Monday, January 21, 2019

Horseback Riding Graves Mountain in Syria, Virginia

Equitrekking.com - Full Article

May 8 2017
by Susan St. Amand

Close to Skyline Drive and Luray Caverns, read about riding out from Graves Mountain Lodge in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

On an unusually warm spring weekend in late April, members of the Shenandoah Trail Riders and Horseman's Association ventured to Graves Mountain in Syria, VA to participate in a benefit trail ride for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Graves Mountain Lodge provides overnight accomodations in a lodge that is rustic in appearance and family style food in their restaurant, along with a gift shop.

On this 300+ acre family-owned property, you can enjoy life's simple pleasures such as fishing and hiking. It is also a working farm with a pick your own apple orchard and provides educational farm tours to school children. Graves Mountain Lodge also hosts many events on the premises throughout the year, such as the fall Apple Festival and Bluegrass Festival, which attracts a large crowd.

In a partnership with Graves Mountain Lodge, Circle B Stables provides guided horseback riding tours. It also offers day parking for persons wanting to trailer their own horses to ride, or in our case, primitive overnight camping for multi-day stays...

Read more here:
https://equitrekking.com/articles/entry/horseback-riding-graves-mountain-in-syria-virginia/?mc_cid=d77a56ec5a&mc_eid=290b655fe3

Why Viñales, Cuba is the Perfect Backdrop for Horseback Riders

Equitrekking.com - Full Article

May 7 2017

Travel expert Jeannette Ceja rides horses in Viñales, Cuba, just two hours from Havana through tobacco fields and lush forests.

Cubans frequently told me that I had to make time to visit one town during my stay in Cuba. To really know Cuba, I have learned to always listen to what the locals recommend. And the experience exceeded every expectation I had.

One must pay a visit to a breathtaking town called Viñales located a little over two hours away by car from Havana. If you love horseback riding, Viñales offers the perfect backdrop of mountain forests, caves and endless tobacco fields. You will literally feel as if you are in a movie. Visitors can go on many trails led by local trail ride guides that will lead you anywhere you like. Make sure to request a visit to a local tobacco farm during your ride...

Read more here:
https://equitrekking.com/articles/entry/why-vinales-cuba-is-the-perfect-backdrop-for-horseback-riders/?mc_cid=d77a56ec5a&mc_eid=290b655fe3



Saturday, January 19, 2019

The Mongol Derby: ride across the ancient trails of Genghis Khan

Life.spectator.co.uk - Full Article

Taming in a Mongolian horse in this iconic race is no mean feat, says Camilla Swift


by Camilla Swift
17 January 2019

Forget Aintree or Ascot, the Mongol Derby is the horse race to beat all others. It takes place on Mongol Steppe in Mongolia and it covers a thousand kilometres. The horses are not your trained, riding-school variety but native, semi-feral Mongolian ponies. I’m short, but even I looked pretty silly on board these tiny creatures.

The Mongol Derby is based on Genghis (or Chinggis, as he is known in Mongolia) Khan’s ‘Örtöö’ messenger service, which enabled information – and messengers – to travel from one end of his empire to the other in a matter of days. Given that at one point the Mongol Empire stretched from central Europe to Japan, organising the system was no mean feat. It entailed, essentially, a series of ‘horse stations’, each around 20 to 40 km from one another, at which a messenger could sleep, eat, and pick up a new horse.

It’s called a race, but as far as I was concerned, it was more a matter of getting from start to finish in one piece. I couldn’t quite picture a thousand kilometres (I still can’t, to be honest), but what I did know was that it meant riding for around 12 hours a day. And that sounded painful...

Read more here:
https://life.spectator.co.uk/2019/01/the-mongol-derby-trace-the-ancient-routes-of-genghis-khan/

Sunday, January 13, 2019

A Frigid Fire Mountain - Nina Bomar

January 13 2019
by Nina Bomar

It was bitterly cold and I had so many layers on that I looked like a woman in a moon suit. One expensive jacket after the next yet I couldn’t warm up.

