May 25, 2020

Trail Riding in Brown County State Park

On Saturday morning at 6:30am, I rolled over to a text from one of the haul-ins in my trainer's lesson program asking if I wanted to trail ride. The state parks had just reopened the day before, and I had been asking her for a long time if she'd let me know sometime when she went out, since she knows the trails well at our local state park and I don't know them at all.

With the laundry room at a pretty good stopping point and the weather looking amazing, I couldn't think of a single excuse not to go. Within a few hours, I had thrown Connor in the trailer and off we went.

This is a whole other post, but OMG hauling loaded with my new truck for the first time was amaaaaaazing.

We ended up having an incredible time. This girl and I haven't spoken a ton in the past, but conversation was easy, and her gelding and Connor were well-matched in terms of pace (which was slow, lol). Connor has mostly trail ridden with WBs and TBs in the past, and their big walk strides leave him in the dust, so it was nice to not have to trot to catch up regularly.

It's not like I didn't know this state park was there, but I have so few riding buddies that know the trails and are willing to go out with me, I haven't taken advantage of living only 30 minutes from it. Yes, 30 minutes from my barn's driveway to the gatehouse! This is something we could do on a weeknight in the summer.

Tornado damage from a few years ago

The trails we rode alternated between hard packed dirt and gravel. Connor's "gravel munching feet" as Dr. Marks would say were fine on the gravel, but he did start to shorten his stride in places toward the end of our 2.5 hour ride. I told Trail Riding Buddy I wanted to prove to myself I'd actually trail ride before I start looking at boots for him, but those will probably be a good purchase in the future for these trails. In the meantime there are other trails we can do that aren't rocky, but they were too muddy to use.

Went with the saddle I know fits him well, since the Dressage saddle isn't flocked to his back yet. I'd prefer to be in the Dressage saddle myself, but he comes first

We took it slow and easy since Connor is very out of shape thanks to quarantine, mostly walking with just a bit of trotting on a lovely day that wasn't too hot. I'm looking forward to getting back out there as he gets fitter.


  1. Love those midwest trails!! Beautiful!!

  2. Sounds like a lovely ride, glad you found a good riding buddy! I prefer trail riding in my jump saddle, but sometimes I forget to lower my stirrups and can feel it in my knees at the end!

  3. Sounds like a great day! And a perfect socially distanced activity!