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Alabama Equestrian - Horse Riding in Alabama
Horse riding has been an enjoyable pastime for centuries, and continues to be one today. Many people ride horses as a form of recreation, and in competitive sports. Horse riding can be found in each of the fifty US states, but horse riding in Alabama is quite popular.
There are many reasons for the popularity of horseback riding in Alabama, including the mild climate, as well as the different breeds of horses that are available for riders. In addition, Alabama is home to many horse trails and equestrian centers too.
Alabama Facts & Figures ...
Alabama was the 22nd state admitted to the United States. Alabama was first explored by the Spanish, and the southern section was claimed by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase (1803).
Known as the "Heart of Dixie", Alabama is located in the southeastern portion of the U.S., between Mississippi and Georgia. Its capital is Montgomery and its largest city is Birmingham.
The Native American people who once lived in Alabama were the Alibamu, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Koasati, and Mobile.
Alabama is officially classified as having a "humid subtropical" climate, with an average temperature of 64 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius). Because of this pleasant weather, horse riding in Alabama is enjoyable year-round. In addition, Alabama has a multitude of national parks and forests, as well as lakes, rivers, and countryside; all of which provide the perfect setting for horseback riding.
Types of Horses in Alabama
As mentioned, Alabama has many types of horses available for equestrian use.
Some of these breeds of horses include Appaloosas, Paint, Arabian, Holstein, Palomino, Quarter Horse, and Pinto.
The Racking Horse is one of the state symbols adopted by Alabama. It is a horse breed derived from the Tennessee Walking Horse and was recognized by the USDA in 1978. It is known for its distinctive singlefoot gait.
The Racking Horse Breed also has its own organization, the Racking Horse Breeders Association of America.
After choosing a particular breed, a rider can select from one of the many trails available for horseback riding.
- The Bankhead National Forest is home to several different trails, such as the Black Warrior/ Owl Creek Horse Trail and the Pine Torch Loop.
- In the Talledega National Forest, riders can also choose from many trails, including the Shoal Creek Horse Trail and the Bedford Cash Memorial Horse Trail.
Horse Riding Events in Alabama ... (events calendar)
However, horse riding in Alabama is not limited to trail riding; there are also many different equestrian events and competitions available for riders all year long.
- In January, the Alabama Horse Fair takes place in Montgomery.
- In September, the Alabama Open Horseman's Association State Championship Horse Show also takes place in Montgomery.
There are also hunter jumper shows, such as the Alabama Hunter Jumper Association Year End Show in Andalusia. And of course, trail horses have a competition as well, hosted by the Alabama Horse Council during the Alabama Horse Fair.
Top Alabama Equestrian Centers ...
Alabama also has several equestrian centers, which serve both casual and competitive riders. These centers provide horse sales, boarding, training, and equestrian events.
The Rolling Hills Equestrian Center is located in Sterrett, which is in central Alabama. The Hampton Cove Equestrian Center can be found in Owens Cross Roads, in the northern part of the state.
In southern Alabama, equestrians will find the Magnolia Springs Equestrian Center. And; in any part of the state, riders can find equestrian centers to make horse riding in Alabama easy to do and enjoyable.
Notable Alabama facts and figures :
- During the Civil War, Montgomery, the state capital of Alabama, was the capital of the Confederate States of America.
- Montgomery is known as the Cradle of the Confederacy. It is also the birthplace of the Confederate Constitution, and where Jefferson Davis was sworn in as President of the Confederacy.
- Alabama is also important to the space industry. Huntsville is known as "Rocket City U.S.A." because it is the site of Redstone Arsenal, Marshall Space Flight Center, and the United States Space and Rocket Center.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. began his career as a local pastor at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery.
- Alabama has rich deposits of iron ore, coal, and limestone. This has helped make the state a leader in steel production.
- Birmingham, Alabama's largest city, is the greatest producer of steel in the Southern United States.
Because of Alabama's mild average temperatures, its beautiful national parks and forests, its plentiful trails, and its varied equestrian centers, there is no wonder that horse riding in Alabama is so popular.
The novice horse rider can find information and education in nearly any part of the state. Additionally, more experienced equestrians can take part in shows and competitions all year long. These plentiful options ensure that horseback riding will continue to be a favorite pastime for both residents and visitors of Alabama.