Ramblings of an Editor

From the desk of Shannon Schraufnagel

Happy New Year!


Whether you’re one of our Facebook members, magazine readers, or an official HTCAA Community Member or Business Member, I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your involvement with HTCAA!


As I look back at how HTCAA came to be and where it is today, it amazes me and humbles me. I'll never forget the moment in 2012 I felt led to click on "Create Group" and start creating what is now HTCAA. I was so excited when we hit 500 Members! And here today we're over 80,000 Members... it blows my mind! To hear it said that HTCAA is the #1 Trail Riding Resource in the Country, as well as the #1 Largest Trail Riding Community in America, is just crazy to me. That certainly wasn't my goal when I created it. And I think if it had been, I most certainly would have screwed it up!


But, the biggest reason why HTCAA is such a wonderful community is because of members like you. You take time out of your busy schedule to check-in and see who posted what, and to share your trails with everyone else, and to plan new trail rides in the future. You're usually kind, courteous, good-humored and you love to talk about the trails. That's what makes HTCAA so wonderful. And, the fact that you not only take your time to be a part of HTCAA, but you also give your hard-earned money to HTCAA to help support it, it truly warms my heart... some days I don't feel like I deserve it. And, to be honest, I don't. But our Members and Business Members do.

HTCAA is so much bigger than me!


I'll be honest that some days I feel like I'm a small horse pulling a large cart up a hill. 2019 there were no doubt some big hills I had to climb, not only in HTCAA but also in my personal life. Somedays I wonder why I keep pulling towards the top, but then I remember you. I remember the stories you've shared, as well as others, of all the wonderful trails you've found through HTCAA, all the wonderful people you've met, and how it's changed your life. If I didn't keep pulling towards the top I'd let you and a lot of other folks down.


There's no place else on earth where us trail riders can come together and find new trails, share old trails, and make new friends - as we can in HTCAA. Isn't that crazy? It is for me.


No doubt HTCAA is bigger than me. And without your support HTCAA just wouldn't be HTCAA anymore.


I will be honest in telling you 2019 did not go quite as I had hoped for HTCAA. I had a lot of learning curves - a lot of "try this and see what happens" type of situations - some worked and some didn't. Some things I just plained dropped the ball and missed the mark. And no doubt I've learned a lot. I'm going into 2020 with my eyes a little more open than they were in 2019. I know what worked and what didn't. And I know there's a heck of a lot more to learn!

My hope in 2020 for HTCAA is...

  •  To help our business members be able to market their trail destinations, tack stores, equine businesses to the masses
  •  To continue helping our Members find new trails all across America (and beyond)
  •  To see our Trail Destinations, Events & Classifieds fill up on the Website
  •  To see The Trail Journal become the best Trail Riding Magazine in America
  •  To have HTCAA Gatherings in more states each year
  •  To help HTCAA to continue to flourish on Facebook as well as on the face-to-face world
  •  To launch "Mountain High Mission | Members Helping Members" A non-profit where Members can help other members in need


But I can't do this alone. I need your support. I don't want to miss the mark in 2020. 2020 is the year that is going to make it or break it, folks. And I'm praying we make it all the way!


With that, I just want to thank you again - for your wonderful support and involvement in HTCAA. Without you, HTCAA just wouldn't be HTCAA! So, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and can only hope that someday we can meet on the trail so I can tell you in person!


And I want to thank the HTCAA Posse for working 'round the clock at keeping peace in the HTCAA Community on Facebook. Without them, HTCAA just wouldn't be! And to Kelli McFadden who's been my right-hand gal. Without her, I'd be a mess. And that's the truth.


I pray that 2020 will be a year of new trails, good memories and many blessed miles in the saddle for you my friend!

Blessed Trails,

Shannon Joy Schraufnagel
CEO of HTCAA | Horse Trails & Camping Across America
Editor-in-Chief of HTCAA’s The Trail Journal
844-744-8222 Ext. 700


~Photos from our New Years Day ride, with my husband, our three horses, and two dogs. It was a beautiful ride around the neighborhood!



Shannon Schraufnagel is the Founder & CEO of HTCAA | Horse Trails & Camping Across America, and the Editor-in-Chief of The Trail Journal. She grew up in Wisconsin, riding and showing Quarter Horses in 4-H, Open Shows, as well as Breed Shows. When she started trail riding and camping with a friend at the age of 17 she realized she was able to enjoy her horse without all the stress of showing – and fell in love with it! And fell in love with her friend. Jason and Shannon married and moved out west where they enjoyed some of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the country. They moved back to Wisconsin in 2015, but she will tell you her heart is still in the mountains. She loves her HTCAA Members, her husband, and all her critters. She enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and of course trail riding in God's creation.

If you want to Advertise with The Trail Journal contact us today!


Want to Become an official HTCAA Member?