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The Iowa Horse Council Trails Committee now has a Facebook page. Join us and keep up with our current activities at

Confidence Clinic

Barefoot Clinic

February 10, 2018

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

2645 29Oth St.
Marshalltown, IA
(Formerly Moe’s Trailer Sales)

Sponsored by: Iowa Horse Council Trails Committee

What is barefoot hoof care? Why go barefoot? is barefoot the way to go for me and my horse? Is barefoot better?

Get the answer to these and many more questions at the clinic.

Presented by: Randy Henley Natural Equine Hoof, AHA Certified

Cost: $8 for Iowa Horse Council Members, $10 for non-members

Coffee, water, snacks furnished. Please bring your own chair.

Clinic program will be inside so the cold weather will not be an issue.

Iowa Horse Council Trails Committee

The trails committee has not held any activities since our Colic Clinic last spring as everyone seems to be so busy in the summer time. We decided to hold off on future activities until this fall and winter. The committee is in the process of planning several new clinics both with and without horses, all of which should be of interest to the Iowa trail rider.

A big project that we have begun is providing mounting blocks to our Iowa public equine trails. We plan to place these mounting blocks in areas on the trails away from camp for folks who want to take a break from the saddle and have a difficult time mounting again. Our first two have been constructed by Dreesman Construction of Toledo, IA., with owner Tom Dreesman donating the first one. Plaques are being made to indicate that they were donated. We have secured the permission of the DNR rangers and when we get the plaques these will be placed at Brushy Creek and Elk Rock. The committee has decided that in the spring when all the trails are reopened at Volga our next one will be placed there.

The trails committee has been asked to hold an Equestrian Trails Conference again this year at the Iowa Horse Fair. The conference will be from 9-12 am and 1-4 pm on the Friday of the Horse Fair. Watch for more details on this activity as the planning progresses.

Our second annual trail ride will be held Oct 13-15 at Cross Roads Ranch at Lucas Iowa. Now is the time to reserve your site by calling Cross Roads Ranch at 641-217-1188. Last spring, despite the wind and cold weather, we had a good attendance and had a really fun time. Join us for a guided trail ride, riding on your own, pot luck supper and dance, Pony Express Fun Show and Cattle work. Please note that the cattle work will be done on Sunday this fall.

You can stay current on your Iowa Horse Council Trails Committee by liking our Facebook page at IHC Trails on Facebook.

Our active core on the Trails Committee is small and we would welcome new members who are willing to pitch in and help us with the planning and preparation of several clinics and activities that we in the process of planning for this fall and the spring of 2018. Please contact a trails committee member if you are interested in helping.

Trail Committee Meeting

The new committee of the Iowa Horse Council Trails Committee met after the Horse Council board meeting at Jester Park on Feb. 12, 2017.  What an exciting new group!  I wanted to send this out not only to those who were there, but to those of you who had conflicts and could not make this meeting. Also if you receive this email and no longer wish to serve on this committee please do let me know that.  If you know of someone who does want to serve send me their email address.  We would expect that they be Iowa Horse Council members and take an active role in working for the trail riders of Iowa..  Also, if you have an interest in serving on the Iowa Horse Council board of directors one of the requirements is that you have served one year on one of the committees.

We’d like to extend a special thank you to Lela Mullen for the use of Jester Park for our meeting and hope that she as well as other previous trail committee members are able to join us in March.

At the start of the meeting we introduced ourselves and added what we could contribute to the committee.

Sandee McKee- Chairperson .  Wanting to find new ways for the Horse Council to serve Iowa Trail Riders.  I suggested we consider the educational  aspect of our propose and explore clinics and workshops that we could do.

David Beary-Reminded us that education is a requirement of our 501C3 obligations and that he would like for use to explore ways other than the horse fair to do that. Being the chairman of a BCHIA chapter David will also facilitate our cooperative efforts with that group and other trail riding groups in Iowa.

Rob McCaulley-With his wife is owner of the new trail riding camp Cross Roads Ranch in Lucas Iowa.  Rob talked a lot about the importance of family and for kids to get outside on off line. He told us about being involved in rodeo and that he wanted to support the social aspect of trail riding for families.

Meg Hughes-Meg is an experienced trail rider and travels to many of the major rides and camps. Meg is not online a lot and does not use Facebook.   She brings us a wealth of knowledge as a result of her extensive riding. She prefers the more adventurous single track trails.  She also tracks her mileage.

