The Trail Trotters program, which promotes community-based stewardship of trails by equine enthusiasts, was recently adopted by the American Quarter Horse Association.
Trail Trotters has been a program of the Equestrian Land Conservation Resource, with assistance from the National Forest Foundation. The program’s mission is to promote equestrian involvement in the restoration, repair and establishment of trails and trailheads.
Part of the Trail Trotters program has been National Trails Day. This is an annual event celebrated every June since 1992 that involves trail restoration projects across the country. This day unifies horseback riders and other trail users in an effort to build and strengthen relationships between local equestrian communities, the forest service and other land managers for the long-term stewardship of trails. Now, as new program directors, the AQHA plans to increase the single day’s event into a month-long project. This June, equestrians are encouraged to complete trail conservation projects. Just as before, the program will also involve competition, as groups vie for National Stewardship Awards based on the community involvement and sustainability of their project.
In addition, the AQHA is seeking a new name for the Trail Trotters program to recognize its new affiliation. Do you have a creative name that you’d like to trot out to the AQHA? You can email it to Stephanie McCommon at firstname.lastname@example.org by May 25. Make sure you include your name, address and phone number along with your suggested program name. The person whose name is chosen will win a $100 gift certificate to Quarter Horse Outfitters. Just think: You could buy something to use on your next trail ride!