Members of Back Country Horsemen’s Peninsula Chapter meet with Boy Scout Troop 1498 for a weekend of camping and to learn horsemanship skills to earn horsemanship merit badges at Layton Hill Horse Camp.

Members of Back Country Horsemen’s Peninsula Chapter meet with Boy Scout Troop 1498 for a weekend of camping and to learn horsemanship skills to earn horsemanship merit badges at Layton Hill Horse Camp.

HORSEPLAY: Scouts get help with horsemanship badges

“WOW! WHAT A weekend,” exclaimed Linda Morin, a member of Back Country Horsemen’s Peninsula Chapter, when she and fellow members helped Sequim Scout Troop 1498 take steps toward earning their horsemanship merit badges.

It was Saturday, Sept. 25, when 16 Scouts and four leaders from Troop 1498 gathered to camp out overnight at Layton Hill Horse Camp in Sequim to work on improving their camp/lashing skills and Horsemanship badges. There, they were greeted by 24 Peninsula chapter members — 18 instructors and six support staff — who brought 21 equines representing 13 different breeds — from donkey to mule, mini to draft, gaited to ungaited.

For two days, those eager, attentive Scouts were introduced to the basic skills of horse handling: how to approach, halter, lead and groom. They also learned safety-knot tying, along with English and Western tack. All of them were able to get in the saddle and start riding.

Breeds, colors, gaits and an extensive tack display of all “tools equine,” ranging from an 1880s side saddle to manure forks and wheelbarrows, were presented. And Morin took great pleasure in announcing 16 future manure movers of America were trained.

When the weekend’s activities were over, Morin said the Scouts did a great job of practicing LNT (Leave No Trace), leaving the horse camp clean and as if they had never been there.

More sessions will be held this fall, both classroom and hands-on, to ensure these Scouts each complete all of their merit badge requirements.

This was a major project for Peninsula Chapter, which is in harmony with the education component of its BCH mission statement.

Peninsula Chapter is looking ahead to 2022 to continue its mission to educate people of all ages in our community about the importance of equines to the health of our forests and trails, and about trail building and maintenance in collaboration with the local land managers they support.

Anyone with a love of the Olympic Peninsula and all it offers can join. Owning stock is not a requirement. All skill sets are needed.

If you are interested in knowing more about Peninsula Chapter BCHW, access its website at www.pbchw.org or contact Morin at 360-775-5060.

To contact Troop 1498, email [email protected] The troop meets Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 143 Port Williams Road in Sequim.

Coach still needed

Port Angeles High School’s equestrian team is still looking for a new coach. Until they find one, they can’t compete in Washington State High School Equestrian Team events. If you can help, please call Nancy McCaleb at 360-461-3980.

For those who’d like to join the Sequim team can contact coach Katie Newton at 360-775-0350.

On PEMF

In my Oct. 10 column, I featured Dayna Killam performing pulsed electromagnetic field therapy on horses as a way to, among other things, combat inflammation, which is one of the first signs of damage to the body.

As stated in the column, PEMF is considered one of many alternative therapy methods. In general, “alternative” means it’s not approved medical treatment as a medical treatment by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Because I didn’t specifically state that is was not FDA approved raised the ire of one reader, who urged me to look up PEMF on QuackWatch.com to read articles that rebuke its effectiveness. He said he didn’t want folks wasting their money on fraudulent claims.

In response, Killam wrote, “Unfortunately, a lot of alternative medicines are not FDA approved. There are always going to nonbelievers.”

It is true people need to be aware and do their own research to differentiate between fact and fiction. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak, and I saw two horses relax and enjoy the feeling of PEMF being applied on their bodies. It’s my opinion that any method that can relax tense muscles or release toxins in an injured area is a plus. Keep in mind, this is considered an alternative therapy. When there is a medical problem, one should go to see a doctor of medicine, or in a horse’s case, a veterinarian.

________

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.

Back Country Horsemen of Washington Peninsula Chapter member Del Sage helps a Scout with Troop 1498 with his horse-riding skills at Layton Hill Horse Camp. (Courtesy of Linda Morin)

Back Country Horsemen of Washington Peninsula Chapter member Del Sage helps a Scout with Troop 1498 with his horse-riding skills at Layton Hill Horse Camp. (Courtesy of Linda Morin)

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