Events for you to enjoy at Misty Manor include, but are not limited
to, the following Playday and Premium Specialty Rides:
Playday Events are
held every fall, and sometimes spring, to raise funds for Ralf
Anonymous. You won't want to miss these events filled with fun and
games! Great food and prizes add to the enjoyment.
For more information, please call Judi at 410-781-4810.
See you there!
Thanks to all who attended our previous Playday events and helped
to make them fun-filled successes!
No equestrian experience is necessary. However, we do have rides
on some weekends best suited to riders, including beginners, who are
not lacking in self-confidence and do not show apprehension to the
horses (being a good poker player probably helps if you're not an
experienced rider!) when riding down fairly steep embankments, or
while riding at a trot or canter---also known as a lope to western
So, as mentioned before, if you don't know anything at all about
horses, you'll soon learn what you need to know; more information
about this is mentioned below. All that's required is a desire to
have fun. :-)
For more information on Misty Manor's
events please telephone us at 410-781-4810.
Reservations are required so that we know how many people to
expect each week in addition to members of the group who participate
regularly. We hope to see you soon!
1 Hour Trail Rides
Even if you've never ridden a rocking horse, our gentle trail horses
are trained to pamper the most novice riders. In fact, the less you know,
the more fun it is at Misty Manor Riding Stable.
We invite you to bring your social group or come solo and ride our
scenic, rustic and breathtaking trails with the nicest people that
you'll ever meet.
As always, beginners are welcome on all of the rides, Don't worry, it's
not as bad as it may sound. We've had many first-time riders along on
these rides who've done extremely well, so, please don't be
discouraged. Be confident, and you'll do well, just as others have!
The horses follow one another, and there isn't much that you have to
know about horses or riding in order to participate in these rides;
what you don't know, we'll be glad to help you to learn.
Anyway, if you are still a little hesitant, or don't feel that you're
physically up to these rides---that's perfectly understandable and
nothing to feel bad about. There are a couple of options for you
which will get you up to speed and help you to build up confidence and
stamina for our more challenging rides. Horses and riding can be,
understandably, a little daunting to some, and not everyone is in
appropriate physical condition to endure a first-time ride that's two
to three hours long. That's why we also have beginner's rides.
English and western lessons are also available as an
option. For those who wish to get a little more riding experience
first, before joining us, you may wish to consider first trying a
Premuim Specialty Rides
What follows are examples of some of our extended, specialty rides with photos:
This ride was a little longer than planned, nearly four hours long,
since we decided to do some exploring.
At first, we rode through some trails familiar to most of those
who've joined us for previous rides; that is, the trail leading
through the woods and exiting into a clearing across from the park's
main entrance. From there, we rode up the park's driveway, through
part of the Tall Poplar Trail, headed towards the Plantation Trail,
rode alongside the river, crossed the ford then continued riding
alongside the river where we encountered some bicyclists who objected
to having to yield to horses---nonetheless, they moved out of the way
rather expediently at the last moment amidst their shouts of
From there, we rode back to the tall "mountain" with a fantastic
view of the scenery below. Upon reaching the top, we found a trail
that sloped fairly gently back down towards the river, into a river
valley. Continuing to ride alongside the river, it wasn't long before
we heard the sound of traffic. Not far ahead, we could see the
Woodstock Road bridge that crosses the river, and the railroad tracks
across the river, which cross Woodstock Road near the Woodstock Inn.
From that point, we were on a trail leading towards the grounds of the
ancient Jesuit college that's now part of the Maryland Job Corps.
We were then back on some trails that some of you may remember
riding on last year, when we rode up past the pumping station, then
the Job Corps and out onto Woodstock Road and through the cemetery (we
didn't ride there or onto Woodstock Road this time however). Remember
that huge downed tree last year which blocked the trail leading back
into the park past the pumping station, which was impossible to pass
(extremely steep hill to the left and a steep embankment going down on
the right)? That downed tree was a few feet above, and across, the
trail, and a couple of feet in diameter... even someone skilled at
high jumps would probably have ended up falling down the embankment on
the other side. Anyway, the park service cut the tree after being
telephoned about it last year, and we were able to follow that trail
this time, which ran alongside a stream with some beautiful
waterfalls, from a few feet to about five or six feet tall. In one
area, across from the stream, was a tall embankment beyond which we
could see the Job Corps buildings; the embankment was apparently a
former dump---old stoves, refrigerators, etc. Someone had even dumped
an old car down the embankment. The foundations to some old buildings
could be seen.
