Horse enthusiasts gear up for event

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MILTON, Ga. — It might seem a simple thing, to go for a walk, but when you involve a large animal, it can get tricky. Foremost is where on earth do you ride a horse?

For the Milton Saddle Club, they hope to lead a large group of riders on horseback through the large, 200-acre Birmingham Park in northwestern Milton.

One of the Milton Saddle Club organizers, Roger Brown of Brownwood Farm, said he wanted to put together a ride with some friends and neighbors in Birmingham Park. He received a surprising response.

“Nobody in the neighborhood even knew about it,” he said. “That park is sitting there totally dormant, but it’s a great place to ride in.”

Birmingham Park is one of the largest undeveloped tracts of land in the metro Atlanta area. Despite being called a park, there is little on it, a status the city has no plans to change any time soon.

While there are plans to develop parts of it, the city has no immediate plans for the park.

When the city was coming up with its plans several years ago, the horse community turned out in force, saying they frequently rode in the wilderness.

“Horse riding is important to this city,” Brown said.

After all, a horse is the city’s logo.

Brown has horses in his blood. He has been involved with the equine beasts for much of his life – 45 years. Brownwood Farm, on Wood Road, was started in 1970 and he now has 40 horses on his land, where he trains them.

“I get enjoyment from start to finish of raising them, training them, showing them and seeing the look of enjoyment other people get from them. That is the end result,” he said.

It’s that love the Milton Saddle Club wants to tap into, said another organizer, Kathy Cobb.

"We want to unite equine of all disciplines at the Milton Saddle Club," she said. "Everybody is welcome. The important thing is a love of horses. We want to celebrate riding."

Along with the trail ride itself, Brown and Cobb hope to make it a family day. Picnics, live music and food are planned.

The Saddle Club is the force behind the forthcoming Milton Rodeo, taking place in October 2015.

For 20 years, the rodeo was at Alpharetta’s Wills Park and drew large crowds. In 2005 it ceased operations. Cobb wants to bring it back.

The rodeo is seeking sponsorships to be put on at Shannondale Farms.

The trail ride event is still in the planning phase, but is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 6.

For more information, including ticket prices and dates, visit the Milton Saddle Club on Facebook or call Cobb at 770-369-2733.

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