Horsing around at Milo McIver State Park (2012)


The second story in a four-part series about “the hidden side” of Milo McIver State Park.

Milo McIver State Park horse training obstacle

Although no horses were around to demonstrate, the purpose of this station is to practice negotiating obstacles and tight spaces.

One of the best ways to experience nature has to be astride a horse, the original grass-powered vehicle. Milo McIver is a particularly good place to visit if you’re into trail riding. It provides an extra-wide parking lot for horse trailers, a riding ring, a wheelchair-accessible mounting ramp, and seven miles of mixed-use trails through forested hillsides and fields.

But thanks to the efforts of a non-profit organization, the park now offers some extra special facilities to riders. Oregon Equestrian Trails (OET) is made up of people who share a love of horses and are dedicated to promoting  trail riding across the state. Earlier this fall, members  undertook a project to build a series of equestrian training stations at Milo McIver—a sort of obstacle course that teaches horses and riders how to safely negotiate conditions they might find on a trail, like uneven surfaces, downed trees, gates, slopes, and bridges. These stations are the first of their kind in the state parks system, and a unique way for riders to practice their handling skills and trail etiquette.

Horseshoe prints

A sign of the park’s shod four-legged visitors.

OET members volunteer to maintain the stations  and regularly take part in other projects on behalf of the park. Because of their dedication, Milo McIver has become a popular training ground for new generations of equestrians and “off-road friendly” horses.  Now, when you visit Milo McIver and see a seemingly unnecessary fence alongside the trail, or an odd platform of wood and gravel, you’ll know why it’s there.

Milo McIver State Park (park information, driving directions and map)
Horse Heaven — horse camping and trail guide

Milo McIver horse seesaw

A “horse seesaw” — another challenge for the horse and the rider!

Posted on December 11, 2012, in park improvements, state parks and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Awesome, I love riding at McIver!

  2. Thank you, Oregon State Parks and Oregon Equestrian Trails, for making McIver one of my favorite places to ride!

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