geese flying into the sun

Odd numbered months will have a membership and board meeting. Even numbered months we will have an activity and board meeting. This month Board meeting September 21.

President Marcia Gray. VP Jessica Erickson.
Secretary Kate Hollandsworth.
Treasurer Sheri Onstott

Icelandic ponies

From our President --- Marcia Gray

Happy autumn everyone.

At this time, I don’t know of a program planned for the September 21st meeting but that may change. Please join us for visiting, make riding plans and keeping in touch with club members and activities. We are happy to hear your program ideas that would appeal to our Helena Trail Rider audience.

Planning, Partnerships and Participation.

Fall is a great time for enjoying the outdoors isn’t it? Cooler days, colorful leaves, lots of wildlife and less flies. We have been controlling flies at the barn with tiny critters called Fly Predators which look like itty bitty flies themselves. Surprisingly, we also watched a pair of Rocky Mountain Bluebirds make a nest and raise 3 chicks, also in the barn. During the summer the family flew away, or so we thought. Recently one morning, while pitching manure from the pens to a big pile, we noticed the Blue Birds had returned and were keeping us company while we worked. We hadn’t realized they were making a feast out of the Fly Predators we disturbed and deposited in the manure pile. Winter must not be close because they are still here with friends and family eating our best fly controllers.

The High School Rodeo Club families have kept their commitment to help with the maintenance work at the west arena. Therefore, they will be using the HTR meeting room once a month during the winter. I expect it to be 2nd Tuesdays again, so I will be looking for some people to open the Clubhouse and stay until their meeting is over, and then lock up.

The High School Rodeo Club families have kept their commitment to help with the maintenance work at the west arena. Therefore, they will be using the HTR meeting room once a month during the winter. I expect it to be 2nd Tuesdays again, so I will be looking for some people to open the Clubhouse and stay until their meeting is over, and then lock up.

Lewis and Clark County 4-H Council Sales Committee used our Clubhouse during the Fair and left it in good order. The benches and tables were put back, and it looks like the floor was swept.

August 27th, at the Dagnall ranch in Canyon Creek, the Helena Trail Riders joined with the Tri- Arabian Horse Club to host a poker/trail ride. They provided the venue and other help at the stations. Carol Ham, Chris Warren and others unknown to me manned stations on the trail and passed out cards. Kate, Heather, and Ryker Hollandsworth, along with Rita Newman and Barb (Lloyd Casey’s daughter) provided a tasty hot lunch for the riders to purchase. We had several Helena Trail Riders who rode. This is an annual event for the Tri Arabian Club, so we may want to think about joining them again next year. Thank-you to all of you that rode or helped.

We have a mutually beneficial partnership going with the Fairgrounds over the gate admission at the Fair. Keith Hatch of the Fairgrounds, and Roger Nordahl with Lewis and Clark County, expressed their appreciation for our members who are dependable, skilled and innovative when dealing with the public taking gate admission for the Fair. Although it is sometimes difficult to get enough members, friends and relatives to work the gates, the Club is monetarily compensated. We use the proceeds for various ongoing projects involving the Helena Trail Riders. Since this is our main fundraiser, I hope you will be able to participate in this important club activity at the 2017 Stampede and Fair.

Referring to the Helena Trail Rider’s traditional schedule, October festivities have changed from a Halloween Party to a chili cook-off with prizes for winners. Bring your wishes and expectations for this activity to the September meeting.

Be sure to take advantage of our scheduled use of the West arena Tuesdays, Thursdays and first of the month Friday.
Marcia Gray

Anyone with suggestions for programs or activities, please come to a meeting and share, or let a board of directors member know what you would like to see or hear about.

*Any member can contribute to the Pony Tales. For sale or wanted items and articles must be to Sharon by the 10th of each month.

* It is important that no Helena Trail Rider member is left out of the loop because he/she doesn’t have the latest social communication device. Please let us know of any member who is not receiving the newsletter either via e-mail or by snail-mail.

*Send items you wish included in the newsletter to

Bill Gray, Maintenance

It was a busy time getting ready for our O-Mok-See dates at the west arena. The Helena High School rodeo club members and their parents helped us put up new rails, dig post holes, pound nails, and of course, picked rocks. This is in exchange for the once a month use of the meeting room of the clubhouse during the winter. Several Helena Trail Riders were there to assist and work also. Marc at Murdoch’s gave us a generous discount on lag screws and rails. Pop and pizza followed the event.

Our fire extinguishers have been updated in the HTR clubhouse.