Leah Erickson -Although she had not been in the trail riding world for a long time Leah brings us youth and enthusiasm and she is computer savvy.  Already today she has set up our new Facebook page  She also spoke of the importance of events being beginner friendly.

Duly Zwiefel- Despite being a fairly new rider Duly has been active with several horse and trail organizations.  She stressed how important organizations like ours are to helping people connect with like minded riders and find people to ride with.  She also has done a lot of work with educating bicycle groups about safety around horses

Harold Ault.-Harold has been on the Horse Council for many years and wanted to remind us to think about the horse in harness using the trails as well as the saddle horse.  Harold will be looking into what is expected in our bylaws as far as the trails committee dealing with land usage and zoning.  We are not aware of the trails committee being involved in this fashion in the past.

These are the folks who were in attendance at our first meeting.  When those of you who are on the committee meet with us next time please be prepared to tell us how you can serve this committee. Sandee also asked each person to pick a state and investigate what their trails committees are doing to serve their state’s riders and be prepared to share at our next meeting.

We did a bit of brain storming about educational things we could look into.  We mentioned Kim’s interest in doing a fire prevention workshop.  Marlys had spoken about an event to help riders with trail obstacles. Meg expressed an interest in that as well, as long as it was not focused on speed.  Tracking mileage for members is another item we will take a look at.

The majority of the meeting was spent discussing the upcoming clinic with Raymond Helmuth on March 18 and our first trail weekend at Cross Roads Ranch on May 19-21 .  Sandee is working with Ray. The clinic will focus on riders who may lack confidence.  It will be a very inexpensive clinic so that we can get one done before Horse Fair and be able to show the public that this committee will be offering new services to the horse council members.  The fee for the clinic for one horse and person is $70 if you are a IHC member and $80 if you are not.  Auditors will be $20 for non members and $15 for members.  It will be a one day clinic at Ray’s stables at Belinda’s Best Little Horse House Arena in Cambridge, IA.  Participants will bring a sack lunch. Ray and Sandee are working on a schedule and will keep you posted.  We will also get a Facebook event up as well as fliers to share.

Rob McCaulley has offered his ranch for our 1st Semi-Annual Iowa Horse Council Trail Ride. Rob and his wife have generously donated use of his campground to the IHC.  Each rider will make their own reservations through the campground with IHC members receiving a 10% discount.   We had a great deal of conversation about what activities we would like to have for the weekend and Rob and his wife took our suggestions and put up a Facebook event Sunday
evening.  You can see in on the ihctrails Facebook page as well.  To our delight Rob said that he would like to make this ride a semi-annual ride and do it again in the fall.  The committee felt that it should be the same weekend each year.  The rides each spring will be the weekend before Memorial Day.  Rob has a full weekend planned for us with a guided ride, work with cattle, potluck, dance, riding on our own, Cowboy Church and pancakes!  Mark May 19-21 on your calendar now and call the campground soon to rent your site or to rent a cabin. 641-217-1188.  The committee agreed that Rob should have fliers printed to hand out at Horse Fair. He will also have some larger poster size fliers printed up for Horse Fair. He will use Vista Print.

Our next IHC Trails Committee will be held before the IHC board meeting March 15, 2017.  Duly offered to host us at her home as several of us will need to leave by 6:00 or so to get the council meeting.  We will meet and begin our meeting promptly 4:30. Duly’s address is 1506 NW Park Ridge Place, Ankeny, Iowa.  If you use gps Duly emphasized that it is Park Ridge PLACE

Welcome to your Iowa equestrian trail riding experience!

The Iowa Horse Council believes in trail riding as an economic asset to the regional areas in the state of Iowa, and, to ensure the future of Iowa horse trails, has created a trails committee. The IHC encourages volunteers and supports the committee’s partnership with Iowa Department of Natural Resources in maintaining the quickly-growing popularity of trail riding. If you wish to donate or volunteer to maintain trails, please go to the volunteer webpage at the Iowa DNR:

The IHC also encourages equestrian representation in local Friends of Trails groups across Iowa. If you would like to join the Iowa Horse Trails Committee please contact Sandee McKee at

Ensure the future of Iowa horse trails: Before riding any trail in Iowa, first check to see if the trail is closed, or if there is limited access because of weather, and please also note there are very few “all weather equestrian trails” in Iowa; Brushy Creek and Jester Park Equestrian are two of them. Iowa DNR warns of riding any muddy trails because maintenance costs can quickly become untenable. Several trails in Iowa are already on an “endangered trail” list, wherein riding them in soft or muddy conditions will cause them to be at risk to close permanently. Please also respect trail policies and closings, whether the trails you find are private, city, county, state, or federal. Most contact information on the most popular public trails can be found at the Iowa DNR brochure/map link (DNR Trail Riding Brochure). Please also see below for commonly-accepted trail riding etiquette guidelines.

