Trail Riding Conference
Harrodsburg, KY (February 27, 2015) — One-hundred-and-forty-three youth and adult trail riders attended the first annual “Happy Trails A to Z” trail riding conference, sponsored by Fort Harrod Back Country Horsemen (FHBCH). The event was held Saturday, January 31 at the Mercer County Extension office.
“Riders should select a trail horse based on its temperament, soundness, sure-footedness and the rider’s goals,” said Nancy Bowling, a panelist and trainer from Nicholasville. “The rider should consider whether he or she will ride alone or with others and whether the horse will be used for long distance or casual riding. The horse selected must be able to carry the rider’s weight and gear and should always match the rider’s skill level.”
Horse trainer Shelby Hume, Midway, provided additional tips for selecting and training trail horses, with veterinarians Dr. Ashley Craig, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, and Dr. Justin Murray, Danville, discussing common injuries and illnesses—including snake bites—and how to respond. Kimberly Tomlin, assistant dean, Equine Science & Management, University of Kentucky, talked about preparing the horse for trail riding, with Cheryl Dorman, safety specialist, Harrodsburg, discussing rider safety, equipment and first aid.
The trail riding conference included a tack room for riders to view saddles and other equipment and ask questions. Farrier Jamie DePart displayed horse shoes often used for trail riding and other local and state horse groups hosted tables to offer attendees more information.
“We were very pleased with the participation and the level of enthusiasm shown by presenters and attendees,” said Janet Eaton, president, Fort Harrod Back Country Horsemen. “Everyone I spoke with indicated he or she learned something new – even seasoned horse people who have been trail riding for years.”
The conference, attended by local horsemen and 4-H members and enthusiasts from as far away as Adair County, was so successful that FHBCH plans to hold another conference in 2016. FHBCH is also developing a conference template to distribute to 4-H clubs and horse organizations in Kentucky and nationwide.
About Fort Harrod Back Country Horsemen
Based in Harrodsburg, KY, Fort Harrod Back Country Horsemen is a local nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the common sense use and enjoyment of horses in America’s back country. The group helps maintain local trails and works to insure that public lands remain open for recreational stock use.
Fort Harrod Back Country Horsemen also support local charities, including equine-related groups and youth organizations. The group meets at the Mercer County Extension office the first Thursday of every month except during the summer.
For more information, please contact:
Dean Cheryl Norman, Harrodsburg,