Tuesday, January 26, 2016

AERC Member Jacket -- Order Yours Now!

AERC Member Jacket – $60

You are invited to order a personalized jacket which includes your name, your equine's name and your mileage accomplishments. Members may elect to have their mileage listed as endurance miles, limited distance miles, or a combination of the two which will be listed as "AERC Miles."

Price includes shipping (U.S. addresses only); contact the AERC office for price for other countries. Your choice of black, red, or navy blue. Durable, water-repellent nylon shell with heavyweight fleece lining, rib-knit cuffs and waistband, two slash zippered pockets and interior zippered pocket. (Machine wash, gentle cycle; tumble dry low.) Men's sizes only.

Jacket will be embroidered with AERC logo on the left chest, and up to four lines of embroidery (up to 20 characters each line) on the right chest. Additional lines of embroidery: $3 each. Include your name and your equine(s)' name(s) plus any accomplishment you wish to show the world!

Visit AERC's secure order site: AERC Jacket Order Form (by JotForm) to order your jacket! (Note: they are the same style as the Decade Team jacket.)

Rider Creates A Little Magic With Her Endurance Horse

Winchesterstar.com - Full Article

Posted: January 26, 2016
The Winchester Star


Putting 5,000 miles on your car is not something to boast about.

But covering 5,000 miles on horseback is something only a few people can claim, and Clarke County resident Kim Lyttle is among them.

“I’ve done it all,” Lyttle said about equine competitions. “English, Western, dressage, barrel racing.”

But her favorite, for the past decade, has been “me and my horse, having a long trail.”

They’ve managed to win a few top awards, too.

Lyttle, 62, and her Appaloosa gelding, Khan’s Magic Piper, have hit the 50,000-mark on the odometer, tackling mostly 50-mile trail segments in endurance-ride competitions over the past nine years.

In 2006 and 2015, the pair took reserve champion in the National Appaloosa Endurance Ride, a competition specifically for the breed of horse that Lyttle rides...

Read more here:

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Getting Started with Darolyn

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Chase Endurance | January 19, 2016

At around 12:24 a.m. I heard a knock at my hotel room door. Normally, I wouldn’t be answering my door at that hour, but my roommate for the next two weeks, Jill Sivo, had just arrived from Connecticut, after a series of flight delays. We hadn’t met yet, but had become Facebook friends after learning we would be at Cypress Trails Equestrian Center at the same time. Jill was supposed to have arrived at 5:00 in the afternoon on Monday, but connecting flights can always be a crap shoot. I felt really bad for her since I knew we were going to have a full day of adventures on Tuesday.

Tuesday morning at 8:00 a.m. rolled around all too quickly (keeping in mind I am still at PST 6:00 a.m.). Soon after, we started moving we began conversing about what we were in for when we finally met up with Darolyn Butler. Almost every internet search we performed on endurance riding, Darolyn’s name came up. Her ranch was only an eight minute drive from the hotel so we were there before we knew it.

Upon arrival, we had our choice of parking spots and the place was rather deserted, except for the 70 head of horses. Around the corner of the barn we came upon the farrier performing a barefoot trim on one of the Arabians. All of Darolyn’s horses run barefoot, unless it is a particularly rocky course, then she would glue on shoes or use hoof boots...

Read more here:

Friday, January 22, 2016

Is Clinton Anderson Gunning for the Tevis Cup?

January 22 2016

Thanking his followers and fans for the support he's gotten for his Downunder Horsemanship series on RFD-TV, trainer Clinton Anderson feels he owes his audience "something extremely special."

According to his Downunder Horsemanship blog entry of January 15, 2016, one of 10 possible film projects Anderson is planning, which is "something so adventurous that it's borderline crazy and dangerous", is that he maybe be planning to "Buy an untouched Arabian, train the horse, and then compete in the Tevis Cup, the world’s most grueling endurance ride."

The project won't begin filming until 2017, because he will "need that much time to get in shape and prepare for what I'm about to take on."

To see what the other 9 scenarios might be for Anderson's next training challenge, see:

2016 Dates and Location Announced for Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships Presented by Gotham North


RELEASE: January 21, 2016
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: USEF Communications Department

Lexington, Ky. - The Organizing Committee of the 2016 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) presented by Gotham North is pleased to announce that the 2016 Championships will take place at the Colorado Horse Park, July 26-31, 2016.

This will be the fourth time the park has hosted the best Junior and Young Rider competitors from North America as they compete for prestigious Team and Individual medals. With unwavering support, Adequan will mark its sixth consecutive year as title sponsor of the event.

