5 Horseback Riding Hotspots around the Metro
By Taylor Weeks
What better way to admire the beautiful lakes and greenery in Minnesota than by horseback? Gather a group of friends and family and adventure outside the metro area for a selection of guided trail riding opportunities. There’s nothing quite like enjoying the fresh air while relaxing on horseback. Many of the locations also have other fun activities to check out while you’re in town, like disc golf or hiking opportunities. You don’t have to gallop too far away for a day out riding. Choose from these five options located just outside the Twin Cities:
Bunker Park Stable
Trot into Andover (30-35 minutes north of Minneapolis) for a day of riding at Bunker Park Stable. Here, you will get a brief instructional lesson on mounting and dismounting before going out on your ride. The horses are calm and well trained, so your experience is sure to be relaxing. Reservations are required, so make sure to call ahead to schedule your visit.
- $42 per hour
- Minimum age and height: 8 years old and 52” tall
Rolling Hills Arabians and Farm Tours
Riders of all levels can saddle up at Rolling Hills Arabians and Farm Tours in Onamia (1.5-2 hours north of Minneapolis). With no prior riding experience is needed, Rolling Hills will match you with a horse that suits your ability level and will have a short lesson at the beginning of the ride. Even better, this location is perfect to include in a weekend trip to the Mille Lacs area. You can stay at a resort along the lakeshore only 20 minutes away from Rolling Hills, and enjoy amenities such as golfing and a spa.
- $45 per hour
- Minimum age: 10 years old
River Valley Ranch
Race along the banks of the Minnesota River at River Valley Ranch in Carver (40 minutes southwest of Minneapolis). Their team will ensure that you are paired with a horse appropriate for your skill level before taking you out on the gorgeous riverside trails. River Valley Ranch is open daily to let riders get their time on the trails whenever they like. Reservations are recommended, however. If you’re looking for more to do after your trail ride, venture over to Minnesota’s largest public garden, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, which is just 20 minutes away from the ranch.
- $40 for one hour
- Minimum height: 50″
Take a guided ride around local parks at HHH Ranch in Cannon Falls (40 minutes southeast of Minneapolis). With a variety of rides to choose from, HHH Ranch helps you accommodate any group size or difficulty level. If you’d like, you can even help with saddling and brushing the horses before and after your ride. In the winter, the ranch offers dog sled rides as well. Be sure to call and make your reservations.
- Check website for pricing.
- Minimum age: 5 years old
Traveling around the Midwest through Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota, Hiddenbrook Peruvians brings its horses to their riders at different state trail locations. A couple of the most recent Minnesota locations include the Wild River State Park in Almelund and Hay Creek in Redwing. Ride thoroughbred Peruvian horses on trails designed for experienced adult riders. The rides are three hours long and accommodate only two, maximum three, riders at a time. Reservations are required, and fees include a state trail pass and bottled water. Following your trail ride, you can also consider reserving a campsite in the area, as camping is available at most of the riding locations.
- Cost: $115
- Minimum age: 18
- Check website for riding locations.
Riding Lessons – Sunborn Stables
(Click here for Lesson Contract.)
“Sunborn Stables has been a wonderful place for my daughter to continue her dressage training and begin to develop her jumping skills. The trainers are all highly skilled, friendly, focused on safety and personal growth. The staff has provided excellent care for our horse since day 1 and has truly taken the time to understand and fulfill the needs of horse and rider. We are very happy to be at Sunborn and strongly recommend the stable to others who share a similar love and passion for the sport.”
Riding Lessons at Sunborn Stables
Student schooling cross country
We specialize in developing a correct AND BALANCED seat for the good of horse and rider. In addition to our regular lessons, we also offer lunge line lessons. Riding on the lunge line is a great way to work on your position, technique and balance without the added concern of handling the reins and controlling the horse. It simplifies and clarifies things and helps you build habits of using your body to control the horse instead of your hands. All lessons are “seat” lessons, in that we believe it is only through the cultivation of a good seat that the rider learns to influence the horse with finesse.
What Children Learn — Riding at Sunborn Stables:
Young girl jumping at show
Child development experts often tout the benefits of helping children experience the “BIG-M: Belonging, Independence, Generosity and Mastery.” Riding does all this and more. Students get a big sense of belonging to the stable and often make life-long friends here. Most parents and students agree that riding has helped the riding student develop responsibility, compassion, empathy, self confidence, fairness, leadership, strength, self-reliance, and more.
We recommend that children begin lessons at 7 to 8 so that they are a bit older and stronger, though we will teach students as young as 6.
Adults often learn:
Student Mary Gmitter with her wonderful Navello
A fascinating study of the ins and outs of horsemanship through the eyes of history! This fabulous discipline has been around since 500 B.
Adults can begin lessons at any age! We have had a 64 year old beginner.
Taking lessons and goal-setting go together. Often students set goals of achieving something at a horse show.
Students frequently show their horses at dressage shows. Scroll down to see the picture of 2nd Level Regional Champion, 2007, Layne Sandercott, handing her walkie-talkie to trainer, Julie Penshorn just before her winning ride at the Regional Finals in St. Louis, MO.
Layne and Julie Penshorn
In 2008 Layne rode her two other horses with much success as well. (Read about our Successes!)
Also, we have many students who do not show, or only show at the in-barn schooling shows.
The teachers work together to develop their abilities to “see” students’ problems and capabilities. They frequently “team teach” with each other. Teachers also work with the students to set goals and work toward meeting them. One student may just want to develop self-confidence and courage, while another wants to go to the Olympics!
Since this sport is still more art than it is science — even after thousands of years (the first writings on dressage are from around 500 BC!) — teachers must work hard to clearly describe the specific postural nuances necessary for success with a given horse (whose needs are always considered important). We gain a lot of information by listening to the horse as he or she tells us what you are doing wrong and right. We also listen to you! Each person has a unique physique and more or less difficulty with each thing they learn. So, we work to help you gain better spinal alignment and lateral and longitudinal balance so you and your horse can become an effective team.
Read testimonials from happy clients!
Hannah Hathaway, left and Libby Faffler middle and Sam Michaelson are some of our students now teaching.
Sunborn Stables prides itself on having high-quality instruction for all levels of riders. All our teachers have at least 7 years of experience riding and training. Mary has been teaching at Sunborn Stables since 2001 (I think — who can remember that far back?!!). Jill has been here for 6 years and Hannah has been here since she was 6 years old! Libby has been a student for about 7 years and Sam has been riding here since she was 11.
Minneapolis, MN City Guide | TrailLink
Multi-use trails now follow these waterways and form the backbone of vast trails systems, which make Minneapolis and Saint Paul inviting places to bike and walk. Of course, this was no accident. The parks were planned at the same time that the cities were developing in the nineteenth century. Planning was meant to preserve the most beautiful land for public use, before it fell into private ownership. In 1883, Horace Cleveland, the landscape architect responsible for designing the original parks plans in both cities wrote:
“Look forward for a century, to the time when the city has a population of a million, and think what will be their wants. They will have wealth enough to purchase all that money can buy, but all their wealth cannot purchase a lost opportunity, or restore natural features of grandeur and beauty, which would then possess priceless value, and which you can preserve if you will but say the word and save them from the destruction which certainly awaits them if you fail to utter it.”
Thankfully, leaders in both cities heeded his advice, and more than 125 years later, nearly all the waterfront in Minneapolis, the City of Lakes, is owned by the public. More than a hundred miles of biking and walking trails pass through the parks included in the Grand Rounds, a nationally recognized scenic byway passing the Mississippi River, Chain of Lakes and Minnehaha Creek in Minneapolis. In Saint Paul, the southern half of the Grand Round is a paved multi-use trail and upgrades are planned for the northern half.
Subsequent generations have also expanded biking and walking opportunities by building more on-street bike lanes and multi-use trails connecting to the original Grand Rounds. A number of trails have been built in underutilized industrial corridors. The prime example is the award-winning Midtown Greenway, a 5.5-mile, east-west multi-use trail built in an old railroad corridor in south Minneapolis. Other examples, utilizing rail corridors include the Kenilworth and Cedar Lake Trials. The Dinkytown Greenway is built across an old railroad bridge, and the iconic Stone Arch Bridge is another former railroad bridge that’s been restored for biking and walking use.
Today, trails, on-street bike lanes, and low-stress neighborhood streets combine to provide increasingly functional bike networks, and the result is (surprise, surprise) more biking. Bike traffic increased 53 percent in Minneapolis, between 2007 and 2015, and 33 percent in Saint Paul according to city bike counts.
Visitors will notice trails are well used, particularly in Minneapolis, which is always nipping at Portland’s heels, in pursuit of most bike-friendly city in the U.S. Businesses are also beginning to understand that customers travel by bike and more and more bike racks and bike corrals are appearing on sidewalks and streets. Even drivers seem to be more aware of the need to look for bikers.
As popular as biking is, trails are not just the domain of bicyclists. Downtown Minneapolis on a Saturday afternoon may feel quiet, but head east to the river and find runners, walkers, dog-walkers and people doing a variety of activities on the trail.
Walking the trails through the parks systems is certainly an enjoyable way to observe the landscape, but also a great opportunity to people watch and absorb the culture of the cities. Expect to hear Spanish, Somali and Hmong being spoken. Expect the parks to be bustling, especially in the warmer months, and don’t be surprised the action doesn’t stop after October. Walking, running and biking are year-round activities, and hockey, sledding and skiing bring people out in the snow and ice.
