13 Practical Horse Lover Gifts They’ll Love and Use All Year

horse lover gifts

Check out these unique but useful horse lover gifts that’ll be loved for the long term.

What makes a perfect holiday present?

It’s somehow both surprising and totally necessary.

It shows that you truly understand the person you’re giving it to.

And it makes their face light up as they rip the last shred of wrapping paper off and hold it up for everyone to see.

Want to give that kind of present to your favorite horse lover this year?

We’ve made it easy. Below, you’ll find more than a dozen unique, practical horse lover gifts that they’ll use and love for years to come.

13 Practical Horse Lover Gifts They’ll Use All Year

1. Trailer Boot Box

horse lover gifts

Boot box in a bumper pull horse trailer

A boot box holds equipment that riders need in their horse trailers at all times. It’ll help keep their trailer organized and make it easy to find what they’re looking for.

Blue Ridge Trailers offers a variety of boot boxes for both bumper pull and gooseneck horse trailers.

2. Cold Weather Riding Gear

A high-quality winter riding jacket, durable gloves or thermal breeches will be appreciated by any rider who hits the trails this season.

3. Trailer Camera System

Nothing gives a horse lover comfort and peace-of-mind like being able to keep an eye on their horses during a long drive. Here at Blue Ridge Trailers we specifically recommend Voyager trailer cameras, which we’ve found to be the most durable and reliable.

4. Folding Saddle Rack

This handy device gets mounted on the horse trailer walls. It can fold up for a rider to rest their saddle on and folds down against the wall when it’s not needed.

5. Horse Grooming Kit

horse lover gifts
Here’s a low-cost gift that horse lovers can use every day. Depending on the horse owner’s needs, you can get a travel grooming kit, a kit for the barn, a small zip-up kit with just the essentials, and many other options.

6. Cover to Protect Horse Trailer Exterior

Here’s a gift that truly keeps on giving. A cover protects the horse trailer exterior from the elements, which in turn protects the trailer’s resale value.

Just be aware that most trailer covers are manufactured too short—look for RV covers instead. Read more about how to get a quality cover here.

7. Saddle Cover

While we’re on the topic of protecting a horse lover’s gear, how about a saddle cover? Saddle covers are inexpensive and often have fun designs to let the rider’s personality shine through.

8. Trailer Fans

If you want to make a horse lover happy, help make their horses happy. Trailer fans keep horses cool and comfortable on long drives.

Ideally, trailer fans shouldn’t be dependent on the tow vehicle battery. Consider adding an auxiliary battery to run the fans independent of the tow vehicle.

9. Hitch Back-Up Cameras

Make a rider’s life easier before every drive. Back-up cameras eliminate guesswork when hitching a trailer up to a truck. By looking at the camera monitor, the driver can quickly and simply line the truck up to the trailer ball.

10. Schedule a Professional Trailer Cleaning

The exterior of aluminum trailers will oxidize over time, creating a dull or dingy appearance. A professional cleaning will safely remove the oxidation so the trailer looks shiny and new again.

Blue Ridge Trailers has a professional on call that will make even the oldest trailer look bright again. Call us or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

11. Electric/Hydraulic Trailer Jack

horse lover gifts
This powerful little device lifts up a trailer for easy hitching and unhitching, so riders can save their energy for the trails. Contact us to learn more about this tool and the difference between an electric jack and an electric/hydraulic jack.

12. Water Tank

You can’t get more practical than this! You can even get a tank with a pump that makes hosing off hot horses much more efficient, leaving more drinking water for them.

13. Riding Lessons

If your favorite horse lover is still growing as a rider, this thoughtful gift will help them achieve their goals.

 

Shopping for a horse lover or just looking for ideas? Blue Ridge Trailers is always happy to offer our expertise on the best horse lover gifts (and anything else horse- or trailer-related).

Call us at (434) 985-4151 or view our accessories inventory, including a complete list of after-market accessories we offer.

Do I Need Trailer Winter Tires When Hauling in Cold Weather?

trailer winter tiresSome people look at a trailer, and that’s all they see.

But when I look at a trailer, I see a significant part of someone’s life.

Maybe it’s a horse trailer for traveling with your four-legged family. Maybe it’s a utility trailer that’s a crucial part of your business. Maybe it was an investment that took months of hard work and strategic saving.

