Baby New Year

Meeting January 18th, 2012

Board Meets: 6:30 p.m. General Meeting: 7:30 p.m.

No Program. Tonight is our election meeting and membership fees are due.

Well, hopefully we all made it through the “holiday season” and I for one am glad it’s over and we are on to planning for our summer activities. There are going to be many new activities this year and I hope to see everyone come out and join us!

The Christmas Party was, as usual, a wonderful time and so much thanks and praise go to the people who cooked all the great food, helped in the kitchen serving and doing dishes and truly made the party a success. Of course we can’t have our party without our gift exchange game and it got VERY loud and frisky this year. I was trying to get pictures but was laughing so hard and throwing dice every few seconds it was sort of hard to get any “action” shots. Bob (right side on top a ladder) was calling the game and we filled three tables with players! I hope everyone went home with something fun. I know I did and there were some pretty happy kids there too.

Christmas Party

Hay ride
Much thanks to Carrie and her husband Joe who showed up to give us wagon rides; it was so generous of them to provide this for our party. We truly appreciate it! I hope they got inside before all the food was gone. Joe and Carrie have such fine horses and so well behaved; it’s a pleasure to be around them.
Percherons hitched to a wagon

Santa Claus

Santa was a big hit with the kids and apparently with our club President as well… Okay, I sat on his lap too (and I think quite a few other people). Poor Santa, his legs must have gotten quite a workout.

Thanks to all who attended and helped with decorations and food. It’s the members that make this event truly special.

A note from Roberta Lawson: I want to thank everyone for the success of the annual Christmas Party. Braico's, Shirley Herrin, and the Grays for the turkeys and ham. Everyone else, you all make great side dishes. We had approximately 50 who attended and that was a good turnout. So put your gold stars on your chest and thanks again. Berta Lawson
Upcoming elections: This month’s meeting is our yearly election. I was on the nominating committee this year and I am stumped as to how to proceed this year. I called many people and only one person showed any interest in being on the Board of Directors or running for office. I truly don’t know how we can continue running the club if we have no officers. Some of the people who do it year after year need a break. There are many people willing to help and show newcomers what needs to be done; all it takes is a bit of your time and coming to the meetings. I think people are uneasy to take on a position on the board because they don’t know what is expected of them. But to tell you the truth, I don’t know why people are hesitant to be part of the board or be an officer. PLEASE come to the January 18th meeting and speak up. If there is something you want to change or something you don’t like, the only way this club can grow and change is for people to make their needs and opinions known. If you know someone who is interested in becoming more involved in the club but too shy to say so, nominate them at the January meeting. Or nominate yourself. The only way we are going to keep this club running is with peoples’ support. Please don’t expect that “someone else” will do it because what happens when that ‘someone else’ doesn’t step up either? I apologize if this sounds offensive. I am not trying to make anyone feel guilty or pressure them. I am just at a loss as to how we are going to fill the open spots this year. In 2013, this club will be 75 years old and has so much history in this community. I think it is well worth the effort to keep it alive and well.

Membership Dues: There is always some confusion as to when Membership Dues are due and how long they run. I’ll try to explain it the best I can. If you pay your dues “after” October of the year, they run through the whole next year. If you pay your dues “before” October of the year, you do need to pay regular dues come January 1st of the year. It’s a nightmare for the secretary to have membership payments trickle in on into the summer. Membership for a single person is $25.00 - a family is $35.00. You can mail them to the current secretary, Kate Hollandsworth, at Helena Trail Riders, P.O. Box 4801, Helena, MT 59604, or give your payment to her at January’s meeting. You cannot vote in the elections or run for office if your dues are not paid. Please be sure to include your name, address and current email so the secretary has the correct information on our membership list. Thank you! Also, if you have any receipts for reimbursement, please get them to Mary Kelley before the meeting so she can get board approval and cut a check. Here is the link to the membership form. You can fill it out on-line, print and mail it in. Its as easy as falling off your horse. Memberbership form


Aside from a weekly check on the Clubhouse and West Arena, specific activities related to either site are limited—we’ve had no vandalism, no leaking water pipes and the heating system continues to function normally. How could I be so lucky?

On another note, the former Fairgrounds Administration Offices (the building next to the Clubhouse) should be gone by the time of our January meeting. It is my understanding the Search & Rescue Bldg (just west of the Clubhouse) may also be removed in the future. I have had no word on whether or not moving the HTR Clubhouse is also in the foreseeable future or not. We’ll just have to wait and see.

In December, I began formulating improvement plans and ideas for spring and summer 2012. Here’s my list so far:
--Take away the pigeons’ home on the Clubhouse porch by installing a ceiling. Because of the need to stain both sides of each ceiling panel before installation, I suspect this project will not be completed until summer. However, 1”x4” furring strips (makes fastening the ceiling panels easier) could be installed during our annual cleanup/fix up day, if there is enough interest. My wife, Jan, removed the old (and falling down) ceiling years ago when she was maintenance director. Approval from Keith Hatch, Fairgrounds Manager will be obtained before any work is initiated. Estimated cost is about $400.