In fact, the cold weather is probably one of the main reasons people do live so actively in the Twin Cities. Summer is short and sweet, and so people fully embrace it by spending as much time outdoors as possible. Yet, winter cannot be endured, if one never leaves the house. The conventional wisdom is to get out and embrace winter.
So, it’s not a question of nature versus nurture when trying to understand why the Twin Cities are such a great place to bike and walk. Minneapolis and Saint Paul are great for biking and walking, because they are designed around accessible and attractive outdoor spaces, and because the extreme climate pushes people out the door.
Activity Vendor Directory | Girl Scouts River Valleys Volunteers
Girl Scouts River Valleys approves the following bus companies, horse stables, field trips, and community service vendors for Girl Scout activities. Please contact these vendors directly to learn about their rates, facilities, and programs.
Approved Bus Companies
These companies meet the standards of Girl Scouts River Valleys for transporting girls for trips, activities, and events. Keep in mind that many of these bus companies have wide areas of service, so you do not need to limit your choices based on the city the company is located in.
First Student Charter Bus Rental – Oakdale, MN
For The One Transportation, Inc. – Prior Lake, MN
Hastings Bus Company – Hastings, MN
Lorenz Bus Service – Minneapolis, MN
M & M Bus Service – Annandale, MN
Marschall Line, Inc. – Farmington, MN
Minneapolis & Suburban Bus – Minneapolis, MN
Monarch Bus Service – Roseville, MN
Northfield Lines – Eagan, MN
Rehbein Transit – Circle Pines, MN
Richfield Bus Company – Bloomington, MN
Southwest Coaches Inc – Marshall, MN
Southwest Coaches Inc – Fairmont, MN
Southwest Coaches Inc – Jackson, MN
Thielen Coaches – Redwood Falls, MN
Vision of Buffalo – Buffalo, MN
Vision of Elk River – Elk River, MN
Willmar Bus Service – Willmar, MN
These stables all have been used by Girl Scouts River Valleys troops. Please review the horseback riding section of Safety Activity Checkpoints prior to your activity to ensure any stable you choose meets all listed safety requirements, including but not limited to insurance, instructor certification, and safety helmets.
Bunker Park – Andover, MN
Hardwood Creek Farm – Hugo, MN
Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch – Stewartville, MN
Roselawn Stables – St. Francis, MN
Sunborn Stables – Chisago City, MN
Sunnyside Stables – Rosemount, MN
Community Service Opportunities
These businesses and organizations welcome Girl Scouts looking for volunteer opportunities in their local communities.
Animal Humane Society – Twin Cities Metro, MN
Goodwill Store – Various Cities, MN, WI, IA
Great River Greening – Saint Paul, MN
HOME Program: Household & Outdoor Maintenance for Elderly – Various Cities, MN
Loaves & Fishes – Various Cities, MN
Operation Christmas Child – Various Cities, MN
RCS Giving Garden – Lake Elmo, MN
STEM Bunnies – Richfield, MN
SteppingStone Theatre – Saint Paul, MN
These organizations and businesses welcome Girl Scouts for field trips and events.
“NOT ME!” Training – Minneapolis, MN
Anjee Mai Creations – Minneapolis, MN
Artistry – Bloomington, MN
Benihana Kabuki Sushi – Bloomington, MN
Benihana Kabuki Sushi – Golden Valley, MN
Benihana Kabuki Sushi – Maple Grove, MN
Big River Farms – Marine on St. Croix, MN
Book Club and Author Workshop – Online, MN, WI, IA
Color Me Mine – Eagan, MN
Color Me Mine – Rochester, MN
Como Park Zoo and Conservatory – St Paul, MN
Crex Meadows Wildlife Area – Grantsburg, WI
Cub Store Tours – Various Cities, MN, WI, IA
Dome Ranch – Elmwood, WI
EarThings by Laura – Jewelry Workshops – Minneapolis, MN
Fish & Richardson – Minneapolis, MN
Flying Colors Trapeze – Flying Trapeze and Circus Arts – Marine On Saint Croix, MN
Girls Are Powerful – Minneapolis, MN
I Am Initiative – Minneapolis, MN
Judy’s Sewing School – Chanhassen, MN
Lee and Rose Warner Nature Center – Marine on St Croix, MN
Lifetime Athletic – Chanhassen, MN
Mankato Area Fair Trade Town Initiative – Mankato, MN
MedExpress – Various Cities, MN
MN Center for Book Arts – Minneapolis, MN
Natural Grocers – Rochester, MN
Naturally Curious Education, LLC – Brooklyn Park, MN
North Star Museum of Boy Scouting and Girl Scouting – Saint Paul, MN
Northern Clay Center – Minneapolis, MN
Paint, Paper, Scissors – Twin Cities Metro,
Pavek Museum of Broadcasting – Saint Louis Park, MN
Red Cross Pillowcase Project – Various Cities, MN
River Bend Nature Center – Faribault, MN
S. T.E.M. Bunnies – Bloomington, MN
Science Explorers – Golden Valley, MN
Scott Spinks: Children’s Illustrator and Writer – Twin Cities Metro and Southern Cities, MN
Sea Life Aquarium at the Mall of America – Bloomington, MN
Three Rivers Park District – West Metro, MN
Vertical Endeavors – Saint Paul, MN
Vertical Endeavors – Minneapolis, MN
Way Cool Cooking School – Eden Prairie, MN
Wilderness Inquiry – Minneapolis, MN
Wildman Adventure Resort – Athelstane, WI
Wildman Adventure Resort – Niagara, WI
Wood Lake Nature Center – Richfield, MN
a guide to the best
Minnesota’s capital city has its own set of marquee trails on rivers and lakes.
© Beth Gauper
The Vento Trail passes the old Hamm’s brewery in Swede Hollow.
Minneapolis, having once been named Bicycling magazines No. 1 best city for bicycling, is better known for bicycling than St. Paul.
As usual, St. Paul is overshadowed by its larger twin. But youd never guess it from the throngs of bicyclists on the popular Gateway State Trail, on Summit Avenue through town and on the St. Paul Classic tour, started 12 years before the Minneapolis Bike Tour and the states largest bike tour.
Like Minneapolis, the capital city has paved trails around lakes, past historic landmarks and along the Mississippi.
But it’s only on the St. Paul side that bicyclists get to go by a giant snowman.
Every September, thousands of cyclists are introduced to these trails on the St. Paul Classic, which connects the river to parkways around lakes Phalen and Como and, on the short route, to the Victorian mansions of Summit Avenue.
Summit is the St. Paul equivalent of Minneapolis Midtown Greenway, cutting west-east from the Mississippi to the Capitol and downtown.
Its got a wide bike lane and can be used to make loops with other trails, including the Big Rivers Regional Trail from Mendota, at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota across from Fort Snelling.
This 22-mile route starts at the state’s oldest church, in the former fur-trade hub of Mendota, and heads along the side of the bluffs, lined with historical markers.
This could be the most scenic stretch of trail in the state; bicyclists heading north get great views of the river and downtown St. Paul before they descend to the shady woods of the Lilydale floodplain and pass the St. Paul Yacht Club.
You’ll come out on Harriet Island, where St. Paul holds many of its festivals, including Irish Fair in August.
Cross the Wabasha Bridge and continue along the river or head west along Kellogg Boulevard, past the Science Museum of Minnesota, and up to Summit Avenue past the Cathedral of St. Paul and James J. Hill House.
Its hard to find a route anywhere in the state that passes as many historic sites. For details, see Twin Cities history ride.
But the most-used trail in Minnesota is the Gateway, which is strong on scenery.
In North St. Paul, the Gateway Trail passes a giant snowman.
It starts north of downtown in the shadow of 35E, but people hop on at many places as it heads east, passing Phalen Park and the giant snowman in North St. Paul before heading into countryside near the Fleet Farm in Oakdale.
Then, its all lakes, wetlands and winding trail through forest, occasionally alongside riders on horseback. The trail ends in Pine Point Park, easy striking distance of Square Lake and Marine on St. Croix.
At the north end of Lake Phalen, the Gateway crosses the Bruce Vento Trail, which heads south to Swede Hollow and the nifty Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary.
The other end of this six-mile trail is in downtown St. Paul, near Mears Park and the St. Paul Farmers Market. This is an industrial but historic part of St. Paul, and the nature sanctuary is a hidden gem.
It’s a former rail yard and, before that, site of the 1853 North Star Brewery, eventually bought by Jacob Schmidt.
But the Dakota lived there first, and according to explorer Jonathan Carver in 1766, etched figures on the sandstone walls of the cave they called Wakan Tipi, or Spirit House.
Today, it’s full of wildflowers. Six plaques explain the history.
From the sanctuary, the trail heads north to Swede Hollow, once full of shacks that were home to the immigrants who worked in Hamm’s Brewery, which still looms over the park.
It continues through a light-industrial area before hitting Lake Phalen, whose west shore it follows on a pretty stretch lined by lots of wildflowers, willows and little bridges.
At Parkway Drive, it connects with the Gateway State Trail. You can use that to head east toward Stillwater or west toward Lake Como and Minneapolis.
Or, you can circle Round Lake in Phalen Park, then head back to downtown St. Paul on the east shore of Lake Phalen.
With so many rivers, parkways and off-road trails in the Twin Cities, everything’s connected.
