Three Creeks by Horseback
trail riders sampled, 86.5 percent said they ride horses and/or mules for pleasure, and 53.6 percent said they view government regulations as the biggest threat to the future of trail riding.
Almost 96 percent owned horses, with an average period of ownership of 20 years. Seventy-five percent of the respondents reported household incomes of more than $30,000 and spent an average of $4,900 annually on their horses and horse related activities.
"This survey showed what we have long suspected," says Gail Gartside, former Missouri Equine Council president and trails coordinator. "Equestrian trail riders have a long-term emotional and financial commitment to their activities and are a highly responsible group."
The survey also showed:
68.8 percent of the respondents live in rural areas and 20.3 percent in small-to-medium towns.
Of all Missourians who responded, 80 percent own land in the state and, among these, 57 percent trail ride on that land.
98 percent of the respondents indicated that they rode with family and friends in informal groups, and most said they rode at least weekly.
Respondents indicated that they participated in an average of four commercial trail rides annually.
85 percent of those surveyed said they maintained their animals on their own property; 5.7 percent board animals at commercial stables.
MEC estimates that about 2 to 5 percent of equestrians trail riding in Missouri from May through October 1995 were surveyed.
Designated horseback riding trails on MDC lands:
Trail miles total 296.7. Some of these areas may have additional miles of field or gravel road open to horseback riding. Other areas not listed here may allow horseback riding on field or gravel roads (i.e. Caney Mountain CA, Flag Spring CA). Contact the nearest district office to inquire about permits and additional riding opportunities.
Groups with more than 10 horses must obtain a special use permit. Additional regulations apply on the following areas:
Bushwhacker Lake CA - Trail is open from May 15 through Sept. 30; other dates may be possible with a special use permit.
Daniel Boone CA - Trail is open seasonally from the end of the spring firearms turkey season to the beginning of the fall firearms turkey season.
Little Indian Creek CA - Trail is open from Jan. 1 through Sept. 30, except during firearms turkey season.
Long Ridge CA - Trail is closed from Oct. 15 through Dec. 31, and during the spring turkey season.
Reed (James A.) Memorial WA - Horseback riding requires a daily permit; group trail rides require a special use permit.
Riverbreaks CA - Groups with more than 10 horses using designated trails on the east tract must obtain a special use permit; a special use permit is required on the west tract.