Vermont Country Inn Ride

Vermont USA: (IRVT01)

Vermont USA
Welcome to the glorious Green Mountains and Mad River Valley of Vermont. Nestled along the river, the elegant, relaxing inn is your vacation getaway home and the starting point for your riding explorations on the smooth gaited Icelandic horse. You will be venturing into the Mad River Valley resting between the Green Mountains and enjoying country inn hospitality at its finest. From the moment you enter the sunny front room of the Victorian style inn, with its white wicker furniture and pastel floral prints or take in the flower-bedecked back porch veranda overlooking the pretty gazebo and the lush gardens in open fields, you will know you have arrived to the heavenly Vermont countryside. You will be riding through  green meadows, quiet forests, and of course, along Vermont's famous dirt country roads. You will be greeted by the rivers and streams which cut into the mountains and on warm days you are welcome to take a refreshing swim.
You'll enjoy very comfortable accommodations and gourmet dining, all with a generous helping of Vermont hospitality. When you awaken, you will be served a delicious three-course gourmet breakfast, and you may be accompanied by a hummingbird or two. During the summer, we serve breakfast outdoors on the covered back porch. Breathe in the landscape, distant red barns, meadows of wild flowers, fields of corn. The warm hospitality and relaxed atmosphere make you feel right at home. For lunch we bring either a delicious picnic to eat at a pretty spot or we stop at a specially selected restaurant. After riding, you will come back to the inn for the daily afternoon tea, the lights go dim and soft classical music fills the air. Choose your favorite tea and cup from the inn's private collection of antique china. Savor your beverage in front of our cozy fireplace. Breathtaking views, unique horses, and a charming inn with wonderful food, make this a very memorable riding experience.

The Icelandic horses are extremely hardy and tolerant, but part of what makes them so special is the fact that they control five gaits – making for a very smooth ride. The combination of the horses' smoothness and our Icelandic saddles, designed for many hours of use, ensure a comfortable ride.

In Spring, life unfolds here, as the grass turns green and the trees begin to look like a pastel painting. Flowers and blossoms appear at every turn, and nesting and migrating birds fill the air with motion and song.

In Summer, refresh yourself in one of our local waterfalls or swimming holes, or try a round of golf at Sugarbush's famous 18-hole course, designed by Robert Trent Jones. Our quiet country roads and trails invite road and mountain cycling. Make a wish as you walk through one of the Valley's covered bridges, and amble through the Saturday Farmers' Market for produce fresh from the field, locally-made crafts, foods, and live music. On Independence Day, follow the crowd to the Warren Fourth of July Parade. In August, the Festival of the Arts offers a wealth of choices for every taste.

In Autumn, soak in the multitude of the fall colors and enjoy the splendor of nature's magnificent color wheel, go antiquing, soaring, or visit the Inn's own pumpkin patch.

Non-Riders are welcome to join their friends or spouses - plenty of things to do in the area while they ride!


This is a stationary ride, so all nights are spent at the same location.

You nights will be at a lovely country inn in Waitsfield. From the moment you enter the sunny front room or our Inn, with white wicker furniture and pastel floral prints, the flower-bedecked back porch overlooking the gazebo, and lush gardens in open fields, you will know you have arrived in heavenly Vermont. Erected circa 1860, this lovely Victorian Inn was built from the wood of the land and boasts hardwood floors and decorative moldings throughout. Lace-etched 5'x5' picture windows and period antiques adorn the living and dining areas. The elegant dining room with Queen Anne furnishings serves afternoon tea daily for our guests. Relax in one of our comfortable couches with a good book. The crackling fire and hot tea will warm you up after a day of riding. The BYOB lounge has cable TV, DVD, stereo, wood stove, guest refrigerator, and a pool table. In the evening, enjoy our Hot Springs hot tub on the back deck as you gaze upon the sky saturated with stars. Wi-Fi is available at the Inn. There are laundry facilities in Waitsfield if necessary.
Breathe in the landscape, distant red barns, meadows of wild flowers, fields of corn. The warm hospitality and relaxed atmosphere make you feel right at home. Once you have been here, you are sure to return again and again.

You are free to arrive at the inn any time after 3 pm on Sunday. Additional overnights can be arranged  if you wish to stay an extra night or two.
There are laundry facilities in Waitsfield if necessary.

Each guest room is uniquely decorated and features feather beds and private baths. (Non-feather beds are available, too. Just ask).

Room Occupancy
Single supplement is mandatory if we are unable to find another rider to share.

Most meals are included except dinner on Day 1 & 4, and lunch on Day 4.
Breakfast and dinner are at the inn. Lunch is at the farm.

As much as possible we serve locally grown food (farm to table).
When you awaken, you will be served a delicious three-course gourmet breakfast, and you may be accompanied by a hummingbird or two. Breakfast is served from 8:00am – 9:00am, but fresh brewed coffee is available by 7:00am to take to your room or in any common room including our sun room. During the summer, we serve breakfast outdoors on the covered back porch.

A nice variety of teas are available 24 hrs a day from our tea table. Alcoholic drinks are not included in this trip but you are welcome to bring your own at dinnertime only.

Dietary Restrictions
If you have special dietary requests, please let us know in advance, and we will make every effort to accommodate you.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.



Pace and distance ridden day to day are decided by the riders based on experience and preference. Almost all groups end up doing some walking, mostly tolting, and a bit of cantering. Each days ride is approximately 5 to 6 hours. Wednesday is only a morning ride. Children over 10 years with riding experience are welcome if accompanied by a parent or an adult. Groups are kept small, 2-8 riders plus guides. 

Tack and Equipment
The horses are ridden in equipment traditionally used in Iceland. The saddles are quality English saddles made especially for the Icelandic horses and are comfortable for both the horse as well as the rider. Bridles have snaffle bits with drop nose-bands. Saddlebags and water bottles are available. Helmets are required and are available for those who do not have their own.

The Horses
All horses used are imported, purebred, carefully selected Icelandic Horses. The breed is famous for stamina, gates (horses are 4 or 5 gated), pronounced homing instinct and gentle disposition. Always willing and energetic, they are forgiving and patient with beginners, yet offer the competition rider a challenging experience. Strong, yet never intimidating, and capable of carrying large adults due to their unique bone density, Icelandic Horses average 13 to 14 hands in height. Icelandic Horses are found in all colors and have beautifully defined heads and abundant manes and tails.
Riding Icelandic is certainly a unique experience and one never to be forgotten. Versatility One of the keys to enjoying Icelandic Horses is their well-rounded versatility. They are superb, natural jumpers, enthusiastic driving horses, and competent, talented partners in dressage. Endowed with tremendous stamina, Icelandic Horses stay healthy, fit and mentally well balanced with minimal stress and training Bred to carry adults smoothly and willingly over difficult terrain, Icelandic Horses bring their cheerful outlook and sensible attitude to each ride.

The Only Naturally Five-Gaited Horse
In addition to walk, trot, and canter, Icelandic Horses also tölt, a four-beat running walk that produces fluid, rhythmic, forward movement. The tölt, the most pleasurable gait, is free flowing and effortless, allowing the horse to cover rough terrain swiftly. Many Icelandic Horses also pace, an exhilarating racing gait which can be performed at speeds up to 30 miles per hour.
Whichever gait you choose, Icelandic Horses perform naturally and smoothly—no bouncing, no posting!

Why are Icelandics always called horses and never ponies?
The word pony is an English invention, probably from the old French word, poulenet, a diminuative form of poulain, or colt. So it defines small breeds on the British Isles like Shetlands, Welch, Dartmoors, Exmoors, and Connemaras. But pony is often used imprecisely. For example, it's used to describe polo horses and mustangs, which aren't necessarily small. The Pony Express in the 1860's used thoroughbreds and Morgans.  In Iceland, which had its own written language when most of Europe still relied on Latin, they're called only one word, hest, or horse.


Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

Day 1 (Sunday): Arrival
You may arrive at the inn in Waitsfield any time after 3:00pm. Dinner on this night is not included, but we will be very happy to help you make a restaurant selection. There are many wonderful dining experiences here in the Mad River Valley. There is a hot tub, so don't forget your bathing suit.
Meals included: none
Overnight at the Inn in Waitsfield

Day 2 (Monday): Introductory Ride
Arrive at the horse farm around 9:30am for an orientation and an introduction to the Icelandic Horse. Then a brief discussion and assignment of horses. There will be an opportunity to view a video about the history and gaits of the Icelandic Horse. We will then have a short hands on education down at the riding arena and track. We will help you with gait transitions and individual instruction as it pertains to your horse. Then we are off to practice what you have learned. Lunch is at the farm today and in the afternoon you will be able to try a different horse if you wish.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Inn in Waitsfield

Day 3 (Tuesday): Forest & Farms
Today you will really get into the gaits while enjoying magnificent views along the way. Lunch is at a pretty spot by the river. Then off for more riding through forests and neighboring farm lands. Back at the inn you may choose to relax before dinner, explore the wonderful walking trails along the river, take a swim, or maybe back in that hot tub!
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Inn in Waitsfield

