January/February 2024 Newletter

WINTER WEATHER There’s an old saying that if you don’t like the weather just wait 10 minutes and it’ll change! That is particularly true in Texas where it can be 80° one day and 30° the next. So, it is important to be prepared, for yourself as a rider, and for your horse.
(Hannah Wright, Jean Moreau, Shelley Hilton, Jerilyn Stanka)
In the next few paragraphs, we will address cold weather and save hot weather tips for later.
Tip number one -layers, layers, layers! But be sure and try things on at home. Can you wear two layers with your boots, jeans, helmet, etc.? I remember arriving at an obstacle several years ago. Greg Dial eyed me up and down and I thought what is the matter? My horse is standing quietly, we are warmed up and ready. Greg looked me in the eye and said, “Are you wearing your pajamas?” I laughed and said with the extreme cold front I had put on everything I had, including my fuzzy pajamas! I now plan my layers a little more carefully and have a great snowsuit that I found at a thrift store.
Tip number two-wool. It is really hard to beat the warmth of a wool sweater or socks.

Jean Wilson & Greg Dial – Senior Judge – Feb 26, 2022
Tip number three-water repellent outerwear. Being cold is one thing, being wet is another, but being cold and wet is just downright miserable. Think especially of your head, core, hands, and feet. And I can tell you that hand warmers do not work if they get wet! After one really cold ride at Parrie Haynes, I took my favorite cold weather gloves to Home Depot and found oversized rubber gloves to go over them so that they would be waterproof. Consider adding toe warmers and hand warmers to your trailer. Don’t forget to have some instant hot chocolate, apple cider, tea, canned soup, or chili to help warm you up when you get back to your trailer. I also think it’s very important to lay out all your gear the night before, so you don’t forget something essential, like gloves!
Next, think about your horse. I don’t want to start the blanket or no blanket debate, but it does make a difference when your horse is tied to the trailer or in a pen and they cannot choose where they want to be or stand next to their buddy. So, I also have layers for my horse. And I have added a tarp so that I can make a windbreak around my pen if I need to. I have electrolytes to encourage my horse to drink and have packed a round orange cooler as a water tub because the insulation usually keeps it from freezing. You can also add some more warm water to their drinking water that will raise the temperature momentarily. Adding some water to your horse’s feed can also be helpful if they will eat it that way. Just remember that hot water freezes faster than cold water. You might consider moving your horse’s bridle into your living quarters or warming the bit with your hands or under your arm. Your trail buddy will appreciate your efforts and be more willing to be bridled. In addition, have everything set up for your horse for your return camp. If the water bucket and hay bag are already filled and waiting, and you return to camp cold and exhausted it will be much easier to take care of your horse. In fact, any advance preparations you can make ahead of time will make a huge difference during extreme weather. Maybe fill several hay bags at home, measure your feed and supplements into ziploc bags for each meal, and clean and oil your tack so that inclement weather will not bother it. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. You will be glad you did!

RIDE RECAP
Salute the Troops was held at C-Bar Stables in Valley Mills on November 11th & 12th. Although the weather was a bit chilly, the rain held off during the ride. Stupendous soups were enjoyed on Friday night and again for lunch on Saturday. Charles Maley cooked his wonderful chicken fried steak with all the trimmings for Saturday night. Riders were given the option of going into the canyon, the obstacles and trail were fun and challenging, and we celebrated our freedom with flags everywhere and lots of red, white, and blue. We also supported our military with donations to the Explosive Ordinance Division. Kim Gehring and Jim Miller won the bid on the Veteran’s Box last year and presented it to Carol Warren, winning bidder this year.
Kim & Jim Miller with Carol Warren and the Veteran’s Box

All together $671 was raised to support our veterans. The General Meeting was held on Friday evening. The treasurer Tiffany Janke presented a brief report, club funds are somewhat depleted because of the purchase of mileage award conchos but, IRS regulations require a not-for-profit club to spend most of their funds in the same calendar year. The club accounts will soon be built back up with money from two rides, the Christmas fundraiser, sponsor donations, and renewal of memberships in January. Bill Phillips reported that the club has 217 members. Greg Dial reported that the Judges Forum will be held on Sunday, December 17th, at Parrie Haynes.

Wyatt Ranch Wanderer ride was rescheduled for December 9th & 10th. This time the weather was crisp and sunny, a little chilly in the mornings but perfect for December. Hot dogs and chili were served Friday night, and a taco bar was held Saturday night with leftovers for lunch on Sunday. Kelly Beard debuted as Senior Judge and created outstanding obstacles with an emphasis on holding your reins in one hand.
Priscilla Butcher and Salem
Riders also added Christmas decorations for their photo opportunity on Sunday. Thank you, Scott Butcher, for all the wonderful pictures! The Fall Clinic was held on Friday, December 8 and participants got to choose a couple of skills they wanted to focus on. Later, riders got to practice all the various skills several times with tips from judges at each obstacle. Skills included balance while trotting over poles and jumping, rope handling, drag, the Garrocha pole, mount and dismount, backing, turn on the fore and hind, transitions, side pass, stop, gates, and sending.

The Christmas Party and Fundraiser hosted by the Board of Directors was held at Parrie Haynes on December 16 and everyone had a fabulous time. The morning trail ride featured the first six days of Christmas according to Greg Dial assisted by Bill Phillips. Riders shot a toy bow and arrow at a Partridge in a Pear Tree, French hens laid eggs for riders to find, a turtle had to be thrust across the finish line using a garrocha pole, a relay race with a spoon and egg while weaving cones was a challenge, and riders had to toss bean bags into five golden rings.
Kim and Jim Miller participating in the egg relay.
Tiffany Janke and Rhonda Fryer made delicious Chicken Alfredo, salad with lots of goodies, warm herb bread, scrumptious homemade cheesecakes and Tiramisu for dinner. Mary Ann Brandon also helped with kitchen preparations. The tables were beautifully decorated with horseshoe Christmas trees painted and hung with ornaments handmade by Karen and DevIn Pantel. The trees were sold after the dinner to add to the funds raised. Linda Ellis won the Ugly Christmas Sweater contest, Santa visited, and presents were exchanged and sometimes stolen!
Alex McStay tossing bean bags into 5 golden rings.

