Back Country Horsemen Society of BC

We are a province-wide society, currently with 21 regional chapters

A member driven organization formed and registered as a Provincial not-for-profit society in 1991.  From three or four chapters in its formative years, BCHBC has grown to 21 chapters representing many areas of the Province, from north to south and east to west. 

In recent years (with the exception of 2020), BCHBC averaged over 900 members annually.  A unique group of individuals, diversified in background, age and experience, who share a great appreciation for, and actively take part in, all aspects of recreational trail riding – front and back country, including trail building.  An enthusiastic group that supports the many initiatives, projects and activities of BCHBC.


Are you new to trail riding or a seasoned pro? We offer a friendly atmosphere for those interested in:

  • development and maintenance of new and existing trails, trailheads and campsites
  • recreational riding
  • camping with your equine partners
  • horsemanship
  • educational programs
  • events and activities
  • joining a group working together in support of our recreational passion

Don’t let our name fool you, at least half our members are women!  Many members don’t ride the back country and some don’t even own horses … but all support our Mission and the work we do.  To encourage the next generation of trail riders, youth registration is free.  BCHBC focuses on safety for horses and riders, environmental stewardship, trail building and maintenance … and fun!

If you are interested in joining an organization with a recognized reputation of volunteerism towards supporting trail maintenance and development, meeting like-minded individuals, making new friends and trail riding – both front & back country, we look forward to meeting you! 

Join Us

Founded in 1989

ABOUT US

History of BCHBC

In 1989, in Langley, BC, a small group of equine enthusiasts were sitting around Jim and Marilyn McCrae’s dining room table talking about horses and trail riding. Their purpose was to form the Back Country Horsemen Society of British Columbia.  Jim McCrae was the driving force behind that meeting.  After his successful 1988 solo ride of the Pacific Crest Trail (Mexico to British Columbia) Jim had noted that whenever he needed assistance in his trek along the trail there were always members of a group – the Back Country Horsemen of America – willing to help him.

The following year, Jim participated in Washington State’s Wagon Train Centennial celebration.  Again, the Back Country Horsemen were there.  Jim realized that British Columbia could use an organization like this to band recreational riders together.  Today, Jim is still a quiet driving force who never misses a chance to discuss Back Country Horsemen.  With the combined good efforts of that small group, Back Country Horsemen Society of British Columbia (BCHBC) received official “Not for Profit” status on June 11, 1991.

The Back Country Horsemen Society of BC

Our Mission

BCHBC is an organization that provides equestrians who are interested in trail riding and the back country with a safe and social learning atmosphere where people of all ages can enjoy trail riding and the wilderness experience. 

Through collaboration with individuals, government, business and other recreational users of public lands, we strive to preserve and enhance the use of public lands for all equestrians.

The organization focuses on safety for horses and riders, environmental stewardship, trail building and maintenance … and fun!

OUR MEMBERS SAY IT BEST!

Testimonials From Our Members

Since joining the Back Country Horsemen Northwest Chapter in summer 2020, I’ve met an amazing group of like-minded people who have helped me explore some spectacular areas with my horses.  I’m inspired by how they have transformed many of their ideas into reality such as the development of Coalmine Camp and I’m excited to contribute, learn new skills and be a part of such a supportive, enthusiastic and knowledgeable group.

Naomi Nyuli, Northwest Chapter

I joined to get involved with horses again and learn how to take care of them, meet like minded people and to have someone to ride with.

Miranda Williams, Shuswap Chapter

I joined BCHBC as I was excited to be a partner in the mission & vision – to build and keep trails open for all to enjoy.  Through volunteering on committees & work bees, attending BCHBC events including inter-chapter rides, Rendezvous (RV), and Board of Director (BOD) meetings, I’ve made many new friends who share this passion.  I’m grateful for the opportunity to ride in areas I may not otherwise have even known about!

Verna Houghtaling, Prince George - Omineca

Growing up going on Back Country Horsemen rides are some of my fondest childhood memories.  I’m so proud to now share the same community and values of exploring the backcountry in a respectful way with my son.

Joy Beamish, Northwest Chapter

I was new to horse ownership when I joined BCHBC Aldergrove chapter.  The membership has been welcoming and generous with their time, knowledge and experience.  I feel safe riding with them.

Kari Stevenson, Aldergrove

I love the Back Country Horsemen … for a lot of reasons but mostly to know the people who love horses and the culture the way I do … real people and common interests … a great feeling of warmth and understanding when you go to any gathering.

Suzy Loewen, Aldergrove Chapter
Why join?

Membership Benefits

Social, non competitive, relaxed environment, geared towards the outdoors.

Our social activities consist of monthly meetings, fun games, potluck dinners, clinicians, rides. Our work bees are also great fun. Highlights of the year are our annual social gathering called “Rendezvous” and inter-chapter rides held at various locations around the Province. All enjoyed together in our natural environment out on the trail.

Nothing beats a day in the saddle than being out on the trails.

Chapters strive to offer several rides and organized events throughout the year for members and guests. A natural spin off from our rides are the friendships built out on the trail and the continued opportunities for life long riding partners. Our rides can accommodate all rider skill levels and can cover from oceans to high mountain peaks.

Back country riding requires knowledge to ensure safety for horse and rider.

Membership provides access to the deep pool of knowledge of many seasoned riders, which is proudly shared with enthusiasm amongst its members. Special guest speakers, such as veterinarians, saddle makers, farriers, first aid trainers, clinicians, etc. are offered by many chapters on a monthly basis. Knowledge gained is invaluable.

Local communities benefit from our many equine oriented initiatives.

Economic impact, social impact and mutual benefit of community involvement with the equine industry. Communities are often very supportive of our projects and initiatives due to the social, economic and infrastructure gains that result from cooperation BCHBC has with public recreational user groups.

Stronger, louder voice Province wide offering assistance and initiatives.

A collective voice of over 800 members, brings recognition and support to our many undertakings, whether locally or Provincially focused. Members can travel, knowing there is a welcoming network of 20 plus Chapters not far from their destination of choice and offering a Province wide resource of local trails, camping locations and amenities.

Through the care and upkeep of historical trails we maintain our heritage

Less than 100 years ago, the horse had a stronger presence and active role in the daily lives of British Columbians. BCHBC is proud to recognize and preserve our equine heritage through work on historic trails such as; Dewdney ,Hudson Bay Brigade, Whatcom , Telegraph, and many more trails. Members can experience these trails today.

More About Membership

The Purpose of the Society shall be:

  • To work together with recreational groups, government agencies and the general public to promote awareness and understanding for a cooperative wilderness experience.
  • To build new trails, trailheads and other facilities for horsemen and women.
  • To maintain and preserve existing equine trails – wilderness and urban.
  • To promote educational programs in safety, courtesy and environmental awareness.
  • To preserve access for Equestrians to use horses and mules (equines) on public lands.
Back Country Horsemen Society of BC greatly appreciates

Our Supporters

It goes without saying that our members are our largest and most committed group of supporters; however, we consider ourselves very fortunate to have a strong support group within our communities.  From local businesses, large and small, other recreational user groups, friends and sometimes complete strangers who simply believe in our initiatives and wish to lend a hand wherever they can.

A number of businesses have supported our organization at a high level during Provincial fundraising initiatives for a number of years include Cavallo, CO-OP, Chilcotin Holidays and Tyax Adventures.  We appreciate and value your continued support!