When I attend horse related events, I am always fascinated at some clinicians and trainers that preach to folks about doing this or that in the round pen. Often there are books or DVD’s on how to work your horse in a round pen. While I have no argument with this, the reality and facts are that sooner or later you have to ride somewhere other than in a small fenced circle. What has been a good training area often becomes a prop or excuse to not go out and ride. When you do, you also meet friends and enjoy life so much more. Friends are not going to gather on a Saturday morning or any other time to enjoy the ride in a round pen.
I have never pretended to be an expert in horse training. I, like most folks, rode a pony when we were kids and fell in love with horses and riding. We may not have ridden well, nor did we have very good tack, and our horses would not have made it in last place at the worst horse show, but we had fun.
Best of America by Horseback has traveled the country to hundreds of places. Our goal has always been to show you beautiful places to ride where anyone can ride at any level. Someone once said we take ordinary people like us to extraordinary places. I kinda like that a great deal.
A couple of years ago at our home and farm in Virginia, we began cattle drives. Real cattle drives. Folks and perhaps horses, that have never seen a cow always come away with overwhelming joy that they can do this and the horse loves it. Never had an injury on any of the cattle drives either. It simply helps take folks away from the round pen and show them what new level of joy they can have with their horse AND not travel to a dude ranch and pay a couple thousand dollars to do this. We only charge for the actual cost, provide all the meals, and give the hookups, stalls and parking for free.
This year, we are adding a new dimension to what we do on cattle drives. It comes from my memory as a child over 60 years ago at my Grandparents farm. I would stay with them for the weekend. Both my Grandparents were deaf and could not speak but that sharpened my senses. I would wake up smelling the wood stove burning and Grandma making perked coffee, frying bacon and sometimes potatoes and onions. Other meals were fresh from the garden.
With our cattle drives in July, August and September, we will revisit the country, colonial style meals at our Virginia home. We will work the cattle by horseback and teach anyone at any age to enjoy this. We will focus all the meals as pure country meals with fresh vegetables, slow roasted beef or turkey. We are going to fish from the stream and pond to catch rainbow trout and catfish for one of the meals. (Oh, yes, we will teach you all you need to know and supply everything.). The cattle drive will be in the morning and lunch will be under the old walnut trees in the colonial home yard. The afternoon will be working with the baby calves, fencing if you want and maybe learning the sport of team penning. Dinner would delight George Washington’s wife Martha who specialized in fine country cooking. (All meals are sit down with china and silver as paper plates are not allowed in my home.). I suspect some old-fashioned homemade ice cream is in the plans.
Your horse will enjoy inside stalls and will show you a new level of bond or friendship you did not know existed. The object is to pamper your horse, learn new levels of horsemanship and we will take you back to a better time that you may well remember. So, leave the round pen and come to my home and farm. You and your horse deserve it.
As always, you can contact me anytime at my personal email address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Best of America by Horseback for an Upcoming Ride
February 5-10: Cruise to Jamaica
February 24-March 3: Belize Adventure
March 23-25: Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranch – Live Oak, FL
April 6-7: Cattle Drive at Andora Farm – Culpeper, VA
April 13-14: Cattle Drive at Andora Farm – Culpeper, VA
April 25: Trails, Etc – Midway, AL
April 27-29: Alabama Governor’s Ride at Faye Whittemore Farms – Jasper, AL
May 4-6: Tucker Trail Saddles Ride Weekend at East Fork Stables – Jamestown, TN
May 11-12: Cattle Drive at Andora Farm – Culpeper, VA
May 18-19: Smoke Rise Ranch Resort – Glouster, OH
June 8-9: Cattle Drive at Andora Farm – Culpeper, VA
June 15-17: Gathering at the Farm – Culpeper, VA
July 27-28: Cattle Drive at Andora Farm – Culpeper, VA
August 10-11: Cattle Drive at Andora Farm – Culpeper, VA
September 14-15: Cattle Drive at Andora Farm – Culpeper, VA
September 21-23: River Valley Horse Camp – Farmington, IA
October 12-13: Cattle Drive at Andora Farm – Culpeper, VA
To join us for an upcoming ride, call us at 540-829-9555.
Learn more about upcoming rides or the television show and watch past episodes, visit: www.bestofamericabyhorseback.com.