Sat, Sep 22 2012 - Horseback Riding - Dude for a Day! (View Original Event Details)|
Our Horseback Riding Adventure: Dude for a Day turned out to be all women! There were seven of us and we had a great time. Six of us drove up Friday evening to stay in two Yurts on the Blanche Manor property. Despite a malfunctioning air mattress, a scorpion bedfellow and a bit of a hike to the bathrooms, we had a nice time. Temperatures were wonderful and both Yurts had decks overlooking the mountains with tables, chairs and hammocks. For dinner we drove to nearby Copperhill, half of which is in GA and half in TN, where we ate at a terrific Mexican restaurant called El Rio.
Saturday morning we were at the stable bright and early, where we met our horses and saddled up. We headed to the nearby enclosed ring, where the staff had set up a line of about five or six tall, thin poles down the middle of the space. After some walking, trotting and cantering to warm the horses up, we got in line and took turns “Pole Bending:” guiding our horses down and around the poles. The pattern was simple: straight down one side, weave back, weave up again, then straight down the other side back to the start. The biggest challenge was keeping one’s horse from angling back toward the group of waiting horses to the side.
After a walk through the course to familiarize ourselves with it we each rode through it two more times, trying to do so as quickly as possible. In the end, the fastest rider won a belt buckle, and bragging rights. My horse Vegas and I turned out to be the fastest, so I took home the belt buckle.
After our morning competition we all headed down the road to a nearby restaurant called the Cider House for lunch, which was included in our package. In addition to serving good southern food, the Cider House is also an orchard/farm, so some of us bought apples and other vegetables to take home. Lunch was delicious, with several of our group ordering fresh local trout and cold cider to drink.
We had about an hour of free time after lunch before our trail ride, so some ladies went for a short hike on the property, while others returned to the decks of the Yurts to sit, or lie in one of the hammocks. Then it was back to the stables to saddle up again!
It was just our small group on the trail, with our guide Catherine, and she made sure we had a fun ride. Not only did we get to do a good bit of trotting and cantering during our hour ride through the forest, but at one point she even picked some ripe Muscadine grapes and brought them to us to try.
The weather all day was gorgeous, and everyone had a great time. The staff at Blanche Manor were as terrific as always and we look forward to going back again soon!