Tails of a Northshore horse trail
theresa cassagne PHOTOGRAPH
Across the pond, a mere drive over the Causeway, sits a charming 75-acre horse farm in Bush, Louisiana. Splendor Farms is a premier Northshore location with options for animal appreciaters of all kinds. Including horses, goats, and even kennels of dachshunds, the nature lover in all of us can find their own playground at Splendor Farms.
Biz New Orleans magazine editor Kim Singletary and I decided to take the drive one morning and experience the Northshore farm and trail ride for ourselves. We thought we’d be the perfect duo for the job, considering Kim is an experienced rider and my expertise ended at a birthday party pony ride. Who could better judge than a novice and an expert?
Our horses were saddled and ready for us to go when we arrived. The staff was exceptional at explaining the different parts of the saddle, what type of riding we were going to experience and, of course, the personalities of our horses. Kim, appropriate to her zodiac sign, was paired with Leo, a gorgeous blonde with Dalmatian-like spots, and I rode with Buddy, a strong-willed brunette.
The Splendor Farms trail is over 1,000 acres through the woods, creeks and fields of the gorgeous Northshore. We started down a gravel path for us to get used to the ride, and I learned very quickly that Buddy wasn’t going to make this easy. Was he too rough or too fast? No. Buddy enjoyed stopping and eating the flowers every few feet, which actually enabled me to learn how to make the horse move, steer in the opposite direction and give a nudge to catch up with the group. Once we got in the swing of things, the ride became an amazing roam through tree-lined paths. The day made for a gorgeous ride, as the sun was high and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. It was relaxing and beautiful, like something out of a painting. Our trail guide was attentive, explained everything we needed to know and made sure our whole ride was as smooth as it could be.
There are a multitude of benefits when it comes to horseback riding. Not only are you strengthening your core and working out key muscles, but the practice is also used therapeutically. Being around animals is believed to raise levels of serotonin, the mood-enhancing hormone. Horses have been used in drug and alcohol rehabilitation, autism and mental disorder therapy and for those living with stress, depression or anxiety.
Splendor Farms offers something for everyone. Besides their one- or two-hour trail rides, guests can interact with their dachshunds, spend the night at their bed-and-breakfast and even send their children to the weekly summer camp.
They seem to have it all at Splendor Farms. And this city girl can’t wait to gallop on back.
For more Splendor Farm information, and to register for your ride, visit SplendorFarms.com.