Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Excerpt from "Trail Adventures and Advice" Chapter 2 - Riding in Cleveland

Riding in Cleveland

I live in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. It may seem an unlikely place for a trail rider, but that is not the case at all. We have a park system that circles the city and is consequently called “The Emerald Necklace.” Within our great park, we have over 82 miles of bridle trails to ride. Anywhere you live in the county, you are less than a ½ hour away from the trails. Most of them are well maintained and easily accessible. There are plenty of boarding stables all along the perimeter of the park where hundreds of people, including me, keep their horses.

Typically, the trails are wooded. There are some hills, fields, marshes and a lot of creeks and rivers. My particular area is noted for a wide variety of lovely wildflowers and gorgeous views of the Rocky River. There is a large diversity of trees in the area, making the fall foliage spectacular. One particularly splendid spot is an old pine forest on the top of the valley. It changes dramatically with the time of day and the time of year. I never get tired of looking up at those awesome pines. Another thing about our trails is that there are plenty of great places for trotting and cantering, and we take advantage of it.

The downside of living in a very populated area is that we must share our trails with many people. I’m not just talking about other trail riders. If only it was that easy. We deal with heavy automobile traffic, pedestrians, joggers, dog walkers, bikes, cross country skiers, roller bladers and miscellaneous strollers, kite fliers, rocket shooters and even a bagpipe player now and then. Sometimes it gets rather stressful. We really have to spend a great deal of time with our horses to get them used to all the craziness out there. Our horses are that much better off.


Anonymous said...

My barn is located just off of a count park that has a little over 3000 acres and I can't tell you how many miles of trails. The one loop we do takes about 4 hours when walking, gaiting, trotting and racing up hills.
As much as we enjoy going to other trail systems for the solitude and quiet, it's always nice to let your horse experience the "crazy" public at overpopulated parks. We even go by a shooting range, golf course, tunnel, bridges and a fenced in dog park-which is always a hoot to get the dog's all rowled up!
Our horses are much better for all these "scary" experiences we ask them to go through.

achieve1dream said...

Thanks for commenting on Zeppelin's progress. I never even would have thought about having to do it with my husband too! Zep let's both of us touch his face even without treats or a clicker, but as I move further along his body I'll have to have him do some work with him too. I want to teach him to use clicker anyway. :D

achieve1dream said...

Sounds like a wonderful place. I wish I had something like it around here. There are no trails. I have to walk and eventually will ride out on the public roads. Sigh. I'm glad it's common practice around here though. I couldn't imagine if I were not allowed to ride off of my property. Eek. I can't wait to buy your book. When we get our tax money in I'm going to splurge and buy it. :)