dancing skeleton

Helena Trail Riders October Chili Cook Off & Auction
Where: Helena Trail Riders clubhouse @ the fairgrounds
When: Friday October 25th, 2013 @ 6:30pm
Who: All Members (& Guests)

Message from our President: Heather Hollandsworth

Happy Halloween…
I have had one person volunteer to help out with the Christmas basket raffle. This is a very easy way for the club to make a few dollars to help pay for our Christmas party. The basket includes items that for a Christmas dinner: frozen turkey, stuffing mix, pumpkin pie, etc… In the past the ladies who have put this together also added a treat for our equine friends as well. I need one or two more people to volunteer to help out with this project. Please give me a call or send an email if you can do this.

I have heard of some folks inquiring about running for board of directors next year which I think is AWESOME!!!! I want to share a bit of information about regarding Board of Directors. Since it is a bit lengthy, I have included some information further down in the newsletter.

I still need people to be our nominating committee. This involves calling people to see if they would be willing run for the board of directors and then run the election at the January meeting.

I would like to take the time to give a big thanks to Chris Warren. She did a fantastic job scheduling rides this year. From all that I have heard, people enjoyed the rides very much. Chris sent out an email earlier this month stating that scheduled rides are over for the year. If anyone is looking for riding partners just send out an email to fellow club members.

Wade Cooperider and Mike Hayes came to the September meeting to give a presentation about the Montana Livestock program. There were several interesting fact presented to the members.

We had a potato bar for our dinner. Kate and Dasha worked hard to have the potatoes ready before the meeting. There was chili, cheese sauce, and other items to fix up the potatoes. Heather

This Month’s Program/Activity:

Helena Trail Riders October Chili Cook Off & Auction
Where: Helena Trail Riders clubhouse @ the fairgrounds
When: Friday October 25th, 2013 @ 6:30pm
Who: All Members (& Guests)

Please bring a pot of your favorite chili to enter into the cook-off. If you do not want to participate in the cook-off, please bring a dessert or a side dish share. We will also be holding the participation bucks auction on this night. Be sure to bring your dollars with you!!!

From the Directors Historian: Marcia Gray

The year is coming to a close and I would like to collect any paper mementos or photographs you would like to see in the scrapbook for 2013. I was unable to attend a lot of our HTR activities and so I am counting on you to submit something to remind readers that it took place. Curt used a lot of newspaper clippings to verify the information he put in his wonderful article about the Helena Trail Riders. I hope that I can provide the means to verify material for our next anniversary! Taking pictures does not rate as one of my highest skills, or so my kids say. I would like to post your photos instead. Thanks for helping me record our club in action. Marcia Gray

Trail Ride Director: Chris Warren

Well the weather is changing and apparently fast. I cannot believe that we didn’t even get our fall weather, well with any luck we will get loads of snow this year and little or no fires next year. I will keep my fingers crossed. Would like to let everyone know that I will not be planning any more rides for the year as the weather is being far too unpredictable but I really had a wonderful time riding with all that attended and hope to see many more people next year. I will try to make sure to have some scheduled for possibly March, they will be warm up rides to get us and our horses back in shape for the coming season. Happy Fall to everyone and I hope everyone is looking to possible warm days for more riding. Chris Warren

Fun Facts: DID YOU KNOW?

Different breeds tend to have different standards for what is considered a good head.

The extremes are: - The concave head of the Arabian, with its tea-cupped muzzle. - The convex head of some Baroque breeds, such as the Lusitano and Lipizzaner, with a roman nose.

DID YOU KNOW? A horse with small eyes is said to be pig-eyed. Some horsemen avoid purchasing such horses, in the belief that they tend to be spookier and less trainable.

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: a_johnson@bresnan.net or call 439-6072.

Life's Experiences by Bev Stiger
After reading last month’s issue, some folks have told me they hope I never run out of “fire stories”. Not a chance! Old Stiger provided me with subject material for years. A couple more come to mind. It seems like the fire season always started in earnest in mid-July, and although I did a rain dance frequently, results were negative. ‘Way back in 1994, Stiger left in July and I only saw him twice between then and the middle of October, and that was only when he dropped in to shower, shave, and drop off his laundry. Not that I’m incapable of survival, but after he’s gone for weeks, the Man Stuff at the place begins to pile up.

Like logging, for instance. Cutting and removal of trees partially felled by the wind, falls in the Man Stuff category, particularly when said Man is a forester by trade. The wind broke a big cottonwood tree off, across my driveway, but still attached to its stump, about ten feet up. Said I to myself, “Self, just fire up the chainsaw and finish the job, salvaging the big stump, then drag the tree out of the driveway.”

I got the chainsaw going, but as I ascended the stepladder, I realized this might not be as easy as I thought, beings the chainsaw was heavy, the ladder tippy, and What’s-His-Name had the hardhats with him, which I read somewhere (probably in the Journal of Forestry, a coffee table magazine at our house), you are supposed to wear when logging. I think maybe OSHA would never approve this project. So I had to rely on my trusty hatchet, whacking away for a couple hours until I got the tree cut, but then it rested comfortably on its stump and wouldn’t come all the way down.

I might have to rethink the plan of leaving the big stump. But I knew cottonwoods resprout, since I was always fighting their damn root suckers coming up all over the lawn, and given a chance, it would grow a new top and be a beautiful shade tree again, with a very large lower trunk. And if the Old Boy didn’t like the looks of it, having an eye for trees and a diploma to prove it (he graduated from Colorado State University in Grass and Trees back in the Dark Ages), he could deal with it. Tree stumps and their miles of roots come under the heading of Man Stuff.