JUDGES FORUM was held on Sunday, December 17 at Parrie Haynes. Various obstacles and scoring were discussed to make sure everyone is being judged fairly and consistently. A few considerations brought up at the round table discussion included deducting a point for artificial aids, such as a wand or flag. Items that a rider uses all of the time, ie. spurs or an English crop, would not receive a point deduction. There will also be a point deduction if a rider takes a foot out of their stirrup unless that is specified in the obstacle directions. Judges are also to instruct their volunteers so that instructions are read verbatim so that every rider receives the exact same instructions.

When tailing, a rider should not run their lead rope through the stirrup and should be careful to hold the horse’s tail about halfway down, avoiding the dock of the tail. The group then moved outside where several riders demonstrated tailing, forward lateral, and drag for more discussion.

HIGHLIGHTS BOD MEETING Here are some of the highlights from the November 13, 2023, Board of Directors meeting. The complete minutes will soon be added to the website. Bill Phillips, Interim President, Karen Pantel Ride Director, Greg Dial Judges Director, Tiffany Janke Treasurer, and Mary Ann Brandon newly elected Membership Director were in attendance via conference call. Mary Ann Brandon was asked to assume her duties immediately since Bill Phillips will be Interim President until a new President is elected. Board members were asked to provide suggestions for a new President. There was also discussion of how best to share the minutes with members, the Christmas Fundraiser, and Celebration. The rule book will be printed soon so that it can be handed out at Celebration, and it will include the trail etiquette form. Karen Pantel is going to revise the Ride Director’s Manual. Tiffany Janke will be meeting with Nancy Williams soon for the annual audit of the club’s finances.

Registering for a ride?
Here are a few suggestions if you are having trouble logging in to register for a ride. Please use a laptop or desktop computer instead of your phone. Also, Chrome seems to be the better browser. Be patient when a ride first opens as many people are logging in. Try going to the MY PROFILE button to log in. If you are still having trouble after multiple attempts, please contact the ride secretary via email. If the ride is full, be sure and email the ride secretary to be added to the waitlist in order. There are always cancellations so most people will be added to the ride…be sure and save the date of the ride on your calendar!

EAST TEXAS EQUIFEST – NEW LOCATION!
Join us May 4-5 at the Six RS Ranch in Oakwood Texas! A barefoot friendly, rolling 1500-acre ranch with a beautiful 100-acre lake! Pens available through lottery
Our trails will be no more than 8 1/2 miles, some hook ups available, and 12 pens. These will all be a lottery drawing. There will also be several bunking options. Bathhouse with shower. Friday afternoon we will offer a mini clinic! Saturday night meal will be potluck sides, with ride management providing hamburgers and hotdogs. See you there!

WORD FROM OUR NEW MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR – MARY ANN BRANDON Hello fellow equestrians! I wanted to take a moment and thank each of you for your support on becoming your new membership director! I have some big shoes to fill, as Bill Phillips did an excellent job. I’m so looking forward to knowing each one of you and working together. This board is comprised of some incredible folks, and we have some exciting things planned for 2024.

THIS FROM JUDGES DIRECTOR GREG DIAL: Reminder the Youth Ride/Clinic is scheduled for 23 March at Parrie Haynes Ranch. Registration will be open to non-members. The 2024 Rider Clinic will follow the next day, and registration is already open.

BUCKLE SERIES – 2024
Smiley Ride: April 13-14
East Texas Equifest: May 4-5
Camp Reveille: June 1-2
Hog Wild: September 7-8
WWW: October 5-6
Salute to Troops: November 9-10
In order to qualify, you must ride 9 out of the 12 days.

ARE YOU READY TO CELEBRATE?
A very special Celebration will be held at The Farris Wheel (across from Parrie Haynes Equestrian Center) on Saturday, January 27, 2024. Awards for the 2023 ride season will be announced and presented, a silent auction will be held, and Fajitas will be served for a modest price of $15 for members and $20 for non-member guests. Members are encouraged to bring their own celebratory drinks or enjoy the tea and water that will be provided. In addition to year end placings, special horse awards will be announced, and thank you gifts will be presented to judges, ride managers, and sponsors. Be sure and make your reservation for the evening on the website and if you need a campsite check with Parrie Haynes.

SILENT AUCTION
The Celebration Silent Auction will focus on items pertaining to the Western Lifestyle. Items can be art, home decorations, tack, clothing etc. There will be 8 -10 items selected for the auction out of all items submitted. Items not chosen will be returned to the original owner or kept and used as future raffle items.
The deadline for all submissions is January 1st. You may send a picture of your item to Laura McLean via messenger or text to (254) 213-8019.

Hope y’all enjoyed this newsletter… deadline for submissions for the March-April Newsletter is February 1st .

UPCOMING EVENTS

****Mark your calendar for:

January 27th, 2024 Celebration

January 1st – Registration opens for:
The “Smiley Ride” at the Barnhart Q5 Ranch – April 13th-14th.

February 1st -Registration opens for:
East Texas Equifest at the Six RS Ranch – May 4th-5th .
Cactus Two Step at the San Angelo State Park – May 18th-19th.

***February 17th -18th
18th Annual Rocky Road at Parrie Haynes. Put together a team for the Saturday night LASAGNA competition and send Kate Hollar your team name and members. Or plan to bring a side or dessert.

