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Colorado and Boulder County boast some of the most beautiful scenery and trails in the United States. BCHA spends time and money making sure Open Space, Parks, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and National Forest trails will be available to horse owners now and in the future.

Boulder City Open Space & Mountain Parks:
Revised Draft Visitor Plan

Please go to www.visitorplan.com for information on the final draft of this Visitor Plan; to the BATCO (Boulder Area Trails Coalition) website, http://bcn.boulder.co.us/batco for BATCO's take on the matter; the Boulder Outdoor Coalitions's website, www.boulder-outdoor-coalition.org; and elsewhere on the BCHA website for our input.

As always, please feel free to contact Suzanne for more information about trails and public issues.
Suzanne Webel 303-485-2162>

Trail Advocacy

BCHA works continually to maintain the equestrian voice in the many trail legislative discussions that are being held throughout the county. We could use your help! Checkout some of the opportunities for you to show your support for keeping trails open to equestrians!

Sharing Trails Safely With Horses

Many of the trails in Boulder County, and elsewhere, must be shared amongst many different user groups, including hikers, dog walkers, mountain bikers, and motorized vehicles. When such diverse groups intermix, a positive trail experience requires cooperation, understanding and courtesy by all users. BCHA produced a brochure to help educate trail users of some of the unique considerations that must be taken around horses. Read the text of BCHA's brochure, Sharing Trails Safely With Horses, to become familiar with the rules and courtesies expected of all trail users. This brochure is available in a full color slick paper format - if you would like one or a few mailed to you just let us know at info@boulderhorse.org.

Download a pdf file of the Full Color Sharing Trails Brochure.

Trail Rider's Checklist -- Day Ride

Suggested activities for making your day trip a success have been compiled by Steve Deitemeyer, CF, Wildland Resources and BCHA. Checklist topics include Pre-trip Planning, Preparing Stock, Saddles and Tack, Saddle Equipment and Accessories, and Personal Gear. Detailed checklist can be found here.

Happy Trails

Happy Trails is a compilation of trail logs in and around the Boulder County area. This publication includes about 140 pages of trail descriptions with maps and comes in an attractive binder. It also includes information on map reading, trail etiquette, safety, trailering and public land management.

$30 each
$5 Shipping and Handling
Make checks payable to:
Boulder County Horse Association

Mail to:
Suzanne Webel
5735 Prospect Road
Longmont, CO 80503

Trail Maintenance

US Forest Service "Centennial Project"

Where: West Magnolia, County Road 32, a few miles south of Nederland off Hwy 72 When: Saturday July 30th, 8:30 A.M. until approximately 1:30 P.M.
Why: To continue improving area for Equestrians, Mtn. Bikers, Hikers and Campers
What: The work being done that day may include, but not be limited to:
Trail maintenance, old trail obliteration, restoration work, installing road signs, campsite signs and trail signs, building or finishing a National Forest Information Site Kiosk and more.

Boulder County Horse Association will be buddying up with Boulder Offroad Alliance (Mtn. Bikers) BOA, IMBA, Sierra Club and the Forest Service to do the above mentioned work. BCHA will specifically team up with BOA and enjoy a day of working on some of the trails they enjoy riding. This will also be an opportunity for these volunteer groups to celebrate the 100 year history of the Forest Service and the volunteers who help make things happen, by doing just that.

For more information contact Michelle Myers at the Forest Service, michellemyers@fs.fed.us , or Mike Barrow (BOA) at mtbmike@us.ibm.com

The trail system and project location can be viewed in HAPPY TRAILS, "West Magnolia" trail log -- Peak-to-Peak Hwy just south of Nederland, right on a dirt road to an old gravel pit/parking area on the left, good trailer parking, and a great loop trail system.


BCHA members built the Doudy Draw Trail for the City of Boulder Open Space & Mountain Parks Department in the mid 1980's and have maintained it ever since. We will be doing our annual trail maintenance this fall; keep checking this website for dates!

