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Dixie National Wagon Train Ride
Topic Started: Monday, 22. October 2007, 14:25 (5,213 Views)
Blue_rose2001
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2006
I was wondering if anyone could tell me more about the Dixie Nationals Ride. A friend of Joey's went last year and said it was "Cold and Wet" to be exact. Why couldn't it be moved to a friendlier month? How long is the ride? Where does it start/end? Do you bring tents & food? Just tell me all about it. I am considering going and don't know all the details.
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I think Steph has been on it.
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lovepaints

2006
It really wasnt that cold.. But it was wet the last day.. You can sleep in tents some do... most have campers or beds in there horse trailers.. they feed you on Sat. night and Wed night (this is subject to change year to year) but all other times you are responsible for your food....
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LeLoo
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Wild At Heart

Actually it depends on what group you ride with. I've ridden with a crazy bunch out of Smith and Jasper County. They start out near Bay Springs and come all the way, all week. They have a warm up ride and big party with grand food and live entertainment down around Taylorsville, where I'm from originally. Fellow I went to high school with puts it on. He and his family have been the trail bosses for years.

There is a group that they call the Mt. Olive bunch, not sure where they start, but some of the folks I used to board with ride that ride. I think some groups may join other groups at certain points. The Wesson Rebel Riders come from down around Brookhaven, some from as far as Tylertown. I once had a psychology class with a girl that rode that year from the coast, Biloxi or Gulfport, I forget, that was a number of years ago.

You can go for the whole week or just join for a night or two, or come and go. That's what I did year before last. Rode with the bunch from Brookhaven one day, then came home for a night and joined my old riding pals from "home".

It can be extremely cold, and wet, and is usually muddy. There are camping spots, usually a horseman's place and campers, LQ horse trailers, home made LQ two horse trailers, wagons, that all pull in to a pasture and stop for the night. Lots of people getting stuck. There's usually a tractor on hand just to pull folks out!! The Jasper County Wagon Train camps on the women's prison grounds out by Whitfield and there's food and a dance that Thursday night. Then Friday morning the ride proceeds through Whitfield's campus and on down through town, Hwy 80 and into the Coliseum. Most arrive that Friday, some get there on Thursday.

The Brookhaven bunch moves camp in the evening, after the ride, they gather, you tie up your horse, load on to a big huge horse trailer packed full of folks and get taken back around to your vehicle, move it up to the camp spot, ride the next day and so on. The Jasper County bunch moves around in the mornings, you get up, tack up and get ready, tie your horse and drive your vehicle and rig to the next nights camp spot, Then get on a school bus packed with folks to ride back to your horse and the starting point for that days ride, ending at the camp spot.

It is fun, but it's a tough ride. First week of February is cold, wet usually nasty weather. You have to really bundle up in layers and dusters and scarves and gloves and blankets and . . .well you get the picture. It was wet the week I rode, but not raining until that Friday riding in. Raining that late and that one day, it was okay, and I had a blast. Me & my 2 year old Gizzy!!!

Most all the wagons have food of some sort, some have bar-b-q grills right on the back and wonderful smells and wonderful food coming out of them, music too. Cajuns come up and ride and are very generous with their delicious food and drink.

There is a North Ride that come out of North Mississippi and probably beyond!! Don't have many details on those folks. There are probably more that I don't know about too. I'd love to get one going from here, but it is a BIG ordeal. Takes a lot of organization and planning, portapotties are pulled on a trailer with a truck, tons of folks with as many as 200 on some days. The Jasper County group have been doing this for as long as I can remember, since I was a young girl, and that's a long long time!! :lol:

It's in February to coincide with the Dixie National Rodeo, and I guess that's always been in February. Looks like they would have changed it to a more weather friendly month, but I doubt they will this late in the game. People that ride this ride look forward to it all year. You do make some life long friends and enjoy getting to see them again.