Day 4 (Wednesday): Enchanted Way
Our journey continues via the "Enchanted Way" through the marvelous terrain used by cross country skiers in the winter. Today will be a short riding day. We will arrive back at the farm. You have time to have lunch in town (not included) and then go shopping  or to do as you wish. A canoe trip can be arranged or maybe you would enjoy a massage (extra charges apply). Tonight you are on your own for dinner, we suggest a short trip to Stowe, a quaint resort town, with many fine shops and restaurants.
Meals included: Breakfast
Overnight at the Inn in Waitsfield

Day 5 (Thursday): Camel's Hump State Forest
This morning starts out from the farm. There may be an opportunity to ride a different horse today if you wish. Then we will be off exploring Camel's Hump State Forest in an area the locals call "Baird in the Bush." Lunch is back at the farm. The afternoon ride offers more winding dirt roads and lovely wooded trails that will bring us back around 4:00pm.  We will meet back at the inn for dinner together on this night.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Inn in Waitsfield

Those doing the 5day/4night itinerary will depart after the ride ending at 4:00pm.

Day 6 (Friday): Departure
Today we will ride up through the mountains along scenic stone walls and through old farm lands, even coming across stone foundations dating back about 100 years. Lunch is back at the farm, and for those who wish to ride in the afternoon, we will be off for more tolting!
Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch

There are several options for number of nights and riding days – the choice is yours.

Non-Riding Activities:
The area is full of recreational activities including hiking and biking, both mountain and road, swimming in our beautiful Mad River, Blueberry Lake or maybe Warren Falls. The Waterbury Reservoir is just a short drive away. Canoeing, kayaking and fishing are also options. 
In the winter months you can ski, both downhill and cross country, ice skate or snowshoe, oh and don't forget sledding... the horse farm driveway is usually perfect for it. The farm is also just a short drive to the VAST trail system for snowmobiling. 

Rates and Dates for Vermont Country Inn Ride

Rates include:

Accommodations at Inn in Waitsfield, Most meals & 5 or 4 riding days (depending on program)

Packages and Options

Tax 1: 6 % * prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy
Tax: 6 %  

Transfer and Other Charges:

2020 Transfers not included - best to rent a car

Dates Note: Shorter options are available with departure on Thursday morning or afternoon (3 or 4 riding days)

Rates do not include:

Transfers, Dinners on Day 1 & 4, Lunch on Day 4, Drinks, Taxes & Gratuities

Other Info
Meeting: Waitsfield
Airport: Burlington International Airport (BTV)
Transfer: Burlington airport by taxi

                                                Fayston area














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Source: NOAA

May and June's days are warm with temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s F, sometimes 80’s F. However, nights are cooler (50’s F).
July and August are usually warm months and can occasionally get hot (90’s F).
In September and October you will find warm days still, while mornings and evenings are cool, sometime as low as 30’s and 40’s F.

Special note – Fall foliage
The Fall Foliage Season usually begins around mid-September and lasts until mid-October, with peak colors appearing around the first week in October. Of course this varies depending on the weather. The leaves start to turn in the northern part of the state first and gradually work their way south. Also, in general, higher elevations start changing before the lower elevations.

What To Bring:
For convenience these are some things that we recommend to bring along.
- Riding breeches, chaps, or comfortable sports pants. Some people tend do to be sore when riding in jeans. If you do decide to wear jeans; chaps, or half chaps are recommended.
- Paddock boots are most practical on this ride, but feel free to wear what you are most comfortable in. We will be doing some walking to loosen up, so it is very important that your boots are comfortable.

Dress for the season.
Attire in the evenings is casual.
In May and June the days are warm with temperatures in the 60's and 70's. Nights are cooler, in the 50's.
July and August are usually warm, and occasionally hot, in the 90's.
In September and October, you will have warm days, with cool evenings and mornings, sometimes in the 30's and 40's.
You may need a sweater, as it does cool down at night.

Bring a bathing suit, sunscreen, and riding gloves.

Riding helmets are required and if you have your own you will be more comfortable; but one can also be borrowed from us. This goes as well for rain gear.
Optional equipment includes; a camera, water bottle, a belt pack for personal belongings, and sunglasses. If you would like to book the Massage Therapist please contact Hidden Trails for details and confirmation.
This list is only a guideline for you
Travel documents and Voucher
Flight tickets
Riding pants or Jodhpurs (used if possible!)
Riding boots + Minichaps
Riding helmet (recommended for all trips)
Riding gloves
Hat (with chin strap) for sun protection
Rain coat/Wax jacket
Jacket or sweater for cool evenings
Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
Underwear and socks
Bag for dirty clothes
Light summer jacket
Comfortable shoes/sneakers
Personal Toiletries
Insect protection
Personal medications
Sore cream (for an emergency)
Sewing kit
Adapter for electric appliances
Camera and extra batteries
Belt pack
Sun glasses with strap
Sun tan lotion and lip balm