Horse and pony - site index.Horse chat message boards.Horse breeds, types and breeding gallery.Search for horse information on Equiworld.Horse information and equestrian news horse and pony magazine.Horse web links.  


Bring a friend and get a discount this year
American Paint Horse Association plans several trail rides for 2004

FORT WORTH, Texas-The American Paint Horse Association (APHA) will host more trail rides than any other time in its history with at least ten outings planned around the nation this year.

For a relaxing time away from the hectic pace of everyday life, try an APHA trail ride. All breeds of horses are welcome and you don't have to be a member of APHA to participate. Bring a friend this year and get a discount.

Offering trail ride activities for members and their friends is taking on increasing importance for APHA. A recent membership survey, in fact, showed that 76 percent of its members participate in some sort of trail riding activity.

"Our goal in 2004 is to accommodate our members and make our rides as easy as possible for them to attend," said Cody Weirich, APHA trail ride coordinator. "That's why we've added several more rides in the past few years. Also, we understand that not everyone can get away for a whole week, so we've increased the number of weekend rides. We'll also make room for people who want to come out and join us for only a day or two on some of our longer rides."

At APHA-sponsored rides, association members and non-members alike are invited, and they are not restricted by the breed of horse they ride. It is APHA's hope that rides will help inspire people to join the association and one day purchase an American Paint Horse.

Special discount and offers in 2004
In an effort to recruit more people for its trail riding program, APHA is offering a 10-percent discount to anyone who recruits a person who has never been on an APHA trail ride to register and attend one.

APHA national trail rides will also offer leaders of the association's 111 regional clubs the opportunity to experience a trail ride adventure first-hand and share it with their members. Trail ride activities will become even more popular at the regional club level, with a new 2004 APHA rule change that was passed recently. The new rule allows trail rides to be considered as part of club charter requirements.

In addition, APHA's saddle-log program, Ride America®, is offering double hours for every hour spent riding on an APHA-sponsored national trail ride. As an added feature to streamline that program, members can now log their Ride America hours online.

Where the trails lead in 2004
Following is a confirmed listing of areas where APHA rides will lead in 2004. As rides are added, they will be listed at Also, visit this site for specific information on accommodations and fees, and to obtain registration forms for all rides. For further information, you may contact Cody Weirich at (817) 222-6439, or by e-mail at

Bar Fifty Ranch
Bismarck, Arkansas
April 2-4
An exciting new ride planned this year will take place at the Bar Fifty Ranch, a beautiful cattle and horse facility located 20 miles from Hot Springs, Arkansas. The ranch itself is situated on 200 acres, but horse trails wind their way into 20,000 acres of the foothills of the Ouashita Mountains.

This spring ride will offer a great opportunity to watch the forests come alive with vibrant colors.

The Natural Gait Trail Ride
Located near Marquette, Iowa
May 20-22
In Iowa, at the Natural Gait ranch, near Marquette, riders will travel through diverse countryside, including river crossings and trails that wind through heavy timber areas populated by deer, turkey and other wildlife. From the lower elevations, riders will make their way up to some dramatic high bluffs. This section of Iowa, which has been nicknamed "Little Switzerland," offers many delightful surprises.

The area also 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 effigy mounds, or carved representations in the earth, were constructed in the shape of mammals, birds or reptiles. The mounds are preserved and protected by the National Park Service at Effigy Mounds National Monument.

The Natural Gait offers 400 acres of diverse countryside adjacent to the Yellow River State Forest, a natural environment for horse lovers looking for a picturesque and relaxing ride.

Broken Bow Trail Ride
Broken Bow, Nebraska
June 11-13
At the Broken Bow Trail Ride in Broken Bow, Nebraska, riders will experience the beauty and serenity of the Nebraska Sandhills region. This part of the state covers an expansive area of sand dunes that stretch across the countryside. The Sandhills region contains about 95 percent of Nebraska's rangeland.

These large masses of sand-some as high as 400 feet and 20 miles long-are the largest such formations in the Western Hemisphere. Formed by blowing sands, the terrain is now held in place by grass vegetation. Trail riders who long for wide-open spaces will find this region to be a paradise.