Best to buddy up with an old experienced cowhand at this ride, someone that knows all the ins and outs, and has a bed you can sleep in, if you don't have LQ or a camper. Planning is essential, but it is ALOT of fun.
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LeLoo
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Wild At Heart

Man, I wrote a book and still forgot something. :rolleyes Food is your responsibility day to day and for supper. Each ride has it's own plan and style as to cost, food, drink, rules, etc. Some drink alcohol all day, some only allow drinking after you're off the horses. There is usually wagon wrecks regardless, several on a non drinking group one year. Usually some horse wrecks too. Coming in through Pearl you have police escort. And the drinkers were warned about the only potty stop after we left Whitfield.

It's like an organized one day trail ride, but you just keep repeating it day after day for the whole week. :D You can pack a lunch, gather up with some friends and cook a steak on a grill at night for supper. There are numerous groups within a group and some will feed you if you are looking hungry!! There are planned stops for bathroom and rest breaks, then a longer one for lunch. You can usually find a friend, old or new, with a wagon and a cooler to store your lunch and drinks for you. Different groups have different plans I'm sure, but the Jasper County group charges about $20 for the week, you get an armband and they feed you the one night, Thursday, with a live band and dance.

You should go, it's an experience you'll long remember!!
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grannycowgirl
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Kaye
2007
I have wanted to do this ride for years. I would love to know about the group from North Miss/does anyone know how to contact them??

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LeLoo
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Wild At Heart

That's probably the group I know least about. I think they used to ride from down South here and then,years ago decided to branch off and do their own. Hopefully someone will come along who knows of them, I'll see what I can find out.
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msequine
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Excellent question and replies. I think I'll pin this one for a while so anyone interested can easily find the info.
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LeLoo
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Wild At Heart

Here's a good site I found with some names and contact #'s for some of the different rides.

http://www.mqha.org/2004calendar.html

Looks outdated, 2003 info, and still missing any North rides, but it may help some.

Leaf River Ride Bendale, MS Bridgett Ladner 228-342-2444 228-255-7376

Mt Olive Ride Mt Olive, MS Charles Barber 601-792-5308

Bay Springs Ride Bay Springs, MS Kenneth Jernigan 601-725-4372 601-729-8004

Rebel Ride Wesson Ride Randy Hudson 601-643-2910

East Ride Newton, MS John Craven 601-732-2154
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LeLoo
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Wild At Heart

MDAC will have some info, but are usually sort of late getting it posted to their site. This is last years.

http://www.mdac.state.ms.us/n_library/depa...wagontrain.html
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LeLoo
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msequine
Oct 23 2007, 06:23 AM
Excellent question and replies.  I think I'll pin this one for a while so anyone interested can easily find the info.

Thanks Ruth, great idea!! Talking about it and remembering the ride makes me really want to go again this year. But that brings to mind some important tips about the horses. I've not ridden Giz much this past year, especially organized rides. I need to get started to get him ready.

You really need your horses to be in shape and ready for this. It's pretty extreme if you go for the full week. And probably shod or booted, it's road riding all the way. Bay Springs bunch cuts through low traffic back roads but it is asphalt all the way. Feed, water, hay, first aid kits, everything you could think of needs to be packed and taken. There are the small towns that you can get supplies, such as Raleigh, Magee, Puckett, Brandon, such as ice, lunch food, snacks, etc. I was in Brandon the year I rode and the wagon train was coming my way, so it was nice to be that close to home and my boarding barn. I didn't ride Giz in the parade, rode in a wagon and regretted that as soon as I drove back onto the fairgrounds without him, but he needed the rest. Still fun, each wagon train rides the parade and in through the coliseum for the start of the rodeo and judging on Saturday. Trains with great wagons, riders and excellent organization win the contest each year. Various other groups come in to just ride the parade.

You also will have to have a negative coggins AND a Health Certificate. There are vets on each ride that check the Health Certificate and provide you with a bright orange armband for the front leg of your horse and that is required before you are allowed to enter the fairgrounds. They're pretty strict on the gate that you enter with your truck and trailer as well. We got re-routed and almost missed the school bus to take us back to the horse for the ride in!! Could you imagine?? Scary!!