November / December 2023 Newsletter

WHEN YOUR HORSE IS LOST   

If you have owned horses very long, you have probably experienced that horrible sinking sensation when your horse is not where they are supposed to be! Brandy Steele experienced this at the Lost Concho ride in Llano when Echo broke away from the trailer and disappeared wearing a halter and a short lead. But horses will stay with or find other horses right? Well, sometimes, sometimes not. Brandy quickly called in reinforcements and her husband Kip arrived. They searched with a truck, an ATV, night vision binoculars, and a drone. Of course, everyone in camp was looking for Echo as well. After a long, sleepless night Brandy resumed the search the next morning to no avail. Fortunately, Echo was spotted about 3 pm on Saturday, high on a rocky outcrop. Maybe there is a mountain goat somewhere in his pedigree. Doanna Daniel, who saw Echo, immediately began hiking up the rock outcropping followed quickly by Greg Dial and owner Brandy. Echo appeared healthy, although slightly dehydrated and missing a rear shoe. The rescue crew carefully worked across the rocks and the ranch owner met them with a trailer. 

Perhaps a few lessons can be gleaned from this scary experience. Horses are fast, powerful, and sometimes do the unexpected. A panicked or frightened horse can be especially difficult. And lost horses sometimes want to hide or can become entangled in brush if they are tacked up. So, it is important to practice with all your equipment at home, including high ties, pens, and picket lines. An ID tag on your horse might be helpful. Cheryl Sofaly puts a Velcro tag with her phone number just above her horse’s hoof in case they become separated. Recent pictures of your horse from all sides can also be useful. Perhaps also consider teaching your horse to come to a whistle. When Doanna Daniel became separated from her horse while on a ride, she was able to whistle and have her horse return to her. What a great thing to teach your horse! 

 Everyone was grateful that Echo was found unharmed. Brandy was so thankful for all the support she received and that her story had a happy ending!                                                                                  

ELECTION NEWS

Board members,  Greg Dial-Judges Director, and Karen Pantel-Ride Director are dedicated to another 3-year term, and are running unopposed. Bill Phillips has retired as Membership Director and Mary Ann Brandon is running for that position unopposed since Teresa Corgill has withdrawn. Bill’s term is up as of December 31, 2023, and MaryAnn will take over the responsibilities as Membership Director effective January 1, 2024. Our president Ann Stacy and Treasurer Tiffany Janke will be serving their respective positions for 2 more years.   Dedicated and effective leadership is essential, and we are all grateful for your service!  Be on the lookout for an email from Tiffany about the election.

WYATT RANCH WANDERER POSTPONED

Glen Rose, Texas, had a foot of rain the weekend of October 28 & 29 so the Wyatt Ranch Wanderer ride was postponed until December 9 &10. The Fall Rider clinic will be held on Friday, December 8. Although the ride was originally full, some riders might not be available on the new date so contact Rhonda Fryer ([email protected]) if you are interested in this ride. Nancy Fenimore ([email protected]) is in charge of reservations for the Fall Clinic and has let us know that there are spots available in the clinic, contrary to what the website says.  

WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST MEMBER

Our newest member Peter George Janke arrived at 6:46 pm Monday, October 9. The entire Janke family is thrilled, and mom Tiffany (TTCC Treasurer) and baby are thriving. 

CHRISTMAS PARTY & FUNDRAISER

Our new annual fundraiser. There will be a Christmas Dinner with gift exchange ($15.00 value). Leah and Kate will write the story!! Not sure of trail plan yet, certainly some shenanigans and fun on Saturday.  This does not count towards your Iron Rider.  Sunday riders are on their own. Saturday morning Trial Ride $67/rider. Remember, this is a donation to the Club to help with year-round expenses. We appreciate every entry/donation. We can’t do this without you!!  Meal: $15/plate.  The meal will include:  Chicken Alredo, Salad, Garlic Bread, Tea & Dessert. Contact Nancy Fenimore at [email protected].

ARE YOU READY TO CELEBRATE?

A very special Celebration will be held at The Farris Wheel (across from Parrie Haynes Equestrian Center) on Saturday, January 27, 2024.  Awards for the 2023 ride season will be announced and presented, a silent auction will be held, and Fajitas will be served for a modest price of $15 for members and $20 for non-member guests.  Members are encouraged to bring their own celebratory drinks or enjoy the tea and water that will be provided. In addition to year end placings, special horse awards will be announced, and thank you gifts will be presented to judges, ride managers, and sponsors. Be sure and make your reservation for the evening on the website and if you need a campsite, check with Parrie Haynes.

SILENT AUCTION
The Celebration Silent Auction will focus on items pertaining to the Western Lifestyle.  Items can be art, home decorations, tack, clothing etc. There will be 8 -10 items selected for the auction out of all items submitted. Items not chosen will be returned to the original owner or kept and used as future raffle items.


The deadline for all submissions is January 1st.  You may send a picture of your item to Laura McLean via Facebook messenger or text to (254) 213-8019.

Upcoming Events

November 1st  –          Registration opens for Rocky Road –  February 17th  and 18th.

November 11th-12th  –     Salute  the Troops ride at C Bar

December 1st –           Registration opens for High Tail It – March 9th  and 10th AND youth and adult clinics on March 23rd  and 24th.

December 8th –                  Fall Rider Clinic

December 9th-10th –       Wyatt Ranch Wanderer, Glen Rose

December 16th –                 Christmas Ride 

December 17th –                 Judges Training

****Mark your calendar for January27th,  2024 ***            Celebration 

  •      

Membership Director – 2024

Hello TTCC Members, 

I want to take a moment to introduce our two candidates who are running for the Membership Director Position this Fall. They are Mary Ann Brandon and Teresa Corgill. 

