A Short Overview of Tails, and the Equestrian Experience in Brevard
Brevard and Transylvania County’s extensive trail systems have famously offered both cyclists and hikers a whole world of exciting paths to take and places to explore. You don’t, however, always need hiking boots or handlebars to have a grand adventure in Brevard’s forests. The equestrian-inclined will find multiple opportunities to get their tails on the trails with the help of four-footed friends, who rarely say “neigh” to a little exploring.
Experienced riders have celebrated Brevard’s multiple equestrian options for years, but novices will also find many opportunities to enjoy getting in on the “mane” event. All three of the area’s public lands — Pisgah National Forest, DuPont State Recreational Forest, and Gorges State Park — have horse-friendly trails. By and large, the trails are clearly marked, but it’s recommended that you do a little research in advance on where horses are welcome before you hoof it into the wilderness.
Left your pony at home? No worries. Several local stables will be happy to help you find a suitable horse, gear, and a trail guide to lead you. These include:
Once you hit the trail, here are some tips to keep in mind whether you are hiking, biking,
or horsing around:
Everyone: Be friendly and aware.
That means keeping an eye ahead and an ear on your surroundings. Make sure you stay on marked trails, go slow in blind spots, keep your pet leashed, and be considerate of others on the trail.
Check ahead of time to see if you’re on an equestrian-friendly trail, so you won’t be surprised if you run into other horses and riders.
Equestrians: Always listen to your guide.
Experienced trail guides know their animals and the conditions on the paths. Make sure you pay attention and follow their lead.
Hikers and Cyclists: Always yield to horses.
Horses tend to be hyper-aware and very sensitive to their surroundings and may react to surprises. Step or pull to the side when you encounter horses and riders and give them plenty of space. Also, as you approach a horse and rider, make your presence known by speaking to the rider. And, as always, please keep your dog leashed.
Everyone: Your safety is key
Know trail etiquette. Wear proper gear and stick to marked trails. Reign in your excitement and shy away from unnecessary risks.