By Education Chair Marybeth Conger


If you are still thinking about attending the Back Country Horseman of Idaho 2018 Directors meeting and Annual convention, please consider that chapter member education has been added to this amazing event. On Saturday March 10, the first ever, BCHI chapter training will be held in the afternoon. Presented by various volunteers, these educational workshops and presentations are open for all members to attend. What a great way to learn more about your current chapter position, or find out details about something you may be interested in the future. Some workshops even cover topics to help us better understand things and help BCHI grow in both numbers and membership development. With your attendance and feedback, we can make this training an annual BCHI event and improve, meeting your educational needs. Get your registration form completed and experience some fun learnings and comradery in additional to all of the other fantastic activities scheduled at the 2018 convention. Hope to see you all there!

April 13 – 15 marks the date for the 2018 Idaho Horse Expo held at the Ford Idaho Park. SBBCH members Bill and Marybeth Conger are some of the clinicians at this year’s event. Their pretentions will cover lightweight recreational packing and camping techniques. In addition, local BCH chapters will again man a BCHI booth. These types of public outreach events help the BCHI organization to grow and educate the public on the wise and sustaining use of our backcountry resource. So come join us if you can!

Karen Kimball graciously volunteered to be a BCHI education co-chair to help coordinate education efforts up north. Making sure chapter education chairs are familiar with all of the relevant education materials maintained by BCHA and its member states is one way for her to accomplish this. Thank you Karen!

Please let the education team know what you plan to accomplish in 2018 so we can spotlight more chapter activities. Education updates on the BCHI website are starting to happen and expect to see more once Marybeth successfully completes the Master Educator course. Well this covers the first quarter and then some. Happy Trails!

2017 Guideline for CPR – American Heart Association

11. December 2017 · Comments Off on Trail Riding – Understanding Horses and Mules · Categories: Education, Fun Rides

From: Equestrian Design Guidebook for Trails, Trailheads and Campgrounds

USDA Forest Service logo Back | Next – Return to TOC Forest Service Technology & Development logo

Understanding Horses and Mules

In addition to the usual planning considerations, equestrian recreation trails and facilities require attention to the behavior and physical characteristics of horses and mules. The success of horse trails and recreation sites depends on how well planners and designers understand these animals.

An Evolutionary Perspective

Essentially, horses and their kin are prey animals. They developed behavior patterns and physical characteristics over millions of years spent in wide open spaces. Flight is their primary defense. They use their strength, stamina, agility, and speed to escape predators, notably large cats–such as cougars–and wild dogs–such as dingos. Horses and mules constantly monitor their surroundings and are always aware of available escape routes. They may become nervous when routes are narrow or blocked. Horses and mules also prefer to see what they hear or smell.

The Startle Factor

What frightens horses and mules is not always obvious. Anything that moves suddenly or makes an unexpected noise can rouse an animal’s survival instincts and prime it to bolt. This natural reaction–often referred to as a startle reflex–is the result of remarkably acute senses.

Horses and mules have excellent vision, hearing, and tactile senses. They are even capable of feeling vibrations through their hoofs, which often alert them to others long before the rider becomes aware. Horses and mules need a comfortable operating space. When they can see something suspicious from afar, they can more easily evaluate the danger and react accordingly. There is a fine line between what is comfortable for horses and mules and what seems dangerous.

In addition to confined spaces and predators, things that can startle a horse or mule include:

  • Loud or unexpected noises–Buzzing model airplanes, exploding firecrackers, batting practice, or a falling tree
  • Quick or unexpected movements–Fast-moving bicycles, inquisitive children, running animals, or birds rustling in the underbrush
  • Things in unusual combinations–Hikers with large backpacks or vehicles with strange loads
  • Highly contrasting or reflective surfaces–A light colored tread near dark soil, freshly cut logs, black or white rocks, or a manmade object in a natural setting
  • Unfamiliar situations–Activity at a golf driving range or a train nearby
  • Wild or unfamiliar domestic animals–Mountain lions, moose, emus, pigs, or llamas (figure 1-3) Narrow or constricted spaces–Bridges, gates, or tight passages
  • Unexpected trail obstacles–Litter, fallen trees, or boulders

Photo of a family with two llamas being used as pack animals.
Figure 1-3–Anything that appears suddenly, makes an unexpected noise, or is unfamiliar engages a horse’s survival instincts. On the trail,
horses and mules are particularly wary of llamas, hikers with bulky backpacks, and bicycles.

