McCarter's Stables
McCarter's Riding Stables

This shot is my son, Wes, and his mount, Beau, taken on a trail at McCarter's Riding Stables. McCarter's is in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, near Sugarlands Visitor Center. Wes, Sr. and I were also on this trailride, but our ride was one way: up. My horse, Chigger (a former barrel racer who "can turn on a dime, ma'am"), stubbornly refused to walk anywhere but on the EDGE of the mountain trial cliffs. It had poured and these dirt and gravel trails were now wet and slippery. I contained my incredible fear of heights all the way to the top, but when my calf brushed one too many trees growing from beneath the cliff's edge, I knew I'd never make it down. The sheer drops on the side of these four foot wide trails played terrible havoc on my mind and I did what I needed to do. I called to the guide (and not calmly, either!) that I was getting off and would walk the miles back down to the stables. His assurances of Chigger's sure-footedness did not dissuade me. To make matters worse, while I was getting off Chigger decided he needed to take a leak. (It's *real* funny now, but it sure wasn't at that time!) For whatever reason, it never entered my head that my husband would elect to walk down the mountain with me. My thoughts were focused solely on getting off of that horse. My son, however, had no gallant thoughts like his father's and rode back. Point of interest: The first photo my husband took of me after the others had ridden downtrail, I had a big grin on my face. I've never been so happy to walk for miles in my life.

Wes and Beau

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