I also bought a blanket for Giz and now have one for Mitzi, just for this ride only. It's gonna rain that week of February, just a given it seems. Rain slickers are a common site. And that time of the year is very very cold so it will be freezing rain. Horses stand tied to a horse trailer all night, (some are put in small corrals or on picket lines) but it seemed cruel to me to have them tied, unable to move around in that severe weather without some protection. I've yet to use my blankets, maybe this year!!!
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LeLoo
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Wild At Heart

Found this from here on our forum, from Nov 18th 2006, from Dixiecowgirl so you might can PM her for more info. I knew there were probably some here that do the North Ride.

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Dixie National North Ride Warm-Up Ride  December 9,2006 at the Neshoba County Fairgrounds.  Ride will leave at 9:00 a.m.  $15.00 per person $25.00 per family  Neg. Coggins Required  Gates at the fairgrounds will open Fri. at 12:00 for those who want to stay the weekend.  Stalls and water will be available  Supper and entertainment Sat. Night.
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Blue_rose2001
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2006
That's the one! Neshoba County Fairgrounds!
Is it down the "Old" Natchez Trace mostly or the new one? You mentioned roads, but is it the gravel or paved?

I don't have too many horse riding buddies, but I think I can get one more to go with me and Joey. I can't remember Joey's friend who goes every year, but he has a hefty trailer we could probably join in with. I wonder if Stacye would like to go too? If we end up going, I could bring along my extra horse and she could ride with us. She thought about buying Apache from us a year ago. We still have him though. I liked him too much and even if I didn't ride him much, he was only one extra mouth to feed :) He is the type that you can not ride for several months and just hop right on (actually haul yourself up on if you don't have a block/truck/ four wheeler to get you up there!)

Porta Potties- I thought we would be roughing it! What a luxury :)

It seems like it is a good thing for me to be planning ahead! Is the pace mostly walking? Generally on our little jaunts we just walk around the Grenada Lake Bottom (lots of mud in spots and poor Nicky does the jitterbug then- it's funny). Upland dry riding would be fun!

Blankets- A good idea! I don't think my horses like being tied that much! How did Giz do being tied for an extended period? Mystic was taught to be tied for a long time at the trainers, but Nicky hummm :/ I don't have a secure barn to start trying to do that in. Maybe one of the portable corrals would be good. Might get one and start training her to stay in it. Let her be the lawn mower for a while.

After a solid week of riding, I don't think she would care about being in a parade. I have no idea how she would take it, but I think she might be too tired to care by then. She can be rather spooky. Loves to drop out from under you and scoot. The Parelli term for that aptly applies! Pffffgtttt

Of course getting back to riding regular would help! We have been kind of landlocked on our riding. (Have to borrow a trailer and sometimes that can be a hassle). It is definitely on the future purchase list right after- Fence, Temporary Shelter, TRAILER, Barn in order of cost and importance!

I will have to find that guys name and maybe set up a little weekend ride somewhere. Maybe try to do it at least every other weekend.

Is Philadelphia far from you? Maybe we could meet there and ride together? Or join up somewhere. I am sure Rhi would have classes like I did, but taking off on Wednesday evening isn't that terrible as she would only miss 1 day of each class according to her schedule if no tests were in the way.

You are getting me excited about doing this!
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LeLoo
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Dang, you've started something now BlueRose!! I've been sitting here telling Brandy my wonderful Dixie National Wagon Train adventure stories. We are planning on riding this year for sure. Just discussing different groups, starting riding NOW every weekend (as soon as her foot is out of the big cast and in a boot -another week hopefully), getting the horses in shape both physically and mentally, having fun riding in GREAT weather. Practicing and planning and connecting with old riding buddies.

You're so much like me. I have the horse trailer, but not the truck!! We'll probably put a hitch on Brandy's for now to get going with this traveling we'll need to do. And have been very landlocked in getting this ranch together this last year, really really cut into my riding and horse handling/training time.

Mapquest says Philadelphia is 65 miles from us, but that's going up through Union. Brandy says it's better to go through Forest and is only about an hour or less. So this is VERY DOABLE. We can certainly get together for some practice runs between now and February.