NAJYRC is fortunate to have dedicated sponsors supporting this event as the only FEI Championship held annually in North America, including Gotham North, U.S. Hunter Jumper Association, U.S. Dressage Federation, U.S. Eventing Association, Equine Canada, and the Federación Ecuestre Mexicana. For a full list of NAJYRC sponsors and to learn more about partnership opportunities, please visit www.youngriders.org.

To get involved with NAJYRC please contact Mark Coley at mcoley@usef.org.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

SD EXPRESSA Wins the 2015 Distance Horse of the Year Award


January 20 2016

SD EXPRESSA was named the winner of the prestigious Distance Horse of the Year award at the 2015 AHA Annual Convention. The beautiful, 12-year-old bay mare is owned and bred by Suzanne Ford Huff.

Over the past six years, SD EXPRESSA has completed 2,230 miles, with all but 50 of those miles completed with Huff.
The mare completed 600 miles in the 2015 competition season and received 10 Best Condition awards in her Endurance career thus far.

Congratulations Suzanne and SD EXPRESSA on your amazing accomplishments and on winning the 2015 Distance Horse
of the Year award. We look forward to what the future holds for the dynamic duo.

If you would like to learn more about the Distance Horse of the Year award visit

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


yes, testing systems!

Julie Suhr, 91, Rides Challenging Miles in Rose Parade

Horsereporter.com - Full Article

January 9 2016
by Pamela Burton

Julie Suhr is truly a legend in the equestrian world of long-distance riding. Even though the route on 1 January 2016, was five and a half miles and not 100 miles, the effort was herculean for the 91-year-old Suhr. A veteran endurance rider and owner of 22 Tevis Cup Ride buckles (100 miles) and 3 Haggin Cup (Best Condition) Awards, this ride through the streets of Pasadena in the 127th New Year’s Day Rose Bowl Parade may have been one of her proudest moments...

Read more here:

2016 Darley Awards


The Darley Awards were founded by the Arabian Racing Cup in 1987 to honor the best in Arabian horse racing. The Darley Awards present an opportunity for those involved in Arabian racing to come together from across the nation and around the world to celebrate its virtues and award its best. Now held at the world renowned Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, no other event brings as much attention to Arabian racing in the USA as the Darley Awards ceremony.

The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival DARLEY AWARDS, which come under the auspices of the Arabian Racing Cup, is clearly recognized as the highest achievement possible for racing Arabians in the U.S. This event, along with the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley Awards, will once again be held at the fabulous Dolby Theater.
At the press conference, Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and Head of International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) Ladies Racing announced "Darley Awards Hollywood 2016."

This glamorous event, sponsored by the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival will be held April 1 through 3 in Hollywood, California. It will partner once again with the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley Awards, which recognizes the outstanding international women of Arabian racing.

According to Sawaya, the Awards will be given glamorous treatment over two evenings. The Darley Awards will be presented on April 1 at the Dolby Theater in Highland Center. On Saturday, April 2, the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Darley Award Stakes (PA) will be held at Santa Anita Race Course and Sunday evening, April 3, the Celebration Banquet and annual stallion breeding auction will be held at the host hotel, the Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel.


Friday, January 15, 2016

Book Your Hotel Now for the AERC Convention

We're still about 20% short of our room block at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, and we're asking you to please make your reservations by Sunday, January 17, to ensure that we won't be required to pay fees for our convention space rental.

You can either phone the Grand Sierra (800-648-5080) and say you are with AERC, or reserve online:


Rooms are $59 on Thursday night ($79 for a Summit room) and $89/$119 on Friday and Saturday. These rates are only guaranteed through Monday, January 18 so time is of the essence!

If you're hesitant about the weather, we understand, but historical highs/low for this weekend is 50/30 -- here's the long-range forecast:

PLEASE, make your reservations if you are able to do so. Thanks!

More about the convention: http://www.aerc.org/static/Convention.aspx

Thursday, January 14, 2016

January AERC BOD Meeting

January 13 2016

The AERC Board of Directors met in conference call last night. The Executive Director (Kathleen Henkel) reported continued strong growth in membership this year. It was announced that Cheryl Van Deusen was awarded the Maggy Price Endurance Excellence Award for 2015 by USEF and Kelsy Russell was awarded the Brunjes Junior/Young Rider Trophy for 2015 also by USEF. Candace Fitzgerald's contract as AERC Marketing Professional was renewed. A motion from the Junior Committee lowering the age of a Junior Sponsor from 21 to 18 was passed. The Board had an extended discussion of ride format and measuring strategies. The Board looks forward to seeing everyone at the AERC Convention next month (February 19 and 20) in Reno.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Equestrians of all levels find horses in Humble, Texas

Chron.com - Full Article

By Lindsay Peyton
January 13, 2016

Equestrians looking for an adventure in Houston don't have to search far.

