KAREN GRIFFITHS’ HORSEPLAY COLUMN: Fundraiser ride hosted by area chapter

WINNING, OR DOING well, is often a reflection of how much effort is put forth.

Becky and Dave Seibel were holding an American Competitive Trail Horse Association ride at their property, Spirit Horse Ranch.

I wanted to support this inaugural local ACTHA ride and fundraiser hosted by the Back Country Horseman Peninsula chapter.

I hadn’t practiced much, so I told myself I was just doing it to have fun.

I figured my big horse, Indy, would do a good job since he’s steady and willing on the trail.

The day before, I read the rulebook. Under member CTC responsibilities, the ACTHA rulebook states:

“Proper equestrian attire must be worn. No shorts, sneakers, flip-flops.

“Chaps or chinks should be worn [leather trousers without a seat, worn over ordinary trousers by cowboys to protect their legs].”

I don’t own any chaps, but I was able to borrow chinks (chinks are three-quarter length).

I was pleasantly surprised to see the leather had an orange tinge to it.

I love the color orange. It’s a bright, playful color I like to wear it a lot. My favorite sunglasses are orange-rimmed.

I don’t own a cowgirl hat, but I donned my black sunvisor with orange flames with the Patterned Speed Horse logo.

The sun was shining when I arrived early for the riders meeting.

There, every rider was given a map and instructions.

Short legs lamented

Sherry Baysinger was there to compete with her grandson, Cole. We lamented our short legs and worried about having to mount and dismount without a mounting block in front of the judges. To our relief, we were told mounting blocks were provided.

After the meeting, I sauntered back to where Indy was tied to the horse trailer, saddled him up, adorned my chinks and Western shirt, got a stepstool and climbed on.

It was while walking to the starting line that I noticed there were only a couple of youths wearing chaps.

Most riders didn’t even seem to be wearing horse attire.

I was beginning to feel foolish in my orange chinks. Well, I stood out, but so what?

It felt fun to wear the chinks and pretend I was a bit of cowgirl.

Then, I spied Jennifer Reandeau wearing her chinks and a nice purple plaid Western shirt.

I breathed a sigh of relief. I wasn’t alone.

Granted, since start times were staggered I didn’t see how everyone was dressed, but it looked to me like we were the only two adults among 46 riders wearing leggings.

The first of six obstacles, the lazyboy, was easy. My buddy Z Barker was Judge Margaret Sallstrom’s assistant.

Z handed me a long stick. I had 30 seconds to pick a hat up off the ground and hand the hat to her.

Indy stood perfectly still while we performed the maneuver. I gave him a pat on the back and moved on through the trail system to the next obstacle.

By the time we got to the third obstacle, the brake check, I was completely relaxed and thinking this whole thing would be a breeze — so much so that I neglected to look at the instruction sheet.

I was supposed to stop Indy while he straddled a couple of small logs.

I thought the horse was supposed to stand quietly over them for 30 seconds.

“You have 30 seconds, Karen,” warned Judge Sally Coats.

“Yeah, I know.”

“You have 30 seconds from start to finish. You’re only supposed to stand for 3 seconds.”

“Oh.”

After I blew that obstacle, my competitive side started bubbling forth from within, and I realized, “Dang, I really did want to be a winner.”

No way to make up lost points

Too late. I reread the description of the upcoming obstacles, but there was no way I could make up for lost points.

Alas, at the end of the day, my accumulated points placed us in the middle of the pack.

It served as a reminder: I needed to spend more time practicing with Indy.

All in all, the trails were fantastic. BCH volunteers, along with Dave and Becky and her brother, Danny Daniels, did an awesome job making new paths and hosting the ride.

I heard several competitors from out of the area— folks that came up from Oregon, down from Canada and all over Washington — exclaim these were the best trails they’d ever experienced.

“I want to thank all the BCH judges and volunteers, the ACTHA riders for coming to our event, and our local sponsors, 7 Cedars Casino, Sunset Do it Best Hardware, Kokopelli Grill, Co-op Farm & Garden and Leitz Farms Inc.,” said Becky.

On that same day ACTHA held multiple rides across the nation; the total of 1,251 riders set a new Guinness World Record for the highest number of trail riders in a competition.

The Mustang Heritage Foundation also received $32,777.

Come dance

Listen to this: On Saturday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m., the Peninsula Performance Horse Association is hosting a Horsemen’s Ball at the Clallam County Fairgrounds.

Everyone is invited, all age groups, to socialize, party and dance to music by Haywire. The band has a large playlist of country, rockabilly and blues. $5 per person, $20 family, tickets at the door.

A silent auction will be sponsored by the Peninsula Youth Equine Foundation Scholarship Fund, and there will be concessions.

Bring an item for the Food & Toy Drive for local distribution, share a smile, wear your best Western attire and dance, dance, dance.

Events

■ 10 a.m. Saturday —Rideout. Back Country Horsemen Peninsula chapter Mount Muller ride. Optional campout Friday and Saturday night. Shoes recommend for upper loop.

Phone Jennifer Rendeau at 360-928-3824.

■ Today through Sunday — Dave Ellis Cow-Working Clinic at Freedom Farms.

For more information, phone Jessica Crouch at 360-460-7066.

■ 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3 — PPHA meeting followed by OPZ meeting at Baker Stables, 2164 Four Winds Road, Port Angeles.

Phone Diana Gagnon at 360-457-9896.

■ 10 a.m. Saturdays, Oct. 15, Nov. 12 and Dec. 10 — Freedom Farm Schooling Shows, 493 Spring Road in Port Angeles.

For class descriptions and details, visit www.freedomfarms.net. Contact Mary Gallagher at 360-457-4897 or freedomf@olypen.com.

■ 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14 — BCH Buckhorn Range Chapter meeting at the Tri-Area Community Center, 10 West Valley Road, Chimacum. Contact Bob Hoyle at 360-531-2337 or bobhoyle@usa.net.

■ 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 15 — BCH Buckhorn Range Ride, Sleepy Hollow Trail.

Contact Hoyle at 360-531-2337 or bobhoyle@usa.net

■ Saturday, Oct. 22 — 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 — PPHA-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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