Last week, I wrote about our trip to Purdue University, prior to landing at Midwest Horse Camp in Norman, Indiana. I chose this place for many reasons, not the least of which was its proximity to Nashville, Indiana. I grew up in Indiana, and my family often visited the tourist town of Nashville. It was especially fun to go to Brown County in the fall when the leaves were full of color.
We arrived at camp a day or two after their Fall Colors ride, and right before their scheduled Halloween ride. (In fact, before we left, several ladies spent quite a bit of time decorating their mess hall for Halloween… it was awesome!) We managed to get two rides in during our time there… more on that momentarily!
Just the facts…
The camp has 108 sites with water and electricity, and 365 covered box stalls with free shavings. There are 12 cabins available for rent, and a free dumpsite. There are only 6.5 miles of trails on camp property, but access to over 100 miles of trails adjacent to the camp. However, there is a fee to use the trails in Hoosier National Forest. It is $5 per day or $35/year/horse. The trails are well-marked.
The office has tack and souvenirs, and you can order hay and firewood. There is WiFi available, but it is somewhat limited in use. The mess hall is large and nice, with a microwave and hot beverages available. Food is only provided during scheduled ride events, and it is catered by Golden Corral. There are 5 themed rides per year.
The camp was pretty quiet while we were there, which was just fine with us. We did meet the couple camped closest to us. They were Hoosiers and had ridden at this camp numerous times before. They were joined by another couple, and the four of them invited Alan and me to join them for a ride.
Our first ride
Our first ride involved paying the camp host to trailer our horses to a distant point and then riding back to camp. The available trailer was a stock trailer that held 6 horses. Six tacked up horses, I might add… Alan and I never tack our horses up before hauling. I know many people do, but we don’t. We typically have our own two-horse trailer available when we make day trips, with our tack in the tack compartment. So the idea of cramming six horses in this stock trailer was a bit disconcerting to me, but we opted to try it. We did request that our two horses be the last ones in.
About halfway through our 25-30 minute drive, we heard some commotion from the trailer. It was brief… When we arrived at the trailhead, imagine our surprise to see that our two horses had somehow switched places in the trailer! Kadeen was last when we left… Sadie was in the back when we arrived. She had come untied. No one appeared the worse for wear, and we rode back to camp.
The ride was peaceful and pretty. The trail was covered with leaves, and not strenuous at all. It was a beautiful amble through the forest. There was one brief mishap when one of the other gals came headfirst over her horse’s head when he tripped! She was fine, but once again, we were reminded of how many times during our 2-month equitrek we were aware of someone coming off their horse and/or getting hurt.
We rode a little over 11 miles and stopped for a snack at a quaint church and cemetery. Our riding partners were very familiar with the area and we appreciated their knowledge and willingness to show us the local landmarks.
A trip to Indianapolis, and one more ride
I grew up in Indianapolis, so Alan and I spent a day exploring in Indy. I showed him the house I grew up in, and my High School. Lastly, I scheduled an MRI of a sore shoulder at a hospital in Indy. It can be challenging to meet the medical needs of humans and animals when you are literally on the road!
Alan and I went out one more time and rode 5 miles of the loop that is on the camp property. Again, the trails were well marked, easy, and well-maintained. The dogs were able to go with us on this second ride.
Nashville, Indiana and the Brown County Inn
The quaint town of Nashville reminds me of my beloved Estes Park, Colorado. There are numerous craft shops and boutiques. While there were many places to eat in town, I had my sights set on the Brown County Inn. I had eaten there many times as a child. Decades later, I still remembered the fried biscuits and apple butter! Our meal was amazing, as the menu is varied and interesting.
While we were eating, it was pouring rain outside. We were still worried about our Colorado home and the dangerous wildfires. Sadly, we hadn’t seen rain in ages, much less a deluge. I think more rain fell during our dinner than we had seen the entire summer in Colorado!
We bought some caramel apple butter in one of the shops, and also a couple of Swan Creek candles. The darn things are expensive but they sure smell good! I also buy them… where else?… in Estes Park! Try the Orange Cinnamon one… yum!
Would you like to buy a commercial horse camp?
We learned that this camping facility is for sale. Kim and Jeff Humphries are the current owners. You can learn more about the camp and see a video of the facilities by viewing this episode of Best of America by Horseback. Tom Seay of BOABH is an avid believer in having emergency information available while participating in equestrian activities. He endorses ID MyHorse Medical and Emergency Identification tags.
After leaving Midwest Horse Camp, we headed for Lexington, Kentucky. The plan was to spend several days touring Kentucky Horse Park. However, we had to adjust those plans a bit. Wait until you see what we did! Check back next week!