Tennessee Trail Riders

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When you camp with your horse, what amenities makes a campground great and brings you back again?

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Welcome to Tennessee and TTR. The most important thing is the host/hostess; kind, friendly, consistent with everyone.  Go the extra mile to make guests comfortable and provide little extras for them, free maps, guided rides, food, horse supplies they might have forgotten...This is a great place to get ideas. Others will post. Also, keep the cost down with this economy and gas people are budgeting and riding closer to home. I love BSF and have stayed at True West before and love the location and barn. Guided rides with meals will get a lot of people to come who do not like to cook or ride alone.
Hi Linda - Thanks for the feedback.  We do have a mercantile where we have been building up the inventory.  We've brought in some tack, grooming and other essentials necessary for taking care of your horse when away from home.  We are also people people so we love meeting everyone that comes in and making new friends.  We will continue to offer free maps, and we have new events coming up too.  We have kept the prices down and did not increase them just because we are the new owners or because it's a new year.  Sounds like we are on the right track so far :)  Thanks!
I wish you great success. Word of mouth in horse community is everything...sounds like you are on the right trac! Hope to visit you later in the year. Are you still renting the upstairs room?
Yes!  The Marshal suite is still available and can now sleep up to EIGHT people.  We have added additional seating and a sleep sofa.  We have also added a 30' camping trailer available for rent which can sleep 4 adults comfortably as well as two additional children.  We hope to see you this year too!
I agree with Linda, great host/hostess is important. Aside from that, I like a place that has easy access to water hoses, multiple wheelbarrows & manure forks, good drainage and lighting around the barn, nice clean bathhouse, shady camp sites, and/or reasonably priced cabins are a plus since I don't have a LQ horse trailer. I also look for safety hazards in the stalls and aisles of the barn (no broken metal or wire anywhere, etc). Also, if the host is knowledgable about the local trails, that is a huge help, as well as trails that are well marked. Of course sometimes the campground doesnt' have control of that, but it is still a plus.
Thanks, Adrienne!  Thanks for the feedback!  We are right on track with most of what you said - the only thing we don't have is "cabins".  We do have lodging and a camper for rent and are hoping that within a couple of years we will be able to add a cabin or two (it's in our long range plans!).  We do have trail maps but not yet knowledgeable about the trails. That will be my "homework" project for this summer.  Would love it if you would come learn with me ;)
Aside from all the things already mentioned, it is important to me when I am camping with my horse to have hosts who enforce that all dogs be leashed in the camp.  I have had wandering dogs pee on my equipment or cooler and that can ruin a trip, especially if hosts leave it up to guests to ask other guests to follow the rules.  I was bitten by a 115 lb German Shepherd on my first solo trip after my husband passed away.  I had to make an unpleasant trip to the ER an hour away.  I reacted to the antibiotics and had to go home the following day. The dog broke loose from a leash held by its owner and had been visciously barking at every passerby, including me. Just why would someone bring a dog like that camping?  My sister in law was bitten by a Blue Heeler running loose in camp on another trip.  I am a dog lover and have 5 of my own but out of curtesy to others they stay home when we camp with the horses.  In any event rowdy guests or unruly pets can make a great campground miserable.  Thankfully I have not had that problem at any campground I have been to in TN.
I totally understand about the dogs!  We do INSIST that dogs stay on a leash at all times and are NOT - under any circumstances allowed in the barn.  I am a dog lover too and I understand how some dogs may not be used to being restrained - so my husband and I are planning on creating a fenced area where campers can bring their dogs to play and run - and burn off some of that pent up energy they have from being tied or left at the camper all day while their owners ride.  We want all campers to enjoy their stay and be safe - but we also think it's important for the animals to be happy too or they can be just as unruley as their humans!
Accurate maps, good water supply, safe stalls or hitch rails, shade for the campers and horses, large fire ring, and great trails ... miles and miles of great trails.  Also I appreciate campsites that are not not too close together and rules that are enforced about loose dogs, running horses in camp, and rowdy campers. It's nice to have entertainment, hay and feed available to buy, a small store for supplies and tack... but not necessary.  I like going to places that have meals provided, live entertainment, horse shows and horse sales but have had as good a time at the more primitive places.
Hi Gerry - thanks for the feedback.  We do have maps but they were put together by the prior owner and after being copied zillions of times, they are getting a little difficult to read.  One of my homework projects when I get there will be to fix that by learning the trails and creating new maps!  There are over 100 miles of trails located in the immediate and near vicinity, so it might take me a while :)  We do have rules about keeping dogs on a leash and one of our improvements planned for this year is a designated area for the dogs to be allowed off leash (in a fenced area of course) to allow them to let off some steam.  Our Mercantile inventory is growing and we have lots of gifts, tack and clothing to choose from.  Some of our events provide meals, some we provide the main dish and the campers provide the sides.  This seems to work out well.  I hope some day you can join us :)  Thanks so much for your input.
I haven't been to True West in a couple of years. When did you take over?  Last time I was at True West the barn was clean and it was easy parking.  However, it would have been nice to have garbage cans at the camp sites or at least easier to get to.  Between walking up the hill to the barn & garbage got to be a bit much at times.  On the bright side, I did get alot of exercise!

Hi Nancy.  We bought it in January.  We have added trashcans in the barn area (the prior owner didn't like putting them there because he said they filled up too fast) and there is a dumpter at the bottom of the hill as you head to the barn.  Far enough away from the barns and the campers.  Going forward, instead of having trashcans, we would like to offer trash pickup right from your site!  We saw this done at a campground we went to once and vowed to do it at our own if we ever owned one!  Nows the time to start thinking about it.  However, I am still in NH while my husband and daughter are running the place.   We are trying to sell our house here (in NH). As soon as I can be there to help, we can offer these services.  I agree that the walk to the barn is a hike, but unfortunately, we can't move the barn!  lol  We hope you will come back and visit us!

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