As I mentioned, I don't know much at all about the North Ride. As far as the type of roads, which roads, starting and camp spots, fees, rules and regulations, I'm sure they will vary from group to group. But I could almost say that it will be asphalt roads, with maybe some short gravel roads. All that I do know about are strictly road riding. Pace is walking, however there are time frames you have to stay within, trail bosses keep traffic under control and keep the pace and breaks within their time frame. It's an organized trail ride for sure.

Planning now and riding now is the best bet. We were just talking about working with our horses to ground tie them. Picket lines are great too and I had a friend that had the lightweight portable panels attached to her trailer because her horse did not do well tied. We didn't use them when I rode with her though, her horse and Giz became best of buddies and they both did well tied to the trailer. Of course I had to have the trailer parked where I could see my horse from where I was sleeping during the night. Gizzy did beautifully though. And you are so right, by that last day and the parade, the horses are so tired, they really don't care much about anything but you getting off of them and taking them home to their stall. :lol:

I do think it would be a good idea to practice and sack out though, just to be on the safe side. Horses are so unpredictable anyway. I plan to do ALOT with Giz in between now and then to get us both ready.

And Rhiannon HAS to do this this year!! I've talked about it so much and really want her to experience this. And yep being in the Equine department, she should actually get credit for skipping class to ride the Dixie National Wagon Trail. It sure is one of the BEST hands on educations you can obtain.
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Blue_rose2001
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2006
That is awesome! Credit for riding! They also give credit for her riding an MSU horse. I forget the name of it -Self Directed Individual Study or something like that. Basically go ride and MSU horse a few hours a week. The class director likes to know your skills beforehand and such.

Yep, we are in the same boat. I finished school, moved, got a job, moved and now working on remodeling 2 rooms in house, building fence, and cleaning out shop (45' long, maybe 20' wide former potato shed)for updating- epoxy floor, update electrical, paint inside, new lights. We got the outside painted, and 98% cleaned out to the point of only stuff we want to keep is in it. Hopefully we will load everything on a 16' trailer today and move it out so it can be pressure washed and on to the painting and floor epoxy. Trying to do it right the first time and start putting up some organizing things. This will be Joey's favorite place in winter I am sure. Tinker on Jeep, 4-wheeler, etc. Hard to find time to ride when you have so much you need to accomplish.

Hunting Season really stops our riding at home. We are located right next to Corps of Engineers land and it is heavily hunted. That is where we ride. I suppose we could load them up and take them to Stinkin Jims and not get on the national forest. Hmmm. Might need some orange blankets!

We've got a truck! Actually too many. Last year Joey bought a 2002 F-250 to use for his air conditioning business. (He actually needed a truck with a work bed on it for storing things and he had to have one of those this year). I have enjoyed that truck though. The 3 times we hauled the horses it was a breeze. Riding in style! But we have a '99 F-150 too that is PAID for and will work just fine! Needless to say, the F-250 is for sale. 3 Trucks, 1 Car, 1 Jeep for 2 people? Car is mine, but I seem to have taken over Brownie (F-150 that is tan).

I have only been on one organized ride in my adult years. And it was year before last. I don't know how far we went, but I had to bow out at about 2:00 when we stopped for lunch. Ride started at 9 and it was all running up and down hills, through the big muddy ditch, down the incredibly steep creek-I detoured with other people, I just didn't want to go there. I chose Pine Cutover instead. My poor horses weren't conditioned and me neither! I thought it was an easy ride, flat, laid back. Sheesh. It could have been worse, but I don't know how they found mountains in Big Creek! Lets just say when we stopped for lunch, Nicky and Apache were quite happy to be tied! They had a horse trailer down the road for those who didn't want to go on, and I had all the fun I needed for one day. This past year I actually got several long rides in before when the ride should have been,then they didn't have it.
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LeLoo
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Wild At Heart

I got Giz at the end of Sept 2005 and promptly started riding. :rolleyes We rode out from Mr. Pete's barn that first weekend and then went 5 more consecutive weekends in a row. Vicksburg, Mendenhall, Star, Stinkin' Jim's, a ride at a church in Brookhaven and I kept riding. Made some friends with a small riding club and rode a good bit all that year. So Gizzy was fairly well prepared for the Dixie National that year. He was still worn out and tired. I ruined all his good training too I think, taking him on so many, not knowing what the devil I was doing. Now he's basically been off a year so I've definitely got my work cut out for me. But I do hope to get to riding some here soon.

