Asheville – Something’s Horsey Around Here

Equestrian Art Horses by Jennings Ingram

Asheville has a thing for horses. When I first moved here, I was traveling down Reems Creek in Weaverville, and it was as if someone had literally stolen the pavement. I am talking about driving down a dirt and gravel road. And no sidewalks either. Can you believe that??? I surely couldn’t. At the time I was driving a dropped Chevy Beretta with a body kit on it that made it look like custom sports car. Being my first time here from New York City, I felt as if I had entered a Little House on the Prairie reality show for a moment. I was lost. “I need a horse” was one of the first things I thought, to at least stop these gravel rocks from nicking my car every few feet that I drove. On top of that, folks were waving at me from every vehicle that passed. I thought “there’s something fishy around here”, but I was wrong. It was then I acclimated myself, and my horse-sense kicked in.

Honestly, I am not too fond of horses. I did not grow up around them, never rode them, and when I finally decided to jump on one bareback in Upstate NY, the horse took off like a bat out of hell, racing under low hanging tree branches to knock me off. I held on for dear life. Finally, the horse reared back and I jumped off as it did, saving myself. Whew! Today, I would say that I am horse friendly, but like a distant relative, or from the stands if I may. I have friends whose lives revolve around horses. Everything they do and have revolves around them. “Horse Life” is kind of tattooed on their chest. And don’t be surprised if you hear them say “that’s horseshit” instead of the traditional bullshit phrase we have become so accustomed to.

Tryon International Equestrian Center

Now with the new Tryon International Equestrian Center opening, horses that had previously settled down in other areas of the World, are now saddling up, putting on their blinders, and heading straight for the mountains of Asheville & WNC. I am not claiming a horse exodus to the area, but I will say that if you are watching the market, you need to open your eyes because there’s something horsey going on around here.

Tryon Equestrian Center Logo

We even have Equine & Equestrian Art: Asheville Artist Jennings Ingram recently finished up a painting that portrays the Tryon International Equestrian Center. Check out the amazing detail on this oil painting! (Note: this photo/image is a cropped version of the full painting)

Horse-centric real estate is also becoming a hot commodity. The Pat & Donna Team from Keller Williams in Asheville had recently launched this video featuring drone footage of a beautiful estate, a home, a barn, acreage, views all around, and horses of course. The perfect setting just 20 minutes to downtown Asheville.

Would you rather be swimming with the fishes? Or riding your horse around the gorgeous mountains of Western NC? You already know the answer. We will see you soon.

Gold

We live in the technological age where everything is cutting edge and fast paced.  Everything we do seems to be a part of some virtual quilt, with squares made of software, chips, and other small metal things I don’t understand.  Sometimes I long for a purity, a breath in of a simpler time.  I want to go to a place that still smells like the sweat on a farmers brow, or fresh dust from a hand saw.  I want to be part of nature…kind of.  Who am I kidding?  I’m a generation X-er.  Where can I get just a small taste?

My husband actually found that place for me in one his best romantic gestures yet…a horse and carriage ride through downtown Asheville.  I was in awe when I saw the quaint carriage pull up beside me, led by the beautiful horse, Gypsy Gold.  They’d just put the Christmas lights out downtown, and the air was just crisp enough to be comfortably cozy.  I could hear the faint heartbeat of the drum circle in the distance, but was more romanticized by the sax player on the corner cranking out his bluesy rendition of “Winter Wonderland.”

When the horseman helped me on board, my husband handed me a rose and wrapped me in a blanket.  I felt like Cinderella being swept away for a romantic evening, and could feel the other women on the street looking my way.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love it. 

As we took off, I took note of the antiquated clip-clop of Gypsy’s shoes against the pavement.  This only grew more charming when he pranced over the cobblestone on Wall Street.  I could smell his horsey musk, but not too much, and could hear the gentle creaking of the wooden carriage.  However, the mixed aromas of Asheville restaurants permeating into the evening air reminded me I was still in our artsy civilization.  I was viewing these 19th and early 20th century buildings from the transportation they were first seen from, getting a taste of what once was.  However, I noted the modern hustle and bustle they were now pregnant with…oh what a yummy juxtaposition our Asheville is.

The three quarters of an hour spent on the horse was perfect.  It was cozy, romantic, historical, and yet the perfect ambassador of modern-day Asheville.  It’s a must-see attraction for locals and tourists alike.  Sometimes experiencing old and new together is the best way to do it.  This tour is  a home-run, and reflective of the adorable horse’s name.  This tour is simply gold…nice, slow, easy, gold.

On the Carriage!

On the Carriage!

horse2 

 

For more information on this tour visit http://www.ashevillehorseandcarriagetours.com