Are you a lover of the great outdoors but find yourself at a loss for fresh air ideas (besides hiking) in the fall and winter months? I know around here when boating season starts winding down, many of us just become indoor hermits by default. Am I right?!
Trail riding to the rescue! Spring Valley Farm, in Moneta, offers this unique way of enjoying the beauty of our natural landscape and stunning mountain vistas astride their friendly horses year-round. Provided the weather cooperates, and the temperature lies between 40 and 90 degrees, they schedule rides Mondays through Saturdays. You and your friends/family can join in any open group ride, or for a few dollars more, you can book a private party slot.
They have many different pathways that wind throughout their property - rolling hills, wide open fields, in among the woods, crossing streams… The variety of each ride makes this a really enjoyable repeat activity!
Having previously done some trail rides, I will say that these horses are trained to be told what to do. My past experience has been mainly on predictable, well-worn paths, and the horses essentially just kept up with the pack with very little need for human intervention. At Spring Valley though, the rides are so varied that the horses count on you to guide them directionally and keep them moving along at a pace you're comfortable with. This is enjoyable, but a point worth noting if your former experience is similar to mine.
All of the guides and farm hands are incredibly friendly and do their best to play matchmaker between horse and human temperament. They nailed my husband, who is already looking forward to another ride with “Jolene.” I was given a chill guy at first, who was a little too hesitant for me…and I was nervous about his footing and lack of responsiveness to my gentle cues (he needed a firmer hand/foot than I possess!). So they switched me over to “Elsa” - a sweet horse who was a much better fit, and we really enjoyed the rest of the ride together!
Follow along with Spring Valley Farm on Facebook below to keep up with all their latest happenings.
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