Connemara Trail Rides
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Holsten River Ride (TN) - August 2021
Such fun riding in the Holston River today with Sharon Cannon on
and Sky on
, and me on
. Thanks soooooo much to Jose Hernandez for taking us around the island and to the Niceley's Riverplains Farm for letting us enjoy their fabulous property.
Jose led a young horse that he had in training, while guiding us on the trail.
Desi lurched through the water in this area a few times and once nearly popped me out of the saddle. Thankfully I stayed on or else these pictures would have been washed away. It was very difficult getting a picture in focus while trying to stay on my ponies back and relatively dry, from the saddle up.
Resting our ponies and summoning our courage before heading across the main river.
Oh jeez; the river was quite high that day. We were instructed to stay to the left to get to this part, prior to crossing. Plan "A" was for Jose to block the current with his "rhino" horse, so the ponies would't get swept away as we crossed.
Little Iriel wanted to be the first to follow Jose as he took his horse-in-training to tie to the other side of the river. Sky was not keen on being the shortest pony AND the first to cross the main current, so they went with plan "B" and Jose ponied her across.
After watching Iriel cross, Keavey and Desi became eager to go along, so we proceeded with plan "A", when Jose returned to retrieve us. Back on dry land, we were all so exhilirated and proud of ourselves and our wonderful ponies, and also looking forward to emptying our boots.
Below L to R: Keavey and Desi, after the ride
What a fun adventure, worth repeating (but only in warm weather)!
Eureka Trail (TN) - January 2021
It was a great way to start the new year, exploring a local trail with my granddaughter, riding 2 of our Connemara broodmares. The Eureka trail is a "rails to trail" project that is enjoyed by bicyclers, hikers, joggers and horseback riders. I have even driven a piece of this trail with a pony pair,
. It is very well maintained and a perfect trail for beginner riders, as well as young horses. The terrain is flat and superb footing, yet still offers many things for a young horse to see, including a few road crossings and 2 bridges.
The largest parking area for trailers is on the Athens side of the trail head and there is even an new permanent bathroom building, which is super convenient. The trail from this parking lot is a 4.2 mile ride from to Hwy 39. Once you cross 39, the trail continues for another 1.4 miles to Englewood, where there is another Eureka trail parking area. The Englewood side has a narrow bridge, so would not be suitable for carriage driving, unless you are driving a mini! There is no water to cross on horseback, as the trail is very well drained, so it's a good ride, even in wet weather. The total distance is 5.6 miles 1-way and you have to backtrack to get back to the trailer, so the entire round-trip between the two parking areas is an easy 11.2 miles.
Click here for a 4 minute video of our
Eureka Trail ride
below left is Sky riding
Ledgewood's Greystone Desiree
: below right is me riding
Marshwood's Summer Keavey
(above left) Sky on
; (above right) Bri on
Chickamauga Battlefield (GA) - December 19, 2015
In spite of the early freeze that morning, I loaded up 3 ponies and 2 youngsters and took off for a ride around the battlerfield near Ft. Oglethorp, GA. This was a great outing for our young gelding,
, my mount for the day. It was also the first trail ride away from the farm for
, who rode
Foothills River Queen
led the way; this was the 2nd time each of them had been to the battlefield (though not as a pair). I was super proud of the two young riders and my three fantastic, fun and capable ponies. There were many sights and sounds, as we walked, trotted and cantered (a little) around the 10 mile loop through the woods, fields, lots of water in the trails, a creek crossing under a traffic bridge and crossing a fairly busy park road. The three Connemaras loaded, traveled, stood quietly for tacking/mounting, made the ride, and trailered back home, all without incident. The young ladies were competent, behaved, and most importantly, pleasant to hang out with:-) It was a perfect day for an outing on horseback: partly cloudy, pleasantly cool, nice company and perfect ponies.
above L-R: Breezy on Caroline (bay) and Lou on Queen (grey); bay pony ears belong to Tigger, the photographer's mount:-)
Above and below: Tigger patienly waiting on me while stopped for a nature break.
Bre and Lou leading the way:
Posing for a photo at the end of the ride with
Big South Fork (TN) Honey Creek Trails
Saddle Valley Campground (TN)
Honey Creek Horse Camp (TN) - May 2011
Lisa Welsh rode Foothills River Queen (above) and Vanessa Morgan rode Corner Oak Celic Star
ACPS Reg. 4 Trail Ride (GA)
The National Drive - October 8-11, 2009, KY Horse Park
Carole and I went to the National Drive again this year, at the KY Horse Park. After settling the horses in on Thursday and setting up camp, we went back to the barn to hitch and tack up for a short ride/drive, while there was a little break in the weather. It turned out to be a lot longer than we planned, when one of the mini's bucked, bolted and dumped her driver, getting caught in the trees and breaking the cart. Thanks goodness for Carole's 'spares box'!
Friday was a wash; rained practically all day. We took that opportunity to find a tack repair shop for all the broken halters I brought along, and of course we did some shopping.
Saturday, the rains had stopped, but it was still cloudy and very cold. Carole did the driving parade and I took
for a nice long hack around the park and cross-country course; he is so good about all the different driving rigs, mules, drafts, minis and teams. Later that day, Carole and I went out on cross-country with Cooper and Carole let me drive. I took super Cooper through the water, in which he almost had to swim. It was quite deep from all the rains the previous couple days. I had to put my feet on the top rail of the cart to keep them from getting soaked. I also got to drive my first cones course (though slowly, as the arena was a bit busy) and it was tremendous fun. Later on we went for a drive with Sue Curtis and her pair of Clydesdale-Dales geldings. Sue let us each have a turn at driving. After all my fun with Cooper and Sue's pair, my interest in driving is growing.