Finding Iowa Trails: The IHC has partnered with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Iowa Trail Riders Association (ITRA) to provide a brochure/map to equestrian trails in Iowa (which includes popular Iowa trails that are not managed by the State of Iowa): and direct to the DNR Trail Riding Brochure

Iowa Trails Summit: As a partner with the Friends of Iowa Trails, the Iowa Horse Council supports the Iowa Trails Summit. For more information on the Summit, and to have our trail user group represented in a trail riding tracking miles log, please go to:

Iowa Horse Council Trails Grants: The Iowa Horse Council’s grant application system encourages submissions to maintain or create new trails. Please access the IHC grant application page by clicking here

The Iowa Horse Council also sends a representative of equestrian interests to the Iowa Department of Transportation Recreational Trails Advisory Committee. The RTP grant is a federal grant that is administered by the Iowa Department of Transportation. You can access the grant information and application by clicking here.

Other Trail Grants:  The Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program of the National Park Service is a program which provides technical assistance to community groups, and local, state, and federal government agencies to enhance close-to-home outdoor recreation opportunities.  This program assists communities plan, organize partnerships, and achieve on-the-ground success on their projects. Current RTCA Iowa projects can be found Here.

For more information, please contact: Brian Leaders, RLA, at:, or by phone at (402) 661-1568, and be sure to watch the NPS video at:  Make Your Community’s Vision a Reality.

Iowa Trail Closures: For the latest Iowa DNR State Parks and Trails Closure List, click here.

Other Links:

Below, you will find links that may help you search for trails and to contact friends of trails groups, and other trail riders. Many groups of Iowa equestrian trail riders have sprung up on Facebook – so search with terms similar to “Iowa Trails,” “Iowa Horse Trail,” “Iowa Equestrian Trail,” or “Iowa Trail Riders Association (ITRA).” To add contact information for a trails group or link, contact Sandee McKee at

American Trails

Friends of Boone County Trails and Madrid Trail Subcommittee

Friends of Shimek Trails

Google Trails Map

Horse and Travel

Horse Trail Directory

Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Iowa Department of Transportation

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

Iowa Trail Riders Association

Rails to Trails


Trail Source

Equestrian Trail Etiquette (from brochure in part by Betty Grim-Newton, DVM, and printed by Iowa Trail Riders Association (ITRA)

  • Make sure your horse has the temperament and training for riding on congested public trails. Busy multi-use trails are not the proper place for schooling green horses.
  • Advise other trail users of your horse’s temperament, e.g. a horse that may kick should always wear a red ribbon on the tail or a stallion should wear a yellow ribbon.
  • Remove your horse from the trail if you begin experiencing behavior problems.
  • Announce your intentions to pass other trail users and reduce speed in order to pass safely. Pass on the left only.
  • Stay on equestrian approved trails
  • Bridges – If other trail users are approaching at the same time, allow them to cross first. This will give you more time to take your horse across safely (horses are not allowed on the High Trestle Trail Bridge)
  • Remember other trail users may not be familiar with horses. You are an ambassador for the entire equestrian community.
  • Do not clean out your trailer in parking areas
  • Clean up after your horse. Kick droppings off multi-use sections of trail.

General Guidelines and Etiquette Tips:

  • Respect the Trail: don’t littler. Use appropriate trash containers
  • Become the eyes and ears of the trail system. Report all problems to the appropriate authorities.
  • Share the trails – cyclists yield to all other trail users and hikers yield to equestrians.
  • Slower traffic should keep to the right of the trail; faster users pass on the left.
  • Do not pass on narrow bends and bridges – pass only when you can clearly see the trail and approaching traffic.
  • When passing other trail users; provide adequate warning and reduce speed.
  • Animals on the trail may act unexpectedly. Approach slowly and speak to the rider or dog walkers.
  • Tread gently when trails are muddy; footprints, bicycle ruts and hoof prints can damage the trails
  • If you choose to wear a stereo/headphone set, make sure the volume neither prevents you from hearing things happening around you, nor disturbs other trail users.
  • If you come upon an injured rider (horse or bicycle) get help immediately. If you come upon a rider-less horse get professional help. If you choose to approach the horse, speak softly, move slowly from the side – do not chase it.

Contact information: Sandee McKee email: