I want to personally thank Randy, for sharing his story with our readers, and I hope to see you and Cheryl out and about on those lovely horses soon.
Share Your Story by Randy Winter
A recent ride sparked my interest in writing this op ed piece. A woman from North Carolina had moved her horse here six weeks ago. At the boarding facility, near her home, where her horse was settling in nicely, she sought out people to ride with. Her inquiries were unproductive so she called the American Endurance Ride Association, of which she is a member, to get the phone numbers of other members who she might call to be able to ride trails with. She was given my phone number and called one evening with lots of questions about things she had heard about riding in the area.
What she had heard was that there was nowhere safe to ride; too many bicycles, no parking, poor trail conditions (prairie dog holes) and more. She wanted to know where we rode. We talked for awhile to get a feel for each others backgrounds and experience. Soon we arranged to meet for a ride and all went well.
How this sparked my interest to write is that over the years I had heard the same sorts of justification from people to not ride out on the trails. At one meeting a long time resident hadn’t ridden her horse off her property for years, expressing her concern that both the City and County had taken away all the horse riding trails and there was no place to ride.
It seems many riders want to justify not riding out because of the City, County, bicycles, trail conditions, parking limitations, riding environment and whatever it is they deem to be a problem.
It’s fine not to go out on the trail if you choose. Riding on trail is a challenge. There are many issues with safety, experience, knowledge, comfort and training. But it has begun to upset me that some people jump on the “everyone and everything is against the horses” bandwagon to justify their not going out on trail. My opinion is you don’t have to justify that by bashing the many wonderful trail opportunities that do exist in the Boulder County area.
Be safe, meet the challenges, enjoy the process of you and your horse learning, be social, enjoy your horse in any way you choose, and ride on.
– Randy Winter