It wasn't long before we encountered a quarry with "no swimming"
signs; we rode up a hill around the side of it, leading to the area at
the top of the quarry. Riding through more woods, we eventually came
to a fork in the trail. Curious as to where each branch led, we first
rode to the right, which led us down an open grassy pathway. A fenced
in field was to our left, then there was a small road, which turned
out to be a private common driveway, and there were some houses across
from us. On the other side of the grassy path was a forest of pine
trees. We saw a man with a dog, who crossed the road to talk with us
when we asked where we were. It turned out that we'd ridden to within
a short distance of Hernwood Road, and were near the decommissioned
Nike missle base. He also mentioned that, somewhere, in the woods on
the other side of us, was a house where part of the Blair Witch
movie was filmed.
We rode down the end of the path, which dead-ended at Hernwood Road
across from one or more horse farms, then, followed a path for some
distance towards the old missile base and through part of the woods,
but didn't see any signs of the house. From there, we doubled back,
then rode back into another section of woods across from the driveway,
but still didn't see the house, then rode through an fairly open hilly
area and followed trails eventually leading us back to that fork in
the trail; this time, we went the other way. That led us to wide open
rolling hills, crossing the pipeline, leading back towards the top of
that "mountain" atop the river, where we saw the remains of an old
stone fireplace and chimney just inside the woods to our right, which
must have been a house with a grand view many years ago! Rather than
take the steep trails back down, we doubled back through the rolling
hills to a trail running alongside a small stream, which we deduced
would lead us back down to the river and to the trails alongside the
river, which it did.
From there, we rode back through park and back to the farm.
After a long ride through woods and alongside a branch of the
river, which we crossed and then continued riding alongside of, we
crossed a much wider, and deeper, section of the river. After reaching
dry land and waiting for the others to finish crossing, Sassy decided
to shake the water off, even though the water barely reached her
belly; if you've never been on a horse shaking herself, or himself,
dry, it's quite an exhilarating experience! :-)
From the riverbank, we rode up a hill leading to a trail through an
open field which was great for cantering. From there, we meandered
through some woods and open rolling hills, did a little sight-seeing
(the ruins of an old house with a stone chimney that was still
standing and couple of wrecked 1950's cars at the edge of the woods),
rode past some marshland and cattails, then rode through some
roller-coaster like hills, crossed two more branches of the river,
rode through long straight hilly trails for some more cantering (uphill
only), then headed back through more woods to the farm.
We didn't spot any deer this time, although we did observe some geese,
a hawk, a blue heron in flight and squirrels. While we saw evidence
of some beavers' hard work, we didn't see the busy little critters
A couple of us went out and did some exploring; we must have ridden
through a wide open area of about 1,000 acres of gently rolling hills,
and flat land, far above Marriottsville Road (south of the railroad
tracks), where hay is farmed. Sassy, while attempting to turn around
on a very narrow dead-end trail, decided to suddenly create her own
trail going up steep hillside---so there was no turning back. That
led us to other trails, which led to the open field. Jim---a great
rider, and Bonanza bravely followed us up the hill, and along some
trails far above the river and railroad tracks below, to the hayfield.
Note: there is a much easier way to get there. After a long ride
through the field, we came to a farm where we were hoping to find
someone who could tell us where we were, but after calling out and
waving to the man that we saw, he just turned and walked away as we
Here are some pictures from Nov. 13th:
Here, we've just crossed part of the river, near where it branches
off. As we ride, part of the river is to our right. The next picture
includes a view of Sassy getting into the photograph as her human
snaps the picture.
Water flowing over rocks in the water; a relaxing sound to hear as
well. As you can see, we're folling a rather straight and long trail.
The view that you can see across the river is where we originally
planned upon riding this past weekend; roller-coaster-like trails,
remains of old houses, rolling hills, a picturesque pond and more
great scenery are to be found over there. When the water is still,
the mirror images are a grand sight to behold!
The trail continues. Eventually it leads to many steep and winding
hilly trails, with great views, or to another river crossing, but we
didn't ride that far. A short distance ahead, we turned off onto
another trail, then turned around and rode back.
Here, we're crossing the river. This picture is taken with Sassy
standing in the river as the others are following us into the water.
Looking at the picture to the right, you can see some of the group
(upper left-hand corner) riding down the ford towards the water.
That's, alas, the least blurry photo that I was able to take of
everyone. As you can see, the embankment isn't very steep
In this next photo, we've just ridden up a steep hill and the river is
now far below to our left; its that dark area in the left of the
picture, behind the trees. As we ride, we're probably a good hundred
feet or so above the river (taking a guess).