Friday, March 31, 2023

Horse Whisperer: Alisa Waxman’s Horse Trails In Rockdale County - Full Story

For a decade, Alisa Waxman has volunteered her time to maintain, expand and create new equine riding experiences throughout South Rockdale Community Park.

Published : March 30, 2023
by Jeff Dingler

For as long as she can remember, Alisa Waxman has wanted to be around horses. “As soon as I knew what a horse was, I was infatuated and in love with them,” said Waxman, who owns Stockbridge’s Ahavah Arabian Adventures, LLC, which provides personalized horse rides, lessons, and other equine experiences. “I begged my parents to buy me a horse and put it in our backyard.”

Though she got to ride horses at summer camp growing up, Waxman didn’t own her first horse (an Arabian) until she was 30. Since then, she’s become quite the skilled equestrian, not only founding Ahavah Arabian Adventures to share her love of horses, but also expanding and creating new horse trails in South Rockdale Community Park...

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Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Trail Etiquette and Safe Passing Plans When Encountering Equestrians - Full Article

December 7, 2022, by ELCR

Recognizing that the community of trail users continues to grow at an exponential rate, ELCR joined an unprecedented consortium of trail user groups that came together to create the public awareness campaign “Trails are Common Ground (TaCG)” in early 2021. The campaign elevates the importance of respectful, inclusive, safe, and enjoyable experiences on trails. Both ELCR and Back Country Horsemen of America represent the equestrian community on the TaCG Steering Committee. For more information and how you can support the campaign go to

Equestrians are inherently at more risk of injuries compared to other trail user groups because they are in a sitting position on live creatures which can be spooked or startled upon sudden and unexpected encounters with other trail users. A startled horse can be a risk to not only themselves and their riders but other trail users in their vicinity.

It is important to understand that as a prey animal a horse reacts differently to its environment than a human or dog. Horses also have anatomical differences which provide for their keen senses such as vision and hearing, resulting in them perceiving their environments very differently than other species. As prey animals, horses can naturally be afraid of unfamiliar people, objects, and sudden movement, and may react to a perceived threat with the natural “flight” response of a prey animal...

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Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Trails for tomorrow - Full Article

Now more than ever, your help is needed to maintain and preserve the open land and trails that are the backbone of the horse industry.

By Alana Harrison | July 8, 2020

For nearly a decade, Elise Backinger explored the trails of Salida, Colorado, aboard her Quarter Horse gelding, Pep. Salida calls itself the “Gem of the Rockies,” and Backinger’s memories of her rides there are tinged with awe. “There is something deeply profound about the solitude and tranquility you experience riding out in nature. It’s just you, your horse and the land,” she says.

Backinger and her husband have since sold their hay farm and Pep is now a semi-retired therapy horse, but the horsewoman remains grateful for the bond she and her gelding developed on the trail. Their outings, she says, “taught both of us valuable lessons—from encountering unexpected wildlife to negotiating rough terrain to building confidence and endurance.” To ensure that future generations will have the same opportunity to enjoy nature with their horses, Backinger volunteers for the Central Colorado Conservancy, giving presentations on local trails and wildlife areas.

The challenges before trail advocates like Backinger are great. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that 6,000 acres of the country’s open land are lost every day due to the increasing demand for urban and suburban development. And for horsepeople, these statistics can translate into real-world hardships: Open land is the backbone of the equine industry, fundamental to feeding, riding, showing and caring for our horses. If open land continues to be consumed at the current rate, we could start losing the resources we need for our horses in as little as 15 years...

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