- I've never ridden a horse; can you accommodate beginners?
Yes! We can accommodate riders from first-timers to advanced. All riders are matched with an appropriate mount based on physicality and experience level. Each ride includes a brief riding orientation, and your guides are readily available should you need assistance during the ride.
If you meet the necessary age, height, and weight requirements, all we ask is that you are able to mount and dismount your horse and ride for five miles at a walk/trot.
However, if you are terrified because of a previous bad experience, or if you are being coerced by a friend or family member, horseback riding may not be for you.
- How many people go out on each ride?
We never have more than 9 people per guide.
- Can we go out on our own, without a guide?
For safety reasons, all of our rides are guided.
- Can my experienced 5-year-old ride?
Regardless of experience, children must be at least 6 years or older and able to physically control a large horse without assistance. Please understand that although our horses are extremely gentle and well-trained, they are full-size horses, weighing a thousand pounds and more. Each horse is equipped with an adult-size saddle, and the equipment adjusts only so far!
However, there is no age limit for the guided carriage or hayrides.
- Do you have helmets?
We have helmets for your use at no additional charge. All children 16 years of age and under are required to wear a helmet, no exceptions.
- Can my husband ride if he is 250 lbs.?
Yes, but 250 lbs. is our maximum weight limit for the safety of the rider and welfare of the horses. There is no weight limit for the guided carriage and hayrides.
- I am an experienced rider; do you offer an 'experienced' ride?
You won't have the opportunity to ride at a canter or gallop, but if you love horses and if you love nature, you will love the opportunity for a romantic walk through the meandering trails of Cades Cove.
- Why don't you allow galloping?
In order to make our horses safe for the extreme novice, we must train our horses not to run on the trails. If we allowed cantering or galloping at any time, we would be un-training our horses, rendering them unsafe for the next novice rider who mounts up.
- Do you ride English or Western?
Our horses are trained Western. If you only have experience with English riding, let us show you something new!
- Can my child ride with me?
Sorry, but for safety reasons, "double riding" is not permitted under any circumstance. You may want to try a guided carriage or hayride instead.
- Can I ride if I am pregnant?
Although this is a gentle ride, horses can be unpredictable. We therefore do not recommend riding while pregnant.
- How should I dress?
We suggest wearing closed toe shoes that have a ½-inch heel and are secure to your feet. Avoid wearing boots over 4.5" across the ball of your foot so that they fit safely in the stirrup and won't jam. We also suggest comfortable pants and shirts with sleeves. Shorts and tennis shoes are not recommended, even in the summer. Also, please do not bring anything loose or cumbersome with you, such as backpacks or purses. Sorry, we do not provide lockers. Be sure all hats, visors, caps, and clothing are snug and secure to you.
- Should we tip our trail guide?
Sure, especially if you enjoyed your ride! Thank you!