KAREN GRIFFITHS’ HORSEPLAY COLUMN: Farm Tour, equine nomad highlights

FREEDOM FARMS OWNER Mary Gallagher has always been generous in donating indoor arena use to the local Washington State High School Equestrian Teams.

So when she asked coaches Terri Winters and Manon Heistand if they could put together a drill team for the annual Farm Tour, they were happy to oblige.

“Since this wasn’t a WASHSET-sanctioned show, we were able to ask riders of all ages to participate,” said Winters.

“This was their first time riding together, and they all did an amazing job. The girls thrilled the audience of over 100 people at both performances with their maneuvers and riding skills.”

Two of the riders, Justine Roads and Christina Overby-Morgison, dressed their horses up like jail birds and performed a pairs pattern to the music “Jailhouse Rock.”

“The kids had a great time — and what a good way to make new friends,” said Winters.


She’s a wanderer. Calling herself “The Equine Nomad,” Trish Wilder sold her home in Colorado, packed her truck, loaded her four horses in the trailer and is fulfilling a lifetime dream of riding 200 miles in every state in three years.

After waiting until her three sons were grown, she began her journey in December 2010 by journeying to the beaches of California.

I met up with her last month at Olympic View Stables in Agnew, where she spoke to a small group about her journeys and to promote the EponaShoe, a new type of plastic component horseshoe that allows the hoof to flex.

She’d been staying at the Mount Mueller horse camp, where she describes the trails and camp as — no surprise to us locals — among the “best I’ve ever experienced.”

Although the Mount Mueller spot has the luxury of a toilet, she said, she prefers staying in rugged wilderness campsites where other visitors are virtually nonexistent.

At times, she is accompanied by son Zak.

I’m a bit envious of her adventures. Pictures on her blog show her on horseback plowing through rivers, wading in the ocean, being the first rider to cross the new bridge in Olympia’s Capitol State Forest.

One thing I found practically entertaining is when she visits her friends living in cities, she just puts her four horse in their tiny fenced backyards.

While it’s likely against city ordinances, so far, she’s found it has entertained the neighbors.

Wow, I would just love to show up with my horses at various friends’ homes in Orange County, Calif., and let my horses loose in their manicured backyards!

Truly, I’d love to vacation at their homes to catch some warm winter sun.

A nurse and a novice horse traveler, Trish is learning much through trial and error — and she’s had a huge learning curve.

Before learning the key to keeping her horses close to camp, she temporarily lost all four while camping high in the wilderness.

Not every horse can adjust to overnighting in a strange area, but her lean, fit and healthy horses all looked calm and happy to me, and all have to carry a pack.

Trish has learned much about what tents and sleeping bags don’t work when it rains, the importance of good shoes for her and her horses, how to trim and shoe her own horses.

While in California, she learned about the EponaShoe.

She took a clinic hosted by the company on how to trim her horses’ hoofs (based on the natural barefoot trim) and has since become a strong advocate.

While the cost of the EponaShoe is higher than metal, I really do like the concept.

She said EponaShoes helped her rescue horse, Moonlight, grow back strong hooves in just four months after they fell apart in chunks back when he was in steel shoes.

Catch up with Trish via her Equine Nomad blog at www.trishwild.blogspot.com. Learn more about the shoes at www.EponaShoe.com.


■ This Saturday and Saturday, Oct. 29 — Pony rides hosted by Native Horsemanship at the Pumpkin Patch at the corner of U.S. Highway 101 and Kitchen-Dick Road in Agnew.

■ 8 a.m. Saturday — Spooky Clinic at Spirit Horse Ranch, 207 Mount Valley Lane in Port Angeles. Contact Dave or Becky Seibel at 360-670-1550 or spirithorseranch7@gmail.com.

■ 9 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 30 — Peninsula Performance Horse Association-hosted Fall Schooling Show at Baker Stables, 164 Four Winds Road in Port Angeles.

Two costume classes. All first- and second-place winners will compete for the Best of the Best costume award. The champion winner will win $50 (sponsored by Stoney Hill Ranch). Phone Sue Carver at 360-683-7538.


Karen Griffiths’ column, Peninsula Horseplay, appears every other Wednesday.

If you have a horse event, clinic or seminar you would like listed, please email Griffiths at kbg@olympus.net at least two weeks in advance. You can also write Griffiths at PDN, P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362.

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