Trip Tips: Bicycling in and around St. PaulEvents: The St. Paul Classic bike tour, always on the Sunday after Labor Day, hits most of the highlights in the city and is on mostly traffic-free streets. It’s a lot of fun, with live music and treats at frequent rest stops.
© Beth Gauper
The Gateway Trail passes several small lakes.
The start and finish is at the University of St. Thomas, near Summit Avenue and the Mississippi River.
Gateway State Trail: This paved, 18-mile trail from St. Paul to Pine Point Park in Stillwater Township is very popular with in-line skaters, runners and walkers as well as bicyclists.
western trailhead starts from Cayuga Avenue and I-35E (from the
Pennsylvania Avenue exit just north of downtown, head .4 mile north).
often-shady trail passes ponds, wetlands and Phalen Park. At Mile 7,
bicyclists pass the giant snowman in North St. Paul (across from the
high school, whose teams are the Polars).
Many people park at Mile 8.5 in the trail lot at the southeast corner of Hadley Avenue and Minnesota 36 in Oakdale. There’s a porta-potty and water fountain.
From there, the trail heads north for nearly 10 miles of non-stop country scenery. At the end, Pine Point Park has bathrooms, water and picnic tables.
However, bicyclists also can head east to Stillwater on the paved, six-mile Brown’s Creek State Trail. Built along the route of the old Minnesota Zephyr excursion train, it follows a trout stream and gently descends through wooded bluffs to the St. Croix River.
© Beth Gauper
The Big Rivers Regional Trail winds along the Mississippi River past sandstone cliffs.
For those who continue to Pine Point Park, it’s only four miles to Washington County’s Square Lake Park, which is one of the Twin Cities’ best swimming lakes. Ride north on Norell Avenue, then east on Square Lake Trail.
Another popular destination is the St. Croix River village of Marine on St. Croix.
From Square Lake, head north on St. Paul Avenue/County Road 7, then
east on Nason Hill Road/County Road 7. Warning: The ride back starts
with a very steep hill.
Bruce Vento Trail: You can latch onto this eight-mile trail, named for the late environmentalist congressman from St. Paul, at several points.
If you’re riding along the river from other trails, you can start off Kellogg Boulevard at Broadway Street, two blocks southeast of Mears Park.
Turn right on Fifth Street, then right on John Street, and go under the Lafayette Bridge and along Fourth Street to the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary.
Or, start at Swede Hollow just off Payne Avenue and Seventh Street, where there’s a parking area, and head north, turning toward Phalen Park at Johnson Parkway.
Big Rivers Regional Trail loop. This 4-mile Dakota County trail starts in Mendota and follows the sandstone river bluffs, often with great views of the river and downtown St. Paul, before descending to the floodplain in Lilydale.
Paved trails continue to downtown St. Paul, and it’s easy to make a 22-mile loop by crossing the river and taking the Samuel Morgan Regional Trail to the riverside trails in Crosby Farm Regional Park, Hidden Falls Regional Park and along Mississippi Boulevard.
Cross the Ford Parkway bridge to Minnehaha Park, take the Fort Snelling Trail to Fort Snelling and return to Mendota on the Mendota Bridge.
For details, see Twin Cities history ride.
Mississippi River Trail. The first signs of this developing 3,000-mile trail, also called U.S. Bicycle Route 45, have appeared around downtown St. Paul on previously unnamed stretches of bike trail.
For an 18-mile loop, park at the north end of Hidden Falls Regional Park in St. Paul, just north of the Highway 5 and Mississippi River Boulevard. Head south through that park and Crosby Farm to I-35.
Cross I-35 with
the underpass. At Randolph, turn toward the river on the Samuel Morgan
At Jackson Street, use city streets to cross the Wabasha Bridge or continue along the Lower Landing to watch the barge and tugboat traffic and return at the Childs turnoff (this adds three miles to the route).
© Bicycle Alliance
Bicyclists pass the Como Park pavilion during the Saint Paul Classic.
Across the Wabasha Bridge, continue on the Big Rivers route (see above). On the west end of the Mendota Bridge, ride between the officer quarters and fort to steps that lead to the Highway 5 bridge. Cross, turn left and ride to the north gate of Hidden Falls.
Getting to St. Paul trails from Minneapolis
For more, see Biking in Minneapolis and Bicycling west of Minneapolis.
The very popular 5-mile Midtown Greenway, operated by a nonprofit coalition, cuts across south Minneapolis from Bde Maka Ska to the Mississippi River. It’s paved and uses an above-street railroad trestle from the river through the Seward neighborhood, paralleling 27th Street.
At the river end, bicyclists can connect to St. Paul’s parkways by heading either south to the Lake-Marshall Bridge or north to the Franklin Bridge.
To reach Summit Avenue, head south to the Lake-Marshall Bridge, cross and head south along the river parkway. To reach the Big Rivers Regional Trail, don’t cross; keep going south to Minnehaha Park.
To reach the Gateway State Trail, ride north to the Franklin Bridge.
Cross and follow 27th Avenue S.E. across University Avenue to 4th
Street S.E., just east of the new University of Minnesota stadium.
Just to the north, the University of Minnesota Transitway for buses and bicycles makes for an easy ride to the State Fairgrounds. The first part now has been claimed by the Central Corridor light-rail line, but ride east on 4th Street and catch the transitway off 30th Avenue.
From there, it’s an easy ride to Como Avenue.
Follow Como Avenue to the southeast corner of Lake Como. From there, it’s a three-mile ride on Wheelock Parkway to connect with the Gateway State Trail, three blocks east of I-35 (this is not a trailhead; you’ll have to carry bikes up a dirt path to the overpass).
Nearby state trails
Across the St. Croix River from Taylors Falls, Minn., 15 minutes north of Stillwater, the Gandy Dancer State Trail heads north from St. Croix Falls, Wis.
For more about St. Croix Falls and the Gandy Dancer trail, see Trail mix.
Just to the south, the new Stower Seven Lakes trail heads east from Dresser to Amery.
For more, see Savoring the Seven Lakes.
Gymnastics meets horseback riding at Minnesota State Fair
The Minnesota State Fair has one of the premier horse expositions in the Upper Midwest and all events are free with gate admission. Each year, the Fair offers new features to the horse show.
New to the 2014 State Fair was the Northern Lakes Vaulters and Gaited Horse Demonstration at the Warner Coliseum Aug. 24. The large audience was in awe watching graceful gymnastic aerial moves on the back of a trotting horse.
Gymnastics looks difficult enough on a sturdy, steady gymnastics floor, but to see gymnastic movements recreated on the saddle of a moving horse is a wonderment and an admiration for both beast and performer.
Equestrian vaulting has been an international sport since 1983 and it involves the rider, either as an individual or as part of a team, performing gymnastic exercises on a lunge horse who is being controlled by the lunger, according to the Equestrian and Horse website.
Northern Lakes Vaulters coach Elizabeth Whillock said the State Fair demonstration was to show people what vaulting is all about. “In Germany, you learn to vault before you learn to ride. You would learn to balance before you go on a saddle. [In the United States] most people learn to ride before learning to vault.”
The award-winning Northern Lakes Vaulters performed compulsories and individual freestyle. “The compulsories teach the rider balance and strength. An individual freestyle is a one-minute routine choreographed to music. A freestyle vaulting routine may include mounts and dismounts, handstands, knelling and standing and aerial moves such as jumps and leaps,” said announcer Rand Whillock.
Graceful and fun to watch, the demonstrations involved two horses, Parry and Iceland. Parry has been vaulting for ten years while Iceland was new to vaulting. Parry, lunged by Emma Dalzell, is a 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood and is 16.3 hands high. Iceland, lunged by Chris Vint, is a 12-year-old Percheron Appaloosa Cross and is 17 hands high. “Any horse can be a vaulting horse. There is no set size or breed that you need for vaulting. The horse needs to be at least five years old, an adequate size to carry the vaulter or vaulters on its back, needs to be able to lunge, have a steady gait and a calm disposition,” said Rand.
The five vaulters getting on and off the horses at the State Fair are part of the12-member Northern Lakes Vaulters club. While the vaulting at the State Fair was a demonstration, vaulting is an artistic riding discipline and is a competitive individual and team sport. During freestyle competitions, both rider and horse are judged.
“Vaulting started when humans began riding animals. Long before we had saddles, humans had to vault on,” said Rand. “Early human stone paintings depict horses with persons standing on them.”
Vaulting was widely used in early military days and many soldier’s lives were spared because he was trained to vault back on his horse after he was unseated in battle and he was able to ride and fight at the same time, according to Rand.
The riders did not have the use of helmets as they performed their horse gymnastics. Rand said that vaulting is the safest equestrian sport. “Our accident rate is lower than golf and is the only equestrian sport that has never had a riding fatality in its history.”
The Minnesota State Fair runs Aug. 21 through Labor Day, Sept. 1.
(Above) Performers from the Northern Lakes Vaulters club enter the Warner Coliseum.
(Above) The award-wining Northern Lakes Vaulters was a new feature at the Minnesota State Fair Horse Show.
(Above) Members of the Northern Lakes Vaulters club receive instructions from coach Elizabeth Whillock.
(Above) In equestrian vaulting, the rider is in harmony with the horse.
(Above and below) Vaulting has two components: compulsories and freestyle.
(Above) Both rider and horse are judged in equestrian vaulting competitions.
(Above) The Warner Coliseum holds several daily free, with gate admission, horse demonstrations and comeptitions.