They have both written an introduction about themselves that is posted below.

Thank you for taking the time to read and “meet” these two amazing ladies. They will have the opportunity to speak at Wyatt Ranch next weekend. 

Thank you so much,

Tiffany Janke 

TTCC Treasurer

___________________________________________

Hello fellow members! 

My name is Mary Ann Brandon, and I have been a member of TTCC for eight years. 

During this time, I have been a ride manager, judge and volunteer. This year I am educating my fifth horse in the club! 

My background is psychology and teaching in secondary education. I am a people person and looking forward to meeting every member. 

I love sharing what I have learned in the horse world, from professionals and members of this club.  

I have some exciting ideas for fundraising, such as TTCC logo number holders, and a saddle raffle!

I also have corporate sponsors ready to support our club. 

In other disciplines I participate in,   there are often pre-ride clinics, which are incredibly helpful… I would love to explore this idea in TTCC. 

I would also like to research and create a “living document” that delineates the history of this club from the start!

I am excited to be your next membership director!

……………..

Let me introduce myself to the TTCC members who do not know me. Are there any? If so, I will be stalking you if I’m elected Membership Director because I believe that is part of the job. I want to know all of you personally so you will be comfortable approaching me with any new ideas or concerns that you have about our club.

I am Teresa Corgill, also known as TJ, and I ride the cute little black and white Gypsy Vanner Abby. 

In 2015 I joined TTCC, and I found my tribe. I love that we care more about camaraderie and partnership with our horses than about competition. I will fight to keep it that way.

For those of you who do not know me, I have been into horses all of my life. From riding horses all over town with friends in junior and high school, to showing in weekly open shows after college, to big time showing in AQHA, to building an equine business where I stood an AQHA Champion at stud and sold horses all over the world, to a partial retirement when I found competitive trail riding. I wish I had found TTCC much earlier. It has been my favorite of all.

During my AQHA days I was on the Board of Directors of Arizona Quarter Horse Association. We put on one of the largest show circuits in the US. It was a week long and sometimes had up to eight arenas going at once. That endeavor took quite a bit of planning and organization. I also served as President of the Board of Directors of Alamo Quarter Horse Breeders Association where we sponsored two large circuits every year at the Rose Palace in San Antonio.. 

As a member of both BODs I learned to listen to all sides of a problem and to do what is best for the club, even if it means going against friends.

Since joining TTCC I have been very active in the club. I was awarded the Iron Rider vest in 2017. I’ve only missed one or two rides during all of the other years that I’ve ridden with TTCC. I am a judge, a senior judge and a ride manager. I purchased year end awards for Celebration for two years.

Please consider voting for me at the Membership Director. TTCC is genuinely a big part of my life and I feel the need to give back to a club I love.

— Teresa “TJ” Corgill

TTCC NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER 2023

 As I write this, we have a new location/ride coming up this weekend, hosted by RM’s Leah Lynch and Greg Dial, at Inks Ranch near Llano.  It is always exciting to see a new ride calendar, and where the possibilities can take us.  In 2024, we have two more new venues to look forward to.  Some folks choose which rides to attend due to proximity or what works for their calendar. Personally, I love trying out rides at new locations.   Those of you who attended Nancy Fenimore’s and my ride, South Texas Shootout, would know we stopped after 6 years because it was time to build our family ranch house.  I am passing the torch of newsletter editor at the end of this year, and cutting back on club activities, to finally see this house project to fruition.  Ginny Mayfield and Jean Wilson have expressed interest in continuing our newsletters, thank you both! A QR code has been created to access TTCC website and can be found at the bottom of this page.

BOARD NEWS…

It is Election Time…applications for the three open positions (all three-year terms) must be received by October 1, and to receive application contact Tiffany at [email protected].  Open positions include Membership Director, Judges Director and Ride Director.   The following outlines the election timeline.  Voting details will be made available in October newsletter, as well as on FB. 

Once you have your application submitted with Tiffany, you will have an opportunity to speak at both October rides, Cactus Two Step and Wyatt Ranch Wanderer. 

Voting begins November 1st, ballot process to be announced.

Following the end of the voting period, results will be announced at the General Meeting scheduled during the Salute to the Troops ride weekend.  Newly elected board members will begin sitting in on monthly board conference calls, and formally seated on the Board at Celebration, January 27, 2024, in Maxdale.  Outgoing directors step down with a vote of appreciation. 

Remember, the next GENERAL MEETING will be at Salute to the Troops in November.  Look forward to seeing you there! Ann

CHRISTMAS FUNDRAISER UPDATE…the menu is Chicken Alfredo.  Riders and non-riders will pay 15.00/head for the meal, and the ride fee is 67.00/rider, plus camping and riding fees to Parrie Haynes Ranch.

From Greg Dial, Judge’s Director…following the Christmas party, a Judge’s workshop and meeting will be held on Sunday, December 17.

2024 Buckle series rides announced…the following rides are those which qualify you for the buckle series, and more details about this will be announced in a future newsletter, from Karen Pantel, Ride Director…

The Smiley Ride, East Tx Equifest, Camp Reveille, Hog Wild, Wild West Wrangle and Salute to the Troops

The Board also submitted these kind words to Kim and me…”.  We want to thank Gayna for her efforts in keeping our members up to date.  She stepped up to become the newsletter editor at the end of 2022.  She has done a wonderful job and we are excited about her next project!  Gayna, send us pictures of your building progress! “

“Kim Gehring and Josey will be retiring from her Camp Life articles.  She graciously agreed to share her experiences and lessons learned as she and Josey travelled various trails.  Her articles were well received and enjoyed by many.  Thank you, Kim and Josey”…the TTCC Board of Directors

Happy trails, friends, the pleasure has been mine! Gayna

TTCC NEWSLETTER AUG 2023

One of the wonderful things about this club is the sense of ‘family’, and the friendships formed both at rides, and subsequent socializing outside of TTCC events.    As with all relationships, sometimes we share loss together.  In recent months, we have mourned the loss of our friend, ride manager and former treasurer, Karen Boone.  She fought a brave and quiet battle with cancer for many years, yet continued to show up doing life, with rarely a nod to the disease.  One of her concerns in her final weeks was finding good homes for her beloved pets and TTCC family stepped right up to see that her horses and dog have forever homes.  May you rest in peace, Karen.