I was a few minutes late to the start and it seemed as if everyone had already left. Cheeky and I quietly moseyed out of camp, called out our number and we were off. I pretended I wasn’t freezing but I found myself constantly fidgeting with all the layers, scarves, hoods and zippers. The morning started off with a wet mist that graduated quickly to a cold rain, accompanied by a frigid wind that seemed to cut through all that I was wearing.

Cheeky was feeling frisky and he had a good pace going on, which would bring us back to camp for the first vet check nice and early. He pulsed down quickly, we vetted through and everything went smoothly. Juan accidentally slept through it all and when he heard us outside the trailer, he came out frantically knowing that he’d blown it. I threw a few blankets on Cheeky, made sure he had plenty of food and then huddled in the tack room and tried to get warm. Juan quickly made me a hot coffee, while the hold time passed by quickly and we were soon back out on trail.

The second loop had more rain, and cold air but Juan was ready and waiting for us this time when we arrived back at camp. It was to be the 1 hour lunch hold and by then we had already completed 30 miles of trail with only 20 more to go. I was frozen like a popsicle. The rain was coming down steadily and we didn’t talk much. I added a rain poncho and rain pants on top of everything else and that helped to warm me up.

The final loop was long but Cheeky handled it like a champ. For the first few miles he protested and seemed rather incredulous that I was asking for more under such dire weather conditions. He complained loudly for the first few miles and then he gave in and went to work with the strength and forwardness that he’s known for. I loved our time together.

This morning Juan made me some coffee and now he’s warming up my gloves like they’re tortillas. We are not desert rats but instead beach bums... The air here is so harsh that it feels like opening up a freezer door and then taking a big inhale. It’s time to head home after a wonderful weekend at the Fire Mountain Endurance Ride. We give many thanks to ride management, all the wonderful veterinarians and the many volunteers who without their efforts, we would not have this amazing sport of endurance riding.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Horseback Riding at Big South Fork Recreation Area in Tennessee

Equitrekking.com - Full Story

October 29 2018

Frequent Equitrekking contributor Susan St. Amand rides again amid sandstone formations and historic sites at Big South Fork Recreation Area in Tennessee.

Recently, I had the pleasure of trail riding at Big South Fork Recreation Area in Tennessee again. No matter how many times I ride here, it is a beautiful and interesting area to ride.

A national park, the Big South Fork area has many scenic gorges and sandstone bluffs that are impressive. Whether due to the 100th anniversary of the National Parks, economy, or increased interest in trail riding this year, we encountered an increase in the number of trail riders and horse camping in the area which everyone was pleased to witness. In addition, the fall weather and foliage were beautiful during the week we rode.

During one of our usual stops to True West Campground, they were experiencing an exceptionally busy season. Muddy Pond area Mennonite stores also proved to be very busy with shoppers. It seems there is a resurgence of interest in the Big South Fork Recreation area, which is beneficial for all. A recent horse breed organization report indicated a decrease in horse show attendance, and an increased shift in equestrians pursuing trail riding...

Read more at:
https://equitrekking.com/articles/entry/horseback-riding-at-big-south-fork-recreation-area-in-tennessee/?mc_cid=3bec7ab4df&mc_eid=290b655fe3

Monday, January 07, 2019

Long Lady Rider Edgewood, New Mexico, January 5th, 2019

EndeOfTheTrail.com - Read more

Greetings to those who follow the ride!

Below is the most up-to-date information on my current ride. I try to post as often as possible but when traveling I’m limited with access to computers and the internet.

Happy Trails, Your Lady Long Rider, Bernice Ende

January 4 2019

I have been accused of bringing Montana with me!

No one is complaining however. The moisture is much needed. But this much at one drop, with single-digits weather is more like Montana.

No matter how fast or slow I travel, the days consistently pass by as we near the end of 2018. Bill’s Old Blue Truck gallantly pulls me on and on. I remember thinking way back in Oregon, “I’ll be halfway through my book tour when I reach Santa Fe.” Well here we are!

Re-cap:

Lone Pine, California. I said goodbye to Claiborne Mitchell who helped facilitate the California stretch as snow-covered Sierra Nevada’s reminded me, winter is coming, winter is coming...

Read more here:
https://www.endeofthetrail.com/2019/01/04/edgewood-new-mexico-january-5th-2019/

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