What makes this course so special?
Cowboy courses and extreme trail riding are the Newest Adventure in Riding. MEADOW WOOD NATURAL TRAIL COURSE is unique in that it's filled with fun, challenging obstacles and designed to blend into some of the most beautiful woodlands in Michigan.
Most courses are set in flat sandy arenas. Our course is in the woodlands where your horse will experience changes in footing, logs to step over, leaves and sticks, hills and vales, trees, rocks and roots. This is excellent training for trail horses and many others.
There are 40 obstacles to challenge even the most experienced rider. Each one is also set up to have "go-arounds" so that any level of rider can go through the course and choose which obstacles they'd like to do.
Still not enough challenge? Visit "The Bird House" and choose a Feather Challenge! We can amp up your experience as high as you want to go.
The Introductory Price for the course is $30 per person for a 4 hour experience. Six riders max on the course at one time.
Here's what people are saying after experiencing the course -
Meadow Wood Natural Trail Course
1. Ring the Bell
Your first challenge begins with ringing the bell in the tree next to the Meadow Wood sign. This will signify the official start of your run.
2. The Stump Stand
Your next challenge on the course is a Stump Stand. To complete the challenge you will ask your horse to stand on the stump with both front feet.
This challenge highlights bends and turns while stepping over logs of differing heights and lengths. It’s a quick turn at the tree and a small circle right and left around the stump. The logs are “higher” at the center and lower at the outside, so you can choose which level you’d like your horse to work on.
4. Spin Cycle!
The Goal of this challenge is to turn circles right and left inside the log circle – without stepping out over a log.
5. Rock Garden
Ask your horse to be a partner by watching where he is going and choosing his footing. Both directions - North/south and East/west or take a diagonal slice through the Garden
6. Michigan Straddle Snake
Your horse will be ready to two-step after conquering the Michigan Straddle Snake. Two feet on each side and walk along as far as you can.
7. Hanka the Ropin’ Bull
Hanka is wild and wooly and it’s your job to throw a rope around his head and horns!
8. Merry go round
Round and Round you go! Walk inside the small circle and trot outside the circle. Pick up those feet and do left and right circles.
9. Squeezie Treezie
Back up and turn. Align your horse between the tight trees, back up and turn around to back through again.
10. The Beast
Take a walk on the wild side. Stepping on the Beast is a squishy and strange. Caution, we recommend your horse experience this on on-line first.
11. Flapping Flag
This challenge can be challenging! Ha! Pick up the flag from the holder and unfurl it. Then walk around the tree waving the flag. Use the small flag if your horse is new to this.
12. Twisty Twizzler
Find the 4 Flower trees (next to the Squeezie Treezie) and weave your way around them – out and back. There are logs, small trees, branches and more so choose you way, and your weave, carefully.
13. Christmas Tree Jump
Merry Jumping Day! Walk or jump over the Christmas Tree Jump, turn face and jump again. Want more for your Christmas fun? Set up the 2’ jump!
14. The Log Zipper
The Zipper will challenge your horse to watch their footing and pick up their feet. The logs are set in a zigzag pattern with different spacing for them to navigate.
15. Double Drag
Log drag by pulling behind or turn and backup while pulling log. There are 2 log drags, use the light weight one if you’ve never done this before.
16. Luke’s Luge
Ride the Luge! It’s a bendy set of walls that’s gets narrow and tight. There are a few things to navigate while you are in there too. Ride in, turn and ride back again. Double the challenge, double the fun
17. Pine-cone Pickup
How low can you go? Pick up a pine-cone from the basket, ride to stump and place pinecone in top, lower or lowest cup! Try on your left side too.
18. Horse Balls
Find the racket and tennis balls suspended above you in the trees. Ride and hit the ball to the tree and the second ball to the end and Ring the Bell! Bring both back using your other hand on the reins.
Get the hockey stick near the "Goal" and look for the ball to your left. Maneuver the ball into the goal - Shoot and Scores!
Pick up the Superman "cape". This is your chance to trot or canter with the cape to the entrance and back. If your horse is confident, let it flap behind you in true Superman style.
21. Jumping Jack Flash
This is a natural jump to walk over or raise the logs and have a nice 2’ jump. Jump over, turn face and jump back.
22. Cattail Pond
Wander through Cattail pond – across in both directions, through the cattails and over the rocks. The strange “pond” footing can be a challenge.
23. TP Roll
T = trot P = poles and the roll comes from the rolling landscape on this obstacle. Ride over the small barrel jump, navigate the trot poles and jump the second barrel. Turn, rinse and repeat!
24. Captain Crunch
This is a MANDATORY online first time! Walk your horse through the box filled with Fantastic Crunchy sounds and things to feel.
25. Compass Needle
Ask your horse to push the compass needle in a circle using his nose neck or chest. Both directions
26. Horse Hopscotch
Stand on the hopscotch squares with one or both feet. Follow the arrow directions to the next square. This will take you backward and forward, sideways and around.
27. Little Mac
Wander down the hill to cross Little Mac Bridge. Cross both directions, then try to step up on the side and over for a big step up and down.
28. The Castle
This is a many tiered stack of tires to walk over, around and on top. Use all the sizes and direction to encourage your horse to handle the challenging footing.
29. Grande Canyon
From down in the valley, walk your horse up the trench that winds and bends to the top.
30. Hip to be Square
This obstacle is great for balance and confidence on moving objects. The 4’ square moves on a flat base of tires. Great for trailer loading practice!
31. Cowboy Curtain
This is a double obstacle with the curtain waving and touching the horse all over and a squeeze between tight trees. Try both directions and even backing through.
32. On the Boardwalk
This is a narrow boardwalk to walk across the long way, or cross the short way or set up the rocker board and it’s a teeter totter!
Open the rope gate, pass through and hook it back up. Can you do it both left and right?
Side-pass along in front of the long log in both directions
Stand up tall on the big Tire. Get your horse to put two or all 4 feet up on the tire.
35. Back'em up Ls
Walk your horse through the L’s and back up back through them. Try both directions.
36. Bear Bag
Pull the Bear Bag up high in the trees. You can pull behind the horse or backup and pull so the horse can see the bag.
37. Fire Brigade
Use the small bucket to dip a bucket full of water from the larger white bucket. Walk to the pond and dump the water in the pond!
38. Duck Pond
Come visit the duckies in the pond. Walk in easily through the sandy beach and splash in the water!
39. Loping Lane
Now it’s time to put on some speed. Head out the entrance, lope to the tree on one lead, turn and lope back on the opposite lead.
40. The Speed Course
Head out the entrance of the course to the right and follow the Blue Flags for another 10 exciting obstacles set on the path around the course. This course is set up to be done at a walk, trot or even canter. As always all of the obstacles have go arounds.
RING BELL TO FINISH!