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What Is the Iowa Trail Riders Association?
The Iowa Trail Riders Association (ITRA) is a not-for-profit, volunteer based organization formed in 1988. It is an organization made up of trail riders that are interested in pleasure riding at our various equestrian parks and in competitive trail riding throughout the region.
The main goals of the club include
- informing and educating people on what is available in Iowa for trail riding,
- education on basic care of and promotion of the trail horse and
- trail riding safety.
The members contribute large quantities of time, effort, enthusiasm, and funds to promote enjoyable and safe trail riding in our beautiful state.
ITRA activities are varied. The association sponsors one or two competitive trail rides each year. All members are encouraged to participate by competing or by helping out at the rides. Workers are needed to help plan all aspects of the competition, including marking trails, doing P & R (pulse and respiration checks) at the ride, riding as safety riders or point riders, judge's secretaries, in-camp helpers, etc. The competitions are fun and educational for everyone involved.
ITRA organizes pleasure rides at different parks throughout the year. These are leisurely, enjoyable rides for all ages and abilities. There is usually a potluck supper on Saturday evening where everyone shares not only food but also trail riding advice, anecdotes and information.
Other ITRA events have included trail riding clinics, 4-H clinics, TTEAM clinics, parades, and other events. Another important activity of ITRA is working with park officials to help develop new trails and maintain existing trails. In 1991, ITRA was recognized by the State of Iowa with a special "Volunteer Appreciation Award," presented by the governor. ITRA members are involved in many trail projects across the state, including rails to trails projects.
ITRA works at providing opportunities to its members to learn and achieve with their horses through their trail riding experiences. Membership is open to everyone and owning a horse is not a requirement. Join ITRA today and find out what this trail riding group has to offer you!
ITRA and NATRC
The Iowa Trail Riders Association is in Region 6 of the North American Trail Ride Conference (NATRC), an organization which had its inception in 1961. The conference is organized into six regions, with Iowa being a part of Region 6 along with Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, and the territories of Canada immediately north. The competitions that ITRA sponsors are sanctioned by NATRC and held according to NATRC rules and guidelines. NATRC has developed a philosophy of competitive trail riding with uniform judging being of paramount importance. Uniformity of rules aids management in conducting rides and makes it easier for judges to evaluate each horse/rider on a more objective basis.
The philosophies of NATRC are:
- To stimulate greater interest in the breeding and use of good horses possessed of stamina and hardiness, and qualified to make good mounts for trail use
- To demonstrate the value of type and soundness in the proper selection of horses for competitive riding
- To learn and demonstrate the proper methods of training and conditioning horses for competitive trail riding
- To encourage good horsemanship as related to trail riding
- To demonstrate the best methods of caring for horses during and after long rides without the aid of artificial methods or stimulants
You do not have to be a member of NATRC or Region 6 to compete in or help with the trail rides. Come join us!
For more information on the NATRC visit their website: www.natrc.org