So I understand why you’d want to do everything you can to protect your trailer, especially during dangerous winter road conditions.

As the snow begins to fall, you may be wondering: do I need trailer winter tires to haul safely this season?

Well, don’t reach for your wallet just yet.

With decades of winter hauling experience behind us, the team at Blue Ridge Trailers doesn’t see any reason to shell out for trailer winter tires.

It all has to do with the job your trailer tires are performing compared to your tow vehicle tires.

The “driving” tires are on your tow vehicle. They’re the ones steering your vehicle (and therefore, also your trailer). So the aggressive tread and flexibility of winter or snow tires absolutely makes sense for your truck.

By contrast, the trailer tires are just following behind. They don’t need a deeper tread to do their job.

When it comes to control, brakes are more important than winter or snow tires for your trailer. Having brakes on both the front and rear axles of your trailer will prevent it from fishtailing when stopping.

You can add brakes to the rear axle if they’re not already on your horse trailer, RV, utility trailer, or dump trailer. However, most likely your trailer came out of the factory like this. Particularly with horse trailers, I haven’t seen one without a built-in rear axle brake in the last two decades.

There are also several other tire safety tips that you can use to stay safe on the road this winter:

  • First things first: don’t drive in snowy or icy conditions if it’s not an emergency. It may seem obvious, but an honest assessment of road conditions and your travel needs is one of the smartest safety steps you can take.
  • When parked, protect your tires by keeping them away from moisture as much as possible. That means parking on asphalt, concrete, or gravel. If you must park on grass, put a plywood plank down first.

Got more questions about your trailer, your tires, or safe hauling in general? Call Blue Ridge Trailers at (434) 985-4151 or contact us online.

How to Winterize a Trailer: Follow This 5-Step Checklist

winterize a trailer

Winterize a trailer now to prevent ice damage and other issues you’ll regret next season!

It’s that time of year when we all start to ask ourselves, “how can it already be this time of year?!”

Whether you spend the warmer months camping, attending horse shows, or both, it can feel like every winter arrives sooner than the last. Before you know it, the leaves are falling, temperatures are dropping, and it’s time to pack up the trailer for the season.

But don’t snuggle up with a mug of hot chocolate just yet.

If you want to jump back in your trailer with no hassle next spring, you’ll need to winterize it properly now.

Below, we’ll show you how to winterize a trailer in five practical steps, so you can prevent damage from ice, store your trailer safely, and rest easy all season.

For personalized answers to your seasonal trailer questions, Blue Ridge Trailers is always happy to share our expertise. Contact us online or call us at (434) 985-4151 to speak to our staff.

The Simple 5-Step Checklist to Winterize a Trailer

1. Drain water tanks and pumps

Ice is the enemy when you need to winterize a travel trailer, horse trailer or other type of trailer. As water freezes, it expands and can blow open your tanks, pumps, and the lines that connect them.

So if your trailer is going to be exposed to temperatures below 32 degrees for any sustained period (even just a few hours overnight), make sure to drain all of the water out of your trailer’s tanks.

If you have a pump, you also need to run it for 10 seconds, after the tank is empty, to push out any lingering moisture.

2. Learn how to manually override your brake controller

It’s crucial to get familiar with your tow vehicle’s brake controller, no matter the season! The brake controller sits in your tow vehicle, and powers the trailer brakes whenever you press your foot on the brake pedal. If you haven’t already, read your brake controller manual and learn how to test your brake controller’s functionality.

The manual override is usually a “squeeze bar,” slide, or button on the brake controller box. It allows you to lock up your trailer brakes directly from the controller, without hitting your tow vehicle brakes.

If your trailer is going to be on cold roads at any point this winter–even if you’re just driving it home for the season–the manual override can help if you start skidding or sliding over ice or wet roads. The override will brake your trailer and yank your truck back, stopping the slide.

Note to drivers: avoiding icy roads altogether is also an important safety step! If you don’t absolutely need to take your trailer out in freezing temperatures, why risk it?

3. Get antifreeze service for trailer living quarters

To winterize a RV trailer, winterize a travel trailer, or any other trailer with living quarters, a professional can run antifreeze through the water pipes to protect them from cold temperatures.

