By: Aimee Brasseur
I always get a bit giddy when I drive out to Shenandoah National Park, and it always happens at the same place. When I come down that hill by Joe Bowman Auto Plaza, the road opens up to landscape of mountains, and at that moment I am both mesmerized and, well, giddy. I’m on my way to play!
Shenandoah National Park is a playground for adventure, and it’s not only a place to hike or camp either. You can horseback ride too. I adore the team at Skyland Resort Stables, and this past weekend, I went on my second 1-hour ride. What a neat experience. I’ll definitely be going again, but I’m going to wake up extra early and go on the 2.5-hour ride, which starts at 8:45AM.
Matt, the Stable Manager, takes careful consideration of your background and personality before he places you with a horse. I rode Whiskey, and my friend rode Sunshine. Matt matched us perfectly because we thoroughly enjoyed our ride. All of the horses, though, are friendly, so that’s never a worry!!
We were lucky. Matt, the manager, led the tour, and what’s absolutely great about Matt is he’s a SINGING COWBOY!!!! He sang us several songs along the ride including “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” and “Happy Trails.” Next time I go, I need to get a video of him singing. I tried, but holding onto reins, taking video, and having said video in focus (and not shaky) is quite difficult. Same thing with pictures! My pictures are awful.
The ride is an out-and-back on the Old Rag fire road and Limberlost Trail. Matt said that often riders see wildlife, but we didn’t spot anything on our ride. I’m hopeful, though, that next time I’ll see a bear like many others have!
So, if you need something to do this fall, plan a trip to Skyland Resort Stables. Matt’s great, and so are Anthony and Mark! If you go, tell them Aimee sent you and said Matt would sing you a song. Happy Trails!