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30 day Notices/Deadlines
See the calendar for more details.

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American Horse Council

Campground Host Program
Volunteers can enter into an agreement with ODNR to act as Campground Hosts. Samples provided could be adapted to any horse camp. Contact Larry Matthews or ODNR for more information.

Info on Ohio's Bridle Trails
We would like to add trail and facility descriptions to our Trail Map page including type of terrain, width of trails, obstacles, etc. so that equine users can identify trails that are suitable to their needs. For example, participants used to riding on flat land may want to know that there are steep slopes on particular trails or riders of horses that have never made a water crossing might want to know that a particular trail crosses a 5 foot wide river several times. We hope that descriptions would include identification trail facilities that are handicap accessible, trails that would be suitable for carriage driving, etc. For example, at the present time, horse and carriages are permitted on all bridle trails in the Ohio State Parks but due to the narrow nature of many of these trails, they may not be physically accessible. We would like to add sufficient descriptions so that trail users know what to expect before they arrive. Please submit info to webmaster and we will add to our trail map database.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Camelids gain access to Equine Trails - While we don't think that we'll be running into too many camels on the trails, we have been recently informed by Karen Smith (Clark County OHC), that ODNR has granted camelid owners the right to use equestrian trails in Ohio's state parks. LLamas and alpacas are also part of the camelid family and some llama and alpaca owners enjoy hiking with their animals. Be aware that it is now quite possible that you might encounter a hiker walking an alpaca while you are riding. Please be considerate and keep the safety of all those involved in mind. County chapters might consider seeking out camelid owners in your area and sponsor a training "meet and greet" for both equines and camelids.

Trail Etiquette
  1. Stay on the designated trails - Going off trail causes erosion problems and could force land managers to close trails that we have fought so hard to keep open and negatively impacts our ability to open new trails.
  2. Stay out of the mud - Evaluate trail conditions before riding, if conditions are such that you are going to damage the trails by riding them - then wait. It might be an inconvenience not to be able to ride when you want to now - but it will ultimately save us work later - and help keep the trails open. Remember that there is a lot of volunteer labor which goes to maintaining the trail systems in Ohio - and there is only so much time/money to go around. If there are not enough resources to maintain them properly then they will be in danger of being closed. Don't create tomorrow's problem by riding when you shouldn't today.
  3. Control your pets - Dogs must be on a leash in state parks. Pets should be under control at all times.
  4. Be considerate of other trail riders -All trail riders are not created equal. Some riders have more experience/skill than others. Do not put other riders at risk by assuming that they can control a situation that you create. Make sure that all riders in the group are mounted up before leaving. When meeting on a trail - stay to the right. Proceed single file on crowded trails. Avoid cantering on busy trails. Do not lope past other riders.
  5. Be considerate of other trail users - Horses should have the right of way when meeting hikers or bicyclists on the trail, however you may meet someone who is not aware of the rules of etiquette or the nature of horses. Ask other trail users to make their presence known to the horse by talking (letting the horse know that they are indeed "human"). All people in the party should step off to the same side of the trail to give the horse room to pass. Make sure that the horse has seen the other users. Proper trail etiquette is based on common sense and safety for all concerned. Sometimes it may be safer for the horse to yield rather than the other way around. Be cordial, use your best judgement, and communicate with those involved.
  6. Respect the environment - Pack out what you pack in and pick up after yourself on the trail and at the trail-head. Leave the natural environment natural for the next group to enjoy.

Self Defense
While we would all hope to never be in a compromising situation, personal vigilance and awareness can help keep you out of potentially dangerous situations. View a short video clip produced by Scot Hansen (retired mounted police officer) for self-defense tips which can be used when trail riding atwww.horsethink.com

Moving gravel in the Back Country
The March 2007 OTP work weekend allowed us to get some experience in packing gravel into areas inaccessible by motor vehicles. Believe it or not you can actually haul gravel with a simple system of haynets and feed bags. Go to Packsystems for pictures of our "haynet" system or a detailed article written by the USDF on how to construct more sophisticated Gravel Bags for Packstock.

Pack System
A simple "gravel pack system" can be created using old feed sacks and hay nets as pictured below - Or follow the link to an article published by the United States Forestry Service "Gravel Bags for Packstock" which includes detailed plans for a more sophisticated system Article.pdf

Please be sure your horse is in condition and comfortable with this activity before taking it in a group.



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