Button May, Cheryl’s husband, also is now riding herd in Heaven.  Cheryl said it best in her note to this club, which is shared below, July 24, 2023…

“My TTCC Family, And ya’ll are Family!  Thank you for all the texts, emails, phone calls, and heart felt comments on social media.  This club is amazing at how much we generally care for one another.  Every time you reached out and said we were in your thoughts and prayers, helped us make it through another doctor appointment, hospital stay and procedure.  In the end, of course, not the outcome we prayed for, but I know, without a doubt, Button is the winner.  He is in a far better place, riding the best horse and rounding up strays.  Thank you for your cash gift.  It will help.  Love ya’ll!  Cheryl May”

It is a good thing to rejoice with those who rejoice and to mourn with those who mourn.  Pretty much the essence of our club.  RIP, Button.

FROM THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS…

Ann Stacy, President…   Hello, TTCC! Our fall ride season is fast approaching, ready or not!  I want to share a few general reminders to help you be prepared.

  1. Current coggins (paper copy)
  2. Tires and trailer are roadworthy
  3. Carry extra water for yourself
  4. Electrolytes – (people and horse)
  5. Update your first aid kit (horse and people)
  6. Sharpen your pocketknife
  7. Inspect your tack for weak spots, oil and clean tack
  8. Inspect saddle pads for wear and dirt
  9. Write down your horse’s normal pulse and respiration rates
  10. Replace flashlight batteries if needed
  11. Generator maintenance                 

We enjoy time with our friends, horses and nature!  It is best when we adhere to trail etiquette, be mindful of others performing at an obstacle and check with the rider behind you to see if you should wait prior to leaving the obstacle.  These courtesies create camaraderie and positive competition among members. 

The ride out sheet is needed to spread the riders out and avoid obstacle backups.  I encourage everyone to keep their “ride group” to 4-5 or less.  We understand folks enjoy riding trails with friends; however, backed up obstacles and large gaps between riders impact the ride flow and moving judges. 

TTCC rides are filling up very quickly, waitlists are the norm.  Ride Management appreciate members who contact them as soon as possible if they need to cancel.

“WHEN I COMPETE, I NEVER LOSE, I AM ALWAYS LEARNING” is a valid comment for TTCC members.  I hope the fall 2023 ride season is a successful one for you and your equine partner.  I’d like to thank the following volunteers…

Kim and Josie, for writing the Camp Life article below. It is relevant as we kick off this ride season.  Do not miss it, I know you will find it useful!

Thanks to Gayna’s efforts, we are enjoying our newsletter.  It is such a good way to be in touch and share information.

Thanks, also, to Laura McLean for working to have wonderful raffle items for you this fall.

One last note…our next general meeting will be at the last ride, Salute to the Troops, at C Bar in November. 

Looking forward to seeing you on the trails, Ann Stacy, President

NEWS FROM UPCOMING RIDES

HOG WILD…In addition to the TTCC raffle held the first ride of each month, we will be hosting a raffle for TETRA (Texas Equestrian Trail Riders Association).  This nonprofit organization helps maintain horse trails in parks all over Texas.  Raffle will consist of a free weekend ride (Sat/Sun) AND an electric site for next year’s Hog Wild Ride.  All proceeds are donated to TETRA.  Cost is 10.00 a ticket.  In addition to the TETRA raffle, a baby shower will be held for Thomas and Tiffany’s baby due just around the corner.  Some needed items are diapers, wipes, gift cards to Wal Mart.  She still has a lot of clothing from Miss Avery Jo, so necessities are appreciated.  We look forward to having a new little member of our TTCC family joining us in October!

CACTUS TWO STEP… There will be a TTCC raffle as it is the first ride of the month.  In addition, to the TTCC raffle, we are having a “Calcutta”.  Riders will be placed (on paper) in teams of 5, and each rider preselects 2 obstacles that count toward their team’s total score.  Ride Managers select the teams and our goal is to keep teams as even as possible.  Teams are announced Friday night at the Ride Meeting.  The top 3 teams will receive awards, and this is all in fun and has no bearing on year-end scores.  Winners will be announced Saturday at the end of the regular ride awards.  You are encouraged to ride with your team members on Saturday.  We understand that this is not always possible due to horse speeds and rider preferences, but it would be fun to cheer each other on throughout the ride.  The GOAL of this event is to get folks out of their normal patterns and meet new riders.  There will be a lot of new riders at our ride, so this is a great chance to mingle a little and broaden our horizons! Also, there will be a side pot going in the event anyone wants to bet on the teams.  Anyone can do the side bet but it’s also a chance for riders to bet on themselves.  The pot will go to the winning team, divided among its members.  If you choose to participate in the side bets, you will need cash.  More details will be included later, on the ride page, so stay tuned! We are so looking forward to this ride!

Election time is just around the corner. This year, the Membership Director, Ride Director and Judges Director positions are up for election. If you are interested in running for a position, please contact the TTCC Treasurer, Tiffany Janke. Future dates and timelines are to be determined.

Please enjoy the following CAMP LIFE article submitted by Kim Gehring, final installment of the series she began earlier this year

Home from “the Ride”, now what?

Home from “the Ride”, now what? (August 2023)

And, that’s all she wrote, friends. 

