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Posse will travel the trails at Lakewood Forest Preserve

Lake County Mounted Posse member Jim Best rides Lake County Fair. | Submitted photo

Lake County Mounted Posse member Jim Best rides at the Lake County Fair. | Submitted photo

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Updated: October 29, 2013 6:04AM



Everyone likes to hang out with a posse of friends, and on Sunday, Sept. 30, nearly 100 members of Lake County Mounted Posse, a group of horseback-riding enthusiasts, will have its annual fall outing at Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda.

“We had 95 sign up for the ride Sunday,” said president of the club, Kimberley Moon, 51, who recently moved to Bristol, Wis.

The club has been in existence since 1957. In 1986, they had a record number of attendees for the fall ride, about 500, which meant they had to be sent out in waves of 100.

The only requirement to join the club is you need to have a horse and you spend a year as an associate helping with events that promote horse riding. There is a $75 fee and horse riders are the only forest preserve users besides dog-park users, who pay for a trail tag ($35 for residents and $75 for nonresidents).

The group meets at Shelter E and have coffee and a snack before choosing between a short ride along older established trails and a longer ride, that will let members check out new trails in the system.

“Now we can go to Fort Hill and Ray Lake and part of the Millennium trail,” said Moon, adding that the trails are wider than the Des Plaines River Trail, which has more traffic from bicyclists, walkers and runners.

“They are much wider and they can see you coming. A majority of people slow down,” she said. Conflicts are very rare and many people, especially those with kids, seem to enjoy seeing the riders.

“Most people do like seeing them,” she said. Sometimes you might see horse droppings, but that is one of the reasons they have to purchase trail tags from the forest preserve.

She said oftentimes horses will move into the grassy area next to the trail when they need to go. “At least it’s organic based,” she said.

The group ends the ride with a steak dinner.

Moon said the club was formed to promote horse riding and to keep alive the spirit of the “Old West.”

The club motto is “Horsemanship, Sportsmanship and Citizenship,” she said. Last year, they sponsored the horse show at the Lake County Fairgrounds and they also are involved in parades, play days, camping trips and other mounted sports.

Her most memorable ride was “Wright Woods, the wide, old abandoned road trail heading from the entrance to old Shelter E, completely covered in fall leaves. I was riding my Mustang, Blackhawk, quietly, leaving no trail, enjoying creation,” she said.



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