail was so serene – really gorgeous property. We only saw birds and squirrels, Kathy told us they had been seeing a bear during the past couple of weeks and the horses on our ride had all seen a bear, so stay calm if it happened as she would guide us to safety and the horses would not freak out. All the guides are CPR certified in case of emergency! Good to know.
I found myself nervous the first big hill we went up – that is when I fell off the last ride long ago, but I calmed about half way as Jackson was a very sweet and gentle horse. Everyone did very well in our group so we got to trot through the woods which was fun, though I wish I would have had a sports bra on – that was some bouncing. We all loved the trot – especially Mini Me.
|The Three State View|
We stopped for a photo shortly before the end of the ride that Kathy took with my camera. In the distance was Georgia and North Carolina – we were in Tennessee so it was a 3 state vista.
We ended up back at the stables and thanked the our guide for a great ride. It was the highlight of our Blue Ridge trip. The folks at Blanche were so friendly, we will be back.
Blanche Manor also offers Wagon Rides, A City Slicker Package, and the opportunity to be a Dude for the Day. They have a large cabin available for stay as well as Yurts for those who want to camp in style.
If you have any questions their website is chock full of good information – checkout the FAQs. The property is gorgeous. The people friendly and the horses as sweet as can be. If you find yourself up in the Northwest corner of Georgia, Southwest corner of North Carolina or Southeastern Tennessee treat yourself to the amazing horseback experiences the fine folks at Blanche Manor can offer. I am now interested in a Dude Ranch vacation! Thanks for getting me back in the saddle again.
|Our Trail Guide Kathy – she was GREAT!|
Do you like to horseback ride? Would you like to be Dude for a day?
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