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Derby Day Work Party

Saturday morning was bright sunshine and perfect for a day building and brushing trails. We had a good turnout (6) for this year’s Derby Day event.

5 crew members continued tread work on the new trail from Cat Lake Rd. Rick had been working on this project at 3 previous work parties so I put him in charge of the tread work while I took a brush cutter and cleaned up the connector trail from the Trailhead Loop to Diamond Point Trail.

For a while it appeared we had a winner in our Derby contest, but since there was a disqualification no one picked the winning horse, Country House. No one picked the second-place finisher either, so we will save the prizes for another time.

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Great Turnout for Our April Ride

The weather was perfect, the trail well marked and interesting, delicious post ride refreshments, and 14 riders!!! It doesn’t get any better then that!

Thank you all for coming and for the efforts of Pat, Maryann and Jay, Jeff, Helen and Larry . All of your efforts helped make the ride perfect!

I so appreciate being part of such a great group of people!

Happy trails, Theresa

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Living With Cougars

On May 10th, Matt Blankenship, Wildlife Conflict Specialist for the Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW),  will give a presentation at the Buckhorn Range Chapter meeting at the Tri-Area Community Center at 7PM about living with cougars.   Matt handles most of the local investigations and follow-up.   He gave a similar presentation recently to the Cape George Homeowners Association.   Matt is very familiar with situation with the Cape George cougar, the Marrowstone Island cougar, the Sequim cougar, and all points between.   He will answer questions at the end of his talk.    (This sighting is by no means the first as both deer and livestock incidents have occurred.)

The WDFW office happens to be at Point Hudson near the Shanghai Restaurant.   They have a great deal of handouts and materials about dealing with wildlife in Jefferson County.   I’m sure Matt will bring some to the meeting relating to cougars.   When talking with him, I learned a great deal about the things we need to be aware of both as to maintaining our ranches and traveling on trails in the area.   It was clear that the more you know, the safer you are.   It is also reasonable to believe that the less incidents there are, the better it is for the long-term survival of the cougar as well.  

This meeting is open to anyone, and again, highly recommended for local pets, horses, and livestock owners.   Please circulate.

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Lisa Preston To Speak At April Meeting

Buckhorn Range Chapter of Backcountry Horsemen of Washington will host author Lisa Preston on April 12, 2019 at the Tri Area Center in Chimacum at their monthly meeting at 7: p.m.

Do you want to end your confusion about what feed and supplements meet the particular needs of your horse?  Then come hear Lisa Preston outline the science that goes into equine nutrition and learn how to develop the perfect menu for your particular horse.

Lisa Preston, an avid horsewoman, comes from a science background and emphasizes how to recognize, prevent and treat nutrition related problems in horses.  Her book, The Ultimate Guide to Horse Feed, Supplements and Nutrition, covers formulating a correct dietary routine for your horse based on such considerations as breed, age and size as well as locale, climate and the activities in which your horse takes part.

Buckhorn Range Chapter welcomes the attendance of the equine community. 

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March Chapter Ride Report

Is there a better way to celebrate spring than from the back of your
horse? Buckhorn’s March chapter ride at Gibbs Lake enticed ten riders
into the woods. Birds’ song and gently filtered sunlight welcomed us onto
marked trails. We rode a double loop and never crashed into ourselves
coming and going. Before starting the second loop Jay and Maryann
met us with sandwiches, coffee, tea and cookies to fortify us for the
second half of the ride.


It was most interesting to see that the trails were bone dry and hard
except at the edges; unheard of conditions in March here.
I can only speak for Jeff and myself describing mountain bike
encounters, since we were drag riders. The bikers were thoughtful,
friendly and helpful. Molly did a 180 as a bike was coming up a hill
toward us. The biker stopped and pulled his bike over to the upside of
the hill. As I heard the neurotic thoroughbred snorting behind me I
asked the guy if he wouldn’t mind moving to the downhill side of the
hill explaining as best I could why. I apologized for the horse’s behavior
and said I was so sorry I had to ask him to move to downhill side. His
response was: “no problem we all just want to have a good time out
here.” Molly seemed sheepish as she passed and realized it was only a
bike and not a cougar. All the other bikers we met were as nice and as
friendly.
Robin and her dad flagged trails that I had never ridden before. It was a
good thing too because I would have gotten lost in a jiffy. Even Jeff got
turned around. It has been a long time since I had ridden on those
‘bike’ trails that were now often marked with signs saying ‘horse trail.’
I think Bob has done much to effect the change in attitude toward
horses out at Gibbs Lake County Park. I think too that the chapter
members who have worked out there putting in a trail and a puncheon
made a very public statement; we are here, we ride and we work.

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Endurance Ride Speaker

Author Aarene Storms gave an excellent presentation this evening at our March Chapter meeting.

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Buckhorn Range is 18 y.o.!