--The O-Mok-See Properties Shed at the West Arena is slowly losing its roll roofing. I believe most, if not all, materials to replace the roof, repair the roof sheathing, and install a drip edge (one was never installed originally) are on hand and stored in the lower level of the announcer’s Stand. This work was originally scheduled for last spring’s cleanup/fix up day but, we never got to it. Costs should be nil.

--A 12”x20’ plank in the bleachers near the Announcer’s Stand has partially failed and needs to be replaced. This is another project left over from spring 2011. I’ll have the plank pre-stained and ready for installation this spring. Estimate cost is $50. --Install a second motion-activated spot light on the upper level entrance of the Announcer’s stand. I already have the light on hand but, some electrical changes are required to facilitate installation. Cost should be $50-$100 for some electrical supplies and to rent a conduit bender.

--The west side of the Announcer’s Stand really could use another scraping and painting. Ultimately, the building really should be re-sided. Estimated cost for paint and supplies is minimal--$100.

--And now the “Big One”. I have been in contact with the Fairgrounds Administration, various suppliers, plus potential contractors regarding replacement of the West Arena. As most of you know, there are only two “certains” regarding this issue. One, since the existing facility is on its last legs, it is not a matter of if, but when. Two, we do not have the manpower to undertake this project ourselves. Personally, I would like to see the existing facility replaced using steel—steel panels or perhaps fabricated on site using salvaged oilfield pipe. Based on information I have obtained to date, cost will be a major consideration and we may have to get innovative regarding financing. Whatever we do, this work will have to be carefully coordinated, reviewed and approved by Keith Hatch, Fairgrounds Administrator. I will have additional information available at the January meeting.


On December 5, 2011, Gary Bye and I attended a meeting with Lori Wood (the new Helena District Ranger) and Roy Barkley (Roy spearheads new trail construction on the HNF) plus other representatives of the Montana High Divide Trails (MHDT) group. The following summarizes results of that meeting:

--The HNF’s Divide Travel Plan is expected to be completed this winter. At that time, the travel plan will be available for public comment and the MHDT group will meet with HNF representatives to discuss the travel plan and the various alternatives in detail.

--Our #1 priority trail project for 2012 will be reconstruction of the Cliff Mountain Trail on the ridge line west of the Little Blackfoot Meadows. When this project is completed, you will be able to make a loop beginning at Kading Campground, travel up through the Little Blackfoot Meadows to Cottonwood Lake and then loop back along the drainage divide past Cliff Mountain and down the Kading Grade to the Kading Campground. I guarantee this will be a major, but fun and rewarding undertaking.

--MHDT will partner again with the Continental Divide Trail Alliance (CDTA) on the Stemple Pass project started last fall. MHDT will continue to work with the Helena Ranger District to sign the new Bison Mountain/revised Continental Divide Scenic Trail (CDST) and to un-sign the old CD trail. Weather in the last couple of years has prevented this work from being completed. As an aside, Jan and I walked a few miles of the new trail last summer.

--MHDT will continue to work with the CDTA on the portion of the CDST beginning at Champion Pass and extending north (aka Schurch’s Tunnel north). This trail will eventually connect onto the Cliff Mountain Crest Trail. This project was started in 2010. So far, HTR members have not participated in this project.

--Roy Barkley (HNF) mentioned the possibility of a CDST segment project in the Nevada Mountain/Marsh Creek roadless area which, as many of you know, is in our backyard. Interest was expressed but, no action was taken.

BORN TO RUN       horseshoe

Should horses be shod? Here are two professional farrier’s opinions.

PRO. Shoeing horses is situational. Where it works, it’s a great thing. Shoes just make horses a lot more versatile for riding. They help a mounted horse get a hold of the ground and stop harder. Shoes also help horses distribute the extra weight of a rider and tack. But whether they really need shoes or not depends on terrain, what type of riding they’re doing, and where the horse is kept. The fact of the matter is: Every horse can be barefoot. Going shoeless just takes a lot of responsibility on the owner’s part, and not everyone is willing or able to do that. People want convenience. They don’t want to stop and figure out if a horse is sore or if the terrain is appropriate. They want to get up and go. A shod horse stands a better chance of doing that.

In the Old West, a cowboy could also pull from the remuda and rotate horses. Many modern riders only have one horse, so it needs to be ready to go. Since the 19th century, strong feet have not been selectively bred for in horses like other traits. As a result horses have weaker feet than they did 100 years ago. We shod three times a year as kids. Now it’s every six to eight weeks. It’s about performance and being ready all the time.