Sunday was the Mimosa drive, which was delightful! The weather was perfect, the scenery lovely and the horses wonderful. Regretfully, we had to pack up and head back home for work on Monday.
Tellico - August 2009
Carole Moss, riding and driving Balius Turlough, Connemara gelding; Charles Boyd driving his team of Belgian mules; David driving his team of Walking Horse Mules; Vanessa Morgan riding Foothills Hopefilly, Connemara mare (not pictured); and in tow, Foothills Caroline, 2 yr old Connemara filly.
Circle E 2009
Donnette Sweat on Black; Carole Moss on Piedmont Piper; Vanessa Morgan on Beacon's TeaGo (photo below)
story coming soon...well, maybe this one you need to hear in person
Summer Trail Rides
Big South Fork ride from Bandy Creek to the Charit Creek lodge, where we stayed overnight.
Above: Vanessa Morgan with
Below: Carole Moss with
Carole Moss on Piedmont Piper (above) and Vanessa Morgan on Beacon's TeaGo (below)
at the Chicamauga Battlefield, GA (August 2008)
March 11, 2007
BELOW - L to R: Rachel Blalock on
and Vanessa Morgan on
BELOW - L to R: Megan Harris-Buchanan on Wildwych Cricket and Lee Harris on No Regrets
BELOW - L to R: Rebecca Bush on Corner Oak Gwenevere and Ann Bush on Corner Oak Lydia
East Fork (TN)
BELOW: Ann with
(tied by a shoe string)--------------------------------- Carla on Beau
BELOW: Carole on
--------------------------------- Donnette on Black
BELOW: Michelle and Peach (sharing an apple)--------------------------------- Parker with
BELOW: Jeri and Kerin--------------------------------- Vanessa and
June 19, 2005 - Gee Creek: Carole on Piper and Vanessa on Ladybug
Gee Creek (TN)
April 27, 2002
New Year's Eve -
December 31, 2001
3 TN riders & their Connemaras tour the Chickamauga Battlefield, Ft. Oglethorp, GA (10/01)
Carole Moss on
, Vanessa on
and Parker on
rode the 10 mile loop at the historic Georgia park on 10/6/01. The park has about 3 marked trails. We had planned on the shortest one as this was the first undersaddle outing for the young Hope but we inadvertently took the longest trail! Our 2 hour ride became a 4 hour ride. We all had a wonderful time and all 3 of our ponies again proved their worth and confirmed our love of this breed. The Civil War park is dotted with numberous monuments to soldiers killed in battle, battlesites and monuments erected by vaious states, honoring the soldiers representing them. Our ponies rode past these many odd looking objects and cannons with barely, if any hesitation, and also crossed the stream leading under a bridge and crossing a high traffic road. We had so much fun, we're going back on 10/20 with our good friend Elizabeth Hardison from Roanoke, VA, but will leave the young Hope behind as she has earned her winter break (after Elizabeth demonstrates how to hitch up a cart to her:-)
April 7, 2001
Region 4 held a conformation and judging clinic at Balmullo Farm in Alachua, Florida. Laura Balding of Three Creek Farm, MO, and Marynell Eyles of Top of the Ridge Farm, VA, were the clinicians. It was a very fun, informative and interesting session which motivated the owners to go home, get out the string, make a plumb line and 'measure' our ponies.
A video of this clinic can be purchased through our Region 4 Store - see above!
A few of us rode through "The Temple of the Universe" Saturday morning before the clinic on ponies provided by Donna Duckworth.
Also, the die-hards attended a productive Regional meeting on Saturday evening, after a group dinner. The winner of the stallion raffle was ... well ... stay tuned for the upcoming issue of the Region 4 newsletter for more info and fun details, plus minutes of the meeting!!
Vanessa Morgan, Region 4 Chairman
The 2000 Region 4 Trail Ride was a fun and relaxing outing for 6 horse & rider pairs on Saturday, 8/5; four riders stayed overnight in a really cute, fully furnished cabin, got up to a wonderful pancake and bacon breakfast, and headed out on another ride on Sunday, before heading back home. Those who participated in this year's ride were Katie Benton on Fiddler's Gremlin MacDaire, Emily Benton on Flash (QH), Rachel Blalock on Foothills River Queen, Elizabeth Hardison on Sparrow, Vanessa Morgan on Pleasure (TB) and Carole Moss on Sarah (Belgian cross). The weather was wonderful and the company couldn't be beat! Although the ride will not be officially organized as a "regional" activity next year, I'm sure this group will be planning another outing in the beautiful Tennessee country-side and mountains:-)
Since the Region 4 show was cancelled I spent the weekend with Donna Duckworth at her Balmullo Connemara Pony farm in Alachua, FL, instead. I had a wonderful time visiting with Donna and all her ponies. I had the pleasure of going on three trail rides in the "Temple of the Universe" , a gorgeous expanse of property which borders Donna's farm. I rode C.R. Roaringwater Bay, Donna rode Balmullo's Miss Emma and my new friend Ann Barkdoll, rode Ballywhim Candace.
The River Ride - Gee Creek (TN)
Innagural R4 Connemara Ride - East Fork (TN)
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