Man with a beating heart

          January Meeting January 15th, 2014

      Board Meets: 5:30 p.m. General Meeting: 6:15 p.m.

Message from our President Heather Hollandsworth

Well folks – We are off to another year! Thank you to those hardy souls who showed up for the elections. Your 2014 Board of Directors is as follows:
President – Heather Hollandsworth
Vice President – Keith Herrin
O-Mok-See – Vickie Blixt
Maintenance – Sherri Onstott
Historian – Marcia Gray
Programs/Public Relations – Cynthia Warner
Social – Sheryl Purdue
Trail Rides – Chris Warren
Secretary – Kate Hollandsworth

I would also like to say Thank You to Sherri Onstott, who agreed to take over the treasurer position for the year in addition to her current board position as Maintenance Director. Based upon last year’s response to some of the happenings… I would like to continue a few things.

First, during the months that we have a meeting, we are going to continue to have dinners. I will do my best to let you know ahead of time what is going to be served.

Second, I would like to continue to have our participation bucks program. The auction was a great source of entertainment (for me at least) and I think that this was a great incentive to get folks involved. I am also going to try to do a better job of making sure that you get your dollars this year so that we aren’t scrambling at the end to remember what you did.

Third, the dance we had as part of our 75th Anniversary party seemed to be one of the 2013 highlights. So, I would like to know what you all think about having another one this year at some point???

If anyone has ideas, thoughts, questions, or concerns…please feel free to get in touch with me. Heather Hollandsworth

From the Directors

Historian - Marcia Gray Grandpa Bill and Grandma Marcia announce the arrival of Emery Angela Gray (Alex & Kelly) on January 28th. We have been watching her grow through the marvelous technology that I spend a lot of time badmouthing. She is too far away to become a Trail Rider but many of you supported Alex as he grew up within our club so I thought to announce his new role as a dad.

Scrapbooking is slow as I seem to find the flu bug instead of time to work on it. It will get done but just not at the time I intended. Thanks for the nod to continue. This is an opportunity to thank Kate for the lovely meals she has been generously providing at some of our meetings. She is very thoughtful about special dietary concerns and so many of us are able to pig out when normally that wouldn't be the case. With not enough time to eat between work and the meetings it has been wonderful to have a full belly and attend the meeting. She has been promoting a great idea as most of us are more congenial around food. Thank-you, Kate.

O-Mok-See – Vicki Blixt

Hi, my name is Vickie Blixt and I was elected as your newest O Mok See Director. I have been asked by our club president to write a short bio. When I was about 13 I first became a Helena Trail Rider member. I was fortunate to belong to the Junior Mounted Patrol Drill team. It was such a wonderful time for a horse crazy young girl. It made me a better horse person and was such fun. I also competed in the O Mok See’s that the club sponsored. I must admit that riding against any of the Herrin family was so intimidating but, hey, somebody had to fill up those extra lanes!

I moved away from Montana for many years, but fortunately I came to my senses and returned. I brought with me my little palomino gelding and became active in the O Mok See arena once again. He’s retired now, but my 14 year old paint is carrying me down the lanes and testing our skills together.

I hope to instill in our club members the excitement that I feel for the competition of O Mok See. I especially hope that our younger members will want to become more involved in this sport. The camaraderie that is received by all who enjoy this sport is awesome. It doesn’t matter what saddle club someone belongs to, if you need help with anything, everyone will step up to help. I’ve met some really special people traveling from arena to arena throughout the state.

Our first O Mok See fun day will be May 18th at the West Arena and I look forward to seeing many of you there. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with me.

Public Affairs: Cynthia Warner

Hi there! My name is Cynthia Warner, and I am your newly elected Director of Public Affairs. I rejoined the Trail Riders, after about 13 years of riding as a member of the Helena Valley Blues. I have two horses; a Montana Travler (yes that is spelled correctly!) a fine mare, and a gaited "Trail Princess"! I also have a powerhouse of a Quarter Horse that is a new addition to our barn. I just bought him in October, so have only had about 8 rides on him, and am trying to "get with" him. He had some trust issues, but succumbed to my "campaign of kindness" and is the first to greet me at the gate! I plan to resume my "O-Mok-See career" with him, after a break of about 3 years.

I am excited to be a Trail Rider again, and look forward to arranging some interesting speakers for our bi-monthly programs. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!! You can email me at Well, now we just have to get through February, and then spring is right around the corner. I look forward to good times with fellow horse lovers, and getting back in the saddle!

