Tuesday, June 25, 2013
The Hood River Saddle Club hosted a Mountain Trail clinic over the weekend that drew riders from as far away as Seattle to participate in clinics and a friendly competition at the club’s 10-acre facility.
Mountain Trail, an increasingly popular form of equestrian competition, challenges horses and riders with a variety of obstacles and set tasks, for which they are judged and scored as they navigate.
A first for HRSC, the event started Friday evening with a social gathering and an introduction of Eugene-based clinicians and trainers Mitch and Jolinn Hoover, who have been involved with Mountain Trail for more than 10 years.
Saturday the Hoovers gave a sold-out clinic and followed with a round of challenges for horse-rider duos on the club’s half-acre course of obstacles created over the last decade. Ranging from inanimate obstacles like a rocky hillside and a series of logs to more involved ones like a mock campsite, a trash pit and a gate, the obstacles are meant to simulate the wide variety of situations riders and horses would commonly confront in the mountains and on trails.
Participant Yvonne Peterson explained that Mountain Trail is a serious sport in some circles and there are large-scale competitions across the country with elaborate courses and highly experienced competitors.
For others, like Hood River rider Mike VanSisseren, it’s more about developing experience and trust as a horse-rider team.
“For me, it’s so I can ride somewhere like Post Canyon and my horse doesn’t freak out when something comes along like a group of bikers,” he said before taking his turn around the course Sunday morning.
Sunday’s contest started with a set course riders had to memorize and then navigate and tasks they had to accomplish along the way, like going through a gate, dragging a bag full of noisy tin cans, and passing by a stuffed bear jumping out of the bushes. Contestants then had a Gamblers’ Choice round in which they had five minutes to complete their best 10 obstacles in front of two teams of judges.
Taking the overall win in the open division was Jan Standley of Clatskanie.
“We were blessed with perfect weather and strong attendance,” said Greta Hein, Hood River Saddle Club president. “Participants and audience members are already talking about next year.”
Hein thanked award sponsors for their support in providing prizes for the event.
n The Hood River Saddle Club is located at the corner of Country Club and Belmont. It is a 10-acre facility that has been a center of horse activities since 1945. Learn more about the HRSC through its website at www.hoodriversaddleclub.org, phone 541-386-5913 or email at email@example.com.
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge