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GMHA Fall Foliage Ride - experiences?

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  • GMHA Fall Foliage Ride - experiences?

    Hi all,
    My boyfriend and I are going to do the first of two fall foliage rides at GMHA at the end of September. We're really excited to go, but neither one of us has done one of these before. Anyone on here gone on one of these before? I'm really curious on what to expect.
    Thanks all!

  • #2


    • Original Poster

      GMHA is the Green Mountain Horse Association in S. Woodstock, VT.

      I'm actually surprised no one on this board has done this?


      • #4

        My trainer has recommended these rides to me (but I can't go this year). I got the impression that there's one level for competitive riding, then another level of just enjoying Vermont in early autumn. If you post on the equinesite.com forums, probably General Discussion, you might be able to get more insights-- most of the folks on that BB seem to be from New England. I think it's mostly bucolic riding on dirt roads (which may have some gravel -- I don't think I remember whether your horse is barefoot) and peaceful trails through the woods, etc.
        Go, and tell us about it so I can start planning to go next year.


        • #5
          I haven't done the ride, but I've been to GMHA a bunch of times to watch others compete and show. It's absolutely gorgeous there and everyone I've talked to has said the rides are great, and a lot of fun. I'm hoping to do one of the 7 mile rides myself, but am not sure I'll be able to find a ride down.

          I have heard it's rough terrain in some spots, so you might want to ask someone who has done the ride just what kind of shape your horse needs to be in. I'd be curious what the answer is. My horse is getting ridden about 3 x a week right now, for a little over half an hour. I don't think he's quite in shape enough yet honestly.

          But I have heard it's a fantastic ride, and I know from first hand experience the facilities are top-notch.


          • Original Poster

            Hey Sharona and whitesage,
            From what I can tell from the GMHA website this isn't a judged ride. Should it happen to be we're just going to go out and walk around in the beautiful Green Mountains!

            Duke is hunting fit and he wears shoes all around. He may be a little too fit to just want to walk the entire time, but we'll deal! (I actually do the conditioning sets with the eventers at my barn. It's good practice for hunting which is our main gig, but get's him very, very fit.) Anyway, we're planning on a really slow and relaxing ride. He is also the most sure footed horse I've ever ridden so I think we'll be fine. The BF is renting a horse from a local place down the road from the ride. I've warned the owners of Duke's *enthusiasm* for life and they think they have a good match that won't be reactive.

            I've been up to watch the horse trials at GMHA and am just in love with the area!

            Thanks for the advice to go to Equinesite. That's a really great idea!

            I'll report back! Hopefully a good time will be had by all!


            • #7
              I haven't done the "official" foliage rides but I've spent many happy hours on the trials at GMHA. They are gorgeous. Yes, some of the terrain is hilly but nothing you won't be able to handle. Heck, I took my OTTB on those trails the first year I owned him and he'd never even seen a hill. There are several ONBH folks who are going up to ride (alas, I am not one of them).

              You can choose the type of group that you want to ride with based on what type of speed you want to ride.

              GMHA runs a great ride. I'm sure you'll have a great time. I'm so jealous!
              Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
              EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


              • #8
                Having spent a few weeks in a long ago summer riding those gorgeous trails- if I were within a couple of hundred miles I'd go do a fall foliage ride in a heartbeat!


                • Original Poster

                  Ah, Bogie, I think you know me and Duke (the haffie who thinks he's *awesome*)? I was a student of Rich Wood's when he was still in the area. We just got asked to become members of Norfolk so I hope to see you out and about!

                  I can't wait for the foliage ride! I'll give a full report back!

                  BTW, Beverley, you can always rent a horse! Coth fall foliage ride next year, huh, huh?!?


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by HappyHoppingHaffy View Post

                    BTW, Beverley, you can always rent a horse! Coth fall foliage ride next year, huh, huh?!?

                    It's a thought, though the WEG is 1st on the to do list! Then there's also the hunting in NY/catching Saratoga meet that I didn't get done this year.

                    So much to do, so little time...


                    • #11
                      Yup, I remember you well. I'm hoping to cap with Norfolk this fall. My TB is coming along nicely and should be ready for a larger hunt soon.