Just head north to Cypress Trails, a stable in Humble that offers guided trail rides, horse rentals, lessons, boarding and training.

At the helm of the ranch located at 21415 Cypresswood Drive is Darolyn Butler, an entrepreneur who built a successful career around a passion for horses.

"If you're a horse person, we are about the only place you can go," she said.

The ranch caters to all skill levels.

"We get top riders who want to see the country and don't want to go on a pony ride," Butler said.

That's what attracted Lindsay Norris to the ranch in 2001.

"I soon found out they would allow me to ride to my ability, meaning I could walk, trot and canter," she said.

Now Norris heads to the barn four times a week from her home in the Houston Heights.

She also was inspired by Butler to start competing in endurance rides both nationally and internationally.

"Darolyn is determined," Norris said. "She rarely encounters a road block she cannot overcome. She has amazing physical fortitude, sometimes riding 50-plus miles each day for several days. Darolyn has pushed me way out of my comfort zone and has exposed me to an intense horse experience that I really enjoy..."

Read more here:

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Congress Passes Flurry of Bills in December


Several American Horse Council Priorities Win Approval

(Washington, DC)- The 114th Congress, though it started with the partisan gridlock that has become the new normal in Washington, ended the year with a burst of productivity by passing several major pieces of legislation including a tax extender bill, an omnibus appropriations bill, and a five year highway bill. Each of these bills includes provisions favorable to the overall horse industry that have been priorities for the American Horse Council.

In addition, other bills championed by the AHC have seen Congressional action and could be passed with enough industry support in the second session of this Congress which adjourns in December.

“The AHC works on a diverse set of issues that impact the horse industry, often over the course of several years. For this reason it’s not every day that we see several AHC priorities pass Congress in the span of a month,” said AHC president Jay Hickey. “These three bills included tax provisions, guest worker reforms, and trail programs that will benefit the racing, showing, and recreational segments of the industry.”

The Tax Extender bill, called the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015, reinstates three-year-depreciation for all race horses for two more years. It also increases the Section 179 business expense deduction back to $500,000 and makes this provision permanent. The bill restores bonus depreciation for qualifying new property, including assets used in the horse business, such as horses and other equipment, purchased and placed in service during 2015 through 2019. The bill also restores and makes permanent favorable tax treatment for land donated for conservation purposes, particularly land donated by farmers and ranchers, like horse owners and breeders.

“These provisions benefit racing and everyone who is in the horse business. Importantly, horse businesses, breeders, and farms can now make long term plans to take advantage of these tax provisions instead of just hoping Congress will extend them for one year, as has been the case recently,” continued Hickey.

The omnibus appropriations bill that will fund the government until September 30, 2016, also includes important H-2B temporary worker changes. The bill rolls back parts of a burdensome new H-2B rule and will make it easier for horse industry employers to use the program when no American workers can be found.

“Horse industry employers, mainly horse trainers and owners who cannot find American workers to fill semi-skilled jobs at racetracks and horse shows, often have to turn to this program for workers. They do this because they have no choice and this program has gotten progressively more expensive and harder to use. Most H-2B workers in the industry are directly responsible for the care of the horses upon which the entire horse industry is dependent and without them thousands of American horse industry jobs could be lost,” said AHC vice president of government affairs Ben Pendergrass.

“We have been working on fixing the shortcomings of the H-2B program for years, both through the regulatory process, standalone legislation, and the appropriations process with a coalition of other users of the program. There is still work that needs to be done, but this bill will improve the program,” said Pendergrass.

The AHC says the end- of- the- year legislative sprint to the finish line also saw reauthorization of two programs important to recreational riders, the Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program (RTP) and the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

The multi-year national highway bill recently signed by the president known as the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or the FAST Act, reauthorizes RTP for the next five years and provides $85 million annually for the program. RTP provides funding directly to the states for recreational trails and trail-related facilities for all recreational trail users and has greatly benefited equestrians.

The omnibus appropriations bill reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) for three years with funding of $450 million for FY 2016. The program, which expired on October 1, 2015, provides funds and matching grants to federal, state and local governments for the acquisition of land and water for recreation and the protection of natural resources and helps provide equestrians with increased recreational trail riding opportunities.

“We are very pleased RTP was included in the FAST Act. Every time a multi-year national highway bill is debated there is always an attempt to eliminate this program and this time was no different,” said Pendergrass. “The AHC has advocated for the RTP program since its inception and grassroots support from recreational trail users, including many equestrians, played an important role in making sure RTP was included in bill.”

