Horseback riding is probably one of the best “two-fer” experiences around. First, you get outside in our gorgeous corner of the world, poking around wooded trails and soaking up our mountain air. At the same time, you get friendly with your horse, whether you’re on a two-hour trail ride or you’re meandering along with your own equine buddy. If you’re itching to saddle up and ride, we’ve got a riding stable in Cherokee County, just a few miles from Murphy, NC. You’ll find two more horseback riding operations within easy driving distance.
Horseshoe Creek Riding Stables, 1386 Stewart Road, Andrews, NC. 828-321-2376. This multi-purpose riding facility operates seven days a week. Enjoy guided trail rides ranging from one to five hours in length, visiting familiar destinations including Tatham Gap and the Trail of Tears. For maximum enjoyment, bring a picnic lunch and camera.
For a different type of riding adventure, take a covered wagon tour on several of the same area trails. Schedule a private or group ride, with a 10-person maximum (8 in the wagon and 2 on horses). Please note: For both activities, helmets are required for children 18 and younger, and are available for adult riders.
Finally, Horseshoe Creek offers basic riding and horse care lessons, along with horse training. And by booking a riding adventure here, you’ll support the stables’ admirable horse rescue efforts. For more than 50 years, the facility has given down-on-their-luck horses a new lease on life, making them a valued part of the local equine community.
Chunky Gal Stables, 1306 Hot House Road, Hayesville, NC. 828-389-4175.
Over in nearby Clay County (Hayesville, to be exact), you’ll find Chunky Gal Stables, named for adjacent Chunky Gal Mountain from an old Cherokee Indian story.
Open seven days a week, this full-service riding facility offers one- to four-hour guided trail rides through the Nantahala National Forest. Whether you’re an experienced rider, or this is your first time on a horse, they’re happy to accommodate your needs. Children are also welcome, but please mention the kids’ ages when making your reservations. Double riding (for parent and younger child) is allowed. And yes, reservations are strongly recommended.
Maybe you’ve been bitten by the riding bug, and you’d enjoy some in-depth lessons. Chunky Gal Stables offers Western-style riding lessons for individuals and groups of all experience levels. Finally, if your own horse needs some training, these helpful folks also provide that service.
A Step Above Stables, 696 Mauney Circle, Blairsville, GA. 706-745-9051.
Finally, head over to A Step Above Stables in Blairsville, Georgia, about a half-hour from Murphy, NC. These full-service stables operate year-round, and design guided one- to two-hour trail rides for riders of all levels. Even better, this facility specializes in horses for beginning riders, which most likely will increase your comfort level.
If you’re lucky enough to have your own horse, A Step Above Stables also offers first-class boarding facilities. They’ll provide a tailored feeding program for your younger horse to your equine senior citizen, and have an on-site farrier and trainer. In other words, your horse will live in the lap of luxury.
Now that you’re ready to hit the trails, here are several tips on dressing for the occasion. First, wear comfortable clothes so you can enjoy the ride. Long pants will keep your legs from getting scratched up when you ride through the brush, and closed-toe shoes offer protection for your feet. Finally, because our weather can be unpredictable, prepare yourself for cool, warm, or wet conditions. So, now that you’ve gotten the details ironed out, saddle up and get yourself on the trails!
The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.ilovemurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team