National Trails Day Projects

BCHA has participated in the following National Trails Day projects:

Fence Removal Projects:
Mud Lake to Caribou

Hall Ranch

Construction of:
Left Hand Trail (East Beach property at Boulder Valley Ranch) for OSMP

Antelope Valley Trail at Hall Ranch for BCPOS

Pella Crossing Trail system for BCPOS

Eagle Wind Trail at Rabbit Mountain for BCPOS

Wapiti Trail at Heil Valley Ranch for for BCPOS

Maintenance of the Columbine Trail at Walker Ranch for BCPOS

Weekly Trail Rides

BCHA hosts weekly trail rides every Wednesday to share our favorite trails with others – please join us! Contact Suzanne 303-485-2162.

Trail Rider's Checklist -- Day Ride

Pre-trip Planning

* Acquire trail map(s), and talk to other riders that know the area
* Select trail appropriate for the expectations of your group
* Select trail difficulty and length that is safest for the least experienced horse and rider
* Select trails that avoid high mountain areas during afternoon lightening storm seasons
* Contact trail owner or manager for current trail conditions and any restrictions
* If you are hiring/leasing horses or guides, check references and reputations
* Precondition both yourself and your stock for the challenges of the trip
* For SAFETY SAKE, check condition of your vehicle, hitch, lights, brakes, and trailer
* Let a responsible person know your trip plans, i.e. places and dates

Preparing Stock

* Select an animal that has good withers, legs, feet and attitude for the trail environment
* Schedule instruction from an experienced trail-riding instructor, if necessary
* Condition your stock for water crossings, trail hazards, trip length and altitude
* Be able to catch your horse quickly or have it corralled the night before your trip
* Practice trailer loading and unloading before the trip to the trailhead
* Check with your veterinarian and ferrier for animal health and shoeing needs
* Make sure you carry all certificates of health, Coggins testing and brand inspections
* Identify stock pecking orders and personality traits that others should know about
* Precondition stock to ropes, dogs, llamas, mountain bikes, motors, wildlife, and etc.
* Train stock (and yourself) to mount from either side when in steep country
* Train stock to handle fly wipes and spray bottles
* Train stock to eat from a nosebag

Saddles and Tack

* Use a saddle that fits both you and the horse. Label tack with horse/and or rider's ID
* Saddle should be clean, well oiled, and free of protruding nails and wear.
* Adjust stirrup length to allow three fingers under seat when standing in saddle
* Select a sturdy bridle with brow band and cheek strap to avoid being pulled off
* Select bit appropriate for the horse's level of training and comfort
* Use split reins to avoid both horse and rider hanging-up branches, arms and legs
* A double-rigged saddle should be cinched in the 3/4 position to avoid chaffing
* Assure the rear cinch is attached to the front cinch and touching horses stomach
* Saddle should be rigged with breast collar attached to "D" rings for mountain riding
* Consider adding a crupper or britchin for a horse with poor withers or round body
* Pads should be of a style and thickness to fit the saddle and protect the horses back
* Use a flat nylon strap halter and at least a 10 ft. lead rope

Saddle Equipment and Accessories

* Saddlebags should be as small as possible, balanced and not overfilled
* Saddle strings, 3 ft. long, should be available to secure a coat and/or rain gear
* Equine first aid kit
* Horseshoe and nails or replacement boot
* Hoof pick, brushes, curry comb and leather punch
* Repair kit with extra leather thongs, Chicago screws, etc.
* Water, bucket, sponge, sweat scraper

Personal Gear

* Safety helmet with safety strap
* Riding boots with smooth soles
* Day jacket or vest
* Leather riding gloves and gloves for the weather
* Rain slicker, rain cover for helmet
* Chaps or chinks (optional)
* Long sleeve shirt
* Handkerchief or scarf (silk)
* Sturdy trousers or riding pants
* Multipurpose knife
* Flashlight
* Dark glasses
* Sun lotion
* Lip balm
* First aid kit
* Insect repellent
* Canteen or water bottle
* Toilet paper
* Plastic bags (leave no trace)

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