So, what happens when horses and mules are startled? They have a range of responses, from remaining calm to becoming severely frightened. The more conditioned the animal is to uncomfortable situations, the more likely its response will be subdued. When something makes it nervous, an animal may dance around, inadvertently step on things, or balk. Horses or mules that are severely unnerved may run, jump, spin, or do a creative combination of all these things. When horses and mules feel the need to protect themselves, they may kick, bite, or strike. Experienced riders can hold a well-trained animal in check under most circumstances. There is a point, though, where a stimulus becomes so great that even the best conditioning will not override the animal’s innate fight-or-flight instincts.

Trail stock–especially mules–have highly developed memories for pleasure, pain, fear, people, and places. Many trail animals recognize a previously visited location or trail route (figure 1-4). Once a horse or mule has had a particularly unpleasant or painful experience, the animal will try to avoid that location, condition, or object forever. Recreationists in many areas minimize potential conflicts by practicing trail etiquette that favors needs of horses and mules. Chapter 12– Providing Signs and Public Information lists ways to communicate a trail animal’s needs to other trail users.

Photo of a horse and rider looking over a mountainous landscape.
Figure 1-4–Horses and mules have excellent memories and can easily retrace routes they have traveled in the past. They avoid areas they associate with unpleasant experiences.

11. December 2017 · Comments Off on Interested in becoming a SBFC Wilderness Ranger? · Categories: Current Events, Education

2018 Wilderness Ranger Internship

Overview

The goals of the SBFC Wilderness Ranger Intern (WRI) program are to train, educate, mentor and provide employment development opportunities for the next generations of wilderness professionals and provide skilled support to the Forest Service for accomplishing priority wilderness work.

This is a 14-week internship for military veterans and college students doing under-graduate or graduate work in conservation, resource management, wilderness, recreation or related fields.  The internship offers 2 full weeks of wilderness skills training—crosscut saw use and certification, hand tool use, stock handling and packing, Leave No Trace and Wilderness First Responder training, followed by 12 weeks working in the Selway-Bitterroot and Frank Church Wilderness areas, with trained wilderness professionals, US Forest Service managers and volunteers.

The WRI will also learn about the Wilderness Act and how it established an overarching framework for wilderness stewardship, what wilderness character is and how to conduct wilderness character monitoring.

In 2018, WRIs will receive an AmeriCorps award.

The application will close on February 16, 2018 at 5pm MST.              Apply Now!

01. November 2017 · Comments Off on In Case of Emergency – ICE · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

I teach Emergency Preparedness for horse and mule riders at equine events across the country and it’s amazing how many people don’t think about equine identification.Fortunately, Sierra View Ranch has thought about the topic. A lot. Their line of “In Case of Emergency” or I.C.E. products (including the I.C.E. Halter, I.C.E. Clip-on tag. I.C.E. UltraLite, and the ManeStay) has been created with one goal in mind. To help reunite you and your animal in case a ride becomes “eventful”.

The beauty of all I.C.E. products is in the highly visible “I.C.E. INFO INSIDE” tag that opens to reveal info on the animal. These ingenious horse labels are a fabulous way to keep your contact information on your animal in case the two of you become separated.

You can learn more about these products at the Sierra View Ranch General Store http://www.sierraviewranchgeneralstore.com.

12. October 2017 · Comments Off on Sawyer – Hung up tree awareness · Categories: Education

Things to consider when making the choice to tackle or walk away from a tree that is hung up
Hung-up-Tree-Awareness 01/24/2007

11. October 2017 · Comments Off on New Sign Up Video · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education


Video Link