29. July 2020 · Comments Off on Systemic Antibiotics- What Horse People Should Know. · Categories: Education

Flash had a small wound on his lower leg that had taken forever to heal. His vet recommended an antibiotic for a week, but the owner didn’t think the wound was healing fast enough. Her friend happened to have another antibiotic in her tack trunk. They added that one in too. 24 hours after starting the second antibiotic, Flash stopped eating, developed a fever, and then started pipe-stream diarrhea.
After 3 weeks in an equine hospital isolation barn and over $14,000.00 in vet bills, Flash was finally able to go home. He was crippled by laminitis, and he had lost one of his jugular veins. It would take him 3 months to return to being ridden again and he was never quite the same. Flash was one of the lucky ones. Most horses that develop severe antibiotic-induced colitis do not survive.  READ MORE

Don’t take antibiotic use in the horse lightly! As a responsible horse person:

• You should understand the potential benefits but also the limitations and dangers of systemic antibiotic use in horses.
• You should always use antibiotics under the direction of a licensed vet, experienced in equine medicine.
• You should recognize how fragile the equine intestinal microbiome is compared to that of other species. Know that disturbing it through the use of antibiotics can in rare cases mean the death of the horse.
• You should also understand and respect the danger of development of bacterial resistance to antibiotics.
• You should know the few antibiotics labeled for use in the horse, and that other use of antibiotics is extra-label. If there is an FDA-approved antibiotic for a given use, your vet should ideally select that over an extra-label antibiotic.
• You should have the skills to properly administer the medication. Here are a few skills that I list in Horse Side Vet

Guide, which you might need to be able to treat your horse with antibiotics:
Assessing treatment effectiveness: https://horsesidevetguide.com/drv/Skill/194/assess-effectiveness-of-treatment-objectively/

As the horse’s owner, you also have a vital role in providing feedback as to how a treatment is working. In this way, adjustments can be made in treatment plan.
How to give oral Medication:https://horsesidevetguide.com/drv/Skill/28/give-oral-medication/
Assess your horse’s general health:https://horsesidevetguide.com/drv/Skill/146/perform-whole-horse-exam-whe/

27. July 2020 · Comments Off on Leave No Trace Camping Puppet Show for Kids · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

Leave no trace camping puppet show for kids was created by volunteer Ethan and Ranger Katie in 2009 to communicate to children at lower grade levels. Alaska Park Service     Watch Video

21. July 2020 · Comments Off on Trailmeister – High Line Revamp · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

The highline  – Way back in 2009 I created a highline how to video. It’s been  pretty popular and I hope it’s been helpful. But that was over a decade ago and lots of things have changed in that time. Not only do I have less hair, and a rocking beard, I set up my highline differently now.

It’s time to refresh, revamp, and revise this piece. Please join me as we discover the joy of “A Better Way to Hold Your Horses”.

The highline. At its heart it’s just a stout rope stretched between two sturdy objects. But like many things that seem simple at first blush there’s a little more to it.

Done well a highline is a safe and effective tool to help keep our ponies out of trouble. Done poorly there’s few easier ways to heartbreak.

READ MORE    /     Buy a highline kit

19. July 2020 · Comments Off on BNF – Squaw Creek Trail Head – TR-131 North · Categories: Work Parties and Projects

Located 30 miles north of Ola, Idaho off forest road 625, the west mountain North trail head provides access to two excellent trails.  TR-131 know both as the West Mountain trail and this end known as the Squaw Creek trail, follows Squaw creek up a canyon of big trees, water falls and rock formations.  This is a technical trail with a number of rocky sections so better left to experienced trail riders.  Poison Creek trail TR-134 is a ridge trail and while there are some steep sections it is not technical and has some amazing views.  The project that six members of the Squaw Butte Chapter was on the first few miles of TR-131, we knew it needed brushing and expected blow down, we found lots of both.

You know you are living in Idaho, when you have to pull over to allow a family and their friends to move stock down a country road.  As this was a day project for most of the group, we parked at the trail head which is up FR 625G and has parking for about 8 trailers with a little planning. Part of the area was wet as the forest service had fixed the water tire and it was overflowing. By ten we were on the trail with Rob towing an extra horse for the forest service guy who was a no-show. 

Tom and Rob handled the chain saws while the rest of the crew brushed. By 14:00 we were bushed and needed a break,. We stopped at a nice spot by the creek and had lunch, this became the turn-around point but we stopped a number of time on the way back to do more brushing. By 17:00 we were back at the trailers and loaded for the trip home.

17. July 2020 · Comments Off on ITA – Backcountry Safety · Categories: Education

Watch Video

16. July 2020 · Comments Off on Sawyer Training – Sawtooth Society Trail Leaders · Categories: Education

At the request of the Sawtooth Ranger District, Kent May and Tom Winters, BCHI held a Sawyer Workshop for the Volunteer Trail Crew leaders of the Sawtooth Society with the goal of “B” level USFS chainsaw certification. Rob Adams and Charles Chick from the Squaw Butte Chapter of BCHI ran the workshop on July 14 & 15.

On Wednesday was the field day portion of the workshop. We started the day behind the ranger station in what they call the boneyard. This area had a lot of dead and down trees which Chick and Rob used as cutting problems for the three students Brad, Dalton and Kit. After a couple of hours we shifted the workshop to a local trail that had not been worked in a number of years and the wind gods had pushed down a lot of trees over the trail making it unusable!

As you can see from the following pictures the trail leaders got to work on some interesting cutting problem while working on their “B” level certification and we cleared over 1.5 miles of this trail!