Stay cool and happy trails

Ya’ll get your ponies in shape, and yes, it’s hot!  Gotta get out early.  See you on the trail, Gayna

TTCC NEWSLETTER MAY 2023

Spring ride season has officially ended following the WWW ride this past weekend.   The weather, food and company were all perfect, Friday night we were entertained during supper by a young man named Luke Powell, and Saturday night a historian from the Fort, Eric Abercrombie, talked to us about the characters who travelled through the area, prompting the “Tombstone” themed ride. The wildflowers were beautiful as well.   The WWW gang announced they are taking a break in 2024 but plan to return with this ride in 2025.  Carla put together a wonderful raffle table, and cash was raised to donate to Fort Griffin during a special “side” raffle. Many thanks to Kelly and Ginny, Greg and all the judges, all the volunteers who made this weekend possible. 

There were a couple of new riders, prompting a discussion among some of us waiting to head out on trail Saturday morning.  If you were giving a new rider one piece of advice, what would it be?  Out of about 8 of us standing around, here are their answers:   Have fun (and smile)! Don’t rush at the obstacles. Have a plan.  Try to take one new tip away from each ride.  Get up early enough to warm your horse up well. And this one applies to so many aspects of life, always remember to STOP AND SETTLE!

Kate has offered to do a new order of a pullover many members purchased prior to 2023, see below.  This reorder is not meant to be a profit-making venture for the club, nor for Kate.  Please get with her if you think you want to order, she will be collecting your money and sizes.  Thank you, Kate, for offering to handle this.

I had asked Carol Warren earlier this spring about submitting an article regarding hauling horses in the heat of summer.  (I hauled Jill to NM last September, taking two days, and when we arrived at Gila Wilderness, I unloaded a dehydrated mare).  Please enjoy and learn from her article which follows.

Traveling with Your Horse in the Summer:

Many of us enjoy traveling with our horses in the summer.  Traveling through the Texas heat is hard on our vehicles and our horses. Planning our route wisely, timing our travel, preparing our vehicles, and preparing the horse can help everyone arrive less stressed, healthy, and ready to ride.  Here are just a few tips that I have found helpful in my 30 years of hauling.  There are so many do’s and don’ts out there, and we all have our routines, but I hope this is a helpful starting point. 

Vehicles–Make sure ALL tires are properly inflated and have not dry rotted.  Tires 4 years and older are considered past their useful life when towing, no matter what the tread looks like.  You can check the age of your tires by using the DOT Tire Date Code system published anywhere.  The extreme heat from the asphalt and high speeds can easily fatigue tires leading to a blow-out.  Be able to change a flat tire by yourself.  Consider purchasing a battery powered impact wrench and drive-on trailer jack.  Have a good truck jack and know where to place it on your truck to change truck tires.  It’s not always safe or even possible to wait for help.  Two spare trailer tires are even better than 1. 

—Make sure your vehicle is capable of pulling AND STOPPING your fully loaded trailer.  If you are going into the mountains, this is essential that your transmission, brakes, and engine can handle the load.   Many a flat lander’s truck has failed going up mountain passes because it has been over-loaded.  Worse yet is if the brakes overheat and make stopping difficult or even catch on fire!

—Make sure your trailer floor is sturdy and clean.  If traveling longer than a couple of hours, I like to put shavings down.  This adds insulation from the road heat and noise, and allows the horse to urinate without splashing himself.  If I am traveling quite a distance and in the heat of the day, I like to place at least 4 inches of shavings.  I will also sprinkle the shavings with water to keep dust down and to allow some evaporative cooling. 

—Make sure your axles are straight, bearings lubed, lights and brakes work.

—Great ventilation is essential to keep your horse cool.  Open the windows to allow ventilation but don’t forget to protect your horse’s eyes.  Either a fly mask or screen on the trailer windows helps prevent road debris from hurting your horse’s eyes.  Open the front roof vents to face forward to catch the air and open the last vent backwards to allow the air to escape, or flow over the horses.  Fans would be great, especially for when you are trapped in traffic unable to generate ventilation by just moving.   

Planning your route.  Consider this as important as having a safe vehicle.  In Texas, road construction is everywhere.   Especially try to avoid construction in densely populated areas, as this usually means prolonged traffic jams.  No movement means no ventilation for your horse.  Stop and go traffic is more likely to result in traffic accidents causing even more traffic problems.  Stop and go is also very taxing on our horses as well.   I prefer to drive on the secondary roads and try to avoid the typical high volume traffic rush hours.  Secondary roads usually go through the smaller towns.  Smaller towns have great places to stop and allow you to give your horse a break.  County fairgrounds, rodeo grounds, auction barns, even small city parks are safe places to unload, giving you and your horse the much needed lunch and potty break.  I prefer these places over roadside parks because they seem to be safer, are away from traffic, and often have helpful and friendly people.  

I stop every 3-4 hours if possible.  If I have a 12 hour trip, I plan to allow my horse to get off the trailer around the 6 hour mark.  If my trip is only 6 hours, I plan to stop around the 3-4 hour time mark for at least 30 minutes to allow my horse just to quietly stand and rest in the trailer.  I think offering some water and soaked feed around the halfway point is a good idea.  Some people keep hay in front of their horses.  Mine do not like to eat much while traveling and I think the hay just blows in their face and eyes.  Of course, soaked hay cubes and water is offered at each stop.  If you are making the trip in a stock trailer or box-stall type trailer, unloading is not as necessary, but please stop to allow the horse a chance to relax.  It takes a lot of effort to balance going down the road!

