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Saddle up for Highland Lakes Family Crisis Center


SMITHWICK — After organizers of the annual Boots and Bluebonnets “Saddle Up for Safer Families” trail ride had to cancel the initial ride this year, they weren’t about to let a little weather dampen their spirits — and their mission.

So, they’re saddling up April 18 for the third annual trail ride benefitting the Highland Lakes Family Crisis Center, and they’re putting out the call for all other horse enthusiasts to join them at Shaffer Bend Recreation Area from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

“We’ll have two trail rides,” said Glenna Bell Orman, one of the ride organizers. “We’ll take a trail ride in the morning, then after lunch, we’ll go on another one. If we have 20 or fewer riders, we’ll go as one group. But if we have more, we’ll go in two groups and go on different trails. But everybody who comes out will get two rides.”

And with the bluebonnets bursting in full spring bloom, Orman believes riders will be treated to an incredible ride.

The ride, which costs $50 per person, benefits the crisis center, which provides services for victims of domestic violence. Some of the services — which are provided free — include a 24-hour hotline, an emergency shelter, a rape crisis center, crisis intervention, referral services, education assistance and outreach counseling as well as food, clothing and transportation for victims who have fled their situation with just what they could grab.

“It’s such a vital service for the area,” Orman said. “This trail ride is one of the ways people can help out.”

Trail ride participants must provide a proof of a negative Coggin’s test for their horses. The $50 fee includes lunch and drinks.

Orman said Shaffer Bend features a great backdrop for the trail ride. The trails include pecan groves, a lakeside area, a few hills and probably lots of wildflowers.

“It’s a lot of fun,” she said.

Organizers would like riders to pre-register by calling Orman at (512) 756-6789 or by the crisis center at (830) 693-3656.

Shaffer Bend Recreation Area is located at 706 CR 343A in Smithwick, east of Marble Falls off RR 1431.

Participants must supply their own horses and tack. There will be no wagon or hayrides. Check-in and registration is 8-8:30 a.m. April 18 with the morning trail ride starting at 9 a.m.

Go to for more information on the Highland Lakes Family Crisis Center.