Happy on Hooves offers guests the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in a horseback riding experience that takes you on an actual journey. Popular horseback riding has been characterized by sporting events or pony rides - but these only provide hints of the true experience. We feel that the pinnacle of horseback riding is done outside of a training corral.
The idea of a mounted trail ride probably conjures up images of 1800s frontiersmen and mountaineers, stretching our cultural memory back to a time when man and horse formed a partnership that carved out America. Our trails are meant to give clients a new experience that is actually very traditional. Horses were initially used for traversing tough terrain in a way that made humans mobile enough to explore and establish settlements. It can be argued that this was the chief reason why horses were first domesticated. In the same tradition, our trail rides are meant to establish a connection between rider and horse through something more interesting than just a loop around a corral. This journey has a purpose and gives reason to why and how we move on horseback. It gives the rider a chance to relive the past when mounted travel was the only way to get around.
While riding is a technical art, a lot can be learned by just embarking on the trail. That doesn’t mean formal lessons have no value - we encourage people who are interested in horsemanship to hone their skills in a more controlled setting. However, trail rides can provide a lot of initial education and experience you might not receive in a standard lesson. Trail rides are all about encountering the real-world environment, as you maneuver your horse up hills and around natural obstacles. You learn as you ride. That being said, our staff does provide you with initial training and safety tips. Therefore, you automatically get a riding lesson - but something more as well.
As you are thrust into the ride you will get to experience the vivid scenery of Maryland’s woods. You will have the opportunity to experience the rigors of overcoming the trail on horseback. This allows you to test yourself, discovering where natural ability may lie, as well as areas of horsemanship in which you can improve upon. Grasping this may help you focus on certain points in a formal lesson later on.
Most of our clients come to us with very little (if any) experience with horses. One of the highlights of our mission is providing that initial riding experience that makes people want to keep returning to the saddle. We’re all about education, but we strive to teach our riders through the ride itself. We want you to have a fun because that’s the best way to learn. Many of our first time riders return to ride and become frequent visitors. You can actually read some of their testimony on our main page. Each trail ride offers a new opportunity to strengthen your riding abilities, and of course, to just enjoy the ride.