The Port Angeles High School 2018 equestrian team is, from left, assistant coach Liv Dietzman, Abby Hjelmeseth, Emma Albright, Emily Gear, Emily Menshew, Ben Robertson, Madison Carlson and coach Tina VanAusdle. (Dan Hjelmeseth)

The Port Angeles High School 2018 equestrian team is, from left, assistant coach Liv Dietzman, Abby Hjelmeseth, Emma Albright, Emily Gear, Emily Menshew, Ben Robertson, Madison Carlson and coach Tina VanAusdle. (Dan Hjelmeseth)

HORSEPLAY: High school equestrian season has begun

PORT ANGELES AND Sequim’s high school equestrian teams traveled to Spanaway the third week in February to compete against 100 other equestrians from 10 other teams in their district — from Bellingham to Vancouver, Wash. — for the first of three Washington State High School Equestrian Team district meets.

Port Angeles team members include Cassi Ann Moore, Abby Hjelmeseth, Emma Albright, Emily Gear, Emily Menshew, Ben Robertson and Madison Carlson, along with coach Tina VanAusdle and assistant coach Liv Dietzman.

“The weather was terrible but, we didn’t let it dampen our spirits,” VanAusdle said. “We had a great time and had some awesome placings. Best of all we finished in second place overall for the meet.”

Sequim team members who competed under the guidance of coach Katie Salmon-Newton were Grace Niemeyer, Lilly Thomas, Amanda Murphy, Keri Tucker, Miranda Williams, Yana Hoesel and Madi Murphy.

Top 10 results

• Dressage: Gear, fourth place.

• Hunt seat: Niemeyer, second place; Gear, sixth place; Menshew, eighth place; Robertson, 10th place.

• Jumping: Niemeyer, fourth place; Robertson, fifth place.

• Trail: Gear, first place; Menshew, second place; Robertson, third place.

• In-hand trail: Thomas, fourth place.

• Driving: Thomas, fifth place.

• Saddle seat: Gear, first place.

• Showmanship: Menshew, fifth place; Albright, seventh place.

• Stockseat: Menshew, second place; Hjelmeseth, seventh place.

• Working rancher: Gear, first place; Menshew, second place; Tucker, eighth place.

• Breakaway roping: Moore, first place; Hoesel, second place.

• Barrels: Moore, first place; Hoesel, eighth place.

• Keyhole: Hjelmeseth, sixth place.

• Figure eight: Hjelmeseth, sixth place; Hoesel, eighth place.

• Pole bending: Moore, first place; Carlson, ninth place.

• Individual flags: Hoesel, first place; Hjelmeseth, 10th place.

• In-hand obstacle relay: Moore, Menshew, Gear and Albright, third place; Amanda Murphy, Niemeyer, Thomas and Tucker, ninth place.

• Working pairs: Gear and Moore, first place; Niemeyer and Tucker, fifth place; Menshew and Albright, ninth place.

• Two-man bi-rangle: Williams and Tucker, eighth place; Hjelmeseth and Moore, sixth place.

• Drill team freestyle fours: Amanda Murphy, Williams, Niemeyer and Hoesel, first place.

• Team Canadian flags: Hoesel, Williams, Madi Murphy and Amanda Murphy, second place.

• Steer daubing: Amanda Murphy, third place.

• Cattle sorting: Hoesel and Williams, first place; Niemeyer and Tucker second place; Madi Murphy and Amanda Murphy, fifth place.

Arctic skirt

I’m so enthused to be able to share I’m now the proud owner of a bright red, fully insulated and lined, waterproof riding skirt made by Arctic Horse Riding Gear in Alaska.

Upon receiving it I was immediately struck by both its beauty (I do love the red) and quality.

What I especially like is the skirt lays over the entire saddle — horn to cantle — so I’m no longer sitting in a cold saddle with an ice-cold bottom and nether regions.

Instead I actually find myself feeling snug and cozy while out on the trail.

Of course, the skirt arrived the day after the last of our snow flurries in February, so I haven’t had a chance to fully test it out. But I will.

And I look forward to sharing more stories about riding in it.

Arctic Horse is a small, woman-owned Alaska business founded by equetrian Jen Dushane that strives to provide quality, long-lasting and good-looking gear to help keep us women warm, dry and protected from extreme cold and rain.

Their motto is: “No froo-froo stuff that leaves you freezing and falls apart in 5 minutes.”

And hey, if the skirts can keep a rider warm in Alaska I figure they can keep us dry on the North Olympic Peninsula.

For more information, go to arctichorsegear. com.

Tack store

Spurs & Spice Tack Consignment is under new ownership with Erica Giovannoni.

A recent graduate of Mission Farrier School, she’s just opened the store at 234 Mill Road in Sequim.

Giovannoni said it’s a great place to buy or sell quality used tack.

She accepts consignments by appointment only.

Contact Giovannoni at 360-912-2099 or [email protected]

Education time

Freedom Farm co-owner Mary Gallagher said, “We feel that one of the best ways to be a good teacher and trainer is to keep learning.”

To that end she recently spent a couple of days in the sunshine with Karen Rohlf in Florida getting ideas on how to share her approach to natural horsemanship with equestrians worldwide.

Soon the long-time instructor will attend a Frederic Pignon clinic in California.

She said her husband, Jerry Schmidt, had a great time teaching at a Masterson Method (integrated equine performance bodywork) Educational Conference in Arizona last month where he showed participants how to identify dental issues in assessing balance.

Co-presenters included Mark Rashid on evaluating the balance of movement, Jochen Schleese on saddle fitting and Jim Masterson.

On Sunday, March 18, Freedom Farms will host another Feet First: Hoof Care and Maintenance class with Schmidt and Gallagher.

Freedom Farm’s Spring Break Horsemanship Camp for youths will be April 3-4.

For more information or to sign up for a Freedom Farm’s event, contact Gallagher at 360-457-4897.


Karen Griffiths’ column, Peninsula Horseplay, appears the second and fourth Sunday of each month.

If you have a horse event, clinic or seminar you would like listed, please email Griffiths at [email protected] at least two weeks in advance. You can also call her at 360-460-6299.

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