Horse—The most obvious things first.  Make sure your Coggins is current for your destination.  Health certificates are may be required by some equine events and  for out of state travel. Find out if your destination requires weed-free feeds and start feeding it at least 1 week (or appropriate time frame recommended by your destination) prior to departure so your horse is adjusted to the new diet and his system has cleared all the noxious weed seed out.  Vaccinations may be required depending on your destination.   Make sure to pack all needed documentation in a convenient location, and double check they are actually packed!

Traveling in the heat can rapidly dehydrate your horse.  Do your very best to super-hydrate him before the trip.  Beginning at least one week before departure, I like to soak my feed as much as my horse will tolerate, serving it as soupy as he will eat it. Begin feeding small amounts of electrolytes or salt early to encourage drinking and to get them used to the flavor in their feed.  Pack plenty of water from home and offer it frequently during the trip.  Have enough water for your horse for a few days until he gets used to the local water.  Plan to have some cubed hay that can be soaked as well.  Keeping the gut well hydrated will keep your horse hydrated!

If it is already hot when I have to load my horse, I like to hose him off, then scrape off the excess water.  I will sprinkle the shavings in the trailer with water.  These steps will add some evaporative cooling to keep him a little more comfortable during the trip. 

Check on your horse at least every couple of hours.  If he is really sweating, you should consider stopping and unloading him in a shady area, give him plenty of time to rehydrate and rest.  Your horse should only develop a mild sweat in the trailer.  Too much sweat indicates a ventilation problem or excess stress.

How do you know if your horse is dehydrated?  The skin tent test is a simple test.  Just pinch some skin on the neck, pull it up, then release it.  A normally hydrated horse’s skin will immediately go back to normal position.  A prolonged return to normal position indicates at least 5% dehydration.  The longer the delay, the more dehydrated the horse.  Check the horse’s gums.  Look at the upper gums where they meet the upper front teeth.  Normal gums are pale pink and moist.  The gum will blanch white when gently pressed, then return to normal within 2 seconds.  If it takes longer than 3 seconds to return to normal color, there is a problem.  Red or purple gums are abnormal and indicate a medical emergency.   Practice evaluating these on your horse now so you know what his normal looks like.   A horse that is 5% dehydrated (that has a prolonged skin tent) will require up to 25 liters of balanced IV fluids to return to normal hydration.  This is approximately 10 gallons!   A dehydrated horse is a medical emergency!  Dehydration leads to colic, electrolyte imbalances, muscle weakness, kidney failure, shock and eventually death.

A quick note on using electrolytes.  Do not give a full dose of electrolytes to a dehydrated horse.  The salts and sugars just pull more fluid out of the horse’s body into the gut, causing more dehydration.  It is ok to offer some electrolyte infused water, but make sure there is plenty of fresh water as well.  The best electrolyte is just plain old salt added into the feed daily.  Avoid the electrolytes with lots of sugar—these have very little value to the horse.

These are just a few tips I have learned over the years.  I hope this helps.  We all want our partners to arrive safe, healthy and happy. 

Happy Trails, friends, enjoy your summer! Gayna

TTCC NEWSLETTER APRIL 2023

Did we have fun or what?? First (hopefully annual) Junior Clinic was held at Parrie Haynes March 25, with 16 Junior riders attending, accompanied by parents, grandparents and adult friends.  It did my heart good to see friendships form, and relationships between riders and mounts expanding.  BIG THANKS to Karen and Greg for all the hard work, good ideas, great format, interesting obstacles, as well as the practice challenge on a 4-mile trail with 6 obstacles.  A hamburger lunch was provided, and awards given out as well.  Thank you, too, to secretary Tiffany, and all of the above who served as clinicians and judges, as well as Kelly, Cheryl and Nancy.  Alex orchestrated a taco dinner potluck for the night before as well.  This couldn’t have happened without all the extra volunteers and especially the adults who got the kiddos there for the day.  Sunday followed with a full adult clinic, again managed by Greg and Karen, with Nancy as secretary and everyone working again in judge, clinician and volunteer positions.  We had 42 participants, many of whom were new faces.  Again, thank you Greg and Karen, for your hard work and labors of love to this organization. 

THOUGHTS FROM ANN STACY, PRESIDENT

We had our first General Meeting for 2023 at the Smiley ride.  We had between 50-60 folks attending. Tiffany handed out information related to our financial status (see below), Bill updated folks on our membership numbers, Karen encouraged folks to consider being a Ride Manager for 2024, Greg provided information on the clinics for youth and judges, and I discussed the various ways of communication used by the Club.  The web site is the recommended manner to reach members, FB is not a primary source.  Refer to the website for updates and our newsletter is an excellent way to keep current as well. 

There were two clarifications of rules discussed.  Keeping on the marked trails is important for safety reasons (getting lost is not intentionally departing the trail).  Also, we provided the definition of equine professionals verses an equine instructor.

The BOD is here to serve our club and answer your questions, you may contact any BOD member if you have questions. We look forward to our next General Board meeting at Salute to the Troops in November!    Stay safe on the roads and enjoy your equine partner! Ann

Editor’s note:  I had the privilege of attending the Smiley ride this past weekend, and Carol, Karen and Devin did a wonderful job of incorporating Texas History of the area into the obstacles.  Specifically, the Runaway Scrape.  Our learning moment was provided by a young man, Alamo reenactor, and associate of the Texas Historical Commission, a veritable font of knowledge.  Thank you all for the extra effort, proving we are never too old to learn!  See page two for income statement provided by Tiffany. 

Happy trails!  Gayna 

TTCC NEWSLETTER MARCH 2023

Next weekend is our first attempt at a Junior Clinic….and it appears we have found a new obstacle!  Kid team sports!  Not sure how to get around the fact that many youth are involved in their local area sports teams, but if a handful of juniors show up to do the clinic,  it certainly will have been worth the time and effort of leadership and volunteers.  Saturday’s clinic is followed by an Adult clinic on Sunday.  It appears some of the youth are riding Sunday clinic as well.  What a wonderful way to maximize their time with their ponies, while building on their trail and obstacle skills. 