This method to winterize a trailer generally involves hooking up a bypass line to avoid the hot water heater, draining moisture from all valves in the trailer, as well as other technical processes. It can be done once at the beginning of winter.

When you’re ready to take out the trailer again in the spring, your trailer professional can “de-winterize” it by flushing out the antifreeze.

However, if you’re planning to use your trailer’s living quarters (including the water systems) during the winter, then don’t winterize. Instead, keep the heat running when temperatures are near 32 degrees or lower to prevent water from freezing in the pipes.

4. Wash off road salt

Road salt is great for de-icing pavement and horrible for your trailer’s value.

Before stowing your trailer, wash the frame and undercarriage with hot water and soap to remove any dirt or road grease. If you have to use the trailer on salted roads, wash the frame and undercarriage thoroughly just as soon as you arrive home, to remove the road salt.

Power washing is most effective, and hot water works better than cold.

5. Cover your trailer and park it off grass

Your trailer is clean, drained, and winterized. Now you just need to store it safely for the season.

First, covering your trailer will protect it from the elements–but as we’ve discussed before, not any old trailer cover will do, especially for horse trailers. Standard horse trailer covers are generally manufactured too short so they leave tires, bearings, and fenders exposed. Instead, buy an RV trailer cover to protect your trailer from its tires to its roof. Find them online and order based on your trailer’s dimensions.

Second, avoid parking your trailer on grass. Grass traps moisture and pests, which can wreak havoc over the course of the winter. Look for a gravel, asphalt, or concrete parking spot. If you can’t find one, put wood planks over grass to park the trailer on.

 

Got more questions about how to winterize a trailer or other trailer care issues? Contact Blue Ridge Trailers online or at (434) 985-4151.

5 Rules of Horse Trail Riding Etiquette to Live By

horse trail riding etiquetteOn a scenic trail ride, it can be easy to forget about the rest of the world.

It’s just you, your horse, the fresh air, and the stunning views.

Except that it’s not.

A great experience on public trails depends on good behavior from everyone who uses them.

But even if you’re the world’s most considerate person, you might not know all the specific rules of horse trail riding etiquette.

That’s what we’re outlining for you today. Below are five of the most important tips for doing your part to keep shared public land accessible, comfortable, and safe for everyone.

Horse Trail Riding Etiquette: 5 Must-Know Rules

1. Read Local Regulations

First, go straight to the source.

Your local public lands likely have many established rules, regarding everything from your horse’s health documents to ride permits for very large groups.

Try searching “public horseback riding rules [your state]” in Google, and the relevant environmental or recreational agencies will likely pop up. You can also search for the specific public land you plan to ride on, or contact the land manager directly.

2. Obey the “Campsite Rule”

You probably know this one: “leave a campsite better than you found it.” Try to keep the same mindset as much as possible when horseback riding on public lands.

That means:

  • Using a “tree saver” when tying up horses. These stretch between two trees or posts, so horses don’t damage the trees by rubbing, pulling, or nibbling.
  • Closing gates that you had to open to pass through.
  • Disposing of manure in small shared areas such as parking lots, scenic outlooks, or trail entrances/exits.
  • Of course, no littering!

You should also avoid riding on soft or moist ground so that it doesn’t get trampled. Consider this even when planning your next trail ride, especially if there was heavy rain recently–you can contact the park or land manager to confirm that there are durable trails you can access for a ride.

3. Stay on the Designated Trails

You never know whose beautiful meadow you might mow down when you cut across an established trail.

Further, don’t stray onto walking trails and other paths not designated for horseback riding. Not only is this good etiquette, it’s safer for your horse.

4. Consider the Group as a Whole

There are a number of additional considerations for horse trail riding etiquette if you’re traveling in a group. Here’s how you can minimize your impact while ensuring everyone has a good time:

  • Put inexperienced riders in the middle of the group, and defer to the least experienced rider’s gait and pace.
  • When you have enough space, avoid riding single-file to prevent wearing a rut into the trail.
  • Use your “trail voices.” Don’t be rowdy and obnoxious!

5. Share the Trail

Don’t forget that you’re not the only one on the trail!

Leave space for runners and bikers to pass you–and be considerate when passing walkers, too. If you’re in a group, pass in a steady, single-file line. Announce yourself to the people you’re about to pass before you do so.

