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American Paint Horse Association invites riders to saddle up for exciting adventures

FORT WORTH, Texas-Recreational riders eager to explore some of the most diverse countryside in America should consider taking part in one of four exciting adventures planned by the American Paint Horse Association (APHA) this year. The Association is now accepting reservations for rides in Arkansas, Iowa, New Mexico and Nebraska.

horse Pat Meade, who has served as APHA trail boss for all of the association's rides since 1991, takes a group across the Yellow River in Iowa. This year, the association will visit the high country of New Mexico, the Pine Ridge countryside of Nebraska, Iowa's "Little Switzerland," and the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas for some outstanding trail ride adventures. (APHA photo by Jerry Circelli)

APHA welcomes all interested people, regardless of the breed of horse they ride, to register for any of the outings.

"This is a great opportunity to see America the way it should be seen - from the top of a horse and with a fine group of people from APHA," said Cody Weirich, the Association's ride coordinator. "We'll take riders up mountains, across rivers and everywhere in-between, as we continue to carry on our mission of treating our guests to the best time they've ever had on horseback."

Following are APHA's trail rides slated for 2003:

Lonesome D Horse Camp Trail Ride
March 14-15
At the Lonesome D Horse Camp in New Blaine, Ark., riders will enjoy the natural beauty of the Ozarks, which includes the highlands region of northwest Arkansas. With the Lonesome D Horse Camp land adjoining the Ozark--St. Francis National Forest, more than 100 miles of trails are available. APHA will take riders over the most scenic part of the countryside, including mountains, valleys and creeks, with many scenic bluffs that allow breathtaking views of the area.

Accommodations include cabins and campsites located at the base of a majestic mountain range.

The Natural Gait Trail Ride
May 22-24
In Iowa, at The Natural Gait ranch, near Marquette, participants will make several river crossings and ride trails that wind through heavily timbered areas populated by deer and turkey. From the lower elevations, riders and their horses will climb to some dramatic high bluffs and find out for themselves why this section of the state has been nicknamed "Little Switzerland."

The area has a fascinating history. In nearby Harper's Ferry, the Eastern Woodland Indians built "effigy" mounds from around 500 B.C. until about the time they came in contact with Europeans. These mounds, which are carved representations in the earth, were constructed in the shape of mammals, birds and reptiles. The mounds are preserved and protected by the National Park Service at Effigy Mounds National Monument.

A natural environment for horse lovers looking for a relaxing ride, The Natural Gait's 400 acres is adjacent to the Yellow River State Forest.

Fort Robinson Trail Ride
September 1-6
APHA's ride in Nebraska will be held at Fort Robinson State Park, three miles west of Crawford. On that outing, riders will visit an area that is rich in the history of the American West. A military outpost from 1874 to 1948, Fort Robinson is located in the heart of the rugged Pine Ridge region of northern Nebraska. Crazy Horse, Red Cloud and Walter Reed are just a few of the memorable figures who helped carve the fort's place in history.

Fort Robinson covers more than 22,000 acres of majestic countryside, offering unforgettable views and outstanding trails that pass through tall-grass prairies, breathtaking rock formations and Ponderosa pine forests.

The outing offers riders the opportunity to witness nature's rugged beauty in a part of the country that seems untouched by time.

Philmont Boy Scout Ranch Ride
October 12-16
In New Mexico, the APHA trail ride will be held at the Philmont Boy Scout Ranch, near Cimarron, in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The ranch spans more than 137,000 acres of some of the most beautiful land in the nation, and APHA riders will see it from the highest elevations, sometimes up to 8,000 feet above sea level.

Magnificent mountains, mesas, pine forests, lakes and streams can be found in every direction from the ranch trailhead. Each day is a new adventure for riders in this wide-open territory, which was donated to the Boy Scouts of America by philanthropist Waite Phillips in the 1930s and 1940s.

Many of the trails traveled by visitors in this rugged terrain in the northeast part of the state have remained relatively untouched since legendary frontiersmen like Kit Carson carved them out in the mid-1800s. In fact, Carson's wilderness residence is located just a few miles from the ranch and is open for tours.

More information
To find out more about the 2003 APHA Trail Rides, including registration information, contact Cody Weirich by e-mail at, or call (817) 222-6439. You may also visit the APHA Trail Ride Web site at


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