What to Expect on a Horseback Trail Ride

Woman on Horseback Trail Ride in Woods during Springtime

What to Expect on a Horseback Trail Ride

At Mountain Creek Riding Stable, we offer horseback trail rides for all riding levels. Whether it’s your first time on a horse or you’ve been riding for years, we have something for you. There are a couple of things you can always expect when on a horseback trail ride.

We have public and private horseback rides, both 45-minutes in length. Either are perfect for beginner riders with a trusted guide to lead the way. You can expect to ride at a leisurely walkable pace. Occasionally you’ll have the opportunity to trot if your guide deems it safe.. We offer public trail rides every hour beginning at 10am. Private trail rides are more catered to your riding level. If you have more advanced riding experience and would like to go at a quicker pace, we can accommodate that. A minimum of two riders are required for a private ride. 

Two Women and One Man on Horseback Trail Ride in Woods

Once you decide which ride is right for you and your group, it’s time to make a reservation. We accept walk-ins if we have availability but reservations are strongly recommended. You can book online through our reservation system. We ask that all riders arrive 30 minutes prior to your ride time to ensure there’s enough time to complete paperwork, process payment, and fit helmets. 

After logistics are out of the way, a guide will get on a horse and give all riders a demonstration of what and what not to do. Everyone will have their own horse, so it’s important to pay attention to the instructions for the sake of everyone’s safety. We’ll go over the proper way to sit in your saddle, how to stop and steer, and how to keep your horse from getting too close to the one in front of them (even horses like their personal space). Remember to always keep your toes up and heels down. Once you’re on a horse, you become a cowboy/cowgirl, not a ballerina. 

Woman in Navy Blue Tshirt Riding Black and White Horse in the Woods

After the demonstration is finished, your guide will assign everyone a horse. We’ll separate people into the groups they came with so you can ride near one another. Your guide will always check in to make sure everyone is feeling comfortable and to better understand your riding level. We always want to make sure you can be matched with the horse that makes the most sense for you. The guide will also take height and weight into account for the comfort and safety of the horses and the riders.

Once you know which horse you’ll be riding, your guide can help you mount your horse. We’ll adjust the saddle to fit you, review instructions again, and answer any follow up questions. When everyone is saddled up, the horseback trail ride can begin. 

All horseback trail rides begin by riding through a creek to get to the wooded trails, where you can see a small waterfall and even some fish. You’ll make your way through the woods and up a hill past the horse’s field and out onto the main trails. You may have two guides with you if your group is large enough. All of our guides are extremely knowledgeable and able to answer any questions you might have during your ride. Though video recordings of any kind are prohibited, if you bring your phone for pictures we’re happy to take some of you and your group for you! 

Woman Riding White and Brown Spotted Horse Through Shallow Stream

We ride all year round and with each season you’ll experience something different. Rides in the summer will be warm and filled with greenery and wildlife. The most common animals to see on the trail are birds, squirrels and chipmunks, wild turkeys, and deer. If you’re lucky, you might be able to see a fox, a raccoon, or even a bobcat. But don’t worry; all the animals remain a safe distance from the trail. Riding in the winter can be cold, but if you dress for the weather, it makes for a beautiful, quiet, and peaceful ride. Especially when it snows! Check out our blog post What to Ride Horseback Riding in the Winter to learn more about how to dress for a winter ride. We also have a post What To Wear Horseback Riding: A Guide For Beginners that covers general riding attire.

Once your ride is over, you’ll go back through the creek and return to the barn where our staff will help you dismount safely from your horse. Before you head home, check out our gift shop if you’d like to get yourself or a loved one a souvenir. Mountain Creek Riding Stable is a place where beginners and intermediate riders alike can experience the joys of horseback riding. And don’t be intimidated if it’s your first time riding a horse; as C.S. Lewis once said, “No one can teach riding so well as a horse.” 

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