We’re glad you stopped by to visit our website on distance driving. Perhaps you’ve just discovered MDDA and want to learn more about just what we do. Perhaps you’ve come to check the schedule to see when and where competitive drives are being held or check the results of past drives. Or perhaps you are just interested in looking at some photographs of our horses and drivers at the various competitions. Whatever the reason, thanks for browsing and drop us a line if we can answer any questions or be of service to you.

Trail Evaluation

Driving Trail Evaluation
Location Palmyra, WI Horseman’s Park  (Glacier Trails, ApDRA)
Camping Excellent, drive through, water and rest rooms strategically located
Terrain Kettle Moraine Forest
Trail Condition Significant sand.  Hills and stone abound in 1st 2 miles
Road Crossing 2 lightly traveled crossings.  May have to negotiate berms set to impede motor vehicle access
Trail Length 10 to 12 miles (5 or 6 miles out, return on same trail)
Best Features Camping accommodations
Difficulty Level Intermediate due hills and sand.
General A heavily used park.  You will undoubted meet other equines, bicycles and hikers.
Driver Comment I’ve driven barefoot for several years but if your horse is prone to chipping they may benefit from boots or shoes due to the stone.  Your horse should also be comfortable with holding back (breeching) work and you should take care to properly fit and adjust the breeching.  Wider wheels will encounter less resistance from the sand.  Good springs will be appreciated.
Location Black Hawk Ridge, near Sauk City, WI  (IRON OAK)
Camping No overnight camping.  Cabin and covered deck available for meetings or picnics
Terrain Woods and prairie on hills alongside Wisconsin river
Trail Condition Dirt and sod.  Drains well but may be slick when wet.  No stone.
Road Crossing None
Trail Length 2 to 4 mile loops – total length 6 miles
Best Features The cabin is excellent for meetings with a large fireplace.  Large covered area available in case of inclement weather.
Difficulty Level Easy.  Gently rolling trail.  An excellent starter trail
General Access if via a long, narrow and steep blacktop road.  Drive slowly and with caution.
Driver Comment This is an easy drive and the surface is good for a barefoot horse.  The trail runs around the perimeter of the hills with occasional vistas over the Wisconsin river way.  The park is very well maintained.
Location Wildrock County Park, near Neilsville, WI  (WILDCAT)
Camping Good with water and restrooms available near the shelter
Terrain Marsh and very gently rolling woods.
Trail Condition Gravel road for 2 or 3 miles to access horse trails.  Horse trails dirt or sod, little or no stone.  No loose sand.
Road Crossing One road crossing and you must drive along the road for about 1/4 mile.  Some traffic.
Trail Length 10 mile loop or 30 miles (15 miles out and back)
Best Features Flat to gently rolling terrain.
Difficulty Level Easy for the short distance.  Difficult for the 30 mile drive.
General This park is heavily used by ATV’s and you will encounter them on the gravel roads.  This is also one of the longest trails (15 miles one way) for driving.
Driver Comment This is the only trail where I’ve experienced a stone bruise while driving barefoot.  The gravel portions of the trail are sharp and require some kind of hoof protection.  Dust from ATV traffic can reduce vision.  Generally the ATV drivers are considerate but you should anticipate some exceptions.
Location Castle Rock horse trails, Arkdale, WI  (Louise Riedel Memorial)
Camping Ukarydee equestrian campground include corrals at most campsites
Terrain Virtually flat woods and prairie
Trail Condition Gravel road and dirt trails through woods and prairie
Road Crossing You’ll be driving on the road entering the woods and then returning to the road before continuing on through prairie and woods before returning to the road to get back to camp
Trail Length 10 to 12 mile loop
Best Features Really nice camping facility, many with pipe corrals.  Generally you can choose heavy woods or relatively open areas for your camp.
Difficulty Level Easy for the short drive.  Intermediate for the longer distance.
General The road has virtually no traffic and is a fine gravel that doesn’t present a problem to a barefoot horse.  The trail does have some tight turns and some of the tree roots may pose a hazard alongside the trail.
This is an excellent trail for beginners with many opportunities to return directly to camp in case of an emergency.
Driver Comment The trails are relatively level with some short stretches that are narrow or require tight turns.  There may be a mud hole that you will have to drive through.  There may also be a short stretch with stumps that you will have to negotiate.  They are cut off at about 6 inches and can be driven over safely at a walk, if you happen to miscalculate.  A good place to try longer distances.
Location Farmdale Park, near East Peoria, IL  (Endure for the Cure)
Camping Good camping area but restrooms are located at the trail head.  No water – bring your own
Terrain Low land and hilltop prairie, several shallow water crossings with gravel bottom
Trail Condition A portion appears to be railroad bed, most is dirt with no stone.  The lower prairie includes a trail with a sharp angle which might be a concern when wet, otherwise it is advised to slow down.  To get to the upper prairie it is necessary to go up a fairly long hill that is not too steep.
Road Crossing None
Trail Length 10 to 12 mile loop
Best Features Shallow, gravel water crossings.  Mostly level trail.
Difficulty Level Easy to moderate (More conditioning required if really hot and humid)
General I love this drive in the heat of summer.  The water crossings provide many opportunities for the horse to drink and provide a place to slosh if necessary.  The prairie makes it easy to see riders and drivers that may be sharing the trail.
Driver Comment I’ve always enjoyed this drive.  The prairie is full of interesting plants, insects and birds.  There is only one short section where the trail is at an angle that probably should be walked.
Location Northern Kettle, New Prospect, WI (COLORAMA, DRAW I, DRAW IV)
Camping Horseman’s park, central water and restrooms (recently renovated)
Terrain Kettle moraine with hills and rocky trails similar but not as severe as Palmyra
Trail Condition A short stretch on gravel road then primarily woods and prairie.  Some culverts and possible wooden bridge
Road Crossing Will include at least one road crossing.  Good access and visibility.
Trail Length 10 to 15 miles (5 to 7.5 miles out and return)
Best Features Scenic, especially in the fall.
Difficulty Level Intermediate due to short steep hills.  Should be considered difficult for longer distance.
General This is a great drive in the fall when the colors are changing.  Enough variety to be really beautiful.
Driver Comment This is a typical Kettle Moraine drive with section of heavy stone, sand, and short steep hills.  It is important to have the breeching properly adjusted and foot protection may be required, although I’ve always driven barefoot without issues.  There may be black erosion control plastic and/or orange snow fence and you may want to condition your horse to these objects.  May be some mud puddles.
Difficulty Level
Easy Little stress on horse or driver.  Requires minimal conditioning.  Good starter trail.
Moderate Minor stress on horse or driver.  Requires some conditioning.  A good ‘next’ step after Easy.
Intermediate Requires some driving skill to negotiate and pace the horse.  Conditioning required for longer distances.  Not a ‘starter’ drive.
Difficult Requires significant driving skill or it may really stress the horse.  Horse must be well conditioned.