Thursday, June 19, 2014

Arrowmont Stables - N.C. Horseback Trail Rides

Nancy Sellars is delighted to be hands on with her guests
Home of free range horses
A trip to the mountains of Cashiers, North Carolina can be enhanced by taking a horseback trail ride to enjoy those spectacular vistas. Arrowmont Stables has been in business on their 200-acre hilltop campus for many years under the direction of owners David and Nancy Sellars. When I spoke to Nancy on the phone to set up a visit, she was cordial and polite when asking important questions like what level of horseriding experience you may have, as well as your weight. She then takes care to select a horse from her free-roaming stables that will be a good fit for you. Free range? That's right, upon arrival at Arrowmont Stables riders are asked to open the gate to let themselves in and then to shut the gate behind them. The entire compound is fenced, and these horses work hard during the day and then drift across the property after that - which a unique component of the Arrowmont concept. Each trail ride group is accompanied by a guide who is familiar with the terrain, and our Trail Masters were Josh Blue and Michaela Van Der Vyver. Sometimes the trail was a steep incline where single file riding is required, while other spots had wide open meadows that allow for more comaraderie during the trail ride. About halfway through the 2-hour trail ride we paused at a series of rustic cabins in the woods to tour the compound and kitchen that serves as a meeting facility now called the Old Fort Lodge. Back in the day, this was a boyscout camp and many antiques and relics from their endeavors grace the walls and serve to bring an authentic feel to their operations. Mounting back up, my favorite part of the ride included a ridgetop where a series of evenly spaced white pines, that were both tall and mature. They overlook a Christmas tree farm in the adjacent valley, with appalachian mountain tops visible in the distance. Arrowmont Stables is special and they invite you to come by and become the master of your own mountain retreat.

Vintage outdoors gear found in the Old Fort Lodge 
To view past blog entries about trail riding click here.

A practice ride in the ring proceeds every trail ride

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