Iowa Horse Council Trails Committee Meeting

by Laurie Carnahan on June 24, 2015

The Iowa Horse Council Trails Committee meeting will be held in State Center on Thursday, July 16 at 6:30 p.m. at David Beary Enterprises, across from the bank in State Center:
David Beary Enterprises
12 West Main
State Center, IA 50247
For more information:
We will be discussing MATAG presentation in October, and if there is any possibility of a Soft Trails Conference next year, and any other events we would like to organize


Wendy Murdoch Clinic

by admin on May 19, 2015

Join Wendy Murdoch for a 3-day clinic, June 5, 6,7 at Kruidenier Second Chance Arena, Animal Rescue League of Iowa

Wendy MurdochWendy Murdoch has ridden since childhood in a variety of disciplines including Hunters, Dressage, Eventing, and Reining. In 1984 while working towards her PhD in Equine Biomechanics, Wendy incurred a severe riding accident. The accident changed the course of her life from theoretical study to applied biomechanics for both horse and rider. As a result Wendy has been teaching internationally for over 18 years. Her goal is to make riding more enjoyable and fundamentally simple by showing her students how to achieve what great riders do naturally.

Wendy holds a Master’s Degree in Equine Reproductive Physiology from the University of Kentucky (1986). Her background includes intensive study with Linda Tellington-Jones, Founder of TEAM®; an apprenticeship in 1992 with Sally Swift, Founder of Centered Riding®; Dr. Joyce Harman, holistic veterinarian and noted authority on saddle fitting; Bettina Drummond, the only authorized representative of the Nuno Oliveira School in North America

Wendy has traveled to Europe to further her education by attending the Global Dressage Forum (2004) in Tilburg, The Netherlands and had the opportunity to work with Arthur Kottas-Heldenberg, Retired First Chief Rider of the Spanish Riding School, considered the best Dressage rider in Europe.

In addition to her teaching, Wendy takes time to write. Her articles have appeared in numerous magazines including Dressage & CT, Equus, Practical Horseman, The Trail Less Traveled, USDF Connections and Eclectic Horseman. Wendy has written many books as well, check them out here!:

Read more about Wendy on her website:

For More Information Please Contact Kay Shiverick at 515-360-2465


Whitney-DavisWe congratulate Whitney Davis, the trails coordinator for the Iowa DNR Parks, along with crewmen Pete Englund (crew foreman) and Tim Wermers (field admin and logistics) for the Iowa DNR AmeriCorps Trail Crew.  The Coalition for Recreational Trails has chosen the Iowa DNR AmeriCorps Trail Crew project as the winner of the CRT’s Annual Achievement Award for outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program funds in the Youth Conservation/Service Corps and Community Outreach category. The national award will be presented on June 10th in Washington, D.C. at a special awards ceremony on Capitol Hill.

American Trails sponsors Coalition for Recreational Trails awards, and is a national, nonprofit organization working on behalf of all trail interests, including hiking, bicycling, mountain biking, horseback riding, water trails, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, trail motorcycling, ATVs, snowmobiling and four-wheeling.  The Iowa Horse Council is a member of American Trails, as is the American Horse Council, Back Country Horsemen of America, and the Equestrian Land Conservation Resource.

Whitney-Davis-2Davis’ program emphasizes community service based environmental learning for its exponential land stewardship benefits. The DNR trails program utilizes an AmeriCorps labor force with roots in the Civilian Conservation Corps to build and maintain state parks trails.    Davis has been with the program for nine years.   She worked in sustainable agriculture for ten years prior, and has coordinated various AmeriCorps sustainable energy, agriculture, and environmental programs.  She has supported and been an active participant in the IHC annual Equestrian and Soft Trails Conference for two years, presenting “Trails Maintenance 101,” and showing before and after photos of the Trail Crew’s work and highlighting successful soft trail maintenance techniques which are applied statewide.

Iowa state parks that include equestrian trails are:

  • Brushy Creek State Recreation Area – Webster County
  • Elk Rock State Park – Marion County
  • Lake of Three Fires State Park – Taylor County
  • Nine Eagles State Park – Decatur County
  • Shimek State Forest – Van Buren County
  • Stephens State Forest – Lucas County
  • Volga River State Recreation Area – Fayette County
  • Waubonsie State Park – Fremont County
  • Yellow River State Forest – Allamakee County

Davis also oversees the DNR website for equestrian trails at, where you can find a number of parks and forests suited to your needs, including some with equestrian campgrounds.  This webpage also includes an equestrian trail riding state map and brochure: Guide to State and County Managed Equestrian Trails .  Current state park and trail closings can also be found at

Equestrians in Iowa are grateful to Davis for her service to the state of Iowa, and her leadership of the Iowa DNR AmeriCorps Trail Crew to preserve parks, educate, maintain, and keep equestrian trails healthy and safe to ride.  Congratulations, Whitney and crew on a well-deserved award!