“This has been a productive legislative session for the AHC and horse industry. In addition to these important legislative victories the AHC also advanced several other important bills. The Prevent All Soring Tactics Act (PAST Act) (S.1121/ H.R.3268) that would end the soring of Tennessee Walking Horses was re-introduced and currently has 232 co-sponsors in the House and 48 in the Senate. Additionally, the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act (H.R. 845/S.1110) that would help improve trails on National Forests has been gaining momentum and has been called ‘the most bi-partisan bill in Congress’,” said Hickey. “We will be working on these bills and other issues that impact the entire horse industry in 2016.”

New Year, New Website: AHA Launches Guest User Portions of Newly Designed Website


RELEASE: January 11, 2016
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Arabian Horse Association

Aurora, Colo. – Today, January 11, 2016, the Arabian Horse Association (AHA) launched the guest user portions of its newly designed, customer friendly and highly efficient website.

The website’s domain name remains www.arabianhorses.org and features a sleek and modern look and feel, with new colors, bold pictures and easy to read formats. The ease of navigation is extremely improved, with most pages requiring only one or two clicks to retrieve desired information. A robust set of tools for promotion and outreach, as well as member and customer interaction, have been designed to make the website easy to navigate, use and interact with AHA.

The launch included only the guest pages and portions of the new site. Guest pages, by definition, are pages that guest users have access to – pages that can be accessed without a password or logging in. Some of these new pages include the homepage; the Discover and Youth portals; a leadership section; a Judges and Stewards portal; a Get Involved section and Get Local map for AHA clubs to use as outreach tools; a newly designed Event Calendar, and much more!

Current member/customer interaction with the website will change slightly. In order for AHA to better serve members and customers, password requirements for member/customer login have changed. For increased security and customer protection, AHA will no longer utilize a PIN system for login. Rather, a password, created by the member/customer, will be required. A current email address will need to be on file with the AHA office and associated with a member/customer account in order to use the new online ‘Password Help’ feature to reset a forgotten password.

The password will require a minimum of eight (8) characters and a maximum of twenty (20), with at least one upper case and one lower case letter, along with a number. Members/customers will be prompted to change their PIN to a password upon their first attempt at logging into their member portal on or after January 11, 2016. A confirmation email of the change will then be sent.

Once logged into their account, the member/customer portal pages will remain the same as they are now – the old design and layout. This is true of several other pages within the new site. New and old website pages will be intertwined, creating a user experience that shows off the new website portions, but is still fully accessible and functional to members and customers. Navigation between the old and new will be simple and not require accessing more than one site by the user.

AHA’s new website rebuild is part of a three-year plan for AHA business transactions and financial system infrastructure upgrades, known as ‘Future State.’ Future State is projected to last through the year 2018 and is an implementation of new AHA business rules, including customer-initiated, real-time, web delivered transactions; automated transactions to eliminate paper and speed up completion; the simplification of all business interactions with AHA members and customers, and much more.

AHA is excited for members and customers to see the newly designed AHA website guest pages. If you are a current member or customer and find that you need assistance with changing your PIN to a password, please call our customer service representatives at 303.696.4500, option #2.

Continue to look for updates and communication regarding the progress and status of AHA Future State, via AHA Insiders, e-blasts, social media and more.

For more information see:

Rounding up the wild mustangs: ‘Unbranded film documents ride along continental divide, plight of the wild mustang

Auburnjournal.com - Full Article

January 11 2016
By: Carol Guild, Features Editor

Some men are no match for the mustangs. Some mustangs are no match for men.

The rugged young cowboys who traveled 3,000 miles along the continental divide experienced both — and more.

Filmmaker Ben Masters, a graduate of Texas A&M University, and two of his friends first rode a 2,000-mile pack trip along the divide in 2010. “It seemed like a good way to spend a summer between college semesters,” Masters said.

After buying some mustangs from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to carry some gear, they quickly learned how well the horses perform. “Some of them are really good horses,” Masters said.

That’s when he came up with the concept for the film “Unbranded” about the plight of the wild mustangs.

“There are 50,000 mustangs in holding pens costing the government about $75 million a year,” Masters said. “Some people think it’s a good use of money and nobody has a solution. Some people think they are an endangered species. Some think they’re an invasive species.”

A screening of the film will be shown Tuesday in Auburn.

The event is a fundraiser for the Western States Trails Foundation...

Read more here:

Monday, January 11, 2016

Draft Agenda for AERC Board Meeting in January

January 11 2016

Business before the AERC Board for January includes:

• Strategic Plan - Finance implementation plan - John Parke Report on supporting organization

• Marketing Position contract renewal

• Ride Format (short ride) discussion – Do we need an ad hoc committee?

