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Area farms host 'Horses in Your Neighborhood' educational events

Kylie and Carter Mudrak of Esko pet Tony at North Country Ride on Sunday, May 5 as volunteer, Roger Conway holds him. Several families inquired about riding lessons during the 2.5-hour "Horses in Your Neighborhood" event. Jamie Lund/Pine Journal1 / 7
Tamy Horyza (in gray) led visitors on tours at North Country Ride, where visitors learned basic information about horses and their care. Jamie Lund/Pine Journal2 / 7
Cecelia Manty, Molly Belich and Seven Manty at River Ranch Arena help children put on helmets before they learned how to brush horses. Jamie Lund/Pine Journal3 / 7
Avi Chikkagoudra, 5, grins as he enjoys a horse ride at North Country Ride. When he squeezes his knees hard, the ride stops rocking. Jamie Lund/Pine Journal4 / 7
Families follow a tour guide through the horse stables at River Ranch Arena. Several facilities in Carlton and St. Louis counties hosted "Horses in Your Neighborhood" events to introduce and educate people about horses. Jamie Lund/Pine Journal5 / 7
Willow Drengler, 3, of Duluth stretches her hand to let a horse, Deuce, smell it before gently petting the horse at River Ranch Arena in Esko on Sunday afternoon, May 5. The horse appeared to be disappointed to discover Willow didn't bring a treat, according to the ranch tour guide. Jamie Lund/Pine Journal6 / 7
Horses at North Country Ride eagerly await their hay after being pet by visitors Sunday afternoon, May 5. Jamie Lund/Pine Journal7 / 7

Children of all ages were excited to pet and brush horses Sunday, May 5, during the fifth annual "Horses in Your Neighborhood" event.

The Duluth Area Horse Trail Alliance offered an opportunity for the public to pet horses and ask questions at River Ranch Arena and North Country Ride in Esko, Serenity Farms in Cloquet, as well as other facilities in Duluth.

The purpose of the event was to educate the public and encourage children to learn more about horses. Children donned helmets before picking a brush out of a nearby tray and grooming one of the large horses.

The facilities offered basic information about owning horses, such as meeting the needs of the large animal and a breakdown of costs.

For example, a farrier should visit every eight weeks to trim a horse's hooves; the cost averages $30-$60 per visit. Boarding costs range from $125-$700.

Hay, which must be dust-free and mostly grass, is $3-$4 per bale, which translates to about $600-$800 per horse per year.

Like most pets, horses need veterinarian care. A yearly visit can cost about $150. Not many local veterinarians make house calls in Carlton County, so the horse may need to be transported to a clinic.

To learn more about the Duluth Area Horse Trail Alliance, visit duluthhorsetrails.org.

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