                      Originally posted by HappyHoppingHaffy View Post
                      Ah, Bogie, I think you know me and Duke (the haffie who thinks he's *awesome*)? I was a student of Rich Wood's when he was still in the area. We just got asked to become members of Norfolk so I hope to see you out and about!

                      I can't wait for the foliage ride! I'll give a full report back!

                      BTW, Beverley, you can always rent a horse! Coth fall foliage ride next year, huh, huh?!?
                      Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                      EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                      • #12
                        Do you mind sharing more info about renting a horse for the ride? I have a friend who's horse is lame right now who is interested in going. I didn't know you *could* rent a horse for this kind of ride. Anyways, I'd appreciate more info, thanks.


                        • #13
                          I have done these rides every fall for the past 7 years. they are noncompetitive rides and are a lot of fun. there are a lot of really great people there and a lot of comeraderie.

                          the trails bring you through several properties that are absolutely stunning and not open to riders at other times of the year.

                          the ride leaves between 9 and "whenever" in the morning, usually involves a short 5-7 mile loop or a longer 7-9 mile loop to the lunch break. There is a catered lunch on the trail of gourmet type sandwiches, soup , cookies etc... then there is usually a long and short loop back to gmha.

                          the trails are gorgeous, some are a bit rocky,some are on gravel road, some in open fields, some are a bit "uphill" (there are usually a couple of long climbs, my little morgan has learned to stand at the bottom and I can just feel him thinking "really ?!" ) and last year they had a great trail that was quite long on old gravel RR bed that you could really move out on !

                          hope to meet you there! you won't be disappointed in the rides. I'll be on a cute chestnut morgan, hanging out with the crazy people at the back of A barn....

                          the horses do need to be a little fit.... There is no way for me to really prepare him for the hills, but all of my horses have been fine on this ride with 4-5 day a week riding and conditioning (I event as well). A lot of the ride is done at the walk , but there are plenty of places to trot and even get in a couple of good canters or gallops It sounds like your horses will be fine !

                          You are probably renting from Paul Kendall. His horses are well broke and FIT !!!! His horse probably won't want to walk the whole ride either ! Have a great time !
                          Last edited by idtogo; Sep. 13, 2009, 07:32 PM.


                          • #14
                            HHH, I'm so glad you posted this! I was going to post a similar question - as I'm thinking of going to the Oct. 3rd ride, and have no idea of what to expect. I've been to GMHA for horse trials & camps lots of times, but never got to check out the trails until last month when I went up to watch the T3D event. My pony's been recovering from a lameness that's kept us from jumping this summer - but is fit for hilly trails now. Is the ride over 2 days or just saturday? I can't wait - it'll be so nice to ride on trails that are actually rideable! Ours are all rocks out here....
                            Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it; Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it ~ Goethe


                            • #15
                              the ride is usually friday, saturday and sunday and you can pay as a package for all three or do the days individually. All the info is on the gmha website.


                              • #16
                                I was actually just looking up information on the GMHA rides. Here's the links;



                                I believe the Fall Foliage 2 ride on Oct 2-4 is open to members only. I think it's worth it to join though! I believe it costs $65, but then the ride is free (although stabling is not).


                                • #17
                                  I would love to go on this next year. I have always wanted to go see the fall foliage. I am pea green with envy.
                                  Logging Miles with the Biscuit 530.5 Miles for 2011 visit my trail riding blog at www.dashingbigred.blogspot.com


                                  • Original Poster

                                    We're back and what a fantastic time!

                                    We had a blast! The weather was fantastic, the trails were amazing, and the people were really great!
                                    We did end up renting a horse from Paul Kendall over at Kedron Valley Stables. He and his staff were so nice and accomodating. I ended up keeping Dukie over there, too as I figured it would be easier, and he was very well cared for.
                                    It's hard to believe GMHA is only 2.5 hours from Boston. I didn't want to leave! I hope everyone doing the 2nd ride this weekend has an amazing time, too!


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Originally posted by whitesage View Post
                                      I was actually just looking up information on the GMHA rides. Here's the links;



                                      I believe the Fall Foliage 2 ride on Oct 2-4 is open to members only. I think it's worth it to join though! I believe it costs $65, but then the ride is free (although stabling is not).
                                      Hey there, ya got the last bit backwards; the stabling is free with your entry if you do all three days...which was a little pricey (for me), but worth it in my opinion!