Partnering with other trail users and legislative leaders is just as important as having a partnership with your equine.  Therefore, Ohio Horseman’s Council leadership are actively engaged in all parts of the political process by participating in numerous partnerships:
  • The Ohio Legislative Trails Caucus (OLTC) – Started in 2017, was a first of its kind in the nation at the state level.  This informal group of like-minded state legislators from both parties and both chambers of the Ohio legislature is co-chaired by state Sen. Sean O’Brien and state Rep. Steve Wilson. OLTC will work to advocate for all issues involving the development, maintenance, and preservation of all Ohio’s non-motorized trails.  “Whether hiking, biking, horseback riding, kayaking, or canoeing, chances are most Ohioans have spent some time out on Ohio’s incredible trails system,” says Sen. O’Brien. “The benefits of trails to everyone in the Buckeye State are countless. With this caucus, we hope to make the trails even better than they already are and preserve them for future generations.”  Ohio Horseman’s Council is one of several trail user groups who joined immediately, knowing there is a need for a coordinated effort at the state level to develop and maintain Ohio’s trails system.  There are an additional 18 bi-partisan members from both the Ohio House and Senate along with trail user groups such as Buckeye Trail Association, Rails-to-Trails and Central Ohio Mountain Bikers, as well as land managers representing US Forest Service, Ohio Department of Natural Resources and National Park Service.
  • Trails Vison Plan Ohio Department of Natural Resources embarked on a project to develop a 5-year trails plan of which OHC played an active role on the Trails Advisory Committee, providing guidance as the plan was written, covering all trail systems thoughout the state.  OHC members were able to provide input into the plan covering issues, concerns and desires for equine trails and camping in Ohio.
  • Coalition of State Horse Councils (CSHC), affiliated with American Horse Council – The CSHC is a long-standing committee that makes recommendations to the American Horse Council regarding the position of respective state horse councils on pending federal legislation/regulations.  American Horse Council advocates for the social, economic and legislative interests of the United States equine industry.

At the International Trails Symposium held in Dayton a few years ago, members of OHC and land partners presented various topics for attendees that covered working with volunteers, managing bridle trails and lessons learned when establishing bridle trails. Pictured here are Mike Gerard, Director-OHC; Arden Sims, Past President-OHC; Don Wagner, Trails Chair-OHC; Dawn McCarthy, US Forest Service; Shannon Hoffer, Ohio DNR; John Olivier, Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District; Penny Passalacqua, President-Cuyahoga County OHC; Brian Zimmerman, Cleveland Metro Parks CEO; Mary Alice Kuhn, Director-OHC.
This chart shows the breakdown of land ownership where Ohio’s bridle trails are located.