(Above) Horses and riders warming up for a State Fair horse show.
(Above) A Peruvian horse demonstration followed the equestrian vaulters.
(Above) Vaulting and Rocky Mountain horses wait their turn outside the Warner Coliseum.
Hiking in Minneapolis and St Paul – Hidden Locations to Avoid the Crowds
Current Problem- there are so many hikes I want to do and not enough weekends in the year to do them all. With the government encouraging us to #HikeLocal, people have been finding great hidden locations in their own backyard. There has never been a better time to enjoy hiking in Minneapolis and St Paul than today. I’m sharing my favorite hidden hiking in Minneapolis and St Paul to avoid the crowds.
This post is sponsored by DayTripper. It may surprise you to know that DayTripper sponsor 95% of the post. There may be affiliate links within the post. Clicking on them doesn’t cost you anything more. But I do earn a small commission. I never promote things I don’t stand behind.
Hidden Hiking in Minneapolis and St Paul
As always the State of Minnesota has some great parks, but during the Stay At Home Orders, they have become so busy, some have had to close. Others are turning people away when they arrive because they’ve already reached capacity on the trails. Visit during off-peak times, weekdays, or early on the weekends to start exploring. Or do what I’ve been doing, and Hike Local. Pick up your Hydration Backpack and join me on the trail!
Schaar’s Bluff – Hastings
A great place to hike is Schaar’s Bluff at Spring Lake Park in Hastings MN. The park has a few different trails, paved paths, and other areas to explore along the Minnesota River. The park is broken into two sections, the Bluff, and the River Bottom. My favorite place to hike is the lower section, along the archery area. You’ll have the place completely to yourself.
Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve – Savage
This underdeveloped area of Savage is a great opportunity for hiking in Minneapolis and St Paul. The Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve has a lush forest and is very hilly. For this reason, it is one of the most challenging places to Cross Country Ski in the winter. Thankfully, it’s not a problem for hikers! Because of how little it’s traveled through, birdwatchers love to visit.
Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area – Shakopee, Carver and Jordan
Stretching from Shakopee to Jordan, the Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area is a great hiking location. The flat trails along the MN River make it easy enough for anyone to do it. Hiking in the Louisville Swamp or the Lawrence Unit where you’ll see what floods can do to the forest floor after the waters recede. Stay closer to town in Shakopee’s Huber or Memorial Park for paved trails.
Carver Nature Reserve – Victoria and Waconia
The Carver Nature Reserve is made up of parks, lakes, and woodland. Located between Highway 5 and 7, almost all land off of Victoria Drive is included in the Nature Reserve. My favorite hiking trails are at the Lower Nature Center. Acorn Trail is the most traveled. For a little space, take the loop around Crosby Lake. Don’t forget to visit with the raptors on display outside. They house a few birds that were rescued. It’s always the highlight of the trip.
Chanhassen Nature Reserve – Chanhassen
The Chanhassen Nature Reserve consists of hidden locations throughout Chanhassen. Every unclaimed area of land containing streams, marsh, and a lake is preserved as part of the nature reserve. They include forested areas, woodland, marshy boardwalks. This is a great place to break out your Field Guides to Wildlife, Birds, Trees & Wildflowers of Minnesota your family will enjoy identifying all the wildlife you encounter.
Wolsfeld Woods Scientific and Natural Area – Long Lake
Wolsfeld Lake, Oaks, Maples, and more. There are numerous hiking and horseback riding trails within the Wolsfeld Woods Scientific and Natural Area. The Wolsfeld family settled in this area in the 1850s. Every spring they tapped the trees for Maple Syrup. The maple syrup saved the big woods from being chopped down for farmland. Today, it’s managed by the DNR and has been left natural. This is a great place to hike in Minneapolis and St Paul for those that love hiking up north in the big woods.
Big Willow Park – Minnetonka
Big Willow Park is a recent discovery of mine, that the locals of Minnetonka have been hiding. There are great trails and offshoots to explore. It winds between wetlands, woods, and streams. This spring we found painted rocks that someone put along the trail. It’s beautiful at all times of the day. The best paths to explore are on All Trails.
Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary – Saint Paul
One of the lesser-known areas in St. Paul is the Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary. The sanctuary connects to the larger Trout Brook Regional Trail. The sanctuary has a nature trail, hiking, biking, and restrooms.
Richard T Anderson Conservation Area – Eden Prairie
Along the southern border of Eden Prairie is some stunning bluffs. Eden Prairie has developed an amazing series of trails in the Richard T Anderson Conservation Area. Not for the week of heart, the hiking trail goes up and down the bluffs a few times, but you are rewarded with beautiful overlooks. At the bottom, next to the parking lot, is a natural spring to fill up your water bottle at. It is a challenging hike, but worth it!
Lost Valley – Hastings
A mix of Dry Bedrock, Bluff Prairie, Woodland, and Prairie reconstruction. The Lost Valley hiking area is a beautiful area to explore, perfect for photographers. There is a field road going through the middle of the scientific and natural area.
Lake Maria State Park – Monticello
One of the small state parks in the Twin Cities, Lake Maria State Park has a few smaller hiking trails and some camping. The hiking is primarily through woodlands and alongside Lake Maria. Even with its proximity to water, be prepared to climb a few hills.
Shadow Falls – Saint Paul
A hiking trail I love to do is Shadow Fall. Think Minnehaha but without the crowds. Located on the river, there are tons of trails and ways to explore the small park. Just about everywhere on the hike, you’ll have amazing views. Bring your boots because this one will get you wet!
More Popular Hikes in Minneapolis and St Paul
These trails on a normal day can be busy. During social distancing, the crowds have doubled or tripled from their normal size. These are still doable, but you need to get there early. I’m talking before 10 am if you want to park.
Afton State Park – Hastings
Probably the most popular on the list. Afton State Park has some great trails to explore. The trail is hilly, rocky, and goes through prairie, woods, and along the river shoreline. Get here early, and maybe on a cooler day as the hills at the end can feel like they go on forever.
Fort Snelling State Park
Fort Snelling is a fabulous place to explore with many trails to choose from. Their trail connects to Minnehaha Regional Park. During the springtime and into summer, areas of the park often flood so check before you leave. There are also interpretive centers, beaches, and other places to explore in the park.
Minnehaha Regional Park Trail – Minneapolis
The most iconic in Minneapolis and St Paul is Minnehaha Regional Park. The waterfall is the epicenter of all the traffic. During a nice summer day, it feels like a summer festival is going on. But if you make your way away from the park, you’ll find a bunch of trails that branch off, like the one connecting to Fort Snelling.
Other Hiking in Minneapolis and St Paul
For more hidden hiking trails in Minneapolis and St Paul that are part of the DNRs Scientific and Natura Area, check out: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/snas/list.html. There are tons of hidden locations around the state. Not all have developed trails. There are many more in Minneapolis and St Paul area that does not have developed trails. They are worth checking out. You can also visit your home town’s website and see what your local parks are nearby. Or do what I did this past weekend, and visit places you explored when you were a kid!
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|Type of Service||Intercity Railway|
|State of Affairs||Operating Room|
|First Service||June 10 1929 g.|
|Current Operator (s)||Amtrak (1971 – Present)|
|Former Operator (s)|| Great Northern (1929-1970) |
Burlington Northern (1970-1971)
|Horse Riding||1.285 per day|
|Annual Race||469 167 total (FY 2011) |
|End|| Portland, Oregon |
|Distance traveled|| 2206 miles (3550 km) (Chicago – Seattle) |
2,257 miles (3.632 km) (Chicago – Portland)
|Service frequency||Three flights per week |
|Train number (s)|| 7 (Chicago-Spokane-Seattle) |
27 (Chicago-Spokane-Portlen e)
807 (Chicago – St. Paul)
808 (St. Paul Chicago)
|Class (s)||Coaching class and sleeping cars|
|Seating||2/2 seats for airline style buses|
|Sleeping units||Superliner room (2 beds), Superliner bedroom (2 beds), Family Superliner bedroom (4 beds), Suite with Superliner bedroom (4 beds), Accessible room (2 beds)|
|Catering facilities||Flexible meals (temporarily due to COVID-19)|
|Observation facilities||Superliner Observation Lounge|
|Luggage Items||Viewliner Baggage Car / Superliner Baggage Bus|
|Rolling Stock|| GE Gen esis locomotives |
Superliner sleepers and trainers
|Gauge||4 ft8 1 ⁄ 2 in (1435 mm)|
|Operating speed|| 79 mph (127 km / h) max. |
50 mph (80 km / h) Average
|Track Owner (s)|
B Builder Empire is an Amtrak long distance passenger train that operates three times a week  between Chicago and (two sections west of Spokane) Seattle and Portland. Introduced in 1929, it was the flagship passenger train of the Great Northern Railway and its successor, the Burlington Northern Railway, and was retained by Amtrak when it took over intercity rail services in 1971.
Travel time from end to end of the route is 45–46 hours for an average speed of about 50 mph (80 km / h), although the train travels at 79 mph (127 km / h) for the most part. route. This is Amtrak’s busiest intercity route.
During Fiscal Year 2019 Empire Builder carried 433,372 passengers, an increase of 1.1% over FY 2018.  During fiscal 2016, total train revenue was $ 51,798,583, up 2.5% from fiscal 2015. 
