Big Creek Trail Ride

     If you'd like a great friendly ride, you have to try Big Creek Trail Ride located at Hartshorn, MO. Rides begin in March and run through Thanksgiving, so take your pick! Each site has electric hookup and water. Stall your horse in box stalls; sawdust is provided. Water spigots are numerous, so you don't have to carry fresh water very far to your stall. In fact, some kind soul left a hose at our spigot, so all we had to do was put the hose into the buckets as they hung in the stalls! There is a farrier on the premises, which I took advantage of. Even though my horse was shod, for $50 I had the farrier put pads under Little Man's shoes for better protection against stone bruises and the fine grit of the river bottoms. There is also a laundromat, clean showers, and restrooms close-by. The dining room is a short walk where the three home-cooked meals served daily are hard to beat. This is no time to diet!

     The layout of the campsites is unique; the rows of sites are tiered with the horse stalls running between each pair of tiers. This allows riders easy access to their horses.

    My first trip to Big Creek was June 2002 when my friend Gaye asked me to accompany her since her husband Danny had to work. Am I ever glad I took her up on the offer. Everybody was so friendly, and the riding tremendous. There were 2 all-day rides with lunch served on the trail. Lunch was not just cold-cuts! It's a full-course meal; all that eating time gave the horses plenty of time for a well earned rest! My favorite feature of the whole ride was the numerous crossings of the Big Creek and Current Rivers. One of the trails I will never forget has numerous overlooks; till then I hadn't realized we were so high up........but, what a view!! It's hard to condition flat-lander horses, so we mostly rode out for morning rides and then came back to the dining hall for lunch. Gaye and I enjoyed spending some of our extra time shopping at the tack shop; prices are very reasonable. After some resting up, we usually went out on a late afternoon ride.

     The week flew by, and I made acquaintances whom I look forward to seeing again. In fact, I had no sooner returned back home than I called the Howells and made reservations for June 2003. I'm on a waiting list for their Oct. 2003 ride; now that I'm retired, I am hoping a spot opens up and I'll be heading West again. If you're interested in learning more about the Big Creek trailride, then contact the Howells and make your reservation. Happy Trails!

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