blooming rose

June Meeting June 19th, 2013 Board Meets: 5:30 p.m. General Meeting: 6:15 p.m.

Message from our President: Heather Hollandsworth

What a great turn out we had at the May meeting!! I was so pleased to see that many Helena Trail Riders attend. We had a wonderful program about Fanny Sperry Steele. Judy Fjell sang to us the Ballad of Fanny Sperry Steele (To Chin the Moon). This was an interactive program, with club member singing the last line of every verse with her. There were pictures showing from a projector along with still photos on display. In addition to Judy, we had another guest who brought along a doll that was owned by Fannie. If you missed the meeting, you missed a great program about one of Montana’s cowgirls.

Your club secretary/treasurer, Kate, had a wonderful idea about providing a meal for after the meeting. This idea was put into action at our May meeting. We served lasagna with salad and garlic bread. We had strawberries and whip cream for dessert. There wasn’t much left!! So I would say that this idea was a hit. We are planning on doing this again at our July meeting. We will be having a different meal, but please plan on attending the meeting and having dinner after.

It is that time of year again… Keith & Tasha will be looking for volunteers to help run the gates during the Fair. We are expecting less money from the Fairgrounds this year for doing this as they are no longer requiring our services on Sunday. This is the biggest fundraiser this club does all year. Our operating costs depend on our working the gates. I am asking each of you to please give an hour or two of your time to help with this…even if you have never done this before. I will be around all 4 days so don’t be nervous about volunteering to do this. There will be someone there to help you,explain the process, and answer any questions.

This Month’s Program:
Plan on attending our Annual Ice Cream Social - only it will be held on June 19th instead of July - at 6:30 pm. Bring your friends who are interested in coming to learn more about Helena Trail Riders and the activities we have along with the opportunity to fellowship with horse lovin' people.

From the Directors

Programs Director- Shirley Herrin

The years have quickly passed by and once again we find ourselves at a time to observe another milestone in the history of Montana’s oldest incorporated saddle club. It seems that our 50th commemoration was but a scant few years back, but here we are – it’s time to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Helena Trail Riders.

We wish to invite anyone who has ever been a member of the Helena Trail Riders (HTR) to join us in the celebration. We have set the event for Saturday, August 17, 2013 beginning at four pm until eight pm at the Helena Trail Riders Club House at Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds.

Put the date on your calendar and come and join us for a time of visiting with old friends, and meeting new ones. We are planning a great time with a live band, refreshments, a silent auction and movies of past trail rides and O-Mok-Sees. Come and see if you can find photos of yourselves in the HTR scrapbooks that date back to the beginning of the club. questions you have. It is pretty easy and a great way to get to meet and know your fellow members while helping the club.

Since we have altered our clubs meeting schedule to odd numbered months… We have moved our ice cream social to June!! So plan on coming to the clubhouse on Wednesday, June 19th at 630 for some ice cream and socializing!


Fun Facts: DID YOU KNOW? The Hobby, first mentioned in a reference in 1375, is the oldest recorded ancestor of the Quarter Horse. Many Hobby horses were imported to the United States in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Hobby was a general term used to describe any small farm or cart horses and is probably responsible for the naming of the favorite child's toy - you guessed it - the hobby horse!

Upcoming Events:

June 19 Ice Cream Social

June 22 Ride at Crow Creek

June 26 Ride at North Hill

June 30 points O-Mok-See Helena Trail Riders

July 6 Gallatin Valley BCH Poker Ride

July 13 Upper Clark Fork BCH Poker Ride

July 20 Ride at Heart Lake/Indian Meadows

July 21 HTR Fun Day

July 24-27 Lewis & Clark County Stampede

August 10 –Helena Valley Blues points

O-Mok-See August 18 - District O-Mok-See

Kids Corner:

We are looking for kids to contribute pictures, stories or whatever for Pony Tales. Also the Youth Advisory Council is looking for young members to participate & learn some leadership skills.

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 Experience It seems we are usually discussing my mishaps and adventures that the old cowboy gets me into. Maybe we should focus on a few of his. When he’s not on fire duty somewhere, sometimes he’s on cowboy duty. The first incident that comes to mind is a little trek we made into Everett Hicks’ place in Wolf Creek to check on his cows and calves in early spring a number of years ago. Stiger volunteered to do this job so he could give his three-year-old colt, Fox, some “cow” experience. I volunteered to ride along in preference to mowing the grass or cleaning my oven.

