Any trail riders out there? Team sorters? Anyone from NorCal??

My mare (bay, 9 yr old Quarter Horse) and I will soon be hitting the trail again. We just sold her colt last week, so we are getting back into shape with ground work and hand walking. I say "we" because I gained a few lbs with over 4 months off and am more concerned with my tone than hers, she looks great. But, I am working on a few things in the meantime. Tell me about your trail riding. What do you ride, where do you go? What kind of saddle and bit do you use? Someone suggested I use a beartrap saddle, due to my nerve palsey in my right arm and my serious balance problems. ( I fell in my hay barn in '07 and needed shoulder replacement, nerves never healed correctly) It is a bummer sometimes, but I am just thankful I can still ride and care for my horse. Getting a halter or headstall, or saddle on with a less cooperative horse would be impossible for me. I am blessed with Maggie. She has a couple of quirks we are working on, but basically sweet, athletic , and beautiful. I would like to try team sorting with her. Maybe sometime. I tried it before and liked it. Sorry this is so long.

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I should add, I can use my right arm, but very limited mobility and no strength in it much. And yes, I went though Physical Therapy.
Hi Marty, I'm from So Cal... and I ride on the trails and I am going to turn in my old horse who is not interested apparently in playing with me anymore for my young horse who is dying to play with me... and just get on with this riding thing... if you see a white girl fly by your window on a brown horse, that might be me... come and rein us in, willya? Jen and Oliver...
Well I got back from a great trail ride in Tennessee in Oct. For some reason Mother Nature decided to smile upon the riders that week. What a relief, it was cold on the way down there, but as the week prgressed the temps climbed and we only had one day of rain. I camped right on the Buffalo River, my usualy spot for the last 20 years. I did notice that the river was runing faster and higher than most years. One year we had to be evacuated off that camping area because of a flash flood from heavy rains up river. Cheee that was exciting. Anyway I got down there, had a great ride, and got home with no problems. The trailer is now cleaned up, and sotred for the winter. The horses are trimmed and ready for their winter vacation. It will not be loing and I will be in Florida, can't wait. Then I can begin riding again as iff there were no changes in the weather. lol
Trails and camping is almost all of what I do. My husband and I have walkers, one TWH and one grade. We found a trail directory that is published by our states Horse Council that has all the private and state camp grounds as well as all the deicated equine trail systems in the state. I ride in either an Abetta saddle or my Orthoflex. Love them both. Both weigh in at about 11 pounds. You might want to try out a bar trap saddle before buying one. Would that be similar to what they used to call the window makers? If it has a exaggerated deep seat or very high cantle I can tell you from experiance the cantle will dig into your back if there's any slop in your posture. They are also harder to swing a leg over.

Eileen~ was that the Buffalo River Trail Ride you were at by chance? I'd love a first hand account. I have wanted to get there for a few years now.
Well, I have been riding my beartrap ranch/trail saddle and love it. Just love it. I am going to see how small they make them for my 12 yr old grand daughter.
Yes Amy it was the Buffalo Trail Ride in Waynesboro that I attended. Been going for quite a few years now. I would be glad to fill you in on what ever questions you have. I like to see my old friends there that I would not see otherwise. Although a lot of the old trails have been lost due to logging or new owners coming in and wanting to build in the middle of a But some how they have managed to find new trails and hook up with the old ones. The campground is quite large with a bottom area which is the old campground and is kind of surrounded by the river then the newer campground which of course is up on higher ground but also wooded, with primitive as well as electric hookups. What ever questions you have I will sure try to answer them.
Eileen I am so jealous! A old friend of mine did that ride 5 consecutive years and got the belt buckle I think it was. I heard the trails the first day or two can be very demanding and there are always a few that drop out. How were the bugs? Can you still camp along the river? Can you temp fence or do you have picket? How big was the ride this year? That ride is tops on our list of places to get to. My husband and I used to camp alot, like every other weekend, but last year we bought a place with trails and an indoor and now we rarely leave home! We will have to fix that real soon. I miss new trails and new sights.
Boy I am sure slow at replying here, but I guess I have been doing everything but getting on the computer. In answer to your questions. The trails are pretty much the same any day of the week regardless of when you get out on them. You are probably talking about the all day guided trail ride. About 20 years ago on my first year there I probably went on that ride every day of the week. The number of riders was so very large that I got pretty tired of the hind end not knowing where the front end of the ride was. It is much better for me to go out on my own or with just a few riders, that way you can go at your own pace, and where you want. The bug situation in the fall is not bad at all, I have never noticed them being bad. Of course they do hold rides in the summer and they say that the ride then is hot, and very challenging for both animals and humans for numerous reasons. I have always camped along the river and yes there are usually campsite available down there as well as the upper campsites. The numbers of campers during the Oct ride has dwindled in the past couple of years. I don't think that anyone is allowed to put up temp fencing, I have never seen any there. You can put up a pickett line if you wish or they have the box stalls with roof over them. I went through Wi a couple of years ago on my way west, and stayed at a couple of small camping areas. Are there any riding and camping areas that you would say, are "don't miss" ones. Every states had some special areas that are special for the riders. Sorry that I took so long to answer, I will try to do better next time
Eileen, My favorite place we just moved away from was the best kept secret for years until a few years back some saddle club pushed to make the park bigger and better, lol! Now it's like camping in the city. Gravel pads for trailers, can't tie to your trailer.... I waited years for the chance to go to Forestview in MN and I only lasted 1 night. Same thing, gravel, no horses on green areas. We did the 15 miles of trail the evening we got there (we have walkers and move out) and left the next morning. Shoulda gone to Zumbro Bottoms. I am making reservations this week for a campground called Wild Cat Mountain. Haven't been there yet but many friends go often. It's in west central WI and is near the Kickapoo Reserve and Underdown so you have a wide selection and lots of trails. I can give you a full report mid June. The SW corner of the state has some gorgeous trails that wind along the bluffs of the Wisconsin River. According to the trail directory there are some really cool places way up in the NW corner of the state. Lots of trails and lots of water. That is a hike even for us and we are in the center of the state. There are lots of smaller parks but no show stoppers. There are tons of organized rides in fall all over and the color is just awesome in fall. Great. it's minus 10 outside and I'll be dreaming of camping tonight.
Oh man I hate it when they ruin a perfectly good campground and "improve" it so that nobody likes it not even the horses....whaddia mean they can't go over to the green I have seen that happen too many times. I may be picking your brain later on in the spring time If I find out of I am going out that way again. A friend of mine was saying that we should go out again one more time before we get too old and feeble to do it. Gawd I hate getting old. I wish I could remember those little places that we stopped but they were more or less inthe northern tip of Wi and MN I dnow one place was above Duluth and it was near a gravel pit, we could hear the trucks going up the hill behind the campground and hear the euipment working through the day
Eileen just let me know if you travel this way. I have an old copy of the WI Horse Directory I can send you that has just about every equine camping area in the state, both public and state parks with all the details. And thanks for the information on the TN ride. I so hope to get there someday.
I might just do that Amy, the same friend and I were sort of talking about making another trip west, but not sure if that is this summer or not will have to do some more talking about that. If we do I will be in touch. It is great getting the lowdown from a local about the good and bad places to ride.


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