• Junior Motion by Stephanie Teeter

Motion Name: Junior Sponsor Age Change
Proposing Committee: Junior committee
Date of Motion: January 11
Classification of Motion Request : Rule modification
Proposed Motion : Change the minimum age for Junior Sponsor from 21 to 18 (Rule 10: FROM: “competent adult (21 years or older)” TO “competent adult (18 years or older)”

Background, analysis and benefit : It can be difficult for parents and guardians to find appropriate sponsors for junior riders, both before a ride starts, and during a ride in case the initial sponsor is eliminated from competition. This change will provide more choices, such as older siblings and family friends.

Eighteen is the age of majority in our legal system and a person is no longer considered a child
once they reach the age of eighteen. The average 18 yr old should have the maturity to understand the duty and take on the responsibility of sponsoring a Junior. Ultimately, it is the duty of the Junior's parent/guardian to ensure the Junior is on a suitable mount and the Junior's sponsor understands the responsibility and has the appropriate skill to sponsor the Junior.In all cases the parent or guardian must ultimately approve any sponsor

Distance Riding Extravaganza in Reno

January 11 2016

America’s largest distance riding organizations, the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) and the North American Trail Ride Conference (NATRC), are combining celebrations to host a whopper of a convention in Reno, Nevada, on February 19-20, 2016.

Open to anyone interested in distance riding, the two days of seminars are packed with presentations by leading veterinarians and other experts in these sports which require a level of horsemanship and fitness unmatched in other equestrian sports. Some of the topics include horse and rider communication, stresses on the human body, integrative sports medicine, the equine eye, equine lameness, human riding fitness, and outlandish online equine myths. There will even be a session with top competitors discussing audience questions.

Priced at $45 per day ($25 for the second person), the seminars are perfect for increasing your knowledge and getting you enthused for the ride year ahead. Prices increase to $55/$35 after February 5, 2016.

A two-day Veterinary Continuing Education course is being offered in conjunction with the convention on February 18-19.
“The convention is a great place for anyone who just wants to see if distance riding is right for them and their equine,” said AERC Executive Director Kathleen Henkel. “It’s great to gather competitive and endurance riders together,” said Henkel. “There is much crossover between our riders and we have much to learn from each other.”

The no-cost vendor area, open 8-6 on Friday, February 19, and 8-5 on Saturday, February 20, puts riders directly in touch with tack and saddle vendors, and an assortment of other knowledgeable sellers of both needed (feed) and fun (jewelry) goods. A tack swap held during vendor hours is super for finding pre-owned items at bargain rates.

The convention venue is the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, an all-in-one hotel/convention center with multiple restaurants, movie theater and family bowling center, just in case you have extra time to spare when not attending the trade show, seminars or award ceremonies put on both host organizations. Special rates apply at the hotel when you ask for the AERC rate at 800-648-5080.

No convention would be complete without a host of vendors and entertainment. The absolutely free vendor area at the Reno convention will have tried and true as well as the latest items in saddles, electronics, tack, clothing, feed, supplements, and other gear (and, yes, jewelry). A tack swap is the perfect way to sell your used gear or pick up some horse gear at bargain prices.

Entertaining convention-goers on Friday evening will be local music and cowboy poetry celebrities Richard Elloyan and Steve Wade.

NATRC sanctions timed distance competitions with winners determined from a combination of condition, soundness and trail ability. AERC sanctions distance competitions that have a maximum completion time, but winners are determined by order of completion provided the horses are fit to continue.

Online convention registration and hotel reservations are available through the AERC website: http://www.aerc.org/static/Convention.aspx.

More information about the convention and the sports is available from the NATRC and AERC websites, respectively: www.natrc.org and www.aerc.org.

NATRC Contact:
Bev Roberts

NATRC Convention Contact:
Linda Thomason

AERC Contact
Troy Smith
PO Box 6027
Auburn, CA 95604

January's Endurance Day on Horses in the Morning with Karen Chaton

January 11 2016

Tune in tomorrow, January 12th from 6-7:30 a.m. PST for the next episode of Endurance Day on Horses in the Morning on the Horse Radio Network.

We are going to have a really fun show talking about endurance tips, tack with The Distance Depot, and of course the Rose Parade.

Fun guests are lined up for us - the legendary Julie Suhr who rode in the parade at 91 years young.
We'll also be talking to a newer AERC member and Rose Parade rider Shelley Child of Sterling Shagyas. Learn about the selection process for equestrian groups riding in the Rose Parade from guest Ellen Swaggerty, the Equestrian Chair of the Tournament of Roses - Rose Parade.

Be sure to tune in!

Friday, January 08, 2016

Peg Greiwe: A Back Country Horsemen of America Horsewoman

By Sarah Wynne Jackson

Back Country Horsemen of America is at the forefront of the drive to protect our right to ride horses on public lands, but they wouldn’t be in that position without the tireless effort of people who share their vision. Peg Greiwe grabbed hold of the BCHA mission nearly 30 years ago and still refuses to let go.