Most of the rides we went on were organized rides, road rides, flat, not challenging and 10 to 15 miles long. Now we did do some serious riding in the deer hunting lease woods and at a friends.

Hunting season will limit the woods rides considerably, but there should be road rides going on all over the place, check with your local vets office, co-ops, feed stores, people will usually post flyers. I seem to be out of the loop this year and haven't been aware of too many. I try to post them on here. Many are benefit rides for St. Jude's or someone in the community with a need of some kind. There's a riding club up here near Forest that rides every weekend, but I've yet to call and get with them. Just been so busy, but now is the time and we're ready!!

We can keep in touch and try to plan something, let me see what I can find that would work for us to meet and ride.
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grannycowgirl
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Kaye
2007
This is exciting. Thanks for the information. I will definitely start trying to find out about the North Group.

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Horses always start, they never run out of gas, and they will not get you greasy.

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LeLoo
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Wild At Heart

But I want ya'll to come ride with us!!! :P
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grannycowgirl
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Kaye
2007
Oh, gosh, that would be fun.

My shop for unique gifts.

Horses always start, they never run out of gas, and they will not get you greasy.

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LeLoo
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Blue_rose2001
Oct 23 2007, 01:06 PM
I thought it was an easy ride, flat, laid back. Sheesh. It could have been worse, but I don't know how they found mountains in Big Creek! Lets just say when we stopped for lunch, Nicky and Apache were quite happy to be tied! They had a horse trailer down the road for those who didn't want to go on, and I had all the fun I needed for one day.

:rofl

I found us one near Philadelphia, check the shows and events topics.

Grannycowgirl, are you close to Philadelphia too?
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Blue_rose2001
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2006
That one would be good one, but I didn't get shoes on anybody this last time. Nicky couldn't hold her front foot up (but it is better now. Less of a limp today, but it is still there. Mystic lost 3 of her 4 shoes from the last time (stayed on a few extra weeks, but I can't believe they came off so quick). We thought it might be good to give her 6 barefoot weeks. I could see if he could come back and do Apache and Mystic later. Crud! I've got a birthday party that day too! My little cousin is turning 1 and her mom went all out for my wedding and shower a few weeks ago. Maybe there is something the next weekend and I can have the vet and feet in order.
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LeLoo
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Wild At Heart

Well we could ride out from here for that matter. I've got plenty of country road to ride on. I'd actually like to start Giz & Mitzi out just riding in a smaller group. We can ride at our own pace for as long or as short as we like, but get the horses to riding in groups of horses and re-familiarized with cars/trucks, dogs, scary mailboxes, etc. The only thing we'd be lacking is the wagons, and it took Giz awhile to get used to those. And I just bet cha it's been so long since his ridden around those loud scary things that it'll take awhile again. :lol:

We can invite Joey and any others that are close enough to come ride for a day. It would be more relaxed than an organized ride for us to get started. An no fees!! It would be free, neg coggins required is all. Bring your own snacks/lunch and I'll throw something on the grill for supper. I can feed a few free but if we get a large group here, I might appreciate a small donation to help cover food costs.

I can ride Brandy around while she's in this cast to help kill her boredom and pick a nice route, measuring the mileage, there are plenty loops we can make I think, so we have new scenery most of the way.

What'd ya think?? It would be Nov 10th, I guess.