Plus, it never hurts to give a friendly smile and wave!

 

Ready to plan your next ride? Blue Ridge Trailers will help you choose the perfect trailer rental or purchase for you and your horses. Contact us online or at (434) 985-4151.

5 Must-Have Horse Trailer Accessories for Happy, Healthy Hauling

horse trailer accessoriesWhat makes a great horse trailer even better?

High-quality horse trailer accessories.

Even just a handful of strategically chosen horse trailer accessories can help make the trailer a comfortable and personalized space for both you and your horses.

But we know there’s a lot to choose from.

With decades of experience using and selling horse trailer accessories, the Blue Ridge Trailers team has collected five items that we absolutely can’t live without.

We’ll also point you to some “honorable mention” accessories that can make your life even easier on the road.

5 Must-Have Horse Trailer Accessories

1. Auxiliary Battery

horse trailer accessoriesAn auxiliary battery can make the difference between an inconvenience and a seriously dangerous situation.

It’s happened for me. I was once stuck under a tunnel with my horse trailer for 2.5 hours due to an accident ahead of us. As you can imagine, it was incredibly hot and uncomfortable. My auxiliary battery allowed me to run fans and pump water (more on those below) without draining my tow vehicle battery.

This kept my horses cool and hydrated–and kept me from panicking about their safety.

2. Water Tank

horse trailer accessoriesA water tank allows you to carry your home supply of water on long trips. That means you won’t need to accustom horses to drinking an unfamiliar water source. You can also wash off hot horses due to exertion or stress (be sure to carry extra buckets and a sponge).

Blue Ridge Trailers offers a variety of water tanks from 18 to 40 gallons and designed for a range of trailer shapes.

You can add a 12-volt pump to most water tanks, making for more efficient use of the available water (here’s where that auxiliary battery comes in handy!).

3. Trailer Fans

Trailer fans are a simple, affordable solution to promote airflow in your trailer. Horses generally become hot in a trailer in most temperatures—in fact, it’s relatively difficult to make a horse cold in a trailer unless he/she is wet and there’s a cold air draft.horse trailer accessories

It’s dangerous to a horse’s health not to have adequate ventilation and cool temperatures inside a trailer. Trailer fans, when appropriately placed, can provide the ventilation and cooling often needed.

For the best results, mount fans at the front of the horse area, facing to the rear and open all the windows. The fans will create a vacuum sending air from the front of the trailer, over the horses, to the rear, even when standing still. If you have a long trailer for multiple horses, mount additional fans, also facing to the rear, mid-way in the horse area.

4. Trailer Cameras

horse trailer accessoriesOnce you start driving with a live view of your horses inside the trailer, you’ll never want to go back.

A camera system lets you keep an eye on your horses even while in route. The camera monitor typically mounts on your tow vehicle’s dashboard or windshield. The camera is mounted in the horse area and is powered by the trailer running lights.

Blue Ridge Trailers recommends staying away from shoddy “bargain” camera systems that’ll cost more in the long run. After decades of experience with a wide range of camera brands, today we only install proven, high quality camera systems, that last for the long-term.

5. Jiffy Jack

Unlike a regular trailer jack, a Jiffy Jack allows you to fix a blown tire safely while your horses are still inside the trailer.horse trailer accessories

It’s a sturdy tool with a unique design. You can just drive the good tire over the Jiffy Jack, which keeps the bad tire off the ground. Big secret: loosen the lug nuts on the bad tire before driving up on the jiffy jack.

Blue Ridge Trailers sells Jiffy Jack lifts in steel and plastic.

Honorable Mention

  • Horse trailer door organizer
  • Boot box for tack room storage (plus a step up into the gooseneck area, if you have a gooseneck trailer)
  • Mesh window guards for drop-down windows in the horse area
  • Electric or electric/hydraulic jack
  • A trailer lug nut wrench, since lug nuts on a horse trailer are different from lug nuts on a car

 

Ready to give your horse trailer an upgrade? Check out Blue Ridge Trailers’ full inventory of horse trailer accessories here.

Your Guide to the 2018 Virginia State 4-H Championship (UPDATE: Postponed)

Virginia State 4-H ChampionshipThe next generation of equestrians will gather in Lexington, VA this fall for one of the most exciting and challenging events of the year: the Virginia State 4-H Championship Horse and Pony Show.