Join the Family

“I was the typical city girl in love with horses. I got my first horse when I was 38. My brother bought a four-horse trailer and then proceeded to fill it. My brother taught me a lot about horses,” says Peg.

“In 1987, I went to a show called ‘Horses: A Standing Ovation’ at Tacoma Dome and met some Back Country Horsemen of Washington members who had a booth there. I asked them, ‘Where are the riding trails?’ They said, ‘Join and we’ll show you.’ Talking with them, I realized that was where I wanted to be, so I joined and I’ve been a member ever since,” she says.

Peg got involved with her local BCH chapter, the Pierce County Chapter of Back Country Horsemen of Washington, and is still a member today. She explains why, “Back Country Horsemen of America is like a family. If there’s a problem or someone needs help, they’re there. If someone says ‘I’m building a certain type of trailhead; I’m looking for ideas,’ we get tons of replies. When there are emergencies, Back Country Horsemen respond to help whoever it is with whatever it is.

“Our chapter usually has a trail ride once month and work parties two to three times a month. Sometimes the older folks or the youngsters think they don’t belong on a work party, but I always tell people, ‘There’s a job for everyone on the work parties. If you can’t wield a Pulaski or a shovel, you can hold a horse or cook food or make sandwiches or do something else.’”

Enjoying the Horses and the Trails

Peg’s husband, Dale Kelley, is one of the charter members of the Pierce County Chapter BCH. His daughter has two teenaged children who rode and camped with Peg and Dale when they were kids. She says, “We live in a rural area outside of town, pretty much in the middle of nowhere. We keep the horses at home. What would be the point in having horses if we couldn’t have them at home?”

Not surprisingly, Peg and Dale ride on the same properties where their BCH chapter builds and maintains trails. She says, “We have a nice local state park, Nisqually Mashel, about 10 minutes away. It’s just raw land the state is trying to figure out what to do with, and we’re helping them with that. So far, we’ve put in some trails that are long enough for a Saturday afternoon ride.”

They also regularly truck their horses to Sahara Creek Horse Camp, managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Just a stone’s throw from the entrance to Mount Rainier National Park, the camp provides easy access to the Elbe Hills area through the 38-mile Nicholson Horse Trail System, which was built by the Pierce County Chapter BCH. “We have at least one work party there a month. It’s in the foothills at the base of the mountains, so you get the mountain experience without being in the mountains. We can ride there almost all year long,” says Peg.

For longer rides, they make the three hour drive east to the mountains and river valleys of the 1,368,300-acre Gifford Pinchot National Forest and the high elevation lakes and forests in the 169,081-acre William O. Douglas Wilderness. Peg says, “Because of the deep snow, we can access the mountain trails for only a short period of time in the summer. Our favorite place is Keenes Horse Camp and the trails at Mount Adams. We see lots of wildlife – bear, deer, elk, coyotes.”

Jill of All Trades

As time went by, Peg filled all the volunteer jobs there are to do in a BCH chapter: president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, newsletter editor, volunteer hours recorder, trail scout, and more. She explains how she started working for Back Country Horsemen of America, “Twenty years ago, I was volunteering with my chapter and working for other organizations as an administrative assistant, when BCHA announced they were looking to hire an executive secretary. My husband said, ‘That’s your job!’ I was one of five or so applicants who flew to Reno to interview, then flew home the same day. I was so excited to get the job.”

Peg literally became the voice of Back Country Horsemen of America. “The BCHA phone rings in my home office, and I always answer it, day or night. I get a big kick out of talking to the members. One of our spare bedrooms is called the ‘office annex,’ because all the BCHA brand clothing is stored there, and all the past newsletters are stacked in our garage.”

Also, as Executive Secretary/Treasurer of the Back Country Horsemen Education Foundation, Peg handles the administrative duties of tracking donations, coordinating directors’ meetings, and allocating funds to various projects. She says, “We’ve given lots of grants over the years – close to $100,000. It’s pretty neat to be able to help these people out with their local trail work. We try to limit each grant to $1000 so more groups can get the funds.”

In her day job, Peg is a one-woman association management company. “I do work for a scholarship group and a business association. When the volunteers get tired of working, that’s when the associations call me.”

The Fun of Hard Work

Peg says working and volunteering with Back Country Horsemen of America has been an adventure. “Right after I first joined, all of Back Country Horsemen of Washington was involved in organizing an event for the Washington state centennial: horse-drawn wagon trains traveled from five different points in the state and all met in Olympia, the state capitol. I got to help with that and even ride some of it for a few days. It was a lot of fun.