Shoes, does your farrier not come replace any that come off?? Mine does, only one reason I like him a lot. I've got to have him back out, hopefully this weekend as well.
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Dixiecowgirl

2006
Howdy We always ride with the North ride. Sat. you can camp out at the Neshoba county fair grounds. If you get there early you can put your horse up in one of the stalls. Leave from there riding to Sebasterpool. Its about 20 miles. Both dirt and paved roads. Camp out at the sale barn. Leave sebasterpool going to Lena. That one is bout 17 miles. Camp out at the old saw mill. Leave Lena going to Cold Bluff-- 14 miles. This one has a lot of dirt roads. Cold Bluff to Goshen Springs. To me this is the worst camping spot. From Goshen Springs you go to Rapids on the Reservoir and camp out in there parking lot. Leave there going to the Collesium. I have a paper at home that has all the contact names on it that i will come back later and post.
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Blue_rose2001
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2006
That sounds good. I don't have him put shoes on if I haven't got a particular ride planned. Mostly we just ride across roads, not down them so it's never tough on there hooves when we leave the house- Basically cross a cotton field, walk beside road, then enter the lake bottom. We had him put shoes on Mystic last time because Joey thought he would get to ride more with AC season slowing down and then it didn't!

So it was a matter of $25 to trim and give them a break or $60 for shoes we might not use. I might look into boots. It might be easier if we never get in any mud. Probably cheaper in the long run.
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LeLoo
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Wild At Heart

na, them darn boots are expensive!! $$55 per boot, that's $55 a foot!! We may boot Mizti, we tried barefoot, didn't work but that was because of the trimmers. they really did damage. :( So I've got Giz shod on the front and will prolly shoe through riding season and for Dixie National and try again in the Spring/Summer to get him barefoot for good. Mitzi recovered well and is currently doing fine barefoot, so we may try her on a short road ride and see how she does.

I was just talking about IF or WHEN the farrier does put shoes on and then one comes off, usually farriers will return and replace them, free of charge.
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LeLoo
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Dixiecowgirl
Oct 24 2007, 11:30 AM
Howdy We always ride with the North ride. Sat. you can camp out at the Neshoba county fair grounds. If you get there early you can put your horse up in one of the stalls. Leave from there riding to Sebasterpool. Its about 20 miles. Both dirt and paved roads. Camp out at the sale barn. Leave sebasterpool going to Lena. That one is bout 17 miles. Camp out at the old saw mill. Leave Lena going to Cold Bluff-- 14 miles. This one has a lot of dirt roads. Cold Bluff to Goshen Springs. To me this is the worst camping spot. From Goshen Springs you go to Rapids on the Reservoir and camp out in there parking lot. Leave there going to the Collesium. I have a paper at home that has all the contact names on it that i will come back later and post.

Hey, this is cool!!

You know, Lena isn't that far from me. We could potentially ride with the North Ride, meet new folks, make new friends!!

Which way from Rapids do they go?? This is interesting. I've got to check out this route.
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LeLoo
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Blue_rose2001
Oct 23 2007, 09:58 PM
Mystic lost 3 of her 4 shoes from the last time (stayed on a few extra weeks, but I can't believe they came off so quick). We thought it might be good to give her 6 barefoot weeks.

Nevermind my last post, I think I misread, I thought the shoes came off Mystic right after a visit from the farrier, I see now it was at the next go 'round!! Sorry.
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Blue_rose2001
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2006
Yeah, I kind of wrote that funny too.
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grannycowgirl
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Kaye
2007
This is getting exciting :D Like I said I have wanted to do this for years. Dixiecowgirl, I'm glad you joined in and have this info. Please tell me more, what are the dates?

Wldhrt, Philadelphia is about 2 1/2 hours from me, I am outside Tupelo. A little far for a day ride. But it sounds like ya'll scrapped that anyway.

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Horses always start, they never run out of gas, and they will not get you greasy.

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Dixiecowgirl

2006
I have never rode on from Rapids so i really am not sure. Here is the info on the people that was in charge last year. Robert Smith 601-410-5757 Johnny Herrington who was Wagon Master 601-635-4133 Michael McDaniel 601-441-0368 Brandy Stokes 601-416-0606 Paul and Stephanie Brown 662-983-5813 or 601-562-6087 Sat. at the Fairgrounds there was stew and DJ and wednesday was Fish and a DJ Prices was 10.00 daily or 30.00 for the whole week. kids 12 and under free. we always have a ball. I live 1/2 mile from the fair grounds so I have a lot of people that leave their horses at my house to move their trailers up so just give me a holler if anyone wants to do that this year.
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