Great Smoky Mountains National Park.offers a variety of outdoor experiences for visitors, many of which are enhanced with the park as a backdrop. Horseback riding is one of the most popular outdoor activities you can enjoy there. How about trying horseback riding and discovering some of the gorgeous countryside at the same time?
There are 4 horseback riding locations in the national park. We picked a stable that is easy to get to from Sevierville. (You can find a list of links for other stables at the bottom of this blog) Here are the Google Maps directions to Sugarlands Riding Stables:
Head east on E Main St toward Creek Ave
Continue onto Dolly Parton Pkwy
Turn right onto TN-449/Veterans Blvd
Turn left onto TN-73 E/US-321 N/US-441 S/Parkway
Turn left onto East Pkwy
Turn right onto E Pkwy
Destination will be on the right
The stable’s rate is $30 per hour (the rate applies per person). This rate includes horseback riding on wooded trails and mountain streams (horseback riding for approximately 4 miles per hour).
To participate, you will be asked to sign the risk agreement. Read the agreement thoroughly before signing. If you have any questions, please ask instructors for details.
March 15th to Memorial Day Weekend
Monday – Sunday: 9 AM to 4 PM
(No reservation required. However, we recommend calling ahead to check for availability for a large group.)
Check their additional seasonal hours here: http://www.sugarlandridingstables.com/hours.html
Now on to our horseback riding tips.
1. How can I avoid injury?
Are you afraid of falling off during the ride? Are you worried that a horse might not like you immediately? Don’t worry! All horses are well trained and are experienced having beginning riders on their backs. Remember to ask an instructor first if you have any worries or questions regarding safety and risk management. Listen and pay careful attention to your instructor. Doing so will reduce the risk of accidents during your outing.
2. Which course should I pick for the first time?
We recommend keeping the activity to an hour or so for beginners. Why? Horseback riding uses muscles of your inner thighs, back, and bottom that we normally don’t use in our daily activities. To avoid severe muscle soreness the next day, it’s better to keep your first experience to a reasonably short time. You can come back for more fun another day.
3. How to make the best of your first time experience
Please do not rush to be good at horseback riding the first time. Let your horse guide you. They have characters just like humans; ask your instructor about horses and what they like to do and their walking habits. Pat the horse gently and have a positive feeling about your activity partner. Learning about them and building a good relationship will help to ease your anxiety. Horses know when you are nervous, let them lead you as your new experience tour guide.
4. Tips for movement and how to sit on a horse
Before going on the trail, instructors will talk to you about how to hold the reins, what posture to take on the horse, and how to walk and stop the horse. It’s okay not to remember everything perfectly. Just keep the basic tips in mind and enjoy the time you’re spending in nature. If you’re lucky, you may hear birds singing songs near the wooded trails, or you may see another animal, such as a black bear. As we mentioned on a previous tip, all horses are well trained and experienced and have carried many beginning riders on their backs. Those horses know how to walk safely on the trails.
We hope this blog helps you enjoy horseback riding as a beginner. Here is the list of links to the 4 horseback riding stables in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Have fun!