It’s always inspiring to watch these young, dedicated riders put their skills and months of hard work to the test. They’ll be competing in a diversity of events from showmanship to Horse Bowl, while making new friends and strengthening the future of our horse industry.

Blue Ridge Trailers is proud to have been a Virginia State 4-H Championship sponsor for more than a decade.

Our sales representative Julie Williamson and her husband Bob, who have been involved with the event for more than 25 years, were even inducted into the Virginia 4-H State Horse Show Hall of Fame last year!

This year, you’ll find Blue Ridge Trailers owner Donna Martin volunteering in the East Virginia State 4-H ChampionshipArena, helping run the ingate for all hunter classes, as well as helping with Senior Showmanship in Waldron Arena.

It’s always a magical time, seeing some 400+ 4-Hers working so hard and enjoying such a top-shelf show in all respects.

We hope to see you there!

Your Guide to the 2018 Virginia State 4-H Championship

Event Details

Nov. 29 through Dec. 2, 2018 (New date! Event was postponed due to Hurricane Florence.)

VA Horse Center
487 Maury River Road
Lexington, VA

Free to the public.

How Many Attendees Are Expected?

Program associate Leona Ransdell estimates that about 2,000 people will attend the Virginia State 4-H Championship Horse and Pony Show throughout the four days.

These will include more than 400 riders, more than 100 volunteers, 20 educators and hundreds of parents and viewers.

What Events Are Held During the Show?

You can find a little bit of everything at the Virginia State 4-H Championship.

Showmanship events include hunter, western, dressage, and saddleseat/gaited. There will also be mini horse classes, a drill team showcase, and reining events.

Virginia State 4-H ChampionshipBut there are many non-mounted activities, too, such as a photography contest, stall decoration contest, and Horse Bowl.

“Our youth are so great and competitive in every event,” Ransdell said. “It is so fun to watch minis in one ring and turn around and see dressage and in the next ring see the western horses go. This is the 57th year of the show and to me it keeps getting better and better!”

A new addition is the Ambassador Program, where youth from all over Virginia apply to represent their district as the face of the 4-H horse program. They volunteer, conduct outreach and attend events throughout the year–during the Championship Horse and Pony show, they’ll participate in a community service event collecting items for Hope’s Legacy Equine Rescue.

You can view the full 2018 Virginia State 4-H Championship schedule here.

 

Want more equestrian news and horse care tips? Subscribe to the Blue Ridge Trailers newsletter.

Selling a Trailer? How to Do It the Easy Way with Consignment Trailer Sales

consignment trailer salesExercise. Parenting. Paying the bills.

There are certain things in life you just gotta do yourself.

Fortunately, selling a used trailer doesn’t have to be one of them.

With consignment trailer sales, you can get a great price for your used trailer by letting an expert handle the hard work of selling it.

Sound too good to be true?

Blue Ridge Trailers has two decades of experience finding fair deals and happy buyers for used trailers. If you’re thinking about selling a used trailer on consignment, here’s our guidance on how to do it right.

The Trailer Owner’s Guide to Consignment Trailer Sales

What Is Consignment?

When you sell your trailer on consignment, you let someone else take care of finding a buyer and pay them a commission of the sale.

Typically your seller will be a trailer dealer who has the experience and resources to find a buyer quickly and at a good price.

Benefits of Trailer Consignment

As hinted above, the main benefit of a trailer consignment sale is that an expert takes the hard work off your hands. Your seller markets the trailer, negotiates with potential buyers, and manages the paperwork–you sit back, relax, and wait for the check.

Consignment sales are typically much faster than selling on your own, since many more potential buyers will see your trailer–whether it’s on the dealer’s lot, website, catalogue listings, etc.

You can also rely on the dealer’s expertise when it comes to fair trailer prices. No need to worry about pricing the trailer too high or letting it go for too little. Experienced dealers like Blue Ridge Trailers also have the means to provide financing for the buyer, so you don’t need to wait around for someone who happens to have cash-in-hand.

What’s a Good Trailer Consignment Deal Look Like?

Commission fees for consignment trailer sales are usually a percentage of the sale or a flat rate. For example, Blue Ridge Trailers charges 10% of the selling price.

This is on the low end of typical commission rates, which span roughly 10% to 15%.

