Welcome to Trail Riding with TheHorse.com! As the newest member of the Thehorse.com’s blogging community I am excited to start the conversation about getting out with your horse and enjoying America’s backcountry (and front country too!) safely.

I have had the privilege to have access to trails at my back door until recently. Raised in Northeastern Oregon, I rode along and played in the Columbia River. After that I went to college at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Wa. Cheney is situated right at the tree line in Washington State. There were wild places to explore within a 15-minute drive. Now, I’m situated in the heart of agriculture, in California’s Central Valley. Any land around here has crops on it. Now I’ve got to get creative and drive a bit to ride where I love to ride.

Like many of you I recharge my batteries in the space between my horse’s ears. I just prefer to be away from civilization when I do. All the distractions and pressures of life seem to melt away when there is no cell service. There isn’t anything or anyone between me and my horse (unless I bring someone along). It can be a meditative, beautiful experience or a fun, bonding experience with friends and equines alike, when it goes right. However, being out away from everything poses challenges that require tenacity and knowledge. After all, no cell service is great, till you get dumped, your horse goes lame, or run into a kidnapper and his kidnappee. We will talk about staying safe and horses healthy. It’s important to keep wrecks out of our recharge.

Conservation and recreational enjoyment of America’s wild places is important if we are going to pass these places to the next generation. As an active member of Back Country Horsemen of America (BCHA), keeping these wild places open and accessible is extremely important to me. That is what BCHA does after all. Not to digress, but these people put millions of dollars’ worth of volunteer hours in, sometimes at their own expense, so everyone can hike, ride, and bike into a wilderness adventure. So, we’ll talk a little bit about marking trails, Leave No Trace, highlines and horse camping.

More importantly, what about riding away from the arena are you curious about? I look forward to starting this new adventure with you!