The Equestrian Trail Riders Lifestyle

A guide to keeping horses and the equestrian lifestyle.

by Lora Goerlich, Owner, Equestrian Trails and Facilities Consultant LLC

Our kayaks are suspended snugly in the rafters doubling as storage for the paddles, lifejackets and a 65L backpack. Two hybrid cycles are parked in the barn collecting dust. Outside, a few inches of snow cover the dormant grass and two sets of cross-country skis are neatly placed on end by the back door, waiting... kick-glide, kick-glide. With each passing season we enjoy these typically low maintenance, affordable, leisure activities. But we also have three horses we use for recreational trail riding. And in stark contrast to our leisure things, our horses cannot be stowed away seasonally or on days we don’t use them. Keeping horses for recreational use is a lifestyle.

A guide to keeping horses for recreational use

Lora Goerlich has written a guide that might answer the question, "Should I even think about owning a horse?" Written with first-hand experience, this guide considers vital topics of keeping horses for recreational use:

  • Physical Challenges
  • Goals and Knowledge
  • Financial Commitment
  • Uncertainties (illness and injury)
  • Inclusion and fostering a positive trail experience

Attached document published April 2019

About the Author

Lora’s parks and recreation career spans thirty-two years; twenty-five years she served as a dedicated law-enforcement/maintenance ranger at Metroparks of Toledo. Add to that her formal schooling in two distinct areas – environmental studies/resource management and equestrian studies. Work, education and personal experience have woven together seamlessly to create a uniquely qualified, neutral horse trail expert/consultant and author with a profound knowledge and understanding of recreational equestrian needs; sustainable trail planning and maintenance in natural areas; law enforcement issues and strategies; community involvement; best practice horse keeping; equine behavior; customer service; volunteerism; natural resource management; mounted patrol operations and multi-use-trail conflict resolution.

In 2011 she began sharing her expertise at park conferences including: The National Parks and Recreation Congress, Ohio Parks and Recreation Conference, American Trails Symposium and The Park Ranger Institute.

Lora has been a trail rider and horse owner since 1986 and has ridden, started and re-schooled a variety of horses in various disciplines. Current trail mounts include a Tennessee Walker gelding and a Warmblood cross, gelding. You might also find her hiking, cycling, kayaking or camping with and without horses.

Contact: [email protected]

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