For a summertime activity that takes you off the beaten path, try horseback riding. The Allegheny Front's Cindy Sullivan heads to Rolling Hills Ranch in Bridgeville, south of Pittsburgh for her first time in the saddle.
For a summertime activity that takes you off the beaten path, try horseback riding. The Allegheny Front's Cindy Sullivan heads to Rolling Hills Ranch in Bridgeville for her first time in the saddle.
Amb Sound: stable sounds
SULLIVAN: Rolling Hills Ranch is a beautiful 70 acre ranch. It sits nestled
in a wooded valley, surrounded by lush green hills. It is one of the few
places in the area where you can come to ride horses, regardless of your
experience. and mind is quite limited. I havenít ridden since I was a
child, so even though I am excited, I am also a little nervous. They assure
me that my horse Hobbs is a gentle animal, but he still looks big to me .
The hardest part is getting up in the saddle. Our guide Jessie McCready
shows me how.
MCCREADY: what you want to do is put your left foot in here...stirrup...left
foot...grab onto the horn.....pull yourself up...just do it...hard partís
over....let horse do all the work...feet in....I think so
SULLIVAN: A quick lesson on how to guide the horse and weíre off.
MCCREADY: Both reigns in one hand...go left pull your hand point his head
where you want to go next....when you want to stop, pull back...when you
want to go give a kick with your heels...
SULLIVAN: if you say so I canít believe Iím sitting on a horse....look at me
MCCREADY: ok...want to head them into the woods...come on...get up
Hobbs...give him a kick... there you Go.
Amb sound: saddle riding sounds and snorthing runs under next track
SULLIVAN: We ride along some of the easier trails and I get into a good rhythm.
Hobbs, thankfully, responds to my commands, so Iím feeling pretty confident.
We stop for a moment and Jessie explains what makes this such a great
place, not only to come and ride, but to enjoy nature
MCCREADY: We donít make you stay with a group...if youíre an experienced
rider....you can go on your own....if you know what youíre doing....nice
about Rolling Hills.....some places youíre in a hack line...kind of
boring...wherever you want to go youíre welcome to...canít get
Amb sound: saddle and mud slopping sounds
SULLIVAN: We ride down some steep, muddy paths. Hobbs is having a little trouble with his footing and slips in the mud. He recovers quickly, thank goodness, and as we continue down, my riding companion Ann Murray gives me some advice.
MURRAY: Grip with your knees...keep his head up when he goes through the
MCCREADY: Get up Hobbs....gotta keep after him sometimes.
Amb sound: saddle sounds
SULLIVAN: At the summit of the hill, there is an area called the run, and
thatës just what the horses do. Jessie explains what I should do..
MCCREADY: This is what we do, just walk down...when we turn around they just
run back....get into a trot...go into cantor....stand up and bounce with the
horse ...called posting....bouncing up and down......youíll feel it....stand
Ambient Sound: galloping sounds.
MCCREADY: The more aggressive you are, the better they respond...pull his head
to the left...clicking...there you go...youíve got the sound down and
SULLIVAN: We arrive back at the stables and Jessie helps me dismount.
MCCREADY: ready...come on Hobbs...pull back on your reigns....take right foot
out...swing it around...thatís all there is to it...Iím
Amb sound: stable sounds
SULLIVAN: As we walk our horses back to the stables, I realize that despite my
initial reservations, I have thoroughly enjoyed myself. And it was one of
the most exhilarating experiences Iíve ever had.
For the Allegheny Front, Iím Cindy Sullivan
Host: Rolling Hills Ranch has horseback riding week days from 9:00am-8:00Pm
andon weekends from 9:00am -6:00pm. .They also have a couple of moonlight
rides scheduled. For more information call 412-221-9926 or go on-line at