TTCC Newsletter January 2023

TTCC NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2023

Happy New Year!!  Welcome to all of the new members from late 2022 and also to those who are joining us for the first time.   On the Texas Trail Challenge Website, please check out the “News” tab for recent newsletters, there is quite a bit of important information in those.  This month also begins a new feature, “Camp Life”, where valuable information can be found regarding life outside of the actual trail ride itself.   And for those of you who want the annual TTCC calendar tee, they are still available to order, reach out to Kate at kelove1958@gmail.com.

FROM TTCC PRESIDENT, ANN STACY…..Get ready for the 2023 ride season! I am happy to invite everyone to an award filled evening, January 28, 2023.  We start off with a Celebration for achievements for both rider and horse.  It is a time to socialize and applaud members for the 2022 year.  Our first ’23 ride is the traditional Rocky Road-fingers crossed it is good weather this year! 

The Board of Directors hope that all riders will be encouraged to strive to be honored this time next year for the 2023 End of Year Celebration.

We offer rider clinics for the Spring and Fall seasons and hope you will take advantage of them.  I encourage everyone to ride as often as possible to condition both you and your horse – this is time well spent.  Personal fitness will give you confidence and improve your horsemanship.  Start out by making a daily activity into a habit.  Just a suggestion!

I encourage you to read your 2023 rule book to refresh your understanding of the rule updates and current rides.  It is amazing how we tend to overlook things because we have been here since the beginning! Familiarize yourself with trail etiquette in case you find yourself mentoring someone.

The Directory was a major accomplishment when we first started in 2015.  It has been a big help to folks on the road and needing assistance.  I can testify to that!  I’ve called on Mary Marczak, who picked up my horse on her way through Stephenville going to the San Angelo ride.  I’ve been called on as well to help folks on the same route that I was travelling.  I suggest you keep a copy of the Directory in your truck, “just in case”.

I hope you enjoy our new CAMP LIFE feature, written by Kim and Josie.  These will be brief and useful. If you have some ideas for topics or things others might enjoy, let me know. 

Thank you for your TTCC involvement, Ann

Camp Life articles will be found under the News/Camplife tab on the website, but we are taking this opportunity to give newsletter readers a sample of what’s to come.

Beyond the Trail Ride and the Obstacles

Who do you call when in need?

I have been asked to create a bi-monthly articles focused on topics to make your equestrian adventures more enjoyable. The topics will vary plus they will be on the website for your convenience. We hope you will find “Camp Life” useful and entertaining! Enjoy your adventures with your horse!


I made it!


I got to the ride without missing any turns with google maps, and I am looking forward to riding with friends across some gorgeous countryside.  That is until …… as I am setting up camp, I realize I forgot _ (insert any necessary item), OR I am all set up, a perfect little camp site, now my generator will not start! These things happen to all of us sooner or later – Yes, it has even happened to Jim Miller!


So, before you panic, resign yourself to a crappy ride, or pack up and go home. STOP, take a few deep breaths, and think about possible solutions. Missing a bucket, apple picker or snap and chain, try reaching out to your neighbors, they might have exactly what you need! Or reach out to the ride managers they really want you to have a great time at the ride!


Now for Generators, Flat tires or Dead batteries needing a jump & assorted other mechanical issues I have a wonderful camp husband who loves to meet new (& old) friends and lend a hand.  Jim Miller, or as the WWW ladies call him, “Mr. Fixit”, will gladly lend a hand and try to help you solve any problems that may arise.  He does this because he likes to be of service and help others out, but if you feel the need to pay, his hand fits a nice cold beer! Just no beer on Sunday, we must drive home! 


NOTE: Some folks have insisted on giving $ for Jim’s assistance, he has asked IF you feel the need to repay his kindness with $, please donate it to the Military EOD charity. Your charity will impact our veterans.
Jim Miller   254 368-0599   in case you want to add his number to your contacts.


See you out on the trail,
Kim and Josie

While on the topic of “Camp Life”, I took the liberty to reprise a little ditty that was published in years past, since we have so many new members.  While it is not in TTCC rules, it is preferred that members do not save spots when pulling in to camp.

After starting riding with TTCC (formerly TTC) in 2007, it took me probably two years to venture out of my little horse/dog and me shell, known as my “spot”, where I’d set up for the weekend.  I eventually gained enough confidence to move into a little more physically challenging CTR venue.  I drove all day, 450 miles, tickled to be hauling a newly acquired LQ after 7 years of camping in the back of my trailer.  I pulled in at dusk down a narrow forest road, hoping there’d be room to park my rig.  I saw a spot!  Oops, no, clearly someone was saving that for a friend.  Drove further, narrower, darker, only to find NO obvious open spots, except at the very back of this pine tree congested campground.  After finding an area the size of a Volkswagen, some people saw me struggling to park in the dark and helped me get settled.  Their kindness helped me feel less like the “new kid”.  I promised myself that night that I would pass on that kindness in one way or another.  Sure, it is fun to park by your friends, easier too, as my mare can just whisper to her bestie instead of nickering across camp.  However, the pleasure of being able to call you a  friend after a weekend of lending and borrowing muck buckets, water hoses and sunscreen, means a lot.  Most of all, I hope you go home having felt welcomed.

Here’s the ditty…

On Saving Spots…

Driving for hours, pull up at a ride, can’t wait to see who I get to park beside.

But  wait, there’s a cone, or a chair or a feedsack, I get out to move it and I hear “Put that back!”

“This spot is saved for my friend, you see” Well, heck, I was thinking that’s a good spot for me.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I do know for certain,

Saving spots to me feels like someone’s put up a curtain.

And if I feel that way, just imagine you’re new…

You’d heard such good things, hoped to make a friend or two!

You’re thinking that maybe you’re in the wrong place,

You’d hoped to meet up with just one friendly face

While spot saving’s not meant to be ill-intentioned,

What if you’re one of those first timers we never fail to mention?

At meetings, and ride outs, and “welcome, you’re new!” Sometimes there’s just one, often now there’s a few You may not agree, but give fate a spin, and maybe you too, will make a new friend.

Happy trails, friends, Gayna

Kit Shadrock

One comment for “TTCC Newsletter January 2023

  • Susie Jernigan

    Gaynna the poem is spot on !
    It has never dawned on me to venture away from my familiar camp buddies but now that you’ve opened my eyes I will. It has taken me awhile to get to know the wonderful ladies of TTCC I’m always afraid of saying the wrong thing or not knowing what to do or say thus staying in the background so I can relate

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