Events & News

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Fri - Sun

July 23-25

MN Horse EXPO MAPFHA not participating in 2021; dates listed are for informational purposes only

Sat July 31, 2021

Ride & Members' Social Event & 6pm Pizza

Crow Hassan Regional Park - Riverbend Campground,

Rogers, MN

Thurs - Sun

Aug 26 - 29

Group Riding and Camping Weekend at Bartels’ Farm


Sue & Jim Bartels Farm

Rochester, MN

All Event details in message below



Message from Lynda Zimmerman, President

March 8, 2021



Hello MAPFHA Members and Friends!

Spring appears near as we enjoy this nice respite from our earlier Deep Freeze weather! It’s a welcome change for sure! I hope you’re all staying healthy and managing challenges with the pandemic. Bob and I, Chuck, Jan and Marv, and Sharon are all doing well, looking forward to riding season and horse camping again.


MN Horse Expo

As you may know by now, the MN Horse Expo has been delayed to summer for this year only. The dates will be July 23-25, 2021, at the MN State Fairgrounds. The change in dates is an effort to hold the event at a time when more people have been vaccinated, and the pandemic has subsided. The MAPFHA Board has decided not to participate this year; however, we do plan to participate again next year when the normal schedule dates resume in late April 2022. Paso Fino trainer, Michael Gascon, plans to attend in 2022 as well, and we look forward to meeting him and attending his presentations.


If you’re interested in learning more about his training methods, he offers a virtual training membership, as well as clinics around the country and retreats at his Horse Haven farm in Mississippi. I have found the online virtual training program insightful, and Jan plans to attend his clinic in WI in mid-April.


Member Social Event

In lieu of our Annual Meeting and with the pandemic in mind, we are planning a social event on Sat., July 31, at the Riverbend Campground at Crow Hassan Regional Park. This is the same park where we’ve held our Season Kick Off event, but it will be held at the campground at the north end of the park (not the Blue Stem Campground). For this year only, that campground will be open for day use trailer parking (except for July 10-11) and won’t require us to make reservations.


The plan is to hold an outdoor get together for members with FREE pizza delivered at 6 p.m., courtesy of MAPFHA. Those who want to ride can come anytime in the afternoon; no group ride is scheduled. As we get closer to the date, I will ask for RSVPs so we have a head count for the pizza. Hopefully, the pandemic won’t linger, and the weather will cooperate since there is no group shelter at Riverbend.


The park website presents a summer map showing its location and the Riverbend campground. It’s on the north end of the park near the Off-leash Dog park, on Territorial Road, Co. 116. If you plan to ride, you will need either a day trail pass (purchase at the park) or an annual pass (purchase online). This is different than the MN State Horse Trail pass because Crow Hassan is not a state park. 


Crow Hassan Horse Trail Safety update (3/4/2021)

As follow-up to the Crow Hassan Master Plan and working to retain Crow Hassan Park as a premier equestrian trail destination, my Paso Fino team and I have continued to work with Three Rivers Park District administration regarding safety signage on the horse trails. The Park District has been very responsive and accommodating and has already placed “No Bikes” signs throughout the park.  After verbiage for additional signage was agreed to with the Planning Committee January 2020, I submitted and received approval for a $300 Trail Grant request to UMECRA to cover the cost of 10 new signs focusing on the unique feature of the park —as an equestrian trail destination, with safety being of utmost importance. Unfortunately, Covid interrupted and subsequently delayed the initiative. We resumed discussion with the Park last Fall.  Draft signs were designed, revised, and we finally reached compromise with the park manager just yesterday.


Safety for all – riders, horses, and other park users encountering horses (perhaps for the first time)  is the key concept, and the new signs instruct all trail users to yield to horses, as well as informing them how to do that. The wording is similar to terms used in other parks and trails across the U.S. for a consistent message of safely yielding to horses. These new signs should be ready for installation early this spring!


Hearty thanks to my team members, Janice Meyer, Pam Farmer, and Diane Merz for their time and input!


Group Riding and Camping Weekend at Bartels’ Farm

Aug. 26-29, 2021 – Susan and Jim Bartels have graciously offered to host MAPFHA members for a weekend of riding, camping and fun socializing at their farm near Rochester, MN. Their farm is located on a historic stagecoach stop, complete with one still-standing authentic brick wall and replicas of Old West store fronts.


The past two years have seen our weekend event cancelled due to rain in 2019, then Covid in 2020, so we’re ready and eager to make up for lost time. Jim maintains their groomed trails in park condition: up and down the hills, around the bean and corn fields and through the woods. Two easy crossings on the Zumbro River far upstream of Zumbro Bottoms add interest for the horses. Socializing and dining together in the large pole barn offer a great opportunity for sharing group games and laughter. We often potluck dinners but also frequently eat other meals together; a full-size refrigerator and electric outlets are available (bring your own food and some plan for potluck meals).


We can arrive on Thursday, depart on Sunday. Electric plug in is possible; horses can be corralled or pastured together with other guests, penned or tied to your trailer. Water for horses is available; bring your own hay. Jim cheerfully hauls manure away (bring a fork and bucket). Although there is no camping “fee,” a free will offering is appropriate to show appreciation for their hospitality. I will ask for RSVPs closer to the date for meal planning and horse accommodation purposes.


Other Trips and Plans

Last September Jan and Marv, Bob and I and Pam Farmer experienced the Medora Badlands on a guided trip with Candy Phillips. We camped at Sully Creek Campground along the Little Missouri River and rode the Maah Daah Hey trail, as well as various trails in Theodore Roosevelt Natl. Park. A highlight of the trip was riding 12 miles up to Buffalo Gap Camp where Bob and Marv met us for lunch. The area offered spectacular scenery and well-marked, easy to follow trails; Guide Candy handled the swing gates for the group. Bob’s area and camp pictures, as well as my photos from the trail are posted on the MAPFHA Facebook group page and on Bob’s Flickr site. Meyers and Zimmermans are looking forward to taking Mesa and Chaco on another trip with Candy this September to Bryce Canyon in Utah.


Jan and I both have new black Paso Fino geldings (Django and Kona) who will be introduced to the many Minnesota trails and midweek camping this season. In addition, I’m planning a trip to the Black Hills with the MN Trail Riders (MTRA) in June and to the Shawnee Natl. Forest in So. Illinois in Oct. to meet up and ride with Kona’s former owner. Jan is taking Django to a Michael Gascon clinic in April, and Kona is going to an obstacle clinic in May and will take a local team-sorting lesson or two for exposure to cattle. That proved to be valuable for our horses who went West last summer and encountered cattle after crossing the river. Both Mesa and Chaco were totally comfortable passing by the cows. We have other family gatherings to catch up on, too, and I may resume some endurance riding, but we are looking forward to more new recreational excursions with our horses, with masks and appropriate social distance!



If you haven’t renewed your MAPFHA membership yet, there’s still time for 2021. Facebook Friends are invited to join the Association, too! Facebook offers an opportunity to see and communicate virtually, but we welcome you to join us Face to Face as a member. The membership time frame follows the calendar year, Jan. - Dec. The membership form is attached; please send to our Treasurer Chuck Hauser. His mailing address is on the form.


Take care, and we hope to see you on the trails and at our membership events this summer!

To ride, to ride; oh, what Heaven to ride!

Lynda Zimmerman, President

Mid America Paso Fino Horse Assn.

Live, Laugh, Love, Ride!


Chuck Hauser, Treasurer and National Delegate

Janice Meyer, Secretary

Sharon Gallagher, Director at Large



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© Diane Merz