Mule Days at Leatherwood Mountains 2018

Story and Photos by Leesa Wright aka Ramblin’ Cowgirl Photography

Mule Days at Leatherwood Mountains, May 2-6, 2018, is an event to fund-raise for the Horse Friends Therapeutic Riding Program, based in Greensboro, North Carolina.  Horse Friends is run completely by volunteers, providing riding therapy while never charging the participants and even letting siblings ride. Many of the volunteers even help with Mule Days.

Shannon Hoffman, host and founder of the Mule Days at Leatherwood, was asked why she puts on the event, “My goal was to host a family friendly celebration of the Mule and Donkey! Adding the NASMA Verastility Trails Program to the event has been a perfect fit. Mule and donkey riders will come from over 10 different states to celebrate their love and appreciation of these special equine. One of the added benefits to this gathering is getting to meet and see old and new friends, from Facebook, showing, driving and trail riding! The event averages 125 mules and donkeys each year and tons of family friendly events and activities for all.”

“We are blessed with the setting of a wonderful rustic and beautiful location with outstanding customer service!” For host and founder of the event, Shannon states that there was never any question that this was the only place to hold Mule Days at Leatherwood since 2013.

Did I mention horses are welcome?

YES they are.  You don’t have to own a mule or donkey to go to Mule Days or Leatherwood. Go ride and feel the wonder of this equestrian resort and experience the friendship of the longear folks for yourself.

Leatherwood Mountains
The long road to Leatherwood, just outside of Ferguson, North Carolina, will take you along a beautiful winding creek, to an area offering the finest real estate in western North Carolina. It’s also one of the premier equestrian communities in the country with some of the best trail riding around.

Leatherwood Mountains is a premiere gated vacation resort & residential community centered around the equestrian lifestyle. Established in the early 80’s, they are located on over 3,000 acres of lush Blue Ridge Mountain wilderness and have over 140 private homes.  The resort offers an extensive trail system including 75 miles of well maintained, mountain trails, lush mountain valleys and high ridges. The equestrian facility is home to year-round equine events and offers full service boarding facility for daily & monthly customers. Leatherwood has a first class guided trail ride service available to the public that even includes some mules.

Leatherwood provides 45 luxury vacation cabins for rental guests as well as delicious meals from their on-site restaurant, Saddlebrook. Camping by a rushing stream and beautifully kept grounds makes relaxing and enjoying yourself easy. Depending on your wishes, they can help you plan excursions such as canoeing, fishing, golf, sporting clay shooting, wine tours & site seeing opportunities.  Once Leatherwood Mountains gets into your soul, you may never want to leave, and you don’t have to! Visit Leatherwood Mountains website www.leatherwoodmountains.com and contact them if you think you are interested in visiting this Vacation Paradise!

When you first roll up into Leatherwood you see the big beautiful barns that can stall 60 horses or mules. There is also an outdoor show-size riding ring and a generous covered and lighted arena for riding when the weather is bad.  There are many many beautiful trails, a fun show, trail obstacle competition, demonstrations from top mule-men, mulemanship clinics, poker run, chili cook-off and so much more.  The locals are very sweet and welcoming.

The area is rich in Appalachian heritage & history. The  Dan’l Boone Trail, historically know as Seven Mile Ridge, is one of the original trading routes that the early settlers. The Legend of Tom Dooley is well know in these parts, a few miles down the road the tragic love triangle played out many years ago, and was forever immortalized in the Kingston Trio’s song, “Hang Down Your Head Tom Dooley”.

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