The Great Northern Railroad inaugurated the Empire Builder on June 10, 1929. It was named after the founder of the company, James J. Hill, who reorganized several bankrupt railways in the only successful attempt to build a private transcontinental railroad. He reached the Pacific Northwest in the late 19th century and earned him the nickname “Empire Builder” for this feat.  Following World War II, the Great Northern deployed new streamlined and operational diesel trains that cut the planned 2,211 miles between Chicago and Seattle from 58.5 hours to 45 hours. 
The timetable allowed riders to view the Cascade Mountains and Glacier National Park, a park created through Great Northern lobbying efforts. Converted to the dome in 1955, the Empire Builder offered passengers stunning views of the route through three dome carriages and one full-length. The Big Dome is a car for first class passengers. 
In 1970, the Great Northern merged with three other closely related railways to form the Burlington Northern Railroad, with the job of Builder. Amtrak took over the train when it began operating most intercity routes a year later, and displaced the Chicago-St. Paul kicking to the Milwaukee Road route through Milwaukee en route to St. Paul.  Until 1971, the Chicago – St. Paul Noga used the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad along the Mississippi River through Wisconsin. The service was also used to operate west of the sister cities before turning northwest to Willmar, Minnesota to reach Fargo.
Amtrak added a Portland section in 1981 when the train split in Spokane. This is a rebuilt service of a line previously operated by Spokane, Portland and the Seattle Railroad.  This was not the first time a train had run on the Seattle and Portland sections; Great Northern divided Builder in Spokane for much of the 1940s and 1950s.  
In 2005, Amtrak upgraded the service to include a wine and cheese tasting in the dining car for sleeper passengers and free newspapers in the morning.  The Amtrak Inspector General canceled some of these services in 2013 as part of an austerity measure. 
During the summer months, on selected sections of the route, volunteer guides from Trails and Rails in the saloon carriage comment on visual and historical sights that can be seen from the train. 
At Empire Builder is Amtrak’s most popular long-distance train. For the 2007-2016 fiscal years, 90,048 Empire Builder 90,049, the annual passenger traffic averaged 500,000, of which 554,266 in fiscal 2008.Revenue peaked in fiscal 2013 at $ 67,394,779. [a] About 65% of train operating costs are covered by travel revenue, Amtrak’s long-distance train rate is second only to the dedicated East Coast. Auto Train . 
|Horse riding||Change from previous year||Ticket income||Change from previous year|
|2007 ||504.977||–||$ 53,177,760||–|
|2008 ||554.266||09.76%||$ 59,461,168||011.81%|
|2009 ||515.444||07.0%||$ 54,064,861||09.07%|
|2010 ||533% 533||$ 58,497,143||08.19%|
|2011 ||469.167||012.05%||$ 53,773,711||08.07%|
|2012 543.072.75%||$ 66,655,153||023.95%|
|2013 ||536.391||01.23%||$ 67,394,779||01.1%|
|2014 ||4509||$ 54,545,844||019.06%|
|2015 ||438.376||02.78%||$ 50,541,140||07.34%|
| 2016  || 454.6 037% || $ 51,798,583 || 02.48% |
RoutePortland Section Empire Builder at Union Station in Portland, Oregon.
Current Amtrak Empire Builder travels through Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois. This stops service to Spokane, Washington; Le Havre, Montana; Minot, North Dakota; and St. Paul, Minnesota. His other major stops include Vancouver, Washington; Sig, Montana; Williston, North Dakota; Fargo, North Dakota; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It uses the BNSF North Transcon Railroad from Seattle to Minneapolis, Minnesota Commercial from Minneapolis to St.Paul, the Canadian Pacific (formerly Milwaukee Road) from St. Roundout to Chicago.The section from St. Paul to Chicago currently follows the route of the former Twin Cities of Hiawatha. In the days before Amtrak, he used Gemini marshmallows for routing.
The Seattle section uses the Cascade Tunnel and Stevens Pass as it crosses the Cascade Range to reach Spokane, and the Portland section runs along the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge. Cars from two sections are combined in Spokane. The combined train then crosses the mountains of the northeast. Washington, northern Idaho and northwest Montana, arriving at Whitefish in the morning.Schedules are designed so that the train passes through the Rocky Mountains (and Glacier National Park) during the day, a phenomenon that is more likely to occur on a train heading east in summer. Passengers get stunning views as Builder walks the middle fork in the Flathead River, crossing the Continental Divide at Marias Pass. After crossing Marias Pass , Empire Builder leaves Glacier National Park and enters the Northern Plains of eastern Montana and North Dakota.
Land changes from prairie to forest as you travel through Minnesota. From Minneapolis-St. Paul, then Builder crosses the Mississippi River at Hastings, Minnesota and passes through Southeastern Minnesota cities at or near Lake Pepin before crossing the Mississippi again at La Crosse, Wisconsin. It passes through the countryside of southern Wisconsin, turns south into Milwaukee, and ends at Chicago Union Station.
West Empire Builder leaves Chicago early afternoon, arrives in Milwaukee shortly before the hustle and bustle of the day, and in St. Paul in the evening.After traveling overnight in Minnesota, he spends most of the next day cruising North Dakota and Montana, arriving in Glacier National Park in the early evening and crashing late in the evening in Spokane. The Seattle section drives through the Cascades overnight and arrives in Seattle in the middle of the morning. The Portland section arrives at Tri-Cities right before breakfast and Portland in the middle of the morning. The eastbound sections of Seattle and Portland depart within five minutes of each other shortly before the noon hustle and bustle, teaming up in Spokane and traveling Montana for the night before arriving at Glacier National Park in the middle of the morning and Williston at lunchtime.After an overnight journey through North Dakota and Minnesota, he arrives in St. Paul for breakfast, Columbus / Madison for lunch, Milwaukee in the afternoon, and Chicago just before the midday hustle and bustle.
Stops at Milwaukee Airport and Stertevante were added from March 21, 2020 to replace Hiawatha Service trains stopped due to COVID-19 due to a sharp drop in demand. 
The line was threatened with flooding from the Missouri, Suris, Red and Mississippi rivers and had to suspend or change operations from time to time.Most services recover in days or weeks, but North Dakota’s Devils Lake, with no natural outlet, is a long-standing threat. The smallest height of the top of the rails at the lake crossing is 1,455.7 feet (443.70 m).  In the spring of 2011, the lake reached an altitude of 1,454.3 feet (443.27 m),  causing disruption of service on windy days when high waves threatened the trail.
BNSF, which owns the track, suspended freight traffic across Lake Devils in 2009 and threatened to allow rising waters to cover the line if Amtrak could not provide $ 100 million to raise the track.In this case, Empire Builder would be redirected south, discontinuing service to Rugby, Devils Lake, and Grand Forks.  In June 2011, an agreement was reached that Amtrak and BNSF would cover 1/3 of the cost each, and the rest would be provided by the federal and state governments. 
In December 2011, North Dakota received a $ 10 million award. A TIGER grant from the US Department of Transportation to help with the government portion of the cost.  Work commenced in June 2012 and the track is being raised in two stages: 5 feet in 2012 and another 5 feet in 2013. Also, two bridges and their supports are being erected. When the rails are finished lifting, the height of the top of the rails will be 1,466 feet (446.84 m).  This is 10 feet above the level at which the lake will naturally overflow and thus provide a permanent solution to the Lake Devils flooding problem. In the spring and summer of 2011, floods in the Suris River near Minot, North Dakota blocked the route in the latter.part of June and most of July. For a while Empire Builder (typically only four cars) fled Chicago and ended up in Minneapolis / St. Paul; West Empire Builder did not flee east of Le Havre, Montana. (Other locations along the route were also flooded, near Lake Devils in North Dakota and in areas further west along the Missouri River.) an increase in the number of crude oil and grain trains using the North Transcon in Montana and North Dakota.The resulting congestion resulted in dire delays for Empire Builder, A train on-time rate of 44.5% in November 2013, the worst timeliness rate for any Amtrak route and well below Congress standards. In some cases, delays have resulted in crew and equipment imbalances, forcing Amtrak to cancel launches of Empire Builder .  By May 2014, only 26% Empire Builder trains arrived within 30 minutes after the scheduled time, with delays on average 3 to 5 hours.  In some cases, congestion and severe weather conditions resulted in delays ranging from 11 to 12 hours.  This was a notable change from past years, when Empire Builder was one of the best timeliness scores in the entire system, beating even the flagship Acela Express. 
Due to increasing delays, Amtrak adjusted its timetable west of St. Paul on 15 April 2014.Trains west left St. Paul later, and trains east left Seattle / Portland about three hours earlier. The opening hours of the affected stations have also been officially adjusted. The Amtrak announcement also said that the BNSF railroad is working to increase track capacity, and it was expected that sometime in 2015, Empire Builder could be returned to its previous schedule. In January 2015, it was announced that the train would return to normal operation.  
Even during the worst delays, the train often met with the patronage of Bakken field workers and their families getting on and off the train.Williston. 
In 1970 construction and filling of Lake Cocanus required a 60 mile re-alignment between Stryker, Montana, and Libby, Montana, and the construction of the Flat Tunnel, leading Empire Builder out of service Eureka, Montana … In Empire Builder also served Troy, Montana, until February 15, 1973
October 1, 1979 Empire Builder was rerouted to work across the North Coast Hiawatha ‘ old route between Minneapolis and Fargo, North Dakota.With this alignment change Empire Builder Fallen Willmar, Minnesota; Morris, Minnesota; and Breckenridge, Minnesota, with the addition of St. Cloud, Minnesota; Staples, Minnesota; and Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.