Fort Robinson Trail Ride
Located at Fort Robinson State Park, three miles west of Crawford
September 6-10
APHA's ride in Nebraska will be held at Fort Robinson State Park, three miles west of Crawford. Here, riders will visit an area that is rich in the history of the American West. Fort Robinson, a military outpost from 1874 to 1948, is located in the heart of the rugged Pine Ridge region of northern Nebraska. Crazy Horse, Red Cloud and Walter Reed were just a few of the historic figures who helped carve the fort's place in the history of the American West.

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

The Midwest Trail Ride
Norman, Indiana
September 17-19
Located in southern Indiana, The Midwest Trail Ride is a privately owned horseman's campground bordering Hoosier National Forest. The Ohio River flows just south of the forest, which encompasses 644,163 acres, with more than 192,000 acres in public land. The patchwork effect of small farms, pastures, cross-road communities, and national forest gives the Hoosier National Forest a distinctive rural flavor.

The area is within a day's drive of the metropolitan centers of Cincinnati, Louisville, Chicago, Evansville, and Indianapolis.
The APHA-sponsored ride features nearly 100 miles of well-marked wilderness trails that traverse streams and a diverse landscape filled with hardwoods, pines and cedars throughout the hills and valleys.

Philmont Boy Scout Ranch Ride
Near Cimarron, New Mexico
October 17--21
APHA will hosts its trail ride in New Mexico at the Philmont Boy Scout Ranch, near Cimarron, in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. This vast territory 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 trail head. This wide-open territory was donated to the Boy Scouts of America by philanthropist Waite Phillips in the mid-1900s.

Many parts of the rugged terrain trails of northeast New Mexico have remained relatively untouched since legendary frontiersmen like Kit Carson carved them out in the mid-1800s. Carson's wilderness residence is located just a few miles from the ranch and is open for tours.

The fall ride this year will offer a spectacular view of fall foliage in the region. In addition, a "Legends by Lantern" tour of historic Cimarron will be conducted, with the tour guide lighting the way by an 1800s-era hand-held lamp.

On selected nights, local wrangler and talented singer/songwriter Rod Taylor will provide musical entertainment.

Georgia Peach Ride
Rome, Georgia
November 12-14
Held at Berry College in Rome, Georgia, riders will enjoy many breathtaking views in this mountainous region of northwest Georgia. One of the largest college campuses in the world, Berry College has numerous miles of scenic riding trails.

APHA will take riders over various terrains, such as dirt roads, mountains and wooded trails. There are also several points of interest such as reservoir lakes, water wheels and a historic schoolhouse.

Ride America offers more opportunities to hit the trail
For those who prefer to ride at their own pace, the association maintains the APHA Ride America" program. Through this program, members earn rewards and recognition for their achievements riding an American Paint Horse. Now, Ride America participants may receive double hours for each hour riding at an APHA-sponsored national trail ride, and they can log all their hours online.

When riders enroll in Ride America, they receive an official time log and a Ride America patch. They record each hour spent riding their American Paint Horse and as they move through 14 achievement levels-from 100 to 10,000 hours-APHA records their accomplishments and rewards them with special patches. Depending on hours of riding reached, participants can also earn saddle bags, halters, lead ropes and saddle pads.

There is no time limit for riders to achieve their hours, as long as their APHA membership remains active.
Ride America information may be accessed at, or call Amy Foerster, Ride America coordinator, at (817) 834-2742, extension 249.

Free guide for trail riders
Still another way APHA promotes recreational riding is through the free distribution of its Guide to Recreational Riding. The 36-page trail riding guide is packed full of useful information, from the importance of keeping horses in good condition to critical safety guidelines. The booklet also contains valuable information on tack and equipment, saddling up, trailering a horse, and general horsemanship.

APHA's Guide to Recreational Riding may be accessed online at Or for a printed copy, call APHA at (817) 834-2742, extension 773.


Find out more, visit the links page or find answers on the message board.