1999 Inaugural "Lizzy-Connemara" Trail Ride
The first year of this ride included a small group of just 4 Connemaras and 1 "Wanna Be": Elizabeth Hardison on Sparrow, Rachel Blalock on Foothills River Queen, Larissa Gore on Appleberry Acres Gabriel, Vanessa Morgan on Fiddler's Gremlin MacDaire and Carole Moss on Sarah, a Belgin cross.

My favorite part about our trail ride was being able to ride Gabby. Gabby is a wonderful Connemara mare who I used to ride and care for several years ago when she lived in North Carolina at Rockbrook Camp. Rockbrook did not have much to offer in the way of trails, but I loved to trail ride with Gabby whenever I got the opportunity. Gabby always seemed to enjoy them as much as I did. Trail riding with Vanessa and the others was tons of fun and brought back so many great memories! Gabby was, of course, wonderful and behaved herself beautifully. I felt so proud to be riding her! The trails were beautiful and the mountain overlooks spectacular, but nothing compared to the joy of simply riding the horse I have always loved. Everything else just added together to make the weekend even more wonderful. signed Larissa   


For me the trail ride was an adventure and training session. Sparrow, my green broke pony, learned to jump water crossings and I learned how to stay on! At one crossing that was too large to be jumped, I was sure that I could not ride her through it, so I insisted that Vanessa ride her. After it was made clear to Sparrow who was boss, she rode her through, following Gabby, without any hesitation. It seemed very fitting for me to wade through the water to mount my pony. signed Elizabeth    

  The inaugural Connemara Trail Excursion was a success and a credit to the versatility of the breed. The group was a mixed bag of green and experienced horses and riders, and all had a grand time! Accommodations for horse and human at East Fork were excellent. The trails are well marked and maintained, offering a wide range of terrain: deep woods, open fields, scenic overlooks. The staff certainly exhibited the Southern hospitality that keeps you returning again and again.
   Trail riding builds a bond between you and your horse that cannot be replaced. To enjoy the resonance of the horses' footfalls in the deep humus of a evergreen grove, to ride quietly along tall cliffs, hung low with blooming rhododendron, to canter freely across open green fields in the summer wind, these sensations cannot be found in a riding ring. To approach a running stream or a steep slope with confidence that you can cross it together, this is an incredible feeling. Connemaras are not bred to be hot-house flowers, but are bred to be tough and level-headed and love the outdoors. How they shine, going into the mountains!
   Thanks to Vanessa Morgan for organizing the ride! We dubbed this ride the "Lizzy Connemara!" ride, for Connemara owner Elizabeth Hardison and a Connemara mare (
Foothills River Queen), nicknamed Lizzy, who were both along for the fun. I hope this get-together will be the beginning of an Annual Tradition! signed Carole    

 This Connemara trail ride provided the opportunity to enjoy God’s great outdoors in the company of wonderful friends and great horses. It was a very welcome retreat from the hustle-bustle of my career, farm work and an overcommitted personal life. I can’t think of a more enjoyable outing and I’m really looking forward to the next one! signed Vanessa    


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