Another rerouting occurred on October 25, 1981, when the Seattle section was changed from the old route. North Pacific (which also became part of BN in 1970) Burlington North Railroad through the Cascade Tunnel over Stevens Pass.This change eliminated serving Yakima, Washington, Ellensburg, Washington, and Auburn, Washington.  This change also introduced a Portland section that returned service to the former Spokane-Portland-Seattle rail line (which became part of BN in 1970) along the Washington Columbia River. The route was retained by Pascoe but added Vishram, Bingen-White Salmon and Vancouver (all in Washington) to the route. From Vancouver to Portland Section , Empire Builder uses the same route as Coast Starlight and Cascades to Portland Union Station.
It has been proposed that Empire Builder and Hiawatha Service train service Glenview, Illinois, their stop should be moved one station north to Meter station in North Glenview to eliminate stops that are blocking traffic on Glenview – road. North Glenview will need to be modified to handle additional traffic and this move will be subject to commitments by Glenview, the Illinois General Assembly, and Meter.  Minnesota Empire Builder returned to the St. Paul Union Depot on May 7, 2014, 43 years after the station was last serviced the day before Amtrak’s launch.Renovation of the 1917 Fine Arts Terminal was carried out in 2011 and continued until 2013, resulting in the construction of a multi-mode terminal used by Jefferson Bus Lines, Greyhound Bus, commuter bus and Metro Green Line, providing a light rail link to downtown Minneapolis.  The station was replaced by Midway Station which opened in 1978 after the St. Paul Union warehouse was abandoned in 1971 and the Minneapolis Great North Depot was demolished in 1978.
|July 4, 1963|
Like all long-distance trains west of the Mississippi River, Empire Builder uses a two-tier Superliner passenger car. In , the Empire Builder was the first train to be fully equipped with a Superliner, with its maiden run on October 28, 1979.  In the summer of 2005, the train was “restarted” with updated equipment.
Typical Empire Builder Train set up as follows (with assigned section west of Spokane shown in brackets):
- Two GE Genesis P42 locomotives
- Viewliner Baggage Car (Seattle)
- Transitional Crew Bunk (Seattle)
- Sleeper (Seattle)
- Sleep (Seattle)
- Diner (Seattle)
- Coach (Seattle)
- Coach (Seattle)
- Sightseer Lounge / Cafe (Portland) / Baggage (Portland)
- Coach (Portland)
- Sleeping (Portland)
- Coach (Chicago – St. Paul only)
In Spokane, the train heading west is split: locomotives, baggage car and first six passenger cars (including diner) continue travel to Seattle as Train 7, while the only P42 locomotive from Spokane is used to transport the five rear carriages (including the lounge / cafe) to Portland as Train 27.To the east, the sections are combined in reverse order: the Seattle section is numbered Train 8 and the Portland section is Train 28.
An additional bus is added to the back of the train between Chicago and St. Paul during peak travel periods. He is left overnight in St. Paul to be picked up the next day. This carriage is designated train 807 westerly and train 808 westerly.
When first launched in 1929, Great Northern introduced a new heavyweight division.When the railway received five new modernized trains in 1947, the old heavy trains were used to resume production. Oriental Limited . In 1951, Empire Builder was refitted with six new modernized trains; 1947 cars were used to launch West Star , while Oriental Limited was retired. When GN acquired the dome buses in 1955, the 1951 coaches went to West Star , and the 1947 coaches ended up in the reserve and super mobile coaches.Vehicle ownership of Empire Builder was largely split between the Great North and Chicago, Burlington and the Quincy Railroad (CB&Q), although a pair of cars originally belonged to the Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railroad (SP&S). In this train, one of the 48-seat chairlifts and one of the 4-section sleepers were used to connect to Portland, and the rest of the train to Seattle.
Great Northern buses eventually found their way into government-subsidized commuter services for the New Jersey Central Railroad following the Burlington Northern merger and remained until 1987 when NJ Transit decommissioned its last E8A locomotive. “Superliners are dispatched to service on the Empire Builder Route.” NEWS Amtrak . 6 (12): 1.November 1979
- Headey, Ralph W .; Headey, Muriel E.; Scott, Roy W .; Hofsammer, Don L. (2004) . Great Northern Railway: History . Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 978-0-816-64429-2 . OCLC 54885353. CS1 maint: ref = harv (communication)
- Sanders, Craig (2006). Amtrak in Heartland . Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-34705-3 . CS1 maint: ref = harv (communication)
- Weiner, Robert J., Ed. (1972). Names, numbers and composition of cars . New York: Weiner Publications. OCLC 8848690
- Yen, Bill (2005). Builder of the Great Northern Empire . Great passenger trains. MBI. ISBN 0-7603-1847-6 . OCLC 57142776.
- Morgan, David P.(2016). “Train with a clean window.” In McGonigal, Robert S. (ed.). Great Trains West . Waukesha, Wisconsin: Kalmbach Publishing. S. 96-107. ISBN 978-1-62700-435-0 .
- Welsh, Joe (Dec 2000). Empire Builder: Seven Decades of Service. Trains . 60 (12): 72-80. ISSN 0041-0934.
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Ramsey County (Saint Paul): Horseback riding and riding vacation!
Cm.our directory of regions within the region of Ramsey County and select one of our regions to get a fully featured list. We feature horse riding academies, riding stables, horse farms and riding facilities in Ramsey County. Horseback riding people will find horseback riding vacation opportunities and trip holidays in the Ramsey County region. Of course, there are also classic riding schools that offer riding training and education in the Ramsey County area.
Regional Description: Riding in Ramsey County
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This is our Complete List with the stables, riding schools and farms that we have in the area. If your stable is not listed here and you are not yet logged in as a user, you can log in.Please use the button below for your registration. Registration at ride77.com is free. Horse Riding Horse can provide a variety of information on our catalog. They can use a photo album. They can also use maps found in local searches and many other things.
Add my facility to the horse riding directory!register! 90,000 horns up or down? How to charge a talisman, guarding a horseshoe for good luck, good luck: conspiracies
So that there is always money in the house, there are no quarrels, they hang a horseshoe.Next, find out how to hang it correctly and where so that it starts to act.
In ancient times, when the horse was considered the main mode of transport, a tradition arose – to hang a horseshoe at the entrance and inside the dwelling. People believed that this talisman would bring happiness, prosperity, luck and even love to their family. It was believed that a horseshoe is able to protect household members from damage, thieves, evil eye and other bad energy from the outside. Also, this product is placed in the place where the money is. But for this they use not an ordinary heel for horses, but a small horseshoe, which is made in the form of a talisman.
The value of the horseshoe as an amulet
The horseshoe is considered a talisman of good luck. It combines several auspicious symbols:
- horse – strength, goodness, fertility, inspiration and hard work;
- blacksmith – the cleansing power of fire;
- iron – protection from evil spirits, honesty and courage.
An ancient legend says: once a devil got in the way of a blacksmith. He was not frightened, but nailed the paws of the unclean man to the floor of the workshop with strong nails.
The demon begged for mercy, and the blacksmith agreed to let him go. He took the word from the devil that he would go around all the houses in which there is a horseshoe.
In ancient times, blacksmiths were treated with honor, although they were afraid of them. They worked with iron and fire – sacred objects for man. A horseshoe made by a good craftsman is not only a talisman that attracts good luck, but also a talisman for the home.
How to properly attach a horseshoe over the door, how many nails are nailed into the horseshoe?
Many Old Believers argue that it is undesirable for a talisman to arrive with nails.Because when a horse loses its horseshoe, it doesn’t want to be shod again. Therefore, it is good if the owner of the home hangs the symbol of good luck on a string. Most often, this is how the Slavs fastened the horseshoes above the door at the entrance to the dwelling.
Horseshoe attached with a nail
According to another version, the guardian is nailed down with one nail. So that he served the owner for many years. This is how the owner proves his strength to the horseshoe.
According to the third version, the symbol of luck must be nailed down.Their number should be equal to the number of holes in the amulet. The spirits that are in the horseshoe will not be able to leave it and will fulfill all the wishes of the owner.
IMPORTANT : In the old days, ancestors hung a talisman with horns up on the doors inside the house. Outside – the talisman was attached only with horns down. In this form, he protected the dwelling from evil spirits.
Why find a horseshoe
Many peoples believe that a horseshoe brings happiness to a family. The homeland of belief is ancient Egypt.In ancient times, Pharaoh’s horses had golden horseshoes. Whoever found such an item was a really happy person .
The value depended on where it was found:
- on a rural road – to great luck;
- on his site , in the garden – to support relatives and friends, to success in all matters;
- on the city road – to wealth.
Finding an old horseshoe is a very good omen.Such an object is charged with a force that pushes the horse off the ground. It reflects negativity and attracts good luck.
Can a used horseshoe be weighed at home?
The best amulet is a horseshoe worn by a horse. And even if she is very old, then it’s okay. The power of such a symbol of happiness is much greater than that of souvenirs that can be bought in a store. The most interesting thing is that the older the heel of the horse, the better it is for the amulet. You can find these horseshoes:
- at horse exhibitions
- at riding schools
- at horse farms, hippodromes
- in villages, villages.
Horseshoe for good luck
The charm will have a strong effect if:
- The owner finds it purely by chance
- Someone from family members or friends will give it to the owner of the house
You can also buy or make the charm yourself.