SPRING RIDE UPDATES

*Smiley Ride is the first ride of April, so expect to have a TTCC raffle there!

*Cat Spring Fling …. from Nancy Fenimore…Please post your ride fee prior to 3/29/23.  The ride is full and the waitlist is long.  If your payment is not received by 3/29, the 30-day rule will be enforced and your name will be moved to the waitlist.  Also, if you have to cancel and have reserved an RV spot, please call Nancy, 979-338-0133, as there is a long waitlist for hookups as well.  The BBQ meal is brisket and chicken, 2 sides, tea & dessert, $20.00, payable to Karen Boone, see paypal below.

We are taking orders for this cool red cap, also $20 payable to [email protected].  Remember to use friends and family.                A person wearing a hat

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*Wild West Wrangle…from Kelly Beard…The WWW gals are putting together a fun trail, new and fun obstacles (along with a few challenging ones!), and great prizes!  Jean and Gary Prescott will entertain and the Albany Icehouse will once again cater.  Praying for great weather…no hail…and for a fun ride with the Tombstone characters!  Remember to send Ginny Mayfield a copy of your coggins at [email protected] .  See you all at Fort Griffin in May!

 Happy trails to you all!  Gayna (Please enjoy the following bi monthly feature by Kim Gehring)

CAMP LIFE.   PREPARING FOR A RIDE WEEKEND 

1 Clean and Prep Trailer…Oh Boy, there is a lot that is involved in getting ready to head out for a ride! So much so that I am breaking it into multiple parts.  (trailer ready, pack for human, pack for horse(s), load and go) As you all know, Jim is very particular about the generators!  Ours are run a week or so before the ride, to ensure all was good to go.  REMEMBER, always use premium gas in your generators, Jim says some of the additives help keep them running better for longer. I like to start on the outside of the trailer, so I check tire pressure and air up any low tires with a small battery operated DeWalt air compressor.  I hate looking for the correct psi on the tire, so I write it inside one of the side storage compartment doors in permanent marker.  If there is a Blocker Tie or any ropes hung on trailer I remove them. I check the inside of the horse area to make sure old poop has been scooped and the area has shavings evenly distributed.  I know some folks don’t use shavings, it is a personal preference, as I think it helps with road heat in summer and if a horse wants to pee it cuts down on them splashing. I put in hay for the ride and check that the water tanks are also full.  We have a 50 gallon tank mounted in the hay pod, another 25 gallons in the tack area, and one that fits in the truck bed.  I also top off the water tank in LQ.  I believe horses drink better if they have water from home.  Sometimes we take three horses, so we use a lot of water.  

Once inside LQ I like to spray and wipe down:  shower, counter, sinks and commode.  I also check that I have a few extra garbage bags, rags and that there is plenty of drinking water in the fridge.  I always check the microwave, because sometimes we store a few things in there for travel and I have discovered a “SCIENCE EXPERIMENT”.  Yuck!  I check our closet to make sure we have emptied our cubbies and have room to bring out our clothes, and that Jim has enough beer for the weekend.  Our tiny living room also gets straightened up, as does the bed.  I finish by vacuuming the floor.  We put down a carpet remnant and have welcome mats outside and just inside the door.  It helps cut down the grit on the floor.

Next, I pack for humans. I lay out everything I want to bring for the weekend on the bed.  I have small piles of riding clothes for each day, one more change of clothes and then pjs.  I also have a small gathering of essential non-clothing and comfort items like my medicine pill box, massage pounder, red light, sunscreen, lip balm, toothbrush, etc., plus a phone charger. About a week before a ride I start monitoring the weather for the ride location so I can bring appropriate clothes.  I rode Equi-Frost 2022 and did not have enough socks to keep my feet warm and dry! I roll each day’s clothes to carry out to the trailer.  Our storage is limited so I want things to be easy to pack and get in and out of my cubby.  I also pack a jacket/vest, gloves, hat and even a scarf if the weather is cold.  Now, try getting Jim to pack like this -HAHAHA. Oh no, he is always bringing way more than he needs, yet wears the same jeans 2 days in a row. He says because he puts on a clean shirt each day, no one will notice! Has anyone ever seen Jim in a clean shirt??  So, at the end of the weekend, we haul all of Jim’s clean clothes back into the house with the dirty clothes! Other items useful for cold weather weekends are hand/foot warmers, earmuffs (would really have loved those for Equi-frost), extra set of dry boots and gloves, etc.  Living in Texas for 30 years has dulled my cold-weather comfort knowledge. 

Meal planning…We frequently go one or two days early, so meals are planned to cover all days. We always buy the catered meal if offered; one less meal to plan.  During the week I try to prepare a larger meal to package into portions and freeze.  Jim likes a quick easy breakfast of oatmeal, and I can do it with a granola bar.  I usually bring a bag of salad and some fresh fruit.  Occasionally, I bring something that needs more than a microwave, so I have a neat little electric griddle that is also a panini press. I just must try to remember not to run it while the micro or coffee pot is on or risk blowing a fuse! We use real cups and silverware, and paper plates and bowls.  I keep a small dishpan under the sink to run things into the house and put in the dishwasher upon return home.  Rides are for fun, not for washing dishes!  Other food items include yogurt, pickles, chips or pretzels, and a bag of ice for the freezer.  We bring several small folding chairs and a folding table.  I also have a battery powered stick vacuum and a small fan.  It can be freezing on the floor and roasting up in the bed area, so a fan helps to move the air as long as temps outside are not extreme.  NEXT TIME …PACKING FOR HORSES, SEE U ON THE TRAIL! K & JOSIE