Chances to ride are bountiful

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 23, 2008

Let me begin by thanking the citizens of the Miss-Lou for coming out last Saturday and supporting the Sandy Creek Farms St. Jude Trail Ride. The event raised more than $15,000 for St. Jude’s children medical research. I want to personally thank the more than 130 riders that came out to participate in the ride and the more than 250 others people that came out to support the event. Special thanks to the event sponsors; Trend Consultants, Callon Petroleum, Delta Bank, Concordia Bank & Trust, Miss-Lou Veterinary Clinic and Total Forms Management your assistance helped make the event such a success.

Q: How can I get involved in more horse related activities?

A: The last several months many citizens have become more aware of the equine opportunities in the Miss-Lou. Just to give you a clue about how many horses are in the area after speaking with four feed dealers in the Miss-Lou, it is estimated that more than 210 tons of feed are purchased each month in the area. Just to reiterate that is 420,000 lbs of feed. Keep in mind this is all livestock feed, not just horses, and does include the Miss-Lou but nonetheless this is a massive number and on the conservative side.

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So what does this mean to citizens with horses and livestock, it means there are many people in the same boat as you. Right now with a slumping economy, cattle prices low and new legislation impacting the horse market the future has many concerned. Fortunately the vast majority of us in our area use horses as a form of recreation not personal business. So what does this mean?

I have had an overwhelming number of people approach me with a strong passion for horses wanting some avenue to get involved with other horse owners. In our area there are multiple ways to join an equine organization. Whether you like competitive showing, trail riding, rodeo or just a family gathering, we have it. I have compiled a list of organizations for your use to get active with fellow horse owners.

If you like local family show we have two area horse clubs that meet frequently with classes for both youth and adults. The two clubs are the Dixie Riding Club and Thundering Hooves Riding Club. For those youth with a passion to rope and rodeo the Adams County Youth Rodeo Club offers this to youth. For youth and adults the Louisiana Stock Horse Association has shows in the Jonesville area several times a year that include pleasure, trail, cutting and versatility classes. In addition, Natchez and the Jonesvillie both offer several professional rodeos throughout the year.

If you prefer history and overnight camping I would strongly encourage you to look into the Civil War reenactment calvary. I had a chance to go watch this at Jefferson College a few weeks ago and it looked like a blast. Wearing authentic clothing and riding in authentic Civil War gear shooting and living like the past, I may have to try this one out. If trail riding is your thing we have some wonderful places to ride within two hours from here that are phenomenal. Brushy Creek and the Homochitto National Forest are only two of many options.

If you have questions about any of these groups call the Adams County Extension Office. This gives you only a glimpse at what is available, so saddle up and get riding!

David Carter is the director of the Adams County Extensions Service. He can be reached at 601-445-8201.