  • Wendy Murdoch

  • Bob Smith

  • Austin Anderson

  • Indalecio Macedo

  • Kristi Smith

  • Ryan Rose

Click Here for Complete 2015 Iowa Horse Fair Schedule

The 31st Annual Iowa Horse Fair will take place April 10, 11, &12 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa. This event is designed to educate horse owners about ways to care for and train their horses and also to entertain the general public with exciting drill teams, trick riding and numerous horse demonstrations.

Featured clinicians include Wendy Murdoch from Virginia, Van Hargis from Texas, and The Texas Trick Riders from the beautiful Texas White Horse Ranch. Wendy Murdoch specializes in the Sure Foot methods of improving you and your horse’s balance. Van Hargis is know as The Horseman With a Message, working on ways to improve your riding and your horse’s responses. The Texas Trick Riders will demonstrate cooperation between horse and human with feats such as Roman Riding Liberty and Whip Acts. Joining these three are Four-Star Parelli instructors Kristi Smith and Ryan Rose. Bob Smith utilizes common sense, “herd mentality” horsemanship and Indalecio Macedo develops a horse’s natural athleticism through High School training.

But a horse fair isn’t a horse fair without horses and the Iowa Horse Fair will feature over 50 breeds and registries in the Avenue and Parade of Breeds. From Andalusian to Zweibrucker, from mini donkey to shire, from quarter horse to Georgian Grande, Curly to Gypsy. The Horse Barn will be filled with over 250 horses including a Stallion Avenue featuring several Friesian stallions and more.

2015-Horse-Fair-FlyerReturning are favorites such as the Wright Rodeo, a full rodeo held Friday and Saturday evening, free pony rides and wagon rides – even stage coach rides. Also to entertain and educate will be the Cowboy Mounted Shooters competition, Colt Starting Challenge, Charros el Carretero, drill teams, Queen’s Contest, and Driving Derby. New for 2015 will be Cutting and Ranch Horse demonstrations.

Over 100 vendors will be set up to offer for sale all things equine – from trucks and trailers to jewelry & clothing – even saddles and tack for the horse owner. Western and equine art is a specialty of many vendors.

For additional information please visit the 2015 Iowa Horse Fair page.


IHC Equestrian Soft Trails Conference

by admin on April 8, 2015

Soft-Trails-ConferenceDo you wish there were more horse trails in Iowa?  Now, in Jasper, Madison, Marion and Warren Counties, there can be!  Now is the time to get involved!

The Iowa Heartland Resource, Conservation and Development, Inc. ( is looking for equestrian input on development of a trails master plan for Jasper, Madison, Marion, and Warren Counties.  Come join us at the IHC Equestrian Soft Trails Conference on April 10th, at the Cattle Barn at the State Fairgrounds (sign up at  At the conference, there will be an opportunity to participate with representatives of the IHRC&D and draw out equestrian trails you wish you could have if money or terrain were no object.  If you are interested in representing equestrian trail riders on the planning committee or for more information and a Trails Planning Committee Questionnaire, please contact Sheila Navis at 515.468.0067 or  You also invited to participate in the following public meetings:

  • Thursday, March 26 | 6:30 pm Earlham Public Library 120 South Chestnut Avenue Earlham, IA
  • Friday, March 27 | 9:00 am Farmers & Merchants State Bank Community Room 101 West Jefferson Street Winterset, IA
  • Friday, March 27 | 2:00 pm Norwalk Easter Public Library – Meeting Room 1051 North Avenue Norwalk, IA
  • Saturday, March 28 | 9:00 am City Community Center 35 Vine Street Carlisle, IA


Corps Taking Public Comment on Draft Lake Red Rock Master Plan and Environmental Assessment

April 8, 2015

KNOXVILLE, Iowa – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, asks the public to provide comment on the FINAL DRAFT of the Lake Red Rock Master Plan and Environmental Assessment. The master plan, which was last updated in 1976, conceptually establishes and guides the development, administration, maintenance, preservation, enhancement, and management of all […]

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IHC Trails Committee Meeting

February 27, 2015

The Iowa Horse Council Trails Committee meeting will be held in State Center on Wednesday, March 4th at 6:30 p.m. at David Beary’s business, across from the bank in State Center: David Beary Enterprises 12 West Main State Center, IA 50247 A half block away, before or after the meeting, you can find Woodrow’s Bar […]

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2015 Equestrian Soft Trails Conference Agenda

February 16, 2015

Click the image at left to download the agenda. Presented by the Iowa Horse Council Friday April 10, 2015 Iowa Horse Fair/Speakers Area/Cattle Barn Iowa State Fairgrounds, Des Moines, Iowa

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