“Traveling the nation to organize and attend all the national board meetings has also been great. I’ve seen Tennessee, Sacramento, San Diego, Reno, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming, Oregon, New Mexico, Arizona, and met many wonderful people at every location.”

Coming Home

Why does Peg love Back Country Horsemen of America so much? “I love the trails and I love the horses,” she says. “It takes both to do what I want – to be riding out in the back country, enjoying the peace and quiet, seeing nature as it is. BCHA makes that possible. They have it all; I felt like I was home when I found them.”

Peg has big dreams for Back Country Horsemen of America. “It all started with a handful of men sitting around a campfire, concerned about losing horse access to trails… and we’re still concerned about that today. We’ve come so far, and I like to think of myself as a support that helped along the way, but there’s still so much to be done.”

About Back Country Horsemen of America

BCHA is a non-profit corporation made up of state organizations, affiliates, and at-large members. Their efforts have brought about positive changes regarding the use of horses and stock in wilderness and public lands.

If you want to know more about Back Country Horsemen of America or become a member, visit their website: www.bcha.org; call 888-893-5161; or write PO Box 1367, Graham, WA 98338-1367. The future of horse use on public lands is in our hands!

Contact: Peg Greiwe

Thursday, January 07, 2016

In which Fiddle did it! She's AERC High Mileage Standardbred!

Haikufarm Blog - Full Story

by Aarene Storms
January 6 2016

Fiddle has come a long way from the grouchy "hellbitch" mare delivered to me
in December of 2006, and she was the ultimate representative of Team Sensible
as a graceful (and powerful) Dragon on the trail in 2015.

We got confirmation of her win this morning via email from the United States Trotting Association.

I admit: I'm giddy.

In some cases, we went further than expected. The 75-miler at the Milwaukee Rail Trail Ride turned out to be an 80-miler, and the 50 at the Haunting Ride was a very long 55 miles.

Other rides, such as the Mount Spokane ride and the Jubilee Ranch ride, were cancelled because of our unbelievable forest fire season.

I kept in touch with other Standie riders, and compared notes. It's not a huge field, so it's possible for us to "know" almost everybody, at least via Facebook and blogs. We're all big advocates for Team Sensible, and we like to chat online about our beautiful brown horses...

Read more here:

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

2016 AERC Convention Speaker Lineup

January 6 2016

The 2016 AERC Convention that will be held in Reno on February 19-20 has scheduled a line-up of speakers you won't want to miss.

On Friday February 19th, Robin Foster, PhD, CAAB, CHCB, will present "Interspecies Sports: Working Together in Partnership," addressing communication between you and your horse.

Jerry Zebrack, MD, will present "An M.D's Guide to the Endurance Body," which will show you ways to keep yourself in peak physical condition for as many miles and years as possible.

Mary Lassaline, DVM, PhD, MA, DACVO, will present "The Equine Eye," an introduction to the equine eye.

Sarah le Jeune, DVM, DACVS, DACVSMR, CVA, Cert. Vet. Chiro, will present "Equine Integrative Sports Medicine," which will give you a whole new way of looking at your horse's performance.

On Saturday February 20th, Jeanette Mero, DVM, will present "Lameness: Prevention & Treatment," which will give you the tools to increase your chances of competing on a sound, healthy horse for as long as possible.

NATRC (which is holding their convention in conjunction with the AERC convention) will hold a Distance Rider Panel.

Deanna Guinasso, a longtime student of physiology and kinesiology, and the inventor of Suzanne Somers' "ButtMaster" machine, will present "Fit to Ride," giving you the impetus you need to get your body into condition to improve both your riding and your overall health.

Susan Garlinghouse, DVM, will present "But I Read It Online…!", showing you how to sort out the good from the bad online, exposing some of the more outlandish equine myths.

For more information and to sign up for the convention, see:

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Free Tickets to 4-H, FFA and Youth Riders for January Tevis Talks with Ben Masters

Donor program offers tickets for January 12 event at State Theater in Auburn, featuring Unbranded documentary film-maker.
The Western States Trail Foundation and Tevis Cup (Official) - 100 Mile One Day Western States Trail Ride consider education of future generations an integral part of the preservation, promotion and stewardship of trails, horsemanship and the sport of endurance.

As part that stewardship, Western States Board of Governors member Shellie Hatfield, has organized a scholarship program in which donors purchase tickets to donate to young horse enthusiasts.

"We use scholarship programs like this as a means of crossing borders," said Hatfield, who is also Treasurer of WSTF and its Fundraising Committee Chair.

"Tevis Talks in particular exposes kids across all disciplines to the sport of endurance, but also to our foremost cause, which is the trails. We want to show them the importance of developing a sense of passion for their interests, but also a sense of responsibility."

