Peninsula Junior Rodeo participants

Peninsula Junior Rodeo participants

KAREN GRIFFITHS’ HORSEPLAY COLUMN: Junior rodeo riders win big in region

IN THE FAST-PACED sport of junior rodeo, participants quickly learn to live by the adage “If you climb in the saddle, be ready for the ride.”

At the second regional National Junior Rodeo Association rodeo of the season, our local Peninsula Junior Rodeo members proved themselves top contenders.


Peewee Division:

■ Amelia Hermann — Poles, fourth; barrels, second; goats, fourth; dummy roping, fourth; trail, third.

■ Sierra Ballou — Goats, third.

Junior Boy Division:

■ Colton Barnett — Goats, third.

Junior Girl Division:

■ Kaitlyn Meek — Breakaway roping, third; barrels, fifth; steer daubing, third; poles, fourth; trail, first.

■ Ally Billings — Pole, first; goats, second.

■ Madison Ballou — Poles, fifth.

■ Jai-Lynn Taylor — Goats, third.

Senior Boy Division:

■ Wyatt Billings — Bronc riding, first; tie-down calf roping, first.

Senior Girl Division:

■ Emily VanAusdle — Ribbon dogging, sixth; barrels, first; goat, third; breakaway roping, second; poles, sixth; trail, third.

■ Anne Meek — Poles, third; goats, fifth; trail, second.

■ VanAusdle — All-around saddle winner.


Given that I don’t ride as much during the winter, I usually pull the steel shoes off my horses and substitute them with hoof boots.

Most of my winter rides are on Department of Natural Resource roads adjacent to my home.

The roads stay wonderfully hard and solid, even during inclement weather, because the logging roads were built with rock and gravel — quite destructive to the unshod hoof.

Because his old boots had worn out, this year, I bought new boots for Indy.

Previously, I used Old Macs on him and his mother, Lacey. For the most part, I found they worked well, but they frequently twisted and worked their way off when sloshing through the various muddy and waterlogged smaller, narrow trails sprinkled throughout the area.

Plus, they are a bit more time-consuming to put on than the Easy Boot Epics I have for Gold.

While I preferred the rugged tread of the Old Macs, in truth, I bought the Easy Boots for Gold because they were so much less expensive.

Due to the fact I haven’t been riding as much during the winter, I thought I’d try the less expensive Easy Boot Trail on Indy’s front hoofs, thinking that if I was happy with them, I’d buy another pair for his back hoofs.

(Side point: As with many horses, Indy takes a larger-size shoe on his front, so I have to buy a different size for front than back.)

While the Easy Boot Trail is easy to put on and has stayed put even through the thickest mud and deepest watery trails, Indy has found them uncomfortable.

At first, I couldn’t see any visible sign of what was troubling him, and then I realized the backs were chafing him.

He’s only worn them a few times; the back of the boots, which are made in China, are wearing out, with sharp points poking him.

I plan on taking a pair of worn-out neoprene sports boots to make him a pair of gaiters similar to what the Easy Boot offers.

Of course, right after Indy had worn his Easy Boots on the first trail ride, thus making them unreturnable, my farrier raved about Renegade Hoof Boots.

I have to confess I hadn’t heard about them before, so I did some online research at While just as pricey as the Old Macs and Boa boots (both companies are now owned by the Easy Boot parent company, Easy Care Inc.;, the company claimed a revolutionary new design targeted for use by the “barefooted, competition horse.”

I decided to buy a pair for Indy’s back feet. Offered in seven colors, I bought the Burgundy Blitz.

Once adjusted to his hoofs, I’ve found them easy to put on, they stayed secure during the mud and, more important, Indy finds them comfortable.

They do appear to be well-made and designed, not only for horse wear, but for the horse’s comfort as well.

My farrier did warn me I’d probably end up buying a pair for his front feet as well, and you know what? I think he’s right.


■ 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. today — The Clallam Conservation District is offering a free workshop on pasture management. To sign up, phone 260-452-1912, ext 5.

■ 10 a.m. Saturday — Freedom Farm Schooling Show, 493 Spring Road, Port Angeles.

■ 10 a.m. Saturday — American Competitive Trail Horse Association ride on Miller Peninsula. To compete, riders must register online by Thursday at

■ 10 a.m. Sunday — Back Country Horsemen Miller Peninsula ride, with a potluck to follow. Phone Tom Mix at 360-582-0460.

■ Noon to 3 p.m. Sunday — Cow working at Freedom Farm, Port Angeles. Pre-register with Mary Gallagher at 360-457-4897.

■ Saturday, May 26 — Michelle Grimmer’s dressage clinics at Freedom Farm, 493 Spring Road, Port Angeles. Hoof beat riders from 10 a.m. to noon; adults from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sign up with Gallagher at 360-457-4897.

■ 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 23 — The Clallam Conservation District is offering a free workshop on weed in pasture, identifying poisonous and noxious weeds, and how to get rid off them. To sign up, phone 260-452-1912, ext 5.

■ 9:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 26-27 — Patterned Speed Horse Association Game Show at Quarter Moon Ranch, 383 W. Runnion Road, Carlsborg. Phone Waynora Martin at 360-683-6902.

■ Saturday, May 26 — Mitzi Summers’ Bitless Bridle and Centered Riding Clinic at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. Visit for more information. Preregister by contacting Summer Martell at or 360-531-1726.

■ 9 a.m. Sunday, May 27 — Open Performance Horse Show at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. For registration/show forms, phone Tanya Schweitzer at 360-301-3559.

■ Sunday, May 27 — Centered riding workshop with Mitzi Summers at Kim McGuire’s arena in Port Townsend. Preregister by contacting Summer Martell at or 360-531-1726.

■ 8:30 a.m. Saturday, June 2 — National Trails Day Workday with BCH Peninsula chapter at Mount Muller. Phone Judy Paty at 360-683-0781.

■ 9:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 9-10 — PSHA Game Show at Quarter Moon Ranch, 383 W. Runnion Road, Carlsborg. Contact Waynora Martin at 360-683-6902.

■ Saturday and Sunday, June 9-10 — Equine dental clinic with Dr. Richard Vetter at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. To schedule an appointment, phone Betty Mysak at 360- 379-6931.


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 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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