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Appreciating Your Trail Horse
Over the past few years I've been hiking in places around IN that don't allow you to ride the trails on your own horse. One of these places is Turkey Run State Park. Turkey Run is a fascinating place to hike/visit with beautiful rock formations, forests, and hills.

Anyone who's ever visited there will tell you trail 3 is the grandest trail to take... and is listed as very rugged. It's been about three years (four maybe?) since the first time I hiked that trail. Oh I was tired (and sore for a few days) afterward, but it was with a sense of accomplishment filled with all kinds of memories of visiting such a fantastic place unlike anywhere else in the state.

So, what does hiking have to do with riding horses on trails? Last Wednesday I visited the park again, and took trail 3... again... and found out I'm not in near the shape I thought I was. There's places along this trail where you climb over and around large boulders, one area where you have to climb down (or up depending on which direction you navigate the trails) three large wooden ladders. Not stairs, mind you, but ladders. There are numerous stairs to go up and down, some fifty to one hundred steps at a time. This trail is not for the faint of heart with many places a horse couldn't begin to negotiate.

By the time I made it back to the parking lot after around three hours of hiking, my legs felt like wet noodles. I was afraid if I sat down for very long, I'd never be able to walk again. But, of course, I did. lol I couldn't believe what a difference three years could make.

Horses, right? My whole adventure makes me appreciate all the more what my dear, dear Terra experiences when riding her up and down hills, around and over downed trees, and through tricky creek beds and rivers. It's amazing what she does with little complaint and for a much longer period of time than any hiking I've ever done.

So here's to all those amazing trail horses that carry us to such beautiful natural places and on wonderful adventures. May I never take her abilities for granted. Terra, you're the greatest, and may I never forget that... ever.
A good trail horse is a treasure! Not only to they haul our butts around, they do it safely (for the most part).
Karen ~ Trails  
Joe Paint Gelding
Paoli, IN

"My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sun and neigh in the night."
[Image: th_horse-galloping.gif]  

We hiked Turkey Run at least once a month when I was a teenager. It's been well over 30 years since I've been there. I should put it on my list of things to do next time I'm in Indiana when it's not too hot. I do a fair amount of hiking here in OH so I'm not in terrible shape but I'm sure Turkey Run would be a challenge. I have hiked a few of the horse trails here at Beaver Creek and I appreciate what Dani has to do while carrying my butt around! [Big Grin]
The only hiking I have ever done is when main street was closed for the annual Cruise-In and I would walk the two mile stretch several times in a day ---- looking at classic cars and eating - lollol

I think the older we get the less we take our loyal horses for granted, and all the places they stick their hooves for us.

My heart horse is growing old with me - he will be 27 in a few weeks and we have been buds for 24 of those years. He now has metabolic issues and hock/ankle arthritis so doesn't get ridden. I don't care that we don't ride; I have arthritis in my back and hands so I honestly feel and empathize with his pain.

There is nothing Golden about growing old, IMHO. Whether man or beast, it is no sport for sissies[B)]

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