rainbow and pot of gold

Meeting March 16th, 2011

Board Meets: 6:30 p.m.

General Meeting: 7:30 p.m.

Part 1 - Round Penning Made Easy, a video by Australian Clinton Anderson

Hello, all fellow trail rider members! I can bet everyone is truly anxious for spring to arrive, after our long cold winter. I sure am, now that I'm nearly 90% recovered from my back injury, horse related of course; the 2nd time in less than 7 months. But I'm not going to hold it against them, as greater than 90% of horse accidents are rider error. I'm anxious to get back in the saddle again soon, to start with building confidence thru riding lessons this month. It will be nice to explore our beautiful land God created once again. I want to thank all those that are in support of my position as president of the HTR club and thanks to all that are and recently selected as new directors - and the filling of the Secretary and Treasurer positions. Please give them a big thank you for taking on a very important Board member duty for our club. Those of you that want to schedule trail rides as early as weather permits - get in touch with Eileen Taylor as she is coming up with a schedule for those willing to take part in. Thanks to all those that do their part to make a great club! See you all at the next Meeting at 730pm March 16, 2011.

Sheri Onstott, President

The February meeting of the Helena Trail Riders was called to order at 7:32 p.m. by President Sheri Onstott.

Minutes were reviewed by the general membership and motioned for approval by Janelle Dunn & seconded by Scott Stoner.

The Treasurer’s Report was read and approved motion by Bev Stiger, seconded by Judy Gardner.


A Card was sent to Sharon Ellis

Directors’ Reports

Roberta Lawson-Social Director: Nothing to report

Bob Braico-Maintenance Director: A list of the items done is listed in the most current Pony Tales.

Heather Hollandsworth-Program Director: Not present but wanted all to know if going to participate in the poker hands will need to start at the March meeting.

Cheryl Schmidt, Historian: Working on the Cookbook project and the photo albums

Keith Herrin/Sandy Merchan-O’Mok-see Director: Not present but the MSCA meeting is Feb 18/19

Eileen Taylor-Trail Director: Next month a couple short rides on a calendar and an Easter egg hunt on horse back.

Old Business

February 18/19th is the MSCA meetings, one held at the HTR building at 8pm on the 18th and the one on the 19th 9am will be held at Helena High School.

The club is currently looking for someone to be secretary treasurer.

There are 3 requests for use of the building, club asks for a $25 donation for power and utilities. 2/18 MSCA meeting, 3/1 4-H meeting & 3/6 10 Mile Drivers

New Business

Trail rider rules, 24 sections and proposing the adoption of rules as amended motioned by Gary Bye and seconded by Bob Braico.


Eagle Mount is looking for volunteers to be side walkers first session will start in May.

Jan requested the O-Mok-see Director put a report in if they will not be in attendance at the board and general meeting just like the other directors do.

Since there was no further business before the group, we adjourned at 7:55 p.m.

Program was by Tom Johnson on first aid, told what to take in case of an emergency and what kinds of things you can do when there is not an emergency tech within a quick turn around.

Chris Warren, Secretary/Treasurer

Trail Ride Director

Our first club ride will be Saturday March 19th at 10am. This ride will be led by Eileen Taylor she can be reached at (406) 461-0821. The ride will be at an easy level. The ride will be at the Hilger Ranch owned by Cathy Campbell. Directions: Take I-15 North towards Great Falls then take the Gates of the Mountains Exit 209. Turn right heading east towards Upper Holter Lake and go about 1 ˝ mile. Parking will be just past the corrals on the right by the small grain bin.

Eileen Taylor, Trail Ride Director


I am still working on the photo album and the cookbook. With help from Bob and Jan Braico (and Eileen Taylor), we finished the tri-fold pamphlet and there will be copies at the meeting for people to see and take to give to friends. I hope to have the cookbook done in time for the Lewis and Clark Historical days in the downtown walking mall. The date of the Historical Fair is May 21st. If you are interested in participating in this event please contact me or Heather Hollandsworth.

