From left

From left

KAREN GRIFFITHS’ HORSEPLAY COLUMN: Sequim group makes small-team wins

“Oh, What A beautiful mornin’/Oh, what a beautiful day./I’ve got a beautiful feelin’/Everything’s goin’ my way . . .”

Or so I thought as that old number from the musical “Oklahoma!” ran through my head last week.

It was a gloriously sunny day for a trail ride in my extended backyard of Cassidy Creek’s DNR.

This time of year, most of the trails off the main dirt road are interspersed with big mud puddles.

Worse, it’s the kind of mud that can suck the shoes right off a horse.

Of course, I wasn’t thinking about the “what ifs” as I set out to ride.

My mind was focused on getting out there and enjoying a good trail ride.

And my favorite trails thread through narrow trails through the woods and wide-open dirt roads where one can see either the majestic mountaintops of the Olympics or the waters of Puget Sound.

I set off riding the family’s golden palomino, Lacey, with two of my four dogs.

Normally, I ride Indy, but he is 16 hands high, so if I have to dismount on the trail, it sometimes can be challenging to find a stump tall enough for this 5-foot-2 gal.

At 15 hands, Lacey is much easier to mount and dismount, something I really needed to consider since April 6, I found myself in need of a wheelchair because my knee gave out in the midst of a 2.5-mile MS Walk for a Cure in Irvine, Calif. (Later, my doctor referred to it as patellofemoral.)

I have multiple sclerosis, and I often have quirky problems crop up, some permanent (such as chronic pain and fatigue) and some temporary.

Thankfully for me, the wheelchair was temporary, and after two weeks of rest, I barely had a limp.

Hence, on this trail ride, I was feeling good and traversing the trails when it happened: Lacey lost a shoe in a mud bog.

I was now faced with the decision to walk or ride home.

On side trails, the ground dirt was soft enough for me to ride.

But the main DNR road to home was much too rocky, so I had to dismount and hoof it myself — or risk Lacey getting lame and unrideable until she healed.

Thus, for the last mile or so home, I did a lot of walking.

By the end, I was limping and lame, yet not in need of a wheelchair.

You can rest assured that on future rides, I will be packing Lacey’s Old Mac hoof boots — just in case.


Congratulations to Sequim’s Washington State High School Equestrian Team on winning District 4’s small-team championship: Eilena Sharpe (team captain), Matisen Anders, Kyla Gabriel, Anne Meek, Christina Overby, Justine Roads, Tylar Decker, Brianna Albright, Kelly Anders and Emily Millar.

Team medals and qualifiers for the upcoming state WAHSET meet May 17-19 in Moses Lake:

■ Canadian flags — Anne/Tylar/Brianna/Eilena, gold.

■ Birangle — Tylar/Anne, gold.

■ Cow sorting — Matisen/Kelly, gold.

■ IHOR — Eilena/Matisen/Christina/Justine, bronze.

■ Drill working fours — Eilena (drill captain)/Tylar/Brianna/Kelly/Anne, bronze.

■ Pairs — Kyla/Eilena, second alternate.

Individual events

■ Showmanship — Christina, silver; Justine, second alternate.

■ In-hand trail — Kelly, silver.

■ Trail — Justine, bronze; Christina, state qualifier; Eilena, second alternate.

■ Working rancher — Christina, silver.

■ Reining — Matisen, first alternate; Emily, third alternate.

■ Hunt seat over fences — Kyla, alternate.

■ Saddle seat — Kyla, first alternate.

■ Poles — Tylar, silver; Brianna, state qualifier; Anne, third alternate.

■ Barrels — Tylar, gold; Anne, second alternate.

■ Figure eight — Anne, bronze; Tylar, state qualifier; Brianna, third alternate.

■ Keyhole — Tylar, silver; Brianna, second alternate.

■ Flags — Tylar, new district record, state qualifier.

■ Steer daubing — Anne, gold.


Congratulations to Peninsula Therapeutic Riding (formerly Native Horsemanship Riding Center) for attaining a $2,000 grant for Equine Facilitated Therapy to be provided in a joint program with Peninsula Behavioral Health.

With this grant, services will be provided for five clients from Peninsula Behavioral Health and four clients from TAFY (The Answer for Youth).

Yvette TwoRabbits Ludwar was able to add this service to her program last year after successfully completing a training program for Equine Facilitated Mental Health and Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy/Learning at Horse Warriors in Wyoming.

Services are provided at the Peninsula Therapeutic Riding facilities at 396 Taylor Cutoff Road.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 4, PTR is hosting its sixth annual volunteer training program.

For further information or to volunteer, phone Ludwar at 360- 582-0907.


■ Sunday, May 12 — Olympic Peninsula Zone’s Jean Iverson Memorial Horse Show at the Clallam County Fairgrounds. Open horse show sponsored by Pony Express 4-H.

Contact Wendy Peterson at 360-457-5561 or, or visit

■ 10 a.m. Saturday, May 18 — Back Country Horsemen Buckhorn Range Miller Peninsula Ride.

Phone Cate Bendock at home at 360-457-4970.

■ June 22-23 — Back Country Horsemen offer a weekend of Leave No Trace classes taught by Larry and Sherry Basinger.

For more information, email Sherry at


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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