For ultimate peace of mind, look for a seller who can handle detailing and shop inspection of your trailer before marketing it. A dealer with a qualified trailer service team will ensure that it’s in its best shape to attract buyers.

Blue Ridge Trailers includes our one-year warranty on all consignment trailers as well, which not only gets trailers off the lot faster, but also means that we take care of any issues if the buyer returns after purchasing.

Consider the consignment contract length as well. You don’t want your trailer sitting on the lot for months on end. As a point of reference, Blue Ridge Trailers writes consignment contracts for three months. The trailer owner can end the agreement at any point with no charge, other than for trailer cleaning or inspection if it’s already taken place.

Be sure to work with a seller who can offer maximum exposure for your trailer, both on their lot and online, whether through their website, online inventories, social media, etc. This will translate to a faster, better deal.

Should You Keep Your Trailer Insurance?

Remember that accidents can strike anywhere. If you terminate your trailer insurance before it’s sold, your seller’s insurance likely won’t extend to you for certain types of damage such as flooding, fallen branches, etc.

Different trailer dealers will have different policies regarding consignment insurance. The most responsible ones will require you to keep some form of insurance in place, so that you’re protected in all circumstances.

Here at Blue Ridge Trailers we require trailer owners to maintain their comprehensive and collision coverage, since our insurance won’t extend to them for weather-related damage.

 

Selling a used trailer? Take advantage of Blue Ridge Trailers’ marketing expertise, wide network of buyers, and attractive financing and warranty options. Contact us online or at (434) 985-4151.

Scenic Summer Rides: The Best VA Blue Ridge Mountains Horseback Riding Trails and Tours

VA Blue Ridge Mountains Horseback Riding

Shenandoah National Park. Photo source: U.S. National Park Service

Some people like to party it up on noisy beaches over the summer.

Others prefer a cruise along the Caribbean.

That’s fine.

All the more trail riding for the rest of us!

For horse lovers and riders in the east, the Blue Ridge Mountains offer some of the most beautiful but perhaps underrated trail rides you can find. That’s especially true in Virginia, since many travelers flock to the Georgia side of the mountain range.

If you’re looking for a uniquely unforgettable trip this summer with your horse and family, the VA Blue Ridge Mountains horseback riding trails should be at the top of your list.

We’ve discovered the trails and tours below through our research as well as word of mouth. We hope they open you up to both the amazing riding in this area and the wonderful fellow equestrians you’ll meet here along the way.

Remember, if you’ve always dreamed of traveling with your horse but need the right trailer, contact Blue Ridge Trailers online or at (434) 985-4151 for personalized guidance.

You can also explore our horse trailer inventory here or our horse trailer rental options here.
The destinations below have not been visited by Blue Ridge Trailers owners Rob or Donna Martin. Feel free to let us know what you think of these destinations in the comments, should you visit!

Self-Guided Trail Rides

VA Blue Ridge Mountains Horseback Riding

New River Trailer State Park. Photo source: VA Dept of Conservation and Recreation

New River Trail State Park

Once a railway, this scenic horseback riding trail winds through southwestern Virginia for nearly 60 miles. There’s a gentle slope and you can come or go with numerous access points along the route. Other popular activities on or along the trail including biking, boating, and fishing.

George Washington and Jefferson National Forests

There are more than 1,290 miles of trails within these scenic woods, including several that are closed to motorized traffic seasonally or permanently.

Better yet, if you’re traveling with your horse, there are parking areas and campgrounds where you can stay. Check out details for all the horse campgrounds, including location, fees, access to bathrooms, and more from this page.

Shenandoah National Park

Located north of Charlottesville, VA, Shenandoah National Park offers 180 miles of trails open to horse riding. Trailer parking and campgrounds are available to those traveling with horses, while guided trail rides are also offered (more info on those here).

Moses Cone Park Carriage Trails

Whether you’re winding your way down the Blue Ridge Parkway to Georgia, or just looking for new mountain views, Moses Cone Park Carriage Trails is a nice option in upper North Carolina.

There are 25 miles of multi-purpose trails, including one very unique horseback riding opportunity: the winding Cone Manor Maze along Bass Lake.