Upcoming Events:

February 15th 2pm Bing @ HTR clubhouse
February 15-16th Wild West WinterFest @ Bozeman Fairgrounds
April 12-13th HTPA clinic with Phil Mainey (Must register by phone on February 17th) District II 2014 O-mok-See Schedule May 17th Helena Valley Blues -Open All Breed Horse show. Email for show schedule.
May 23 Helena Valley Blues, Family Fun Night - Raven Road off of Birdseye. Entry fee $5 per person ~ Run at 6:30 ~ Dinner served
June 1st Western Patriots Fun Day, Townsend Fairgrounds
June 8th Whitehall Saddle Club -Point Show, Whitehall Fairgrounds
June 13th Helena Valley Blues- Family Fun Night, Birdseye Arena
June 14th Helena Valley Blues Open O-mok-see, Townsend Fairgrounds~email for entry form
June 21st Helena Valley Blues – Fun Day – Birdseye Arena
June 28th Helena Valley Blues – Point Show – Birdseye Arena
July 12th Helena Trail Riders – Fun Day – Helena Fairgrounds West Arena (*subject to change)
July 19th-26th Nationals, Buffalo, WY
July 18th Helena Valley Blues- Family Fun Night, Birdseye arena
Aug 3rd Western Patriots- Point Show – Townsend Fairgrounds
Aug 8th Helena Valley Blues – Family Fun Night, Birdseye Arena
Aug 9th Helena Trail Riders – Point Show – Helena Fairgrounds, West Arena
Aug 16th District Finals- Townsend Fairgrounds Aug 30th & 31st – State Finals –TBA

This Month’s Activity: Bingo

We are going to have a game night (well afternoon) for our February activity. I know, I know… this is not a horse related activity. However, this does give us a chance to do the other thing we do best…Socialize!!!! Please come and join us at the Helena Trail Riders Clubhouse on February 15, 2014. We will start playing at 2:00pm. Please bring a dessert or snack to share with everyone. (The Board of Directors will have a meeting at 1:00pm)

Fun Facts:

Horse symbolizes such character traits as strength, energy, and an outgoing nature. Extremely animated, Horses thrive when they’re the center of attention. Always in search of a good time, Horses keep the crowds happy with their humor and their wit. Horses are extremely intelligent so they’re able to grasp new subjects with ease. They’re also capable of multitasking however they don’t always finish what they start because they’re forever chasing the next opportunity. Horses are honest, friendly and open minded. They’re perhaps a bit too centered on themselves and have been known to throw tantrums when situations don’t go their way Submitted by Heather Hollandsworth
Year of the horse

Fast Riders and Horses
Interesting place to buy a horse?? Submitted by Andrea Ayers


Deep Freeze Recap: Coldest Temperatures of the Century for Some. Here some cold-weather tips: Provide plenty of hay and water. Keep the horse dry. No wet blankets. Provide shelter from wind and wet, but don't close up the barn. Keep blankets clean. Think layers. Watch chest, withers, shoulders, and hips for rubs.

NEW From the Members: Please send information, tips, stories, or jokes that you would be willing to share in the Pony Tales to Angie Johnson at: or call 439-6072.

Life's Experiences This month, as I gear up for watching at least some of the Winter Olympics from Russia, I am reminded of our “Salt Lake City Experience” back in 1997 when Salt Lake was just beginning to get ready to host the Olympics, starting construction of highways and facilities. It was insane trying to get around the town back then, and I can only imagine what it was like during the actual Olympics festivities. Not a good place for us old country kids.

We came to be in Salt Lake this way: In May of 1996 Old Stiger provided me with a migraine moment when he had what he called “a little heart attack”. Now what the hell is a “little heart attack”?? Is that like being a “little pregnant”? Where I come from, you is or you ain’t……….

So I bundled him off to the doctor for various and assorted tests, which resulted in various and assorted medications, all of which were supposed to keep him from croaking. However, he was supposed to mention it if he had any more “trouble”, and they’d adjust the medication. Which he did, and they did, all of which gave me more migraines and him not a whole lot more relief from his occasional “spells” as they came to be known.

He had a major melt-down the following December, chest pain, blood pressure bottomed out, no oxygen to the brain, etc. This was a 911 Moment as I saw it, however, the Old Cowboy said he just needed to “lay down a minute”. The Wolf Creek Quick Response Unit was there before I could hang up the phone, and they decided it would take more than just laying down for a minute, so they trundled him into the waiting ambulance and he was off to the Helena hospital so he could lay down there a couple of days.

He recovered to the point of being bored, so he took himself down the hall to the Nursery so he could look through the windows at all the babies, which caused him to be out of range for the heart monitor he was wearing. It evidently quit beeping in the nurses’ station, causing a major panic, especially when they went running down the hallway to his room and he was gone.

The doctor released him since he was such a pain in the butt, and they had found nothing wrong. Nothing wrong??? Whoa! I didn’t buy off on that theory, so I instructed the doctor to make the arrangements, we were going to put him through Salt Lake’s University Medical Center where a whole team of doctors could poke and probe and consult, all in one place, all at the same time, and find out what’s what.

I chose Salt Lake, partly for their good reputation, and partly because we had relatives enroute in Idaho Falls where we could beg bed and breakfast going to and fro. Arrangements take time, so it was February before we finally headed for Salt Lake City. “Get in the car, Stiger, don’t talk, don’t ask no dumb questions, we’re going for a ride.” So I’m driving and he’s mumbling about what arrangements I had made to take care of horses, dog, cats, etc., etc. while we were gone. “It’s handled, don’t ask no dumb questions, just take a nap.”