I have plans to have the furnace serviced for winter next month.

Horse cartoon

We are trying to get a feel for what you would like to see the club doing…so if you have any suggestions for proposed events, please contact:

Helena Trail Riders
PO Box 4801
Helena MT 59604

Please let us know if at any time you wish your mailed copy of the Pony Tales to be sent to you by e-mail, or if you wish to have your name deleted from the monthly mailing. If someone has been missed please email or call us, and we can add you! You can e-mail us at You can always view past and current newsletters on the internet at the Helena Trail Riders website,

Trail Rides, Cassy Lynn

Here is an update on our schedule. Rides Start at 10 a.m. Make sure to bring lunches or snacks on our rides. If you have questions please contact Cassy at her e-mail address,

September 18 – Heart Lake - The overnight trail ride is cancelled. Not sure if an e-mail was sent out earlier or not. There will still be a day ride up at Heart Lake. Bring snacks or lunch.

October 2- Head Lane - May change location. (unless someone has a different ride they would like to do)

October 9- Travis Creek ( if weather holds and all is good. This will be our last ride for the season with HTR)
Take I-15 south. Take exit 182 towards Clancy. Turn right onto Legal Tender Lane. Turn right onto Cut Off Rd. Turn left onto Lump Gulch Rd. Take slight right onto Travis Creek Rd. Right to stay on Travis Creek Rd.

Forgotten Horses of History -- Little Sorrel
Little Sorrel

Originally Stonewall Jackson had planned to give Little Sorrel to his wife as he was barely big enough for Jackson to ride. However, Jackson soon realized that despite his small stature, Little Sorrel had enormous courage, a smooth pace and an even temper. Stonewall Jackson was famous for riding into battle with his boots almost touching the ground as Little Sorrel plowed ahead. Little Sorrel's courage became so well known that after the war, ladies would clip hairs from his mane to make wristlets and rings.


Club Contacts:

Helena Trail Riders- Vickie Blixt 442-1717

Gone with the Wind – Peggy Huntington 459-2161

Western Patriots- Patsy Althof 439-8916

Helena Valley Blues – Moriah Parker 202-5729

Remember: West Arena Schedule is (exclusive use) every Tuesday and Thursday and the first Friday of the month. Don’t forget to check on all Helena Trail Riders information posted to the website (including past copies of Pony Tales). Suggestions or corrections to Cheryl Bryant

Join us on facebook!
Cartoon, guy with smart phone complaining about so many apps while sourrounded by Appaloosas

Horse Riding – National Forests

Horse riding is allowed on most lands within the Helena National Forest. In addition, most of the designated trails are managed for stock. Although all trails are open to horse riding, several are steep, rocky, narrow and not wellsuited for that activity. If you have not ridden on specific Forest trails previously, you might consider contacting the local Ranger District for important trail information.

There are several wonderful mountain locations for horse riding on the Helena National Forest such as: Elkhorn Mountains, Big Belt Mountains, Blackfoot Meadows, Gates of the Mountains Wilderness, Nevada Mountain Inventoried Roadless Area and the Scapegoat Wilderness. If you plan to camp in association with your ride you may be interested to learn there are several developed recreation sites which accommodate stock or are located close to corrals.

1. Kading Campground & Kading Rental Cabin (Little Blackfoot Area)
2. Eagle Guard Station (Elkhorn Mountains)
3. Gipsy Lake Campground (Big Belt Mountains)
4. Thompson Guard Station (Big Belt Mountains)
5. Indian Meadows Trailhead (Scapegoat Wilderness)

There are several Forest regulations which stock users need to be aware of including:

1. Containment of stock within 200 feet of all lakeshores within the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex is prohibited. Containment includes the following activities: grazing, herding, tying, picketing, tethering, hobbling or hitching animals to trees or rails.
2. Within the Bob Marshall Wilderness the use of saddle, pack, or draft animals exceeding 35 in number is prohibited.
3. Within the Gates of the Mountains Wilderness the use of saddle, pack, or draft animals exceeding 20 in number is prohibited.
4. The entire Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex and surrounding lands within the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem are subject to a special food storage order designed to minimize grizzly bear-human conflicts.
5. The use of certified weed seed free feed is required on all Helena Forest lands.
6. Stock is not allowed within Helena Forest campgrounds or picnic areas.

Anyone interested in learning more about riding opportunities or stock regulations is encouraged to contact the local Ranger District.

Horse looking down saying "I told you the girth was loose."

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