In a state where streets are ruled by SUVs and trucks it’s nice to go off-road, where horses roam the trails and hillsides.

That’s where I met Joshua Hale with Alaska Horse Adventures, who gives you the impression riding comes as second nature for him.

“I’ve grown up with horses. I think I rode a horse before I was born,” he said. “No. I know I did.”

It was only natural for him to start a business giving trail rides by horseback and share his love of horses with others.

“I learn new stuff about horses every day,” Hale said. “They’re simple animals, but they’re complex in some areas and in other areas they’re really very sensitive. I think they’re one of the greatest creatures we have around us.”

I joined Hale in the Butte with a few other riders to experience Alaska by horseback.

“When you’re riding, one thing you never do is hang on with two hands and never let go of your reigns,” he instructed. “‘Cause if you hang on with two hands and squeeze down with your feet you’re pretty much giving your horse the indication to run.”

I’m a bit adventurous, so Hale set me up with his horse Nika, who also has a daring streak.

“Sometimes we’ve kept our horses in pastures around Palmer and if they get out, when she was like 2 years old it was really very unusual for a 2-year-old horse, when I’d find them she would be like the ring leader just running down the road. With this look, looking all over the place, trying to find somewhere new to go,” Hale said.

So she was the perfect companion for me.

Being on horseback really gives you a different view of things when exploring.

“Yeah, I think it gives a different perspective when you’re up elevated and walking around seeing probably what a moose would see walking through the forest,” said rider Scott Kolstad.

While it was a foggy day and we missed the beautiful views the Butte has to offer, it was still an enjoyable time.

“I think it was fun getting out to the field and the horses seemed to want to, you know,” Kolstad said. “They have personalities of their own so they want to trot a little bit and some want to be in the front all the time.”

Alaska Horse Adventures also offers sleigh rides during the winter, which start Saturday, Dec. 6.

For more information about Alaska Horse Adventures you can find them on the web at and on Facebook at

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