At that time, Fox was willing (sort of) to go amongst the calves, but he wasn’t entirely sure their big black mamas didn’t eat little red horses for a snack. He was tippy-toeing through ‘em, trying not to be noticed, Stiger had his little yellow notebook out, carefully writing down eartag numbers of any calves that looked sickly or stressed, when one old cow decided he was too close to her baby. She snorted and blew snot at him, Fox thought he’d been had. He jumped straight up and sideways at the same time, and when he came back down to earth, he hadn’t had enough experience to know that he was supposed to duck back under Sonny as he made his descent.

As I saw it from my observation point on a good, quiet, broke horse, old Stiger landed with a thud, lost his glasses and his notebook of eartag numbers – but I had to give him credit for hanging onto his horse, his transportation back home. He got a “no score” in rodeo circles, but I gave him a 9.8 for the magnificent swan dive. They are harder to do with boots on and reins in your teeth.

I have learned through the years, when things like this occur, it’s not a good time (timing is everything) to crack a smile or make any comments about remembering one is riding a colt and paying attention to one’s mount while one is also looking over calves and writing down numbers. Cowboys sometimes have trouble doing two things at once. But I file the information for later reference. Like now.

He was also working on a little four-year-old filly we had at the time, and he called her “Perfect Horse”. He said she tried so hard and did everything right. Now I must admit, I was a bit skeptical about any four-year-old being a Perfect Horse, but I agreed to ride her out one Easter Sunday up Little Creek on Bob Wirth’s place.

We got caught in a spring storm on the way home, some rain, some snow, some sleet, some hail, lots of wind. I’m riding this Perfect Horse, product of his training, head down into the storm, when suddenly she whirls around and starts backing down the steep, rocky hill, going as fast backwards as she had been frontwards. Now, maybe I’m a little picky, but I prefer to go frontwards since the eyes are on that end and I’d like her to use ‘em. And I think the trainer should impress this upon the trainee.

But nay, to him, this is his Perfect Horse. And if Perfect Horse wants to point her Perfect Butt downhill first, that just shows how smart she is, doesn’t want to get rain in her Perfect Eyes. More cowboy logic. Fortunately, she kept her Perfect Feet under her, and I was able to stay in the middle of her Perfect Back until we reached the sanctuary of Wirth’s barn and holed up until the storm was over.

Old What’s-His-Name told me he was done training colts, these two were the last ones. But I’ve heard this story before and gave it little heed. I maintain any old codger who could pass the Step Test for fire-fighting when he was past 60, could also step up on another colt or two. Especially when I could provide such superb top-rail coaching. And colts are just ‘way too cute. So, to call his bluff, a year or so later, I made the arrangements for Perfect Horse to be bred to Jeff and Sue Thompson’s Perfect Stallion, to see if they could produce a Perfect Colt.

Cody as a baby Cody as a baby Cody as a yearling Cody as a yearling

They did and we had a Perfect Baby running around the pasture for Ye Old Horse Trainer to begin again. He was a line-back dun we named Cody, he took well to Stiger’s efforts at training, and served us for 12 years until we decided Cody needed a “job” and more riding than either of us old feeble people could provide. He is currently with Thompson’s, the stud’s owners, and Sue uses him for everything, including as a lesson horse for anyone, ages 5 to 50. He lets little boys rope off him and doesn’t care if they catch his ear or his hind leg in the process. He teaches the little girls the barrel pattern, not barrel-racer fast mind you, more like the “get-your-knee-out-of-the-way” technique, and “don’t lean over too far and unbalance me” scenario. You never know, we might get him back in his later years. By then he ought to be settled down enough even for us old feeble people!

Cody on a halter Cody with Miss Montana & Cisco Cody's first ride Cody’s first ride

Stiger is adamant at this point, there will be no more baby horses, but colts are so cute! (You oughta see him get agitated when he catches me thumbing through a production sale flyer!) He just turned 78 and he thinks that gives him an excuse not to train any more colts. I call that premature bail-out.
Bev Stiger

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