Guided Trail Rides

Graves’ Mountain Lodge

This favorite among Virginia locals sits within the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. They offer one-hour, half-day, and full-day rides led by accomplished equestrians every day. Lead lines are provided for kids.

Oakland Heights Farm

Another local favorite! Oakland Heights Farm offers daily guided trail rides rain, snow, or shine. Lessons and horseback riding summer camps are also available. Horse lovers might even want to plan a trip around one of the farm’s horse shows.

Appalachian Horse Adventures

Whether you want a short ride or full immersion in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian Horse Adventures is a great option. They offer rides from an hour to eight hours and even a trail ride-and-overnight cabin combo.

North Mountain Outfitter

Located in the Shenandoah Valley, North Mountain Outfitter keeps trail ride groups small and personal. You’ll hear local lore from experienced guides while riding for a half or full day. All the riding is on mountain trails.

Rebel’s Run @ Afton Mountain

How about a wine tasting with your trail ride? Rebel’s Run offers a trail ride up the Blue Ridge Parkway to a local Virginia vineyard. But if wine’s not your thing, you can also choose the Summit Ride up Afton Mountain.

 

Did one of these wonderful trail riding opportunities catch your eye? Blue Ridge Trailers is happy to provide our trailering expertise as you plan your trip. Contact us online or at (434) 985-4151 with questions about choosing a trailer, horse safety on the road, or anything else.

4 Irresistible Horseback Riding Vacations on the East Coast

East Coast Horse VacationsSummer is here—finally!

For horse lovers, this season is glorious.

It’s a time to get out and ride with no cold weather to deter us.

And as a team of longtime riders and horse lovers, we here at Blue Ridge Trailers know that heading out in search of new trails is half of the fun.

So we wanted to share with you four exciting horseback riding vacations on the East Coast that we discovered through our summer research.

We hope they inspire a wonderful vacation for you and your horse this summer!

Remember, if you’ve always dreamed of traveling with your horse but need the right trailer, contact Blue Ridge Trailers online or at (434) 985-4151 for personalized guidance.

You can also explore our horse trailer inventory here or our horse trailer rental options here.

All of the destinations on this list are on the East Coast and have not been visited by Blue Ridge Trailers owners Rob or Donna Martin. Feel free to let us know what you think of these destinations in the comments, should you visit!

4 Irresistible Horseback Riding Vacations on the East Coast

1. Shangrila Guest Ranch, South Boston, VA

horseback riding vacations east coast

Photo source: Facebook

We wanted to start right here in our wonderful state of Virginia.

Shangrila Guest Ranch is known for its personal service, down-to-earth atmosphere and year-round trail riding opportunities. You can choose from an all-inclusive horseback riding vacation package, wagon rides or hourly and day trail rides. You can bring your horse or ride with one of their great horses.

The ranch is ideal for a family vacation, girl’s weekend, or business retreat. There are plenty of activities to keep the kiddos happy, from gathering chicken eggs, to feeding ducks and other farm animals, to gathering by the campfire for s’mores!

Learn more about Shangrila Guest Ranch here.

2. Rocking Horse Ranch Resort, Highland, NY

horsebacking riding vacations east coast

Photo source: Facebook

WOW! Rocking Horse Ranch Resort was voted a Trip Advisor U.S. Top 10 Family Resort so it’s definitely a place to put on your bucket list. The list of activities and family fun is unending, plus there are horses. What could be better?

For the family you can enjoy: children’s programs, award-winning gardens, an exotic wildlife exhibit, free wi-fi, and all-you-can-eat meal packages.

Of course, there are miles of trails and beautiful scenery to ride, barn tours, horse-drawn and tractor-drawn wagon rides, and horse shoe demonstrations. We’ve also heard that the indoor water park is summer all year long at 85 degrees.

Need we say more?

Check out Rocking Horse Ranch Resort here.

3. Southern Cross Guest Ranch, Madison, GA

Travel + Leisure Magazine voted Southern Cross Guest Ranch one of America’s Best Dude Ranches. One of our staffers visited there a few years back and really enjoyed it.

It’s nestled just outside of Atlanta in beautiful Madison, GA. The sunsets there and the horseback riding is stunning. You’ll feel relaxed and well-fed at Southern Cross, that’s for certain!

You’ll find nothing but quality Paint and Quarter Horses at this Georgia ranch, which is known best for its hands-on riding program, comfortable settings, and the ability to ride out on your own.