If you decide to buy a talisman, then keep in mind that they come in different colors due to the fact that they undergo a special treatment – patina. And amulets of different colors have a different effect from each other.
Nowadays it is difficult to find a real horseshoe, therefore they use souvenir ones, they are decorated with different figurines, bells, ribbons, rhinestones, rings, etc.
In addition, horseshoes come in different colors due to the fact that they undergo a special treatment – patina. And amulets of different colors have a different effect from each other.
- Steel-colored products protect people from burns and skin diseases.
- Amulets of a golden hue give the owners confidence, relieve bad mood.
- Copper-colored horseshoes relieve depressive disorders, stomach problems.
- Silver – will save you from colds, help you avoid slander, witchcraft.
IMPORTANT : The amulet cannot be stolen. Otherwise, instead of a positive impact on your home and inhabitants, you will only get negative and a constant lack of funds for subsistence.
Horseshoe is a tried and tested amulet by our ancestors. Now you know how to use it correctly so that there is positive energy in your home, good luck and there is no need.
Where to place
Hang the found talisman:
- over the front door;
- at the doorstep;
- in the room.
Above the entrance door
Traditional place. The horseshoe placed here drives away the evil force and “scans” people who have entered the house for bad thoughts. If a person who appears on the doorstep thinks unkind, then the amulet deprives him of energy supply .
The newcomer begins to complain of discomfort and tries to get away from the “dangerous” place as soon as possible.A person with sincere intentions will enter the door without obstacles.
At the threshold
It is recommended to place the find at the threshold of a barn, stable or chicken coop. Then the animals and birds living in the room will be healthy and fertile.
You can also place a horseshoe at the threshold of the cellar. This will preserve the food.
In the room
It is customary to hang a horseshoe in the house and in the room for:
- getting a good job;
- meetings with the betrothed;
- improvement of material conditions.
The best place to find is the area above the bedroom door.
Horseshoe helps to calm down, brings good dreams.
Unfriendly spouses should choose a spot above the bed. This will help mend relationships and harmonize them. If a child is sick in the house, a horseshoe is also placed by the bed .
In the old days, if in the house there was a daughter who was too late in the girls, the talisman was hung next to the stove.
A horseshoe can be placed:
- in the kitchen – means attracting abundance and prosperity.There will always be food at home;
- in the closet;
- in the living room – only kind, welcome guests, as well as people with good intentions will visit the house;
- to any place where money is kept – to attract profit;
- in the car – the amulet will protect the driver from a car accident;
- on the windowsill, next to the flower pots – the plants will not get sick;
- on the field fence – to protect crops;
- in the yard – to attract good luck and prosperity.
If it was decided to bury a horseshoe next to the house, then the northwest corner of the building should be chosen. So the owner of the dwelling and members of his family will attract the attention of light forces.
How to charge a talisman, guarding a horseshoe for good luck, good luck: conspiracy
In order for the charm to start working, it must be activated. Everyone who lives in the house must hold the horseshoe in their hands. After such a ritual, the owner takes the amulet and goes around the whole house three times clockwise, asking for support and prosperity.Then the horseshoe is filled with energy. To do this, they put it where the sun’s rays are. So the amulet lies all day.
If you want to use a horseshoe to protect yourself from the bad eye, place it where the moonlight will hit it. And you only need to charge it on the full moon.
Horseshoe – a talisman for the house
The next step is to tame the amulet, more precisely, set it up to help. To do this, prepare three candles from the church, place them around the horseshoe.Two candles near the ends and one near the bend in the middle. Lighting them, read the conspiracy:
As power enters the horseshoe, so the Lord All-merciful house of God’s servants (list the inhabitants of the dwelling) will bless, doors, windows, gates protects from evil.
In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Then wait until the candles burn out to the end, and at the very end repeat the same conspiracy.
And after that you can already choose the place where the horseshoe will be located.On the front door, inside the dwelling, or maybe in the bedroom at the head.
The meaning of a horseshoe up or down with horns
You can place a magic item up or down with horns.
- among the Slavs – a woman hung a horseshoe with her horns down, a man up;
- for Italians – the location of the horns does not matter. The talisman is placed so that everyone who crosses the threshold touches it with their head;
- for Mexicans – the horseshoe is fastened so high that a person cannot touch it even while standing on tiptoe.In Mexico, everyday paganism is successfully combined with Christian traditions – local residents decorate the found talisman with icons, ribbons and flowers;
- for the British and Irish – the horseshoe is attached with horns up, in the form of a bowl. According to the British, this attracts well-being and good luck to the house.
There is a third way to place the amulet. It turns sideways, in the form of the letter “C”. It is with her that such positive words as “light”, “sun” and “happiness” begin.
At what height to hang
Another question on which there is no consensus is the height of the mount. Different nations reason about this in their own way. Therefore, in different houses, the symbols of good luck are located at different distances from the floor. The table will help you understand the traditions of different peoples and tell you how it was customary to hang a horseshoe in Russia.
Table – Height of the symbol of luck
|Italy||– At arm’s length||– Leaving the house, Italians touch the amulet so that luck follows them all day|
|Mexico||– The maximum possible height for the house||– Touching the amulet violates its energy power|
|Ancient Russia||– In the middle between the ceiling and the top of the front door||– So that the amulet takes a central place and evenly distributes the energy|
Only one question remained unresolved – which side to hang the horseshoe.Reviews of esotericists indicate that the inner side of the heel, which was in direct contact with the hoof, should always “look” inside the house. If you are placing the symbol indoors, then the inside of it should be the front. If the amulet is hung on the street, for example, at the gate, then its “face” should be hidden from idle glances. This opinion is alien to the adepts of the Feng Shui teachings. They believe that only the position of the horseshoe, depending on the direction of the horns, is fundamental.Everything else is insignificant little things.
Now you understand that there is no single answer to the question of how the horseshoe should hang. Only you can make the final decision on the location of the amulet. Take it in your hands, close your eyes and guess what you dream about the most. And then hang it up as you see fit. They say that the most powerful power is possessed by amulets that were inherited – from father to son. And also those that were accidentally found on the ground. And they also say that happiness does not lie on the road.So who should you believe?
Related videos How to hang a horseshoe for good luck
Number of nails for fastening
The horseshoe is nailed with one or several nails. It is recommended to use 7 pieces. This number has 3 meanings:
- everyday – “seven I”;
- biblical and in particular Christian.
If a person gives the amulet a sacred meaning, then the actions should be as follows:
- wash the horseshoe in clean running or slightly salted water.You can use the well;
- touch the talisman to all family members in turn, starting with the oldest;
- nail down. The man does it, and the woman holds it.
According to another belief, each family member must hammer in a nail. This is only possible if there are enough holes in the horseshoe.
How to make a talisman
You can not only buy an amulet, but also make it yourself. Such a talisman is considered even more effective, since it receives a particle of the energy of the person who created it.
The Cardboard Mascot can be worn as a decoration or attached above the front door. To make the amulet you need:
- Thick threads;
- Piece of cardboard;
- Paper knife or scissors;
Draw a horseshoe on a piece of cardboard. You can print the finished image, and then stick it on the base. The horseshoe is cut out and greased with glue.After that, it is wrapped with thread. Loops must be made at the ends. The finished product can be decorated with additional materials: rhinestones, beads, etc.
The amulet is made from the following components:
- Coffee beans;
- Additional decorative materials.
A horseshoe silhouette is drawn on cardboard or a ready-made template is glued onto it.The image is cut out and covered with fabric. On the front side of the horseshoe, you need to stick the coffee beans. These elements can be coated with clear varnish. A magnet is attached to the back of the amulet. The talisman can be attached to any metal surface.
What does it mean if it fell
There are several beliefs:
- loss of the power of the amulet . After putting on gloves, the horseshoe is raised and buried in any clean place, but far from home. A new talisman should be hung on an empty nail;
- interception of dark energy .If the horseshoe falls suddenly, don’t worry. This is a sign that a magic item has “intercepted” the damage, or evil eye, which is approaching the house. The trapped unkind energy was scattered in the wind;
- sign of imminent enrichment . The symbolic bowl was so overflowing with money that it could not bear its weight.
But most likely, there is no mysticism in the fall of the horseshoe – it’s just an accident.
Where did the sign of a horseshoe bringing happiness come from?
One of the most famous lucky charms is the horseshoe.Finding a horseshoe on the road is not just a great luck, but also money. This sign comes from those times when the horse was the greatest owner’s value. The found horseshoe is hung on the door. What for? And where did this tradition come from?
According to legend, a devil appeared in a blacksmith in the guise of a horse and began to seduce the blacksmith into black deeds. But the blacksmith did not give in and, moreover, shod the “horned” one, and so that the devil remembered science and did not dare to appear in the smithy again, he hung a horseshoe on the door.Since then, people began to hang horseshoes on the doors of their houses to scare away evil spirits. It is also believed in Europe that the horseshoe acquired its magical power thanks to the gods, because in its shape it resembles a month. But here’s how to hang a horseshoe? Horns up or horns down? And where is the name to hang it? In the East, in Europe and Latin America, horseshoes are hung on the wall with their horns downward – so that happiness pours on you. But the British and Irish are convinced that it is necessary to hang her horns up so that happiness does not flow out. Mexican horseshoe – decorated with ribbons and coins, with the faces of saints hanging high – no one should touch it.And the Italians, on the contrary, hang a horseshoe so that everyone who enters touches it. In Russia, they hang with their horns down. But not adherents of the Feng Shui teachings. Here the opinion is different – a horseshoe with horns up, so that the house was – a full bowl. They wear horseshoes on themselves, nail them over the front door, hang them on the walls and even on the masts of sea and river vessels. And they bury it in the ground at the doorstep…. How to be? Hang a horseshoe with the convex side up as is customary in Russia or as it should be in Feng Shui? We suggest you hang it as you like and watch.If you feel that you are more fortunate and money is drawn into your house – just leave it. If the opposite is true, outweigh the horseshoe.