Masters, an ardent advocate for both the American Mustang and open space preservation, will discuss the making of his award-winning film, which National Geographic has named one of its top adventure movies of the year.

To obtain scholarship tickets to this event, contact Hatfield at Shellie@ValleyFinance.com.

All proceeds benefit WSTF.


Monday, January 04, 2016

Dr Kerry Ridgway Passes

Dr Kerry Ridgway passed away on January 3rd.

The son of a horseman, Dr. Ridgway was well known in endurance riding circles as both a competitor and a veterinarian. In 1990, he was elected to the Endurance Hall of Fame, for his contributions to the sport, and is most notably known for his development of the "Cardiac Recovery Index", a standard adopted internationally.

He was a founding member and officer for the "Association for Equine Sports Medicine," now a large international association. After practicing conventional medicine for over 20 years, and as a result of personal health issues that were helped greatly with alternative medicine, Dr. Ridgway decided to direct his focus toward chiropractic and acupuncture, a modality that has a written history of more than 2000 years. His illness set him on the goal of always seeking the root cause and not just treating the symptoms.

He spent many years specializing in equine performance issues. Because so many of the horse's functional and musculoskeletal problems are associated with issues such as dental problems, improper shoeing or trimming, saddle and tack induced problems, he developed a deep interest in the integration of these factors as part of a whole horse approach medicine.

All of these issues that can lead to not only performance and behavioral deficits, but also to pain and even unsoundness, enticed him to study and research the workings of muscles and fascia, and their ramifications.

Ridgway's philosophy that integrative veterinary medicine combined well with conventional medicine provided the best of both worlds with regard to health maintenance and peak performance potential.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

2015 USEF Equestrian of the Year voting ends Monday Night

AERC is pleased to announce that TWO of the nine nominees for the 2015 USEF Equestrian of the Year award are endurance people who believe in 'to finish is to win'.   Each of these people won a USEF award that makes them eligible for the 2015 Equestrian of the Year Award- please go out and review the nine nominations and you are able to vote for three:  

The AERC nominees are:
• Cheryl Van Deusen of New Smyrna Beach, FL
• Martha Rattner of Georgetown, KY

To vote, click here. Don't forget to vote by midnight ET January 4, 2016.  If "here" doesn't work - use https://www.usef.org/_IFrames/eoty/. Each individual can vote for a first, second and third place winner. You do not need to be a USEF member to vote.

Lynne Glazer to be Guest on The Equine Photographers Podcast


Endurance ride photographer Lynne Glazer will be the guest on The Equine Photographers Podcast on January 15, 2016.

Lynn Glazer is a California based equine sport, ranch, portrait, pets and livestock photographer. In this interview she shares with us the ins and outs of being an event photographer.

Hosted by professional horse photographers Peter Demott and Gigi Embrechts, The Equine Photographers Podcast features interviews with the top equine photographers from around the world about how they got into photography, and specifically horse photography.

To tune in on the 15th and for more information see

Friday, January 01, 2016

Bumper convention for US trail and endurance groups

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Horsetalk.co.nz | 1 January 2016

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2016/01/01/bumper-convention-us-trail-endurance-groups/#ixzz3w0aNAmbU

The USA’s largest distance riding organisations are joining forces for a mega convention in Reno, Nevada, next month.

The North American Trail Ride Conference (NATRC) and the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) convention is open to all and is being run over two days, from February 19 to 20, featuring several presentations by leading veterinarians.

Speakers include Robin Foster, Jerry Zebrack, Sarah le Jeune, Mary Lassaline, and Jeanette (Jay) Mero...

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2016/01/01/bumper-convention-us-trail-endurance-groups/#ixzz3w0aNAmbU

Auburn’s equestrian group riding in Tournament of Roses Parade

[More ...]

Dec 31 2015

Two dozen riders taking part in Pasadena New Year’s Day fixture
By: Gus Thomson of the Auburn Journal

The theme of this year’s Tournament of Roses Parade is “Find Your Adventure” and who better to exemplify that spirit than two dozen endurance riders representing the Auburn-based American Endurance Ride Conference.

The group of riders will be in the middle of Friday’s parade, which starts at 8 a.m. The posse of equestrians will be four “legends” – 91-year-old 22-time Tevis Cup finisher Julie Suhr of Scott’s Valley, Karen Chaton, Connie Creech and John Parke.

“What better group to be picked for a ‘Find Your Adventure’ parade theme than the American Endurance Ride Conference because we live for riding the trails,” conference parade marshal Gayle Pena said. “Riders also help ensure trails stay open and are useable. And by putting on rides, we make people aware of parks and trails...”

Read more here: