Quebec, Ranch du Fjord, Charlevoix

I couldn’t see very far in front of me this morning. A low mist covered the wonderful views of the St. Lawrence River, as we drove to Ranch du Fjord, located on the coast in Charlevoix. This ranch raises Haflinger horses, a strong breed originally from Austria. I was aboard a Paint/Haflinger mix named Sultan, who at 6-years-old was adorable with lots of future potential. Five of us rode down the wooded trails towards a big, beautiful waterfall in the forest. Part of the trail runs alongside a rushing river. Since it is fall, the leaves are changing here, giving me lots of beautiful colors to observe as we ride.

At one point, Emily, a local veterinarian who rode with us, said that we should take a few minutes to backtrack and ride along the shore. The mist had lifted, but the clear views probably would not last long. We picked up a trot and headed to the coast, past the cows and horses in the fields, who curiously followed us. It was low tide, but still pretty, as we were able to see the tree covered coast wrapping around in the distance.

Taking advantage of being back at the barn, we let the horses have a rest and had lunch, before heading back towards the waterfall. The terrain here is hilly. It’s mostly shaded trails, but the forest is not dense, so there are great opportunities to see the surrounding mountains, river and open fields. All in all, the ride was peaceful, but my favorite part was being beside the waterfall at the end of the ride.

Darley Newman is the host of the Emmy Award-winning Public Television series Equitrekking®, which takes viewers on horseback riding vacations around the world. Equitrekking is broadcast on PBS stations and on international networks in over 30 countries.

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