AQHA announces changes to the Trail Trotters program

The American Quarter Horse Association is bringing big changes to the Trail Trotters program, starting with the program's new name, STEP - Stewards for Trails, Education and Partnerships, to recognize its new affiliation with the Association. STEP will include significantThe American Quarter Horse Association is bringing big changes to the Trail Trotters program, starting with the program's new name, STEP - Stewards for Trails, Education and Partnerships, to recognize its new affiliation with the Association. STEP will include significant

Story originally posted by Horsecity.com Staff

The American Quarter Horse Association is bringing big changes to the Trail Trotters program, starting with the program’s new name, STEP – Stewards for Trails, Education and Partnerships, to recognize its new affiliation with the Association. STEP will include significant expansions from the Trail Trotters program but will continue to promote the original mission of increased equine enthusiast participation in trail stewardship.

"AQHA is excited to implement the new STEP program. We hope to see AQHA members and other outdoor recreational groups participate in this program to promote trail conservation," said AQHA President Frank Merrill.

Trail Trotters, which the Equestrian Land Conservation Resource started in 2004, aimed to encourage horse enthusiasts to volunteer time to trail maintenance and development on public land. The goal was to bring national attention to horseback riders’ work, shedding a positive light on their value and preservation of public trails.

In keeping with this goal, Trail Trotters promoted equestrian involvement in the restoration, repair and establishment of trails and trailheads on National Trails Day. This is an annual event celebrated every June since 1992 that involves trail restoration projects across the country.

STEP will encourage horseback riders to take these one-day efforts to a greater level of service. The new program has groups and individual horseback riders completing trail conservation projects throughout the entire month of June in conjunction with Great Outdoors Month.

Groups will register their projects with AQHA and receive a gift bag for doing so. Upon completing their projects, groups can register their work for the year-end National Stewardship Award, to be presented at the annual AQHA Convention. The award will be based on the community involvement and sustainability of the project, and given in the form of a grant to the group’s organization.

For more information on STEP, visit http://www.aqha.com/recreation/step/index.html.

AQHA news and information is a service of AQHA publications. For more information on The American Quarter Horse Journal, The American Quarter Horse Racing Journal or America’s Horse, visit www.aqha.com/magazines.