I like the natural deal, but at a certain point, too much foot is gone. Where I live, in Cave Creek, Arizona, the terrain is rocky and abrasive like a rasp. Ride the trails barefoot, and you’ll wear a horse’s hooves faster than they can re-grow, and pretty soon there’s no more foot. That’s why people started shoeing in the first place. Ride in an arena or on sandy loam all day long, and you can ride them for months barefoot, and a barefoot horse is often more fleet-footed. But barefoot or not, if he’s not trimmed right, you’re going to have problems. Dave Mathis, Arizona

CON. No foal has come into this world with a pair of shoes tacked on to those little feet, but a whole bunch leave that way. Postponing the first shoeing as long as possible, at least until a horse is well into its fifth year, will add years of service on the other end of his life. Prematurely subjecting it to shoeing and strenuous work at an early age is counter to the best long-term interest to the horse physically. Just as joints and muscles are still immature so are a horse’s feet. And, left unshod, most feet get stronger over time.

An old government farrier once said to me: “There are three reasons to shoe a horse: correction, protection, and traction.” In his time, that was spot on. I don’t shoe any horses for the public and trim over 200 for my customers. But I do shoe one of my own horses! Why? Correction. My horse has poor pastern conformation, and his life is miserable without a wedge shoe that takes pressure off the coffin joint. Sometimes shoeing is less onerous than leaving the horse as he was made. Always do what is right for the horse. I think correction is the best reason to shoe. And most horses need protection at some point or other. Today, we can apply protection as needed with a hoof boot, which allows the foot to function fully and be unencumbered by a shoe. The newest hoof boots go on easily, stay on well, and last a long time. And traction will improve greatly, as well. I’ve ridden plenty of shod, barefoot, and booted horses, and the booted horse has the best traction under most conditions. In effect, the reasons to shoe are few.

The 19th century U.S. Cavalry also understood that constant or continuous shoeing degraded the quality and functionality of the horse foot over time; while leaving the hoof unshod at least half of the time restored soundness. This remains good advice today. Keith Jacobson, Colorado

BLM extends comment period for Pryor horse roundup. Billings (AP)

The federal Bureau of Land Management is extending for two weeks the public comment period for a proposed wild mustang roundup in the Pryor Mountains along the Montana-Wyoming border.

BLM spokeswoman Melodie Lloyd said Friday that comments will be taken through January 20 and accepted via mail, hand delivery, email or fax. Lloyd says mail is the preferred option to better ensure receipt of the comments.

The proposed roundup at the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range would reduce the size of the 150-horse herd to between 90 and 120 animals. BLM officials say they need to keep the horses from outgrowing their 38,000-acre range.

Previously, the BLM had accepted only comments delivered via mail or in person. Bureau of Land Management, Billings Field Office, 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings, MT 59101 - or email to or send by fax to 406-896-5281.

Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup

2 cups diced peeled butternut squash
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 green onion, sliced
½ tsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups vegetable broth, divided
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 pkg. (3 oz.) cream cheese, cubed
¼ cup minced fresh basil
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (11 oz.) Mexicorn, drained
2 cups fresh baby spinach

In a large saucepan, sauté the squash, carrot, onion and cumin in oil for 10 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add 1 ½ cups broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until vegetables are tender; cool slightly.

Transfer mixture to a blender; add the tomatoes, cream cheese, basil, chipotle pepper and remaining broth. Cover and process for 1-2 minutes or until smooth.

Return to the saucepan; stir in the beans, corn and spinach. Cook and stir until spinach is wilted and soup is heated through.

Bits and Pieces

For information or to submit pictures or comments, please contact Cheryl Bryant – Please submit pictures ONE AT A TIME.

If you have anything you would like to post in the Pony Tales, please contact Cheryl Schmidt at 458-3913 or email your request to Please have this information to me before the 10th of the month.

Update on Beverly Stiger and Eileen Taylor

Both ladies made it through their surgeries this last month and both are home and recuperating.

Beverly was a little longer in coming home and is still moving pretty slowly. But I’m happy to report she is looking fabulous as ever as of yesterday afternoon!

Eileen was up and running a bit too soon and finally got some rest...(so she said). But was out making posters for the next meeting the last time I saw her.


January 21st: Ten Mile Drivers Annual Membership Drive. Saturday at 10:00 a.m. in the Basement Conference Room at the Helena Community Credit Union, 915 Kessler Street (across from the Brewhouse). If you have any questions please call Dave Pool at 431-7345.

February 18th and 19th: Winter Fest in Bozeman. For more information visit their Website at:

The picture to the right is Kate Hollandsworth’s NEW toy for this Christmas. Dang, her toys get bigger each year! This picture was taken at the Ten Mile Drivers Annual Meeting on New Year’s Day. It looks like the weather wasn’t too bad although Kate is certainly dressed for it. (Kate driving)
Belgians hitched to a hay wagon

A Real Cowboy Has

(Please don’t be offended by the picture to the right, no animals or babies were hurt in the making of it…)
Brahma and boy
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