by Ken Carmichael
As we near the end of the year it is interesting to look back at what we have experienced in 2021 and the challenges ahead. It is easy to reflect on the difficult year we encountered but also rewarding to remember what has been accomplished.
Ponderosa Back Country Horsemen (PBCH) has been busy preserving and enhancing the rights of responsible horsemen to use horses and mules on public land. We do this through education, advocacy and moving dirt. Fortunately, we are part of the Back Country Horsemen of Washington (BCHW) and the Back Country Horsemen of America (BCHA),who speak loudly and strongly at the state and national level on many issues affecting equestrians. As a chapter we provide input.
At the local level we have had some fun on the educational front. We participated again this year at the Riverside State Park Foundation “Wednesday in the Woods” with a presentation on Trail Etiquette, with a skit using stick horses, bicycle helmets and walking sticks. We developed and presented six classes on “My Horse and Me” for those families considering the purchase of their first horse. The interaction was great. We took 13 horses to the Calvary Bible School for the children to pet. A fantastic experience for young people to get up close to a horse. The kid’s eyes were bigger than the horse’s.
In cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) we pulled up seven miles of 4 strand barbwire. While this did not open any trails it did cement a great relationship with BLM. Also, with BLM we installed 8 corrals, 3 picnic tables and 2 fire rings at the Escure Ranch, our favorite campsite. Riverside State Park saw us repair the arena fence, and repair and enhance the equestrian obstacle course which BCH had originally built. This concluded with an open house where PBCH highlighted the course and provided assistance to riders.
In addition, PBCH members enjoy rides and camping with our friends. The women only campout and ride at Ancient Lakes was a big hit. There are so many good riding locations in close proximity to Spokane that we cannot get to all of them in a year.
To help fund these activities PBCH held a Poker Ride in Riverside State Park. Besides the fun of the event, riders participated in the raffle and tack sale which was carried forward from the open house.
Did Covid slow us down? Yes, some. Our next step is to plan for 2022, which we are looking forward to. As we get back to monthly in person meetings we will enhance our educational programs and social activities. If you are interested in participating please contact me at 509-466-2225 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can learn more about PBCH and BCHW at www.pbchw.com and www.bchw.org. Hope you can join us. Happy Trails.