Equestrian Volunteers Celebrate Anniversaries

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15 Years of Volunteer Horse Corps 

Fifteen years and move than 2,100 hours since they first set hooves on the trail, the Oak Openings Horse Corps have been making Oak Openings a better place for horses and riders.

At the rate of about 140 hours per year, these volunteers help improve the horse trail and facilities at the preserve, which is a destination for riders from across Ohio and beyond. Members of the group have even donated money to help fund horse trail related improvements.

Projects can vary from year to year, but some of the ongoing projects include: maintaining restrooms, trimming along trails, building mounting platforms, staining hitching rails and picnic tables, cleaning up roadside litter and trail maintenance.

The Oak Openings Horse Corp also provides a forum for communication between the riders who enjoy the horse trails and park district staff.

Mounted Trail Patrol Marks 10 Years

2016 also marks the tenth anniversary of Metroparks Mounted Volunteer Trail Patrol, which currently has eight members.

Mounted VTP patrol the Oak Openings horse trail while on their horse and must ride with another certified Mounted VTP member. To participate, riders successfully complete a written and riding evaluation in addition to other criteria all VTP members are required to complete. Each member commits to patrolling 50 hours and attending two in-service training sessions a year. Several of the in-service training sessions take place at other parks to introduces the horses to new and uncommon experiences. MTVP may also represent Metroparks at special events.

Both volunteer equestrian groups are managed by Ranger Lora Goerlich, an avid equestrian who has been with Metroparks for nearly 25 years.