Ride Host Accolades: Little Trails Horse Camp

Kim Cowan_Ride Host Accolade April 2015

By Kim Cowen

My 19 year old Polish Arabian mare Jasmine and I have been a team for 10 years.  We prefer to be outdoors rather than indoors so we spent our first three years together exploring the farm where we boarded, while we built a relationship based on trust.  In time, I was ready to branch out on my own and I purchased a trailer.  On a ride at Brown County State Park one day I met some people who told me about ACTHA.   In December of 2010 Jasmine and I joined ACTHA and participated in events for two years before a health crisis sidelined us.  Jasmine was diagnosed with sarcoids, the most common form of cancer in horses.  Given the location of the sarcoids we attempted to have them surgically removed but unfortunately complications arose when the surgical sites failed to heal.  Time spent at Purdue revealed that Jasmine’s inability to heal was secondary to Cushing’s Disease.  Like many horses, she displayed none of the typical outward signs, but the inability to heal is actually one of the signs, and once we started her on Pergolide healing began.  After 2 years of unsuccessful treatment I decided I was through putting my horse, and myself through this.  We were going to enjoy trail riding again as much as we could until an issue that was painful, or put Jasmine in jeopardy sidelined us.  At this point we are taking one ride at a time.

Kim Cown and Jasmine Photo by Lynne Driscoll
Kim Cown and Jasmine
Photo by Lynne Driscoll

After two seasons off from enjoying ACTHA rides I decided to see where Jasmine was as far as mileage and terrain she was able to handle.  I knew our comeback ride would have to be at Little Trail Horse Camp in Martinsville, IN.  The trails there are in great shape with a variety of terrain including flat, hills, woods and creaks.  Last year we participated in two rides there and Jasmine did great.  The Wallace family works very hard to improve and maintain their horse campground. They do an impressive job with their ACTHA rides, not only with the beautiful trails, but with the safe and challenging obstacles to both the horse and rider.

Everyone that comes to Little Trails leaves feeling like family.  If you have a chance to ride there I recommend you sign up, and I guarantee, like me you will come back not only for the trails but for the hospitality.

Obviously, I love ACTHA and the opportunity it provides to meet and make new friends of all ages that share a passion for horses and riding.  I have invited many people to check out ACTHA and have 6-8 friends that have joined.   We are all happy to have found an avenue to ride, to be challenged and recognized for our efforts.  Some riders compete for the buckles and points, others just for the day, and yet others like Jasmine and I compete against ourselves.  When I hear the obstacles at the rider meeting I know which one will be the most challenging for us.  If we do well at that obstacle I consider it a WIN for Team Cowan.

Jasmine and I are gearing up for a great riding season in 2015.  My husband Roy has gotten a new truck and trailer so we can go further to participate in rides in other states.  I am hoping, although Roy doesn’t ride, he will come with us on some of these adventures.  I have gone to ACTHA rides by myself without concern, but this year will enjoy the company of my best friend and riding partner Carol Rider, and her paint Ike who joined ACTHA last year.

I am so excited about this upcoming season, riding at Little Trails, riding throughout Indiana and venturing to other states.  If you recognize Jasmine and I please say hello, we would love to chat and make new friends.  I pray for safe riding for all horse lovers and riding enthusiasts no matter what discipline.


Watch for the April issue of the ACTHA Monthly Magazine with a full story about Ride Host Stacy Howe and Little Trails Horse Camp in Martinsville, Indiana.  Look for it online >>

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