Who rides on MDC equestrian trails?

  • Horse riders often travel long distances at great expense and, as a result, they want their trail ride to be worthy of the effort and expense.
  • Not surprisingly, one of the things Missouri equestrians value most highly is the natural beauty of the trails. They mentioned clear-cutting, in particular, as a practice that detracts from the riding experience.
  • Well-maintained trails, able to offer at least a half-day ride, are preferable to trails of shorter distances.
  • Fresh water for horses• and ease of parking are some of the most important considerations for the recreational equestrian.
  • Missourians took a total of 181,500 riding trips on public land in 2007. Total spending on these trips is estimated at $27 million (with a total impact of $48 million). These included more than 68,000 trips to Missouri Department of Conservation areas.
  • Forty-one percent of • public lands riders are female and tend to be middle-aged, working as professionals, managers or in manufacturing. Seventy-one percent of non–public lands riders are male and tend to be retired or working in agriculture.
  • Average number of rides for the year was 16.6, with the average ride lasting 4.5 hours. Fall was the most popular season for riding. Most riding takes place on weekends in groups of 2 to 4 riders.
  • More than 40 percent of Missouri horse owners are members of a saddle club or other horse group. More than 30 percent attended an organized trail ride in 2007.
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