A second (and final) ride is being added because of the great interest in the first ride that filled up so quickly!
We just had a fantastic time at Virginia's premier horseback riding facility, the Marriott Ranch, and folks asked if another ride could be arranged. And so, this time, we will ride in Maryland, under a full moon. And with a large bonfire during a dinner in the mountains.
Yup. Dinner and dessert are included in the price!
We will hit the trails over mountains, streams, valleys, canals, roads, forests, and head down to the river. This will be a true Western ride. You do not need any prior experience, but you will need to listen to the guides so that you can control your horse safely, and, more importantly, have some horse-sense.
There go our riders on a prior adventure over the Blue Ridge Mountains
Note that there is a 250 pound maximum weight limit for the rider because we are going up and down the Blue Ridge Mountains on sharp inclines and also riding beside the rapids on the Potomac River. Teenagers, adults, and guests are appropriate for this ride. Yes, this ride is safe. I have ridden the most challenging Arabians from these stables, and they are all good horses. You don't need to be an experienced equestrian; all you need to do is to sit on your horse and follow directions from our guides. We will be crossing a road, with a guide in the front, one in the rear, and one at the road where the designated horse crossing has been made by the National Park Service.
Yes, we will have a bonfire with s'mores
Please be advised that the ride is totally dependent on the weather, and severe weather (i.e, lightning storms, flash floods, hurricanes, mountain fires, or anything that creates a danger to the horses) will force the stable owners to cancel the trip and we'll get a refund. Also, if there is serious damage to the C&O Towpath beside the river, such as from a heavy rain, so that the ground may give way under the horse, then that may force the stable owners to cancel the ride and we'll get a refund. There are no refunds for this trip unless the stable owners cancel it.
While Houdini the Arabian trickster is no longer with us, he has marked his trail well for us
We have to meet by the stables at 3 PM and head down the mountain at 4 PM, then go on a truly adventurous mountain ride, and, as the full moon rises, we will finally eat dinner at the end of the trail up in the mountains. Dinner should be at 8 PM, but the time can vary. We'll build a bonfire, and eat dessert. That's a lot of saddle time, and a lot of time in the wilderness (and a lot of eating). All in rugged country. If you ride with the horse (who knows the trail) and issue firm commands that are not confusing, you will be fine. That is never kick the horse and pull back on the reins at the same time (that's like hitting the gas and brake pedals at rthe same time).
Let me tell you why you want to come. The beauty of the ride is unmatched. The Blue Ridge Mountains and its forest are pristine in their natural beauty, and the People's River with its powerful rapids will allow one to see how nature's magnificence dwarfs us all. The islands up here were named by George Washington, who would ride a canoe along the river. We will ride across the spot where Thomas Jefferson used to sit on the rocks and admire this countryside and state that seeing it was worth crossing the Atlantic for it. Stonewall Jackson made his mark on military history in these woods. Yes, Old Jack rode his Little Sorrel in these same hills. You will ride in country that armies fought over. Thousands died for this earth and these hills. We are in the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, and we will be riding our horses upon sacred land and across the old armory in Harper's Ferry where John Brown once made his stand. Thoughts of what transpired in these woods make one pause and wonder how it all must have been like and how the divine hand guided it all to to make this nation what it has become. And having the moon rising over us is like getting a Divine spotlight over all that we will share.
This is how close you will ride beside the Potomac River
Now, I can only round up 13 horses for this particular trip. That means that solely 13 people can go. So, if you really want to go, please send me a check made out to me for $115.50 to the following address: Bob Cianflone, 821 Brunswick Street, Brunswick, Maryland 21716
The payment, when received, comprises the final RSVP. All checks thereafter will be destroyed and the senders will be notified of the same.
No, the stables don't do credit cards or amazon.com or mississippi.com or IOUs or barter precious stones; just send the checks to me and I will cash them and give a large check to the horse owners. Any checks that I get after the first 13 I will tear up and notify the sender of that fact.
Yes, the photo of the three silly horses below are some of our horses from our stables. If you have any questions, please contact me at any time. But know well that when I got 13 paid-up riders I am closing the activity. Any subsequent checks I get I will tear up and so notify the sender. The final RSVPs are the actual payments that I receive. A profile photo is required and there is no alcohol allowed on this activity per the National park Service.
Cowboy thinks he is a cowboy. Please don't tell him he is a horse.
Everyone likes to ride these horses (here's a cool cat riding on Lil' Joe)
Tag-a-Long thinks everything is funny.
I took this photo of the moon at a prior ride while we were having dessert. Now the stables uses it on their web site.
Houdini the Trickster is no longer with us, as he has finally passed on after riding these trails for 27 years, and dealing with me for 20 of those years. Now, he is surely galloping in the heavens while nipping at Saint Peter's cloak. But know that the younger horses are all fine, and ready for us.