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Diamond Point Loop Trail 3/2/2019

It was a cold sunny morning as we met at Cat Lake Rd. on Saturday. In attendance were myself, Rod Farlee of Peninsula Chapter with the Peninsula tool trailer, Juelie Dalzell of Peninsula and Buckhorn Range chapters, Sally Dean, Helen Shewman and Gail Rase of Buckhorn Range chapter.

Originally planned as a work party on the new Cat Lake Trail being roughed out with an excavator by Powell Jones (Peninsula Trails Coalition) , it was determined by Tom Mix, Work Project maestro for Peninsula Chapter, that the tread was too wet to be worked yet so we shifted our efforts to the far end of the Diamond Point Loop Trail where an old culvert pull has been a problem for many years. Del Sage (Peninsula) had taken a tractor in and dug out the north approach and rough-graded back to the gated end of the trail. We were going to smooth out and grade the approaches and trail, and open up the drainage for the extremely muddy
crossing. Rod Farlee used his chainsaw skills to remove a couple of downed logs, Then spent the rest of the day brushing trail while the rest of the crew used macleods to do the tread work. I got on the business end of a shovel and dug a 30-foot ditch to address the drainage problem.

This was a good day working on a long-neglected trail that is now rideable with stunning views of Discovery Bay and Beckett Point across the Bay. Thank you to everyone who participated. Pictures can be viewed at

https://photos.app.goo.gl/k6UJ7wUdt3xg6xeS8

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Endurance 101 Author to speak at March Chapter meeting

Buckhorn Range Chapter of Backcountry Horsemen of Washington will enthusiastically welcome author Aarene Storms, creator of Endurance 101 a Gentle Guide to the Sport of Long Distance Riding.  Ms. Storms’s presentation happens on March 8, 2019 at the Tri-Area Center in Chimacum at 7:00 p.m.

As spring approaches all local equestrians can benefit from Ms. Storms’s 20 year experience as an endurance rider.  She will cover the importance of conditioning your horse and yourself giving you specific actions to take to make it happen.  She will also provide lots of information on the sport of endurance riding generally and what we need to know to get started. Storms returned to horses as an adult after wasting her teen years becoming educated and employed. 

An advocate for junior riders, equestrian trails, and novice endurance horse-and-rider teams, Aarene has written numerous articles for Endurance News and other equestrian publications, as well as writing plenty of articles about teen readers and teen books for a variety of library publications. 

Adventures in the saddle and on the ground are documented with tongue firmly-in-cheek at the Haiku Farm blog.


Aarene Storms completing a 50-mile ride with her Standardbred mare Fiddle at Bare Bones 2012
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Work Continues on the Silent Alder Trail Reroute (Gibbs Lake)

The February work party was held on a cold & snowy Super Bowl Sunday, where work was planned to finish the reroute around the very steep hill approaching the bridge we built last fall. Because of the weather, there was no one besides the intrepid (foolish?) Work Projects Coordinator in attendance. As I approached the bridge I noticed there had been a horse & rider on the trail that morning and there were 18-inch long skids on every step down the hill. There is quite a bit of clay in the tread, making it very slick. I did manage to complete another difficult section with 3-1/2 hours of work and should be able to complete the rest of it in another 5-6 hours.

Hoof prints sliding down a steep slick trail toward a bridge.
Horse tracks skidding down steep slick trail
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2019 Chapter Trail Rides

January 19 – Horse Park parking and trails to Arabian Lane. (Theresa and Juelie)

February – No ride – winter break

March 23 / rain date March 24 – Gibbs Lake

April 20 / rain date April 21 – Green Mountain/Gold Creek trailhead

May 25 – Miller Peninsula – joint ride with Peninsula Chapter

June 15 – Dan Kelly ride – Adventure trail – joint ride with Peninsula Chapter

July 20-21 – Tahuya horse camp – overnight

August – Ride the Hill- overnight – Layton Hill

September 7 – Kitsap Ladies PIE Ride – Tahuya Horse Camp

September 21 / rain date Sept. 22 – Anderson Lake to Moon Lake/Gibbs Lake

October TBA – Port Gamble – joint ride with Peninsula Chapter and Kitsap Ladies????

November 16 / rain date 17 – Chimacum Ridge – Donut Ride

December – Christmas party

Other Options under consideration

Tahuya horse campout – Pat is checking on non-motorized weekend

Anderson Lake 2 options – trails around lake and trail across the road up to moon lake

Gibbs lake- two options – trails from parking lot including the new Silent Alder Trail and “Pope road trails”

Gold Creek/Green Mountain

Port Gamble – connect with Kitsap Ladies  (Pat will check into)

Littleton horse camp – DNR trails???

Other?????

Ideas to attract more riders

1. Marked trails –

2. Refreshments and social time 3. Other??????