After a long day in the saddle, the rooms at Southern Cross are all furnished beautifully and are decorated uniquely. You’ll feel right at home and the kitchen is just a few seconds from your room. Fresh cookies and milk, too!

The horses at Southern Cross are outstanding and the hospitality is second to none! If you are looking for an affordable, relaxing getaway look no further!

Learn more about Southern Cross Guest Ranch here.

4. Marriott Ranch, Hume, VA

Last but not least, we finish up our list right in our backyard—the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

You can load your horse up or ride one of theirs over the beautiful 4,200 acre working cattle ranch. It’s trail riding at its best as you experience hills, creeks, woods, and pass along grazing cattle.

You have the option of many horse-related activities, from guided trail rides to private rides, group rides, vacation packages, and cattle drives. The sky’s the limit here with the amount of fun you can have with your horse!

The accommodations won’t let you down either. Each room is unique and the dining options will blow your socks off!

Read more about the Marriott Ranch here.

 

These horseback riding vacations on the East Coast are just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of unique riding destinations for you, your horse and your family. We’d love to learn about the places you’ve visited that your family enjoyed the most! Please feel free to share in the comments or on our Facebook page.

The 4-Step Horse Trailer Ventilation Guide for Safe, Cool Hauling

You’ve got the air conditioner on blast.

Your favorite shades are at the ready.

An ice coffee is in the cup holder.

It’s time for a summer road trip and you’re ready to ride in style.

But are your horses?

Summer travel poses a range of health risks to your horses–without proper horse trailer ventilation, they can become stressed from the temperature or even develop an illness like heat exhaustion or shipping fever.

Whether you’re looking for a new horse trailer or considering how to improve one you’ve already got, these horse trailer ventilation tips will help both you and your horses enjoy relaxed, cool rides this summer.

General Tips for Summer Hauling with Horses

Before we get to our horse trailer ventilation tips, be aware that there are several other important ways you can keep your horses cool on the road.

The 4-Step Horse Trailer Ventilation Guide

1. Look for Windows in the Front and Back

When it comes to ventilation, window placement is even more important than the number or type of windows in your horse trailer. They won’t do you any good if they’re not positioned to create a flow of air throughout the trailer.

Make sure there are windows at both the front of the trailer and the back. The back window or windows should be large–you can put screens or bars over them so they can be kept wide open without posing a safety issue for your horses.

If there’s a dressing room or tack room wall at the back of your trailer, it should have a window, too–otherwise the air from the front gets blocked, preventing a current as you drive.

2. Install Fans to Promote Airflow

Trailer fans are a smart, simple way to increase ventilation in your horse trailer.

Common sense would tell you to point the fans at your horses. The whole point is to cool them off, right?

Well, yes–but positioning your fans that way won’t help.

Again, it’s all about creating a current of air throughout the trailer. Make sure that your back fans are facing out of the window (in other words, pointing at the cars behind you). That way, the fans will pull air from front to back, cooling your horses as it flows by.

3. Wire Your Fans to an Auxiliary Battery

I discovered the beauty of horse trailer fans a long time ago. But I had to learn this extra step the hard way.

It was July and I was enjoying a hunt trail ride with friends. It was a great day, but we ran late–partly because we caught a horse headed towards the highway before we left–and partly because, well, of course we had happy hour after the ride!

When I finally got back to my trailer, my fans had been running for 4.5 hours.

How do you think my tow vehicle battery way doing?

Yeah, not great. There I was in a town with no cell towers and a dead truck battery. My friend went to fetch my husband several counties away–and I set my mind to getting an auxiliary fan battery as soon as possible.

4. Already Have a Trailer with Poor Ventilation?

If you already have a trailer with inadequate windows, you can use fans to boost ventilation–again, just make sure to point the ones that are furthest back out towards the road. You won’t get the same cooling effect that you would with proper window placement, but it can help.

If possible, consider adding windows to your trailer. Depending on how it’s framed, a solid dress wall can sometimes have windows added to it. You might also replace your back trailer doors if they don’t have windows.

 

Have questions about choosing or improving a horse trailer ventilation system? Blue Ridge Trailers is always happy to offer our expertise. Contact us online or at (434) 985-4151.