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Horseback Riding

The pioneers and early settlers were probably the first people to enjoy the Smokies on horseback.  Today it is still one of the most fun ways to get around and enjoy the view.  Whether you are choosing to bring your faithful steed with you to the mountains or if you are wanting to go to a riding stable to enjoy the environment in a more controlled way, horseback riding is a popular pastime and activity for tourist every year in the Smokies.

Horseback Riding in the SmokiesOne of the best aspects is the connection you establish with the horse (again, whether it is yours or someone else’s) while you are riding.  You do literally get to take that step back in time.  You are playing the part of the mountaineer, explorer, adventurer as you sit in the saddle and ride into the wilderness.  How much adventure you experience, well that is up to you.

Riding Stables
The easiest way to experience the Smokies from horseback is at one of the many riding stables in the area.  Both sides of the mountain (Tennessee and North Carolina) have lots of options when it comes to riding stables.  In fact there are even a couple that are located in the National Park.  You call the stables and make reservations.  You arrive on time, ready to ride. The guides pick a horse for you and get you ready to ride.  They help you get on the horse and you are off.

Best part is, you don’t have to bring anything but yourself.  The riding stable company supplies everything:  the horse, the guide, everything.  You will be hard pressed to find a more fun way to spend an afternoon in the Smokies.  You get to sway gently in the saddle as the horse does the work.  The guide makes sure the horse stays in line and you get to enjoy the feeling of ‘roughing’ it while you ride the mountainsides around the Smoky Mountains.

Or Maybe You Have Your Own Horse
Maybe you live close enough that you want to bring your own horse.  Maybe you are interested in a ‘step-up ride.’  In other words, you want the freedom to ride your own horse, where you want to ride.  Most of the riding stables will allow you to take a step up ride with your own horse on their land for a very reasonable price.  They will also find you a more spirited horse so that you can ride their horses in a more free manner.  But if you bring your own horse, realize that you can also go into the National Park on select trails and select campgrounds.  Camp in the great outdoors with your equine friend, ride through the woods, gallop through the forest and recapture the pioneer spirit as you blaze your own trails.