Cheryl Schmidt, Historian

Building Maintenance


Maintenance. Assuming spring gets here this year, the work day is still scheduled for April 16th. In addition, my intention is to start working on various projects as soon as weather permits. I continue to check on the Clubhouse and West Arena once or twice a week. I’m happy to report there are no urgent issues and, to date, vandalism has not been a problem.

Continental Divide Trail issues. On March 1, 2011, I prepared and sent (via e-mail) a letter expressing our safety concerns with the Lincoln Ranger District’s intent to allow motorized use along a portion of the Continental Divide Trail within the District. In this regard, I expressed our historic use of the North Hill, the Scratch Gravel Hills and Hellgate Gulch in the Big Belts and the problems that we’ve been experiencing in these locations. I also gave examples of trail damage in the upper Little Blackfoot River drainage that is making these trails less safe because they are becoming so eroded. I expressed these same concerns in a letter sent directly to the Lincoln Ranger District. However, the March 1, 2011, letter provides more detail and was sent to Josh Hicks at the Wilderness Society. Mr. Hicks is coordinating the responses of the quiet trail users like us. Copies of the March 1, 2011 letter will be available for review at the March meeting.

Well, as I’ve been advising for some time, Continental Divide Trail projects in the Helena vicinity are now scheduled and are available for sign up. If you have e-mail, then you should already have received detailed information. However, if you don’t have e-mail or simply forgot, here are the dates:
--June 25-26 to install a kiosk and signs on the new, 14-mile Bison Mtn loop trail,
--July 22-24 to continue working on the Continental Divide Trail near Deer Lodge (Champion Pass),
--September 9-11 to work on the Continental Divide Trail from Flesher Pass to Stemple Pass.

I have been a cook and have done trail construction on the Bison Mtn loop trail for three years in a row because it benefits our club and, believe it or not, it is an enjoyable experience. As a direct result, I am hoping to put together a weekend ride over the Bison Mtn loop trail this summer. I would also like to see HTR well represented on these work weekends this year. I will try to answer any questions at the March general meeting.

Bob Braico, Building Maintenance

Bits and Pieces

The WEBSITE is up and running. Please check it out. www.helenatrailriders.org For information or to submit pictures or comments, please contact Cheryl Bryant – govcup@copper.net 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 ornrycwgirl@mt.net. Please have this information to me before the 10th of the month.

Remember: West Arena Schedule is (exclusive use) every Tuesday and Thursday and the first Friday of the month.

Upcoming Events/Activities:

March 19th: Hilger Ride. 10:00 a.m. Directions are on page 2. Bring a lunch and all-weather gear. That means, everything but the kitchen sink…

March 25th and 26th: Made in Montana Marketplace. Great Falls - Mansfield Convention Center. Montana made products, including art, clothing and jewelry. (406) 455-8510.

June 16th through 18th: Wagon-train. Below is an invitation to be part of the Chouteau County Trailblazers’ wagon-train. Sounds fun! I thought I would put this in early so people would have time to plan.

I am sending out invitations to all for our 40th Annual Wagon Train. I am seeking more wagons to join our group for 3 fun filled days, being our 40th ride I would like to have a large number of wagons attending. Riders are always welcome, I am just trying to spread the word about our organization and hopefully draw in a few more 'wagoneers'! We are the Chouteau County Trailblazers and we put on a 3-day wagon-train on the 3rd weekend of June each year. The dates for the 2011 ride are June 16-18 and we will be riding thru the Square Butte, MT area. We ride on private and public ground - always with great views! If you'd like to read more about our event I have created a website at http://cctb.bravehost.com/

The registrations are open on March 27th and are on a first come first serve basis. At a rate of only $140 for three days, including 3 catered meals per day, hay for your horses, and a bedroll trailer for your belongings. It is a great deal for a wonderful vacation!! We would love to have you spread the word and come join us for a wonderful event!! Please feel free to contact me for any further information. We look forward to seeing you all in June!!

Thank you for your time. Nikki Ayers
Chouteau County Trailblazers, Sec.
(406)739-4413 mtayers@hotmail.com

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