Everything is an adventure at the stables if you are just a little person.
Especially if you have brought table scraps to feed the goats, and the pigs.
Running around burning off all that excess energy is wonderful.
I know some kids that will sleep well tonight!
I love our trails. They are different from week to week…month to month…season to season…..And they never get boring.
One of the things that has always surprised me here in Florida is that you almost always see butterflies while riding the trails.
Here are some of the ones I seen, whose picture I have taken…
….Zebra Longwing, our Florida State Butterfly…
…and a Great Southern White….
Of course I wasn’t on horseback when I took these pictures…photographing a butterfly is surprisingly difficult because they never seem to sit still. But, once you are aware of them, they are easy to spot as you’re riding along on your horse. Enjoy!
When its time for Rita to give the horses their second feeding, Pickles the pig is always right there waiting for her share.
All the horses are eating….no horses available….and Nicole wants to ride.
Pickles has finished her food. Pickles?
…not super comfortable…..
…..very fussy and noisy….
….and after only about a minute she just sits down…
…a very offended little pig….
…but a peace offering of some more sweet feed makes everything better!
Our horses roam around free on our property much of the time, but during business hours, when we could have customers coming for trail rides, they stay in tents! We’re pretty proud of our modular housing for horses. It fits the Florida climate perfectly.
The horses’ pens are made of horse fencing panels. They are expensive, but sturdy and moveable. Most importantly, though, they’re not stuffy like a traditional wood barn would be. There is good airflow and ventilation….no danger of mold or fungus like with a regular wood barn. We picked an extra sandy spot for our horse pens…the horses stand in clean sand, not straw, stall mats or on concrete. The pens are open so they get a nice breeze and can also see their friends! The tarps that we use on the tents are silver colored and reflect the heat. With the breeze flowing through the panels and the tarps reflecting ability, it is actually nice and cool in the horses’ pens, even in the Florida summer heat. Most of the pens are 10×24. Some of our pens are back to back, but other horses have a pen all to themselves. Horses are extremely social animals, so we pay close attention to who hangs out with whom in their free time. Friends get put close to each other, so that they can enjoy each other’s company even when they are in their pens. When you see horses in back to back pens, it’s because they’re good buddies and like hanging out with each other. Normally, the geldings (boys) will want a stall buddy while the mares (ladies) want a pen to themselves!
Phantom, Dillenger, Jazz and Blaze like to share…..
Our mares, Diamond and Eden need their personal space…..
Apache has a pen by himself because he’s half Clydesdale and he’s BIG!
Round pens, arenas and quarantine areas are also quickly and easily constructed as needed. Whenever we get creative and want to reconfigure our setup, it can be done in a day. And last but not least….when there’s a hurricane or a tropical storm headed our way, we take down the tarps, so there will be no flying debris. In these situations, the horses have a natural instinct to wait out the storm in our woods… the safest possible situation during difficult times.
We like tent city. It works for us.
When we first got Valentino, he was still a stallion, and one of the fun things about him was ability to stand on his hind legs in an beautiful controlled fashion.
…Perfectly balanced, like a pro…..….Paso Fino horses are just the coolest…!
……..it was a really fun thing to do with him………
But now that he is no longer a stallion, he’s very lackadaisical, and can’t be bothered to do it any more…..
Clyde may occasionally be prompted get up on his hind legs for you….…he’s a Paso too….
….and here he is with Olivia….
The rest of the horses only do it when they’re playing.
Here’s horseplay between Casanova and George…. while Valentino and Clyde stand
in the background, looking bored….. ….note George does it all with his tongue hanging out!
Dillenger, our Missouri Foxtrotter, really took to off-site trail riding. He loaded easily and was relaxed and happy to be in a new environment. He even went saddle free. Bringing him along was a lot of fun.
Here he is with Mark, taking a break….
On the way back, Mark just rode him with a halter and a lead rope. It gave him a chance to snack here and there….
He loved it…..
Many tourists who visit Florida either plan to head to the beaches, go sight seeing, or choose to enjoy the nature and wildlife. A preferred activity for those who choose to enjoy the nature and wildlife is horseback riding. In Florida, there are a variety of trails designed for horseback riding. Stables such as Sun City Stables give you an opportunity to rent a horse and ride on these trails either with a guide or without. The special thing about stables such as Sun City Stables is that they do not force you to be accompanied on a ride with a guide. Sun City Stables is also known to allow customers to ride by themselves without a guide, or to hire a guide, whichever they choose.
Trail riding in Florida is a wonderful experience for those who have never gone horseback riding. Florida viewed from the back of a horse is just a little different from a nature walk or a bike ride…..
The experience is well worth your while
. Paso Finos Clyde, Frieda and Valentino…doing their thing…