Q: Is it too cold to ride in the Winter?
A: We ride all day in the coldest of temperatures. As long as you are properly prepared these are probably the most exciting and beautiful tides we have. The horses LOVE the cold weather and are at their peak on the brisk weather. The views that we get from every ridge top and wildlife spotting are amazing because there are no leaves to block the view. Did I mention the snow? If you are lucky enough to get one those rides, that memory lasts a lifetime.
Q: How should we dress for winter rides?
A: Here are a few of our secrets for staying warm. Layers everywhere - feet and hands included. A hat, fleecy head band, or back of the head ear muffs are a great start. A gator (fleece turtle neck without the shirt part) for around your neck is a must. Hand and foot warmers are our big secret to keeping warm ALL DAY in the winter. These can be found at Wal Mart in the hunting section, any sporting goods store, and sometimes the Dollar Store. Put one in each glove and shoe, and put one in each back pocket. Happy trails!
Q: How do I select a stable?
A: Because this is such a large part of your adventure in the mountains, you want to do your homework. The main rule is do not shop on price alone! There are stables that are more expensive than us, and stables that are less expensive. When getting on an a strange animal that weighs over 1000 pounds, cost should be toward the bottom of the checklist. Some questions to ask: Find out what the guide to riders ratio is. How long have they been in business under the current management? Are they licensed and insured? Are their guides CPR and first aid certified? Do they offer and require safety gear? What does their trail cover? What is their reputation with the cabin rental agencies or Fannin County Chamber of Commerce?
Q: Is there a weight limit?
A: Yes, the weight limit for the 1.25 hour ride is 260 pounds and 220 pounds for the 2 hour ride.
Q: Is there an age limit?
A: We have built an outstanding reputation over the past 12 years by introducing the youngest of riders safely to the world of horses. We continue offer opportunities for all ages to interact with our wonderful horses. Our insurance regulations require us to have the guardian acknowledge that the child be 6 years old in order to participate on the trail rides. Our youngest riders will be lead by the guide for added safety and control, but they must be able to sit independently on the horse. Sorry, children may not ride double with a guide or parent. The cost is the same for all riders regardless of age. For the very tiny children unable to ride on the trail, we can offer a pony ride in our riding ring. This service is offered to the children of families enjoying a trail ride on our ranch. The pony rides are offered when available, and by appointment. They last about 5-10 minutes, and cost $10, and is open to children 5 years and younger only. This is not a trail ride, but it does give the littlest riders an opportunity to interact with our four legged friends.
Q: Do you allow double riding?
A: Due to insurance restrictions, we do not allow double riding of any kind, with the guides or parents. For very tiny riders unable to participate on the trail ride with their families, we can offer a pony ride in our riding ring. The cost is $10 for a 5-10 minute ride. No riders over five years of age, please, no exceptions.
Q: What ride should I pick - the 1.25, the 1.5 or the 2 hour?
A: Do not select a ride on the length of the ride, but on the riders ability, and the terrain covered during that ride. All of our rides showcase the beautiful scenery of Blue Ridge Mountains, which includes stream crossings, wooded trails, and a fantastic view of Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. All or our rides will get the rider into a walk and trot. The 1.25 hour ride is for riders of all abilities. It is great for families with children, first time riders, or groups that have mixed riding abilities. When choosing a ride for your group or family, use the person with the least experience as your gauge, as that is the level will have to keep the entire group at. The 1.5 hour ride is for those who have ridden before and are ready for some speed. We take an additional flat trail a long a ridge line that allows the rider to get into a canter. Please no first time or timid riders. This ride is open to riders age 8 and over. The 2 hour ride is our most advanced ride. This is for experienced riders only. The speeds are faster and the terrain is challenging. Absolutely no children under 8, and children who go on this ride should have had riding lessons.
Q; What time should we arrive?
A: You should arrive at the time specified for your ride: 8:45AM, 9:00AM, 11:00AM or 2:00PM. If you follow these guidelines you will leave enough time for trips back and forth to the car, clothing changes, bathroom breaks, paperwork, horse assignments, tack adjustments, and safety instruction. This is quite a bit to do in the time before your ride departure, so please be prompt. If you do not this time frame, the other people in your group who planned properly will have to wait for you, as well as pushing back the next ride time because we are late getting your group on the trail. Please be courteous and give us enough time to properly prepare you for your adventure with us. If you have not checked in by the ride departure time, you will forfeit your ride, and be charged the full price.
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Q: I have never ridden before, can I still ride?
A: YES!! We have first time riders everyday. Please select the 1.25 hour ride, for you first time out. We will instruct you on how to sit properly and control your horse. The guide will be with you the entire ride to ensure your safety and offer any riding advice necessary.
