We’ve all had the opportunity to drive around the island of Martha’s Vineyard and take in its beautiful landscapes. Many of us have also been lucky enough to walk the numerous trails that take us into more remote areas that show us a different side of the Vineyard. However, we’re about to be able to see the Island in a completely different way, on horseback.
In mid-June Esperanza Riding Company will be opening its barn doors for its first season and will be offering horseback riding tours of Martha’s Vineyard. Esperanza Riding Company (ERC), which started in Vieques, Puerto Rico five years ago, is offering people the chance to “see the islands the way they were meant to be seen,” which is their motto. And I think they’re right – imagine meandering along the Vineyard coast or through one of the up-island trails on the back of a beautiful horse, and I bet you can’t help but smile. You can experience this amazing place in a whole new way.
ERC has the most amazing location. At the end of a winding drive in West Tisbury, you come upon a horse barn that will knock your socks off. It looks like something out of movie. It is such a stunning building, and the inside is just as beautiful. Only on the Vineyard would you find a place this magnificent. When you see it and the property it sits on, you know that you are with people who have a deep love of horses.
The Horse Makes All the Difference
ERC is bringing its special trail-riding horses to the Vineyard, Paso Finos, which I recently learned have a natural gait instead of a trotting. So, the horses have a smooth ride versus a bumpy trot which is what I usually associate with riding a horse on a trail. These horses are gentle enough for the most novice of riders, but can also be responsive to those who know what they’re doing on the back of a horse.
Whatever your skill level, you’ll be able to just sit back and enjoy the view. Also, I have to mention that they are beautiful horses with amazing personalities. Even someone who is a little nervous around horses felt at ease with them.
I don’t have a lot of horseback riding experience, and actually the last time I rode a horse, it was with a trail-riding company while on vacation on Block Island. I was with my husband and his family, and I have to admit that it was pretty amazing to have the opportunity to explore the land on the back of a horse. It was an experience I will never forget, and I look forward to being able to do it again, but here at home.
There is a large “horse” community on Martha’s Vineyard. You may be able to find one to ride if you know the right person, but I am not aware of any places that offer anything like ERC. Whether you’re here for the day, a month, or forever, you can have the chance to get on a horse, and ride through the beautiful landscape of the Vineyard.
Currently, ERC is working with local conservation groups to expand the number of trails that you can explore. This way, you can see several different parts of the Island, and get back on those horses more than once. Seeing the land as it was seen years ago and in a different way, allows you the chance to fall in love with the Island even more.
You’re probably wondering how a horseback riding tour company from Vieques decided to open up a company here. Well, owner Elizabeth Buyrn had worked on the Vineyard for a couple of Summers at Alchemy and one at Atria. We all know that once you spend some time here, it’s easy to want to comeback again and again.
Last August, Elizabeth and her friends decided to come to the Vineyard to for a girls weekend. After having dinner at State Road, they were driving up-island and taking in the pastoral scenery, when her friend Krissy said that they should open a horseback riding tour company here. Less than a year later, that’s what they’re doing. Krissy, who is now living here full time, is working with Elizabeth on this new venture. Having been friends for a long time, and both having a passion for horses, you could not ask for for two more amazing women to open this type of business. That’s Elizabeth in the photo riding Cimarron, AKA the Man, who is her favorite horse to ride. He apparently has taken well to his new island home.
Ready to Ride
Esperanza Riding Company is adding something new to the list of things for our visitors and for us to do. How fun to have the chance to now go on a horseback riding tour in addition to a kayak tour, shopping, beach hopping and all the other fun things you can do here. Scheduling a ride with them should be on your Vineyard “bucket” list. It’s an experience you’ll never forget. To find out more simply checkout their website. Elizabeth and Krissy will help you expeience “the island like it was meant to be seen”.
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