We had a nice dinner and visit with the relatives in Idaho Falls that evening, and the next day the fun began. Right off the Salt Lake Exit ramp we discovered that Utah drivers are the worst imaginable, then add in the construction phase in preparation for the Olympics, and it was a real nightmare. They all drive 90mph, and that’s just downtown, and when a light changes at an intersection, don’t even think about starting through, even though you have the green light, at least three cars from the other way will speed on through. Evidently it’s only “pink” to them.

And the people are rude. Sonny had to “fast” one morning before his tests, but no need for me to starve too, so I’d have a bagel on our way to the hospital. Bagel shop was just opening, I was the second person in there. The menu was extensive and I was reading and deliberating; they had 31 flavors, with and without 31 varieties of cream cheese and/or other toppings. People were flocking in, and when I’d open my mouth to speak, ten other people would bellow out their order and I’d stand there, trying to be polite, but thinking I shouldn’t be. The clerk kept saying, “Next!”, and evidently I was never “next” because he ignored me.

After about 20 minutes, I yelled, “Hey!”, and he said, “Can I help you, Lady?” Aw, that’s more like it. Made a mental note here, to heck with politeness. I finally got my bagel, but the coffee line was too long and I’d never get through there, also 31 blends to choose from, forget that.

During the hospital tests, they fed Stiger through a drip tube and that didn’t look too appetizing to me, so I ventured down to the cafeteria. There were several counters offering different types of cooked food, beverage counters, dessert counters, salad bar, and about a million people. I finally elbowed my way up to the fry cook (no politeness here) and ordered a cheeseburger. Easy enough, I can do this.

When he set it on the counter, an arm and a hand appeared under my armpit and whisked my cheeseburger away and it disappeared into the crowd! No way I could catch it. I turned back to the scowling fry cook who says, “Didn’t I just wait on you?” “Yes, but my cheeseburger just went south!” He says, “Well, you gotta be quick – Next?”

Four more people ordered before I could get his attention long enough to tell him it was gonna get ugly if he didn’t fix me another burger, NOW. This time I guarded the counter with elbows spread wide, feet planted in prize fighter style, fists clenched, and fire in my eye. Got the burger, wished I hadn’t, it tasted like charred cardboard.

But I guess Salt Lake was worth it, after three days, we got some answers and different recommendations for treatment. Bad news was, he had two tiny arteries plugged (still does), too small for angioplasty or a by-pass, left over evidently from childhood when they told him he had a heart murmur and couldn’t play football……….. Good news was these plugged arteries might not kill him because four other arteries are taking over and doing the job (must be, he’s still here). It was when the blood got sidetracked down one of these dead ends that his system tried to shut down. With proper medication, this isn’t supposed to happen anymore, and it hasn’t for 17 years, so the Old Boy could outlive me, and I was supposed to be the healthy one.

So, upward and onward, says I, shelf the heart problem, focus on life’s new challenges, like old age and Parkinson’s and quit complaining. A man’s like a good horse, you feed ‘im good, work ‘im hard, rest ‘im occasionally, keep ‘im out of Utah, and he could last a long time. So far, it’s working.

Put on your coats and boots and join us for the Annual WinterFest.

Two days of fun, family events: The All-Breed Horse Sale, Chili Cook-off, Dog Keg Pull, Hockey Tournament, Kids' Activities, Petting Zoo, Quilt Show, Sweetheart Fur and Feather Show, Ski Joring, Nevada City Living History, Trail Horse Battle, and Working Horse and Driver Competition.

In between events enjoy some delicious food, listen to some music, and wander through the commercial exhibitor building! Break your cabin fever, get out of the house and join us for some Wintertime fun!

Wild West Winterfest is held at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds, 901 North Black Avenue in Bozeman. Take the Second exit off of I-90, south on North 7th Avenue, then east on Tamarack Street, four blocks. The Fairgrounds is on the north side of Tamarack Street.
Adults $5/day
Youth 6-12 $3/day
Kids 5 years & under FREE
Parking - FREE
Admission Gates
Sat 8am-8pm, Sun 8am-4pm
Exhibit Buildings including Frontier Mercantile Booths
Sat 9:00am-6pm, Sun 9:00am-4pm
Barns Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 9am-4pm

Team Penning/Sorting Clinic with Phil Mainy
Lewis & Clark Multi-Purpose Building, Helena MT
April 12 & 13, 2014, 9 AM to 5 PM
Saturday Penning, Sunday Sorting
Cost for two days is $275, limited to first 18 participants to call February 17 starting at 9 AM.
Kirsten 439-6966, no emails or texts
Deposit of $150 due by March 10, 2014
Make check payable to HTPA and mail to

PO Box 1871
Helena MT 59624

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