The cult of the horseshoe could also have arisen from the legend of St. Dunstan and the devil. The saint was a famous blacksmith, and (as the legend says) once the devil himself came to him and asked him to shoe his hoof. The saint agreed and, having chained the visitor to the wall, took hold of him so tightly that the devil asked for mercy. Before being released, the saint made him swear that he would never enter where the horseshoe would be visible.However, most likely, the idea that a horseshoe can protect against evil forces came from the Roman conquerors. After all, the Romans were convinced that evil can be nailed to something, and hammering nails into doors and walls of buildings was a common means of treating diseases and warding off damage.
More: The sign that a horseshoe brings happiness originated in Ancient Egypt. Pharaoh, passing by the jubilant crowd of his subjects, perhaps did not suspect that the horses harnessed to his chariot regularly lose their horseshoes.And everything would be fine if these horseshoes were not GOLD. Of course, a person who found such a horseshoe became, in the truest sense, truly happy.
Initially, horseshoes were hung on the house of a blacksmith (well, as now there is a DT sign on the track – cheap stolen diesel fuel). The blacksmith, along with the miller, was considered such a comrade who deals with evil spirits and for him it does without problems. Example: “The Night Before Christmas” by Gogol. The blacksmith Vakula dealt with the devil easily, and his mother and the devil generally entered into intimacy, and nothing.Because there were few blacksmiths, and without them there was no way. Representatives of evil spirits were considered stupid, and in order to deceive and protect themselves, horseshoes began to be hung by others, not blacksmiths. They hung it inside, otherwise the passers-by would not find a blacksmith if there were horseshoes on all the houses. And the devils, like, won’t figure it out. And so it went ..
People have long considered the horseshoe a symbol of good luck. No one knows exactly why the horse attribute was chosen as a talisman. One of the versions is analogies with a savvy horse. The curved piece of iron keeps him from falling, gives the run speed and grace.And the horse itself sounds like hooves. So, perhaps, in the life of a person running along the slippery road of being.
Horseshoes are nailed to the car, worn on the chest. However, “grounded” houses are also on fire, apartments are robbed, cars are crashed, and the chests of tough businessmen are shot through.
Connoisseurs of the deposits of happiness say that the quintessence of luck depends on the spatial location of the talisman. The horseshoe connector, like a gate, should face the heavens (the ancients have long hinted at this nuance to their descendants, leaving the golden pectoral of the Scythians).Then and only then does the manna from heaven gather inside the horseshoe, without bypassing the catcher of happiness.
Little is known about when and where the horseshoe-shaped mustache fashion came from. Tough historians prove – since the time of Mazepa. True, the hetman was unlucky like the Swede near Poltava. And here there is a deviation from the mascot standard: large branches of a horseshoe-shaped mustache hang down. It only flows through them, but does not enter the mouth. If the bend is chosen correctly, then the orientation towards happiness is inevitable.The standard is the European mustache of the Hercule Poirot model.
The horseshoe is considered both an object that scares away evil spirits and a symbol of good luck. But it cannot perform two functions at the same time. therefore, if used, as for protection from evil spirits, then it must be hung with the horns down, and if for good luck and well-being in the house, then with the horns up, so that there is a full bowl. This is one of the many interpretations of the properties of a horseshoe. As for the question of why a horseshoe is generally considered a symbol of happiness, there is such a version.First, a horseshoe made of iron, and in those very distant times, any piece of iron was very valuable and it was considered good luck to find it. Secondly, sometimes there were both silver and gold horseshoes, which were lost by the horses of the nobility. It was a special piece of luck.
Is it possible to give a horse amulet
Happiness and good luck can be expected if you find a good talisman on your own. It is also presented to family and friends as a souvenir. This is a great option for those planning to celebrate a housewarming party.
You can give:
- horseshoe bracelet – for unmarried girls.This is a talisman that attracts love and happiness;
- gilded cufflink – for people doing business;
- pin – for women who are going to unite in marriage with their chosen ones. The horseshoe is turned over with horns downwards and is attached to the train. This helps to protect the bride from damage and evil eye, to attract happiness to the young family.
According to esotericists, it is not necessary to give a horseshoe made of aluminum. It must be made of noble metal.If there is not enough money for such a gift, then an iron horseshoe should be presented.
Horseshoe from coffee beans
To make a horseshoe from coffee beans, you will need:
- coffee beans;
- PVA glue
- burlap, nylon, scissors;
- ribbons, capsules from shoe covers;
- awl, magnets;
Step by step instructions:
- Cut out 2 templates from paper.
- Attach templates to cardboard and cut out.
- Glue the 2 parts together.
- Cover the resulting horseshoe with nylon.
- Glue coffee beans from the end of the horseshoe.
- Carefully glue the entire surface with grains.
- Make 3 braid bows. Red, brown and one with polka dots.
- Glue all the bows together to make one. Decorate the middle with a bead or coffee bean.
- Puncture a hole in the shoe cover capsule with an awl and pull the twine through it.
- Apply a thin layer of glue to the capsules and wrap with twine.
- Place 3 rows of coffee beans on the capsules. These are future acorns.
- Cut 2 rectangles out of burlap. Treat thoroughly with glue. After the fabric dries, cut an oak leaf out of it.
- Tie acorns, glue magnets to a horseshoe, and can be hung or gifted.
Other beliefs associated with a horseshoe:
- A black horseshoe is a good talisman for a home;
- to attract good luck and wealth, you need to make a wish, spit on the find, then throw it, without looking back, behind your back.Then – go home without looking back, and without talking to anyone. This will help the desire to be fulfilled quickly;
- picking up a magic item from the ground, you need to put any coin in its place;
- A strong amulet for the dwelling is a forged horseshoe, which was removed from the hind hoof of a gray or gray horse;
- finding only half of the talisman has 2 meanings. Some believe that it does not lose its strength. Others are sure: there is no need to raise the find, because it will bring home misunderstanding and discord in the family.Even a divorce with the subsequent division of property is possible.
The original meaning of the horseshoe
Even non-superstitious people feel the positive energy emanating from the horseshoe. The very shape of the object symbolizes a limited enclosed space. Metal is perceived as a substance capable of attracting and accumulating the magical forces of nature. The horseshoe is present on the coats of arms of many European noble families. This item symbolizes not only good luck and wealth, but also endurance, which helps in achieving success.
A lucky horseshoe hung over the door of Niels Bohr, the Nobel laureate in physics. Friends were surprised that the scientist endows the horseshoe with magical properties. Bohr denied his belief in talismans. At the same time, the scientist argued that the amulet is able to help even if the person does not believe in it.
In his conviction, the physicist was based on the fact that the archetypal meaning of an object is in the subconscious of a person belonging to a culture. The symbol evokes a reaction from an uncontrolled part of the psyche.It forces people to act in one way or another, to create positive or unfavorable circumstances for themselves.
In the book “The Magic of Runes” K. Meadows compares the Perth rune with a horseshoe. It is a symbol of self-determination, indicating that a person belongs to a certain genus. Connecting with ancestors allows you not to feel lonely, protects you from mistakes and gives you confidence.
How to activate the action of the amulet
It is extremely important to maintain the magical abilities of the horseshoe.To do this, you should periodically hold it in your hands. It is necessary to keep order and not allow dust to accumulate on it. It is worth talking in confidence with the talisman and thanking for the assistance. From time to time it should be cleaned of negativity. When the moon is waning, it must be placed under running water. At night, the amulet must be left on the windowsill. If it is strongly fixed, you can cleanse it with a candle. You need to move it with a flame along the contours of the horseshoe for a few minutes.
To make the effect of the object more pronounced, you should hang the keys to the dwelling on it.It can also be decorated with ribbons. Red, for example, will strengthen love, and green, in turn, will protect against health problems.
If the talisman has fallen, there is no need to hang it up. There is a belief that in this case he coped with the task and fulfilled his function. Such a horseshoe should be carefully buried and thanked. A new item can be placed in its place.
Choosing the right place
The location of the horseshoe determines the power of the amulet.According to popular belief, if a horseshoe hangs in the wrong place, it will only serve as a decoration. The ancestors used the horseshoe as an amulet because their life was closely associated with horses. So, to bring a horseshoe into the house is good luck, because it is hung inside the house and preferably above the entrance to the doorway .
Horseshoe can be hung and directly on the door itself, although in modern realities this is already difficult to implement, so it is enough that the amulet is located at least near the door, if not on it or above it.
Two horseshoes can enhance the protective effect: one is hung over the door, and the second is nailed on the side of the threshold.
A horseshoe can and should be placed where important things are, for example, in a safe with jewelry or in a cache of money . So, if your task is to attract material wealth, then it is better to place the horseshoe in the office or in the study.
Another place where the horseshoe is – is the refrigerator .You can’t hang a real iron horseshoe on the refrigerator, but you can always use souvenirs.