It was a beautiful day in July when my friend Stephanie and I hopped in the car and headed north. Our end goal was Inlet, or more specifically, Adirondack Saddle Tours. I was going to take my first ever horseback ride!
Adirondack Saddle Tours
I will admit, I was terrified. Unlike Stephanie, I had never been on a horse. They are seriously large animals, which I had no idea how to control! My fear subsided slightly, however, as we saw a tour group coming out of the woods with ages ranging from children to adults on horseback.
Before we hopped on to take a ride, I got to sit down and talked to the owner of Adirondack Saddle Tours, John Evans. While you could tell that John was really passionate about his horses, there was something he was even more passionate about : helping others. John's main reason for being in business is to offer horseback riding to veterans and kids with disabilities.
Equine therapy has proven to be helpful to kids with disabilities such as autism, because it helps them create emotional bonds and provides other sensory benefits. John also takes pride in his work with veterans suffering from PTSD. Currently, he is working toward aquiring a paraplegic saddle, which would be greatly beneficial to those with mobility issues.
My Buddy Yor
After I talked to John, our horses were brought out of the barn. First they brought out Yor, which is the horse I would be riding. (They are thinking about having a naming contest for Yor, as his name can get kind of confusing!) Next out of the barn was Comet, the horse Stephanie would be riding. And I was very happy for that, because this horse was HUGE! Luckily, they have a platform in their yard to make it much easier to mount the animals.
Over the River and Through the Woods
After mounting, adjusting, dismounting, more adjusting, and remounting, we were off! While Adirondack Saddle Tours offers just about any tour length you could imagine, we opted for the one-hour ride. I figured with zero experience, this was ambitious enough! I was very timid and anxious at first, but as the ride went on I fell into a groove and became much more comfortable. My fear melted away. These horses are smart, and even our guide said they knew the trails better than he did!
We wove our way through the woods, on some narrow windy and steep trails, and some very muddy trails, which wasn't surprising after all the rain we have gotten lately. A few times, Yor just veered off suddenly, and I thought he was just going take off, but luckily he was just making his own trail through the woods to avoid the mud, even if it meant squeezing between two trees!
A little ways back into the woods, we passed an older shed/pavilion. This is where John started his business in 1984, with just three horses and two saddles! It is always amazing to me to see history still standing. We went over a small bridge that crossed Eagle Creek, and took a break in a clearing overlooking a large field, where the horses got to enjoy a little grass. We then made a loop around and headed back toward the barn. We even got to pass by where the old Inlet airport used to be.
The ride back was much more fun and a lot less nerve-racking once I got comfortable on the horse. I really had a lot more fun than I expected to and I highly recommend checking out Adirondack Saddle Tours when you are in the Inlet area!
After our ride, Stephanie and I decided it was time to get a little lunch. We headed to Inlet to check out Screamen Eagle Pizza for some pizza, wings, and a beer. They have 50 beers on draft, 15 specialty pizzas, and 17 flavors of wings. We had some major choices to make! In the end, we settled on a chicken bacon ranch pizza and some good old hot wings. Then we sat in the bar and enjoyed the rest of our afternoon.