A: Long pants are best all year. Please wear shoe that have a back to them (no flip-flops or sandals). Boots are great, but tennis shoes will work as well. Please be prepared for the weather during your visit. We will ride if it is cold, and you will be expected to keep your appointment. The early morning rides in the winter can be chilly, but often times are the best rides, as the horses love the cool weather! Plan ahead, check the weather forecast and dress appropriately so you can enjoy our beautiful mountains and onto worry about your cold toes!
Q: What can we bring along on our ride.
A: Ideally just yourself, but cameras that can be secured are fine. Please leave your water bottles, sunglasses (the trail is shaded 95% of the ride), and cell phones in the car. Please do onto wear back packs as the are extra weight for the horses and can compromise your balance. Items that are brought along usually end up on the trail, break and can injure the horses feet, onto to mention litter our beautiful wooded land.
A: We will ride if it is sprinkling intermittently and the trails are safe, and you will be expected to keep your appointment. We will ride ride if it is cold or hot, so plan accordingly. Our climate may be different form what you are used to, but that is why you chose to vacation here! Please dress for the weather so you can enjoy you time with us to the fullest extent. We will onto ride if there is lightening, and we will bring the ride back early if severe weather strikes. If more than 1/2 of the ride time has expired, you will be charged the full amount. Discounts will be offered in the event that less than 1/2 the ride time was covered.
Q: Do you supply helmets?
A: Yes, and riders under 18 are required to wear them, no exceptions. No bike helmets, please.
Q: What time are the 1.25 and 2 hour rides offered?
A: The 1.25 hour ride check-in times are at 9:00 AM, 11:00 AM, or 2:00 PM. The 1.5 hour and 2 hour ride are only offered once a day . Because the 1.5 and 2 hour rides are faster and cover more aggressive terrain, we only ask the horses one time daily at 8:45 AM, when they are their freshest, and the weather is the coolest.
Q: Can some of us go on the wagon while others ride horses?
A: The hay ride takes place at Mountain View Orchards 2 miles from the farm, so this is not possible. I can offer a hay ride to immediately follow a ride, which I do often.
Q: How do I reserve a ride?
A: I will need a name, phone number in the mountains, number and ages of the riders, and credit card number to reserve your ride.
Q: What is your cancellation policy?
A: We have a very strict 24 hour cancellation policy. As long as you call to change you number of people, or cancel prior to 24 hours there is no penalty. If you fail to arrive at your ride or with the correct number of riders, you will be changed the full amount. You can pay this amount with the card you reserved with or with cash.
Q: Why is your cancellation policy so strict?
A: We often have a waiting list of people that would like to ride and onto enough horse to accommodate them. If we have set those horses aside for you, you will be expected to pay the rental fee. Also, our guide are paid per rider, so if you do onto keep your appointment it affects their earnings. When you make an appointment, it takes that guide about 2 hours to prepare the horses for your arrival, so you must be considerate of their time and effort. We do onto leave our horses tacked and standing all day, when they are in use they are left alone in the pasture to enjoy being a horse in their herd. I believe that this is the secret to the longevity of my horses and their overall happiness.
Q: Can I ride if I am pregnant?
A: We do not allow expecting mothers to ride. There is always a chance that you can fall off while riding a horse, and we to do not want to be responsible for such a tragedy. Not to mention that your joints, ligaments, and sense of balance are changing constantly during this time. I can offer the hay rides as an alternative.
Q: Is 2 hours the longest trip you offer?
A: Because of the terrain we cover, and the fact that we canter the horses on the 2 hour trip, that is the longest I feel comfortable asking my horses to work at one stretch. In the 10 years of owning this stable, I have only had a handful of riders want more after my 2 hour ride, and sometimes they would ask to go on the next departing ride. Most often what I see and hear and light hearted comments about aching legs, followed by satisfied grins and the realization that the hot tub at the cabin is going to be more useful than ever imagined!
Q: What is the custom gratuity to a guide?
A: The customary gratuity to a guide is 10%- 20% of the total cost of the ride. Many guests, will tip above and beyond this amount for a particularly spectacular ride, or rides that require much extra work on the guides part, such as many very small children, or adults requiring an unusual amount of attention or reassurance. Please keep in mind that the guides work on a pay scale very similar to a waiter or waitress, and their gratuities make up a large portion of their take-home pay. For parties of 10 or more, an automatic gratuity of 15% is added
Q: Is there a discount for paying cash?
A: Yes, we offer discounted cash rate for all our rides. The prices are as follows: 1.25 hour $30 cash/$32 credit, 1.5 hour ride $40 cash/$42 credit, 2 hour ride $50 cash/ $52 credit. The prices listed do not include TN state tax, or gratuity to the guide. As you can see, it is always better to pay in cash if possible!
A: If you are late for your check in and your group has left, you will be charged the full amount of horses for the length of ride you reserved. We will attempt to get you on the trail as "walk ups" on a later ride if the schedule allows. We will not RESERVE horses free of charge for a later ride.
Blanche Manor Horseback Riding
177 Deal Hollow Road
Copperhill, TN 37317
Call: (706) 455-7433