By: Katie Jones, CVT
“…horse people are really sick people” – Chicken Soup for the Horse Lover’s Soul
For many of us, we have been horse-crazy from the moment we received our first stuffed animal horse in our crib. Many kids will fall in love with horses at an early stage but will eventually out grow it; however, others are plagued for life. In this day and age, life is planned out by phone schedules and free time is limited due to the demands of work, school, other commitments, and family time. With all the new technology advancements, digital entertainment is far more convenient and cheaper then an active lifestyle. Sadly, this specifically holds true in the horse industry where there has been a general decline in the number of people owning and working with horses. Many equine businesses depend on the continued growth within the equine industry, so for all of us, maybe it is time to reconnect with horses.
Horses can bring the family together in an activity that is physical, therapeutic, and pure joyful. Time to Ride is a program whose main purpose is to help people get reconnected with horses through different avenues. It is coordinated by the American Horse Council in cooperation with other equine organizations and breed associations to provide opportunities to individuals and their families close to home. Time to Ride provides tons of information on barns and events hoping to influence individuals to add more horse experiences into life. They offer a great way to quickly connect with businesses around specific areas.
Trail riding is not limited to family vacations in other parts of the country; it can be a great family outing even close to home. Trail riding provides a great way to experience the great outdoors and gain confidence through a guided ride with horse. Contact a local stable or ranch to find a trail riding opportunities near you.
Blog post on traveling with horses in Minnesota.
Lessons allow a consistent equine learning experience, occasionally with the same horse. Lessons are a terrific way to learn a particular riding discipline or to try several in order to find the right fit before committing to buying or leasing a horse. Those with busy lifestyles or numerous time demands in life will find lessons allow flexibility in enjoying horse time without the full commitment of owning a horse. To get the best learning experiences, there are many resources available to find a great trainer and barn just for you.
Minnesota has many horse events; everything from rodeos to eventing. Running Aces is a Harness Racing track located near Forest Lake and Canterbury Park is a Thoroughbred and Quarter Racing track located in Shakopee. Both are open May to September with weekly live racing to enjoy and offer occasional family days, which have additional attractions geared towards the whole family.
The Minnesota Horse Expo is held each year at the end of April at the State Fair Grounds in St. Paul. The expo has breed demonstrations, shopping, tack swaps, informational speakers, and a large discipline variety of Shows. Many of the breed disciplines and individual businesses who participate in the Expo have Facebook pages where events are posted.
There are countless options to get involved with horses. If after looking at the Time to Ride site you have not found the right match for yourself or your family, ask around. The equine industry is still fairly large in Minnesota and is full of people willing to help you find the perfect nitch.
If you are a horse business that would like to be listed with Time to Ride website, you can register here. Registration verification may take up to 30 days. Watch for a confirmation email from Time to Ride. Once registered, please share with others your business and the Time to Ride website in order to help promote this community. In addition, if you would like to be kept up to date on events and grants from Time to Ride, make sure to sign-up for their newsletter to receive the latest information sent straight to your email.
Anoka Equine Veterinary Services does not endorse any of the facilities, businesses, organizations, activities or events mapped, listed on, or linked to the Time to Ride web site. Reference to such entities does not constitute or imply any endorsement or recommendation by Anoka Equine Veterinary Services.
Anoka Equine Veterinary Services is not responsible for any representation made by any such entities or the contents of other web pages referenced, the representations made thereon or any representations made by such entities. Anoka Equine Veterinary Services is not liable for the content of mapping information, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided by mapped entities, businesses or events. Anoka Equine Veterinary Services has not inspected any of these entities or facilities. The reader should not assume that the information is factual or reviewed by Anoka Equine Veterinary Services. Anoka Equine Veterinary Services makes no warranties or guarantees as to any equine facility or operation’s safety standards, animal husbandry practices, experience in providing whatever services it purports to provide, carriage of liability insurance, or suitability as a provider of horse riding or handling instruction. Anoka Equine Veterinary Services does not assume any responsibility for misinformation provided by any facilities mapped on the website, and all information is subject to change without notice. Links from the pages on this website send visitors to external Web sites as a service to visitors and do not constitute an endorsement by Anoka Equine Veterinary Services.
Anoka Equine Veterinary Services notes that all equine activities, including riding, are inherently risky. Any equine activity carries with it potential hazards which are beyond the control of Anoka Equine Veterinary Services.