I got the tow chain around it, the other end of which I hooked to the pickup. Crash! Down it came and fortunately missed the truck and another nearby tree. Life is good, I’m on a roll. Bubble bursts. My next discovery was that a tree does not necessarily drag straight behind a pickup. It goes at an angle, so the farther I pulled it, the worse it got, until it blocked the whole driveway. By then I had the pickup wedged between two metal fenceposts Stiger insisted on leaving in the ground year-round to hang his snowfence on. Did they pull out easily?? Of course not. I think he set ‘em in concrete.

I finally got the pickup maneuvered around with its fenders still intact, and I was figuring out Plan B, when good old neighbor Al Milliron had the misfortune to sail up the road again. What he needs to learn to do, is drive with eyes straight ahead down the road, and not be gawking around to see what’s going on at the neighbor’s.

He hooked onto the tree and moved it for me. Not long after that, I heard he had his house up for sale because he didn’t want to live by me no more.

After the logging incident, I’m nurturing negative thoughts about firefighters and thinking about explaining these feelings to the I.C. on the fire in Idaho where Stiger is spending the summer. Where I grew up, near the Catholic town of Butte, America, I.C. stood for Immaculate Conception; however, in fire talk, I.C. refers to the Incident Commander. It has been my astute observation that some I.C.’s tend to think they are the direct product of an Immaculate Conception, and they are never very sympathetic to my problems.

I realign their thought processes from time to time, however, they revert back to the idea that fire is the only thing worth consideration, and their Incident is a whole lot more important than my Incident, and they haven’t seen Stiger in days anyway. Firefighter Mentality runs on a par with Cowboy Logic and I think we’ve discussed that before. At least this time when he finally did get home, he didn’t ask no dumb questions, he just bucked up the tree for firewood. He’s learnin’.

And then there was the cat crisis. My adult cat came up with a broken hindleg, who knows how, but we suspected she was the victim of the two little kittens tipping over an end table on her while I was out in the yard.

He had presented me with these little beasties when they showed up in the Dept. of State Lands warehouse, and the guys “were going to destroy ‘em”. Yeah, right. Boy, did they see him comin’. Anyway, they were to stay inside until they “learned where they lived and got a little bigger”. I don’t have to tell you whose bright idea that was. These two kittens proceeded to turn my living room into Wild Kingdom as they pounced and bounced around among the plants and furniture.

When I caught one peering out through the leaves of my spider plant, which was six feet off the floor in a hanging basket, and I’m swift enough to know he can’t fly, I determined his method of ascent was the drapes, and I booted his tiny butt outside to “learn to live out there”, not caring if he got a little bigger or not. But in the interim, the older cat gets a broken leg.

Stiger was home between fires just long enough to tell me to get the cat fixed up, we’d take care of her. Ha! Easy for him to say. Off I go to Helena to the vet with a cat mewing pathetically on the backseat, and he sails off into the smoke again.

Now I have a cat with a cast clear to her hip, unable to stand alone. The first three weeks she had to be moved everywhere by me. Not too bad until it came to the litterbox duties. I had to position said kitty in the box, while holding my nose, and when the chore was complete, I had to do the tidy work and cover it up! Alas, what had my life come to?? I had been voted most likely to succeed at something or other, I forget what, back in high school, but this wasn’t it.

And for those of you who might find this tidbit of information useful at some point in time, you need to be aware that a female cat shoots a deadly stream straight out the back with about the same pressure and velocity you find at the car wash. And if you don’t have said cat properly aligned in the litterbox, you are likely to end up with wall, floor, and tennis shoes to clean up as well. I just thought I’d pass that along as a public service message.

By the time Old Whiskers appeared on the scene again, (and you can guess his greeting – not “Hi there, how are you doing?”, but “How’s the cat?”), the cast was off, the cat was getting around good as new, I had somehow survived, and he could congratulate himself on taking such good care of his animals.

One winter he took off for Marana, Arizona, just out of Tucson, in February, to teach some course in Fire Management at the National Fire Academy there. Firemen are a strange lot. I might have mentioned that before. Even in the wintertime when they aren’t fighting fire, they like to set around and talk about it and think about what they might do about it next year. Somebody had to stay home to feed the livestock, that’s why he got married, so he’d have somebody to do that. (Sometimes I can’t remember why I did…….)

He was sitting at the pool, sipping a mint julep, and he decided to call home to tell me what a good time he was having. Bad plan. I was butt-deep in fresh snow with my Honda Civic wedged tightly between our front gateposts where it spun out trying to make it up the driveway. I had a colicky horse in the corral, the stock tank was froze up, and the power had been off for several hours. I was in no mood to discuss the nice weather in Arizona.

I had to hang up because, Hi-Ho-Silver, to the rescue, here comes neighbor Milliron. Now he might not be a big man, but he’s a wirey little bugger, strong as an ox. He grabbed the front bumper of the Honda and pulled it around so it was headed down the driveway. Then he said, “Don’t try to drive up there again until this melts.” Well, duh, I’m only half as dumb as I look. He then suggested we take them big posts out and install rubber guardrails on the driveway. It was rumored that Old Al was doing cartwheels when we sold that house and moved. He must be bored to tears now.

Information about elected positions

There are several (ten) sections in our by-laws regarding the positions, but here are a few that you need to be stated for those thinking about running:

A short synopsis of the positions:


Vice President


Social Director

Building and Maintenance Director

Trail Ride Director

O-Mok-See Director

Public Relations Director

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