No matter what persuasion of equestrian sport we pursue, our experiences are enhanced when we have unhindered access to the countryside, be it verdant pasture, thick timber, rugged brush, or open plain. While ring work may be a training necessity for anyone who competes, the benefits associated with riding in a ring rarely match the sheer aesthetic exhilaration we enjoy while crossing the country.
Since I’ve begun working as an editorial intern at the Chronicle, I’ve spent much of my free time marveling at the natural beauty of the region in and around Middleburg, Va. I firmly believe that the synthesis of horse and rider only amplifies this experience–time on horseback gives us a clearer sense of nature’s grace, power and caprice.
Despite man’s professed and generally accepted love of the land, we increasingly see heaping portions of it gobbled up to suit the latest need of “progress.” According to The Audubon Society, more than 3 million acres of open terrain in the United States are “developed” each year. That huge and abstract sum hits home when we realize that it represents the sacrifice of 11