Tread Lightly! and AQHA Form Alliance


The Tread Lightly program is designed to promote responsible outdoor useTread Lightly! is the newest member of the American Quarter Horse Association Alliance Partnership program. Tread Lightly! promotes responsible outdoor recreation through ethics education and stewardship.

“Trail conservation is extremely important to AQHA and its members,” said Don Treadway Jr., AQHA Executive Vice President. “We are pleased to join Tread Lightly in preserving trails for future generations to be able to enjoy their American Quarter Horses and advocating education for everyone who uses our nation’s great outdoors.”

AQHA and Tread Lightly! value open access to beautiful, healthy public lands for recreational use. With increased popularity of outdoor recreation and limited open space, conflicts between enthusiasts enjoying different modes of transportation, such as horses, mountain bikes and motorized vehicles, is on the rise making for a greater need for education and outreach about responsible trail use. 

“In order to create a society of good stewards, we must permeate an ethic of stewardship into the minds of all outdoor enthusiasts,” said Lori McCullough, Tread Lightly!’s Executive Director. “At Tread Lightly!, we believe this goal is attainable if we band together under one ethics brand. Ultimately, we are all protecting access by raising awareness and moving people from clueless to a committed outdoor ethic.”

Tread Lightly! is working to help prevent or reduce trail closures resulting from environmental impacts and social conflict by providing a series of educational brochures. The pamphlets are full of tips advocating an ethic of stewardship and promoting a wide variety of recreational activities. Some of the tips also include information for responsible horseback riding. In addition, the brochures include a series relating to activities involving the use of motorized vehicles that provide guidelines such as what to do when approaching horses or other pack animals.

AQHA is facilitating Stewards for Trails, Education and Partnerships (STEP), a new program that helps educate equestrians to become effective advocates for trail stewardship in the horse community. Formerly known as Trail Trotters, the program was launched in November 2004 by the Equestrian Land Conservation Resource in partnership with the National Forest Foundation. The goal of STEP is to increase participation in trail stewardship among equine enthusiasts while casting a positive light on horseback riders to land managers and other trail users. To learn more about the new STEP program, visit



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