Grass is again green, ponds are nearly full once more, and days have cooled off.
It’s time to enjoy the world renowned native prairie of Kansas.
“The 19th annual Dream Ride in the Flint Hills is this weekend at the 4,000-acre Clover Cliff Ranch near Elmdale,” announced Ernie Rodina.
Coordinated by Rodina of the Better Horses Network and Suzan Barnes of the Grand Central Hotel in Cottonwood Falls, participants are expected from throughout the Midwest.
More than 20 sponsors are assisting with the trail ride and festivities headquartered at the picturesque Clover Cliff Ranch Bed & Breakfast pavilion.
“Riders will receive free Purina horse feed, and water will be available,” Rodina said. “However, horse owners must provide their own hay. Limited horse pens are available.”
It’s said lots of camping space is available, but there are no hookups. Recommendation is that horses be shod, and a negative Coggins test is required. No stallions or dogs will be allowed.
Activities kick off Friday afternoon, Sept. 7, with check-in at 1 o’clock and a two hour ride starts at 3 o’clock. A hamburger and hot dog cookout with side plates has been planned for supper.
“Guests are also welcome to eat at the Grand Central Hotel Grill and then stroll Broadway where live music is planned,” Rodina said. To do that, reservations should be made with Barnes at 620-273-6763, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Breakfast is at 7:30 Saturday morning, when check-in continues. Drawings for door prizes are also on tap. Following discussion of safety on the trail, there will be a two-hour ride in the lush hills.
“We’re especially excited that well known horse trainers Kerry Kuhn, Curt and Tammy Pate, Josh Rushing and Lee Hart are riding with us,” Rodina said.
Barbecue brisket is on the noon dinner table at ride headquarters with the afternoon ride starting at 1:30.
A horse clinic is scheduled for late afternoon before horse owners feed, water and bed their horses down for the night.
The steak supper with all the trimmings is to be prepared by Mark Burkdoll. An equine nutrition program has been scheduled before cowboy veterinarian stories by Ron McDaniel.
Coffee is on Sunday morning, Sept. 8, while riders do morning chores before cowboy church at 8 o’clock. Hot breakfast is at 8:30, and final ride of the weekend begins at 9:30, to be completed at noon when camp breaks.
Information and registrations are available from Barnes, with details at www.betterhorses.com.