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APHA American Paint Horse Association offers four trail ride adventures for 2002

FORT WORTH-A diverse countryside, exciting history and unforgettable experiences on horseback await trail riders who saddle up with the American Paint Horse Association (APHA) as part of its recreational riding program in 2002..

APHA's recreational riding activities includes four outings in 2002, as well as a program for riders who prefer to ride at their own pace.(photo courtesy APHA).

APHA is sponsoring multiple rides this year to make the outings more accessible to its members. "With four rides around the country, most of our members will be within about a day's drive of one of these fantastic outings," said Ed Roberts, director of long-range planning for APHA. "It's our goal to introduce as many people as possible to these rides and what they have to offer.

"Enhancing our recreational riding program at APHA is very important to me, because of the high numbers of our members - about 50 percent - who tell us they are primarily interested in recreational riding with their horses.

"When I see the camaraderie of the riders, witness the bonding that takes place between people and their horses, and see how much enjoyment people derive by traversing our nation's beautiful countryside on horseback, it reaffirms that we're doing the right thing by strengthening our program for recreational riders."

This year, APHA will sponsor four different trail rides across some of the most beautiful countryside in the United States. Outings include:

The Philmont Scout Ranch Trail Ride
April 29-May 3
Cimarron, N. M.

Recreational riding enthusiasts will venture into the rugged territory in northeast New Mexico that has remained relatively untouched since legendary frontiersmen like Kit Carson carved out some of the trails in the mid-1800s. A century later, philanthropist Waite Phillips was responsible for preserving the beauty of the area when he donated more than 127,000 acres of unsettled territory to the Boy Scouts of America.

The Black River Trail Ride,
Aug. 5-9
Lesterville, Mo.

Named after the waters that meander through this 1,200-acre riding area about 100 miles southwest of St. Louis, the Black River Trail Ride offers some of the finest trail networks in the Ozarks. In addition to a great trail-riding experience, this mid-summer event, near the Mark Twain National Forest, provides ideal conditions for canoeing and swimming.

The Fort Robinson Trail Ride
Sept. 2-7
Fort Robinson State Park, Crawford, Neb.

Fort Robinson offers riders the opportunity to traverse an area rich in the history of the American West. A military outpost from 1874 to 1948, Fort Robinson is located in the heart of the rugged Pine Ridge region of northern Nebraska. Crazy Horse, Red Cloud and Walter Reed were just a few of the historic figures who helped carve the fort's place in the history of the American West. The fort covers more than 22,000 acres of majestic countryside.

The Natural Gait Trail Ride
Oct. 15-18
Harpers Ferry, Iowa

For the first time since it began sponsoring rides in 1990, APHA will venture to Iowa's rolling hills, valleys meadows and pristine streams for the The Natural Gait Trail Ride. Along with exploring this beautiful country on horseback, riders will have the opportunity to attend a special clinic on trail riding.

Specific information on the Black River Trail Ride, in Lesterville, Mo., can be obtained by calling the Wilderness Lodge at 573-637-2295.

For information on the Philmont Scout Ranch Ride in New Mexico and Fort Robinson ride in Nebraska, and the Natural Gait Ride in Iowa, call APHA Ride Coordinator Cody Weirich at (817) 834-2742, extension 439, or send an e-mail to him at You may also visit

Ride at your own pace

In addition to its trail rides around the country, APHA also serves members with its Ride America® program. While participating in this innovative saddle-log program, members earn rewards and recognition for their individual achievements riding an American Paint Horse.

When riders enroll in Ride America, they receive an official time log and a Ride America patch. They record each hour spent riding their American Paint Horse, and as they move through 11 achievement levels-from 100 to 5,000 hours-APHA records their accomplishments and rewards them with special patches. Depending on the number of hours accumulated, participants can also earn saddlebags, halters, lead ropes and saddle pads.

For more information on Ride America, write or call:

Amy Foerster, Ride America Coordinator
American Paint Horse Association
P.O. Box 961023
Fort Worth, Texas 76161-0023
Phone: (817) 834-2742, extension 249

Information on the APHA Ride America" program can also be accessed on the association's Web site


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