11. July 2020 · Comments Off on JEFF PADGETT – ST. MARY PEAK VOLUNTEER LOOKOUT HOST · Categories: Around The Campfire

I awoke thinking of death And being unable to go back to sleep Read of death in Leaves of Grass “Yourself! Yourself! Yourself, forever and ever!”

The darkness envelops It is fearful, yet common The comforting hearths of the ants of the Bitterroot Valley below me Yet on the other side, black I know what is there but I cannot see it

10. July 2020 · Comments Off on PNF – Twenty Mile Lakes project · Categories: Public Lands, Work Parties and Projects

On Tuesday afternoon July 7th Tom Zahradnicek, Mike & Karen Heilman and Rob Adams meet at the 20 mile creek trail head on the east end of upper Payette lake north east of McCall. The purpose of this project was to work on clearing the down fall on the trail that climbs to five mountain lakes that branches off trail 085. We were joined by Adam Larson from the McCall ranger district. Also working the trail out of this trail head were members of the Montana Conservation Corps that were working on the lower trail for the next 14 days.

Due to covid-19 we planned to not do group food, but Tom had just come back from the coast with a cooler full of fresh dungeness crab which he generously shared with the group, this is ruffing it!

The plan was to meet Adam at the trail head at 08:00 Wednesday with the stock all saddled and packed and be on the trail by 08:30. We all know that this NEVER happens, but on this day it did! While Karen stayed with their dog the four of us headed up the trail. After scouting the lower trail, Mike turned back to get Karen to go on a ride and Tom, Adam and Rob continued to the cut-off for the lakes trail.

The minute we turned on that trail we encountered the first of over 50 downed trees that we removed during the 10 hours we were on the trail

We rode out dead tired but completed the project and had a great time doing it!

Details: Min Alt 5,731  Max Alt 7,716   Miles on the trail 12   Time on the trail 9:48

From: Blake, Jennifer B -FS <jennifer.b.blake@usda.gov>

Squaw Butte members
Thanks so much for the work you and your crew did on the Twenty Mile Trail on the McCall Ranger District. This is a beautiful and high use area and your work will enable hundreds of people to enjoy this area. We certainly could not keep up with all the work without your help.

Thanks, Jenni Blake

07. July 2020 · Comments Off on Idaho Wildlife Federation – July News Update · Categories: Current Events



01. July 2020 · Comments Off on Horse Wrecks 101 – 7 Tips for Dealing with a Bad Situation with a Horse · Categories: Education

June 30, 2020 by Allison Trimble
Horses have a way of reminding me how quickly things can go awry. Over the years, I’ve started running my mares in small herds with the breeding stallion. Everyone is happier and conception rates are better, but it does come with a few kicks and bites. I’m always more apprehensive turning out mares with foals at their side. I know the mares can stand their ground, but it’s easy for a baby to get caught in the crossfire.

This year, I turned out my first mare and foal with my younger stallion, Hawk. The mare is an experienced herd leader, and they spent all summer together last year. I expected some scuffles while she put him in his place, but as often happens with horses, it all went bad—quickly.

When they met for the first time, it happened to be in the only slick spot in a huge field. As she wheeled and turned to kick at him, she slipped, and landed upside down with two legs through a wire fence, and him looming over her. Not an ideal situation. If that had happened without me on watch, it would have ended very differently.

For the most part, accidents can be avoided. Other times, horses have a way of trying to die in the safety of a 12 x 12 stall. Safe intervention is key to both the horse and the human coming out of the wreck as unharmed as possible. Here are a few tips for dealing with a horse in a bad situation.

  1. Don’t rush.
    It’s hard to resist hurrying to help, but it’s always best to stay calm. Get to a safe distance quickly, but without adding additional panic to the event.


  1. Assess the problem.
    Objectively look at the predicament. What’s the easiest way to free the horse with the least damage to them and minimize your own risk? Most of the time we’re dealing with a horse tangled in wire, wrapped in a rope, or cast. Figure out what tools are available to help. As I hustled to the top of the field, I grabbed a branch from a downed tree on the way, to get the stud away from the downed mare, while protecting my distance.


  1. Wait until the horse stops struggling.
    There’s nothing to be gained by engaging too early. A horse in a fight response will struggle until he is free or determines he cannot get free. Countless times I have seen a person try and free a horse that is pulling back, only for the horse to lunge forward, knocking the person to the ground, or worse, into a trailer or wall.  Whatever is going to happen is going to happen. It’s best to not be in the mix when it does. Once the horse stops fighting, you can try to help. The mare quit struggling once the stallion was away, and she had tried a few times to right herself, unsuccessfully. I stayed at a safe distance until she quieted.


  1. Anticipate what the horse will do once freed.
    Expectations for what will happen next is important for staying safe. For example, cutting a lead rope will result in a loose horse. What are the surroundings? How will he be caught? This was a range mare who doesn’t tie and has never had her feet done. One year I had tried to tie this mare to be bred (after having been warned that she did not tie). She subsequently pulled back and ripped the entire top rail from the hitching post and ran off with the 10-foot rail trailing behind her. Fast forward to the present. If I tried to untangle her from the inside of the fence, she would roll into me, kicking me on the way. The only solution was to hurdle the fence and try and untangle from the offside.


  1. Execute the plan.
    Most horses, once they have quit fighting, will lie still while you help them. I slowly untangled her foot, and then gave her a start so she’d try and right herself again. She got up and took off to find her baby.


  1. Examine the horse and assess any injury.
    I was able to see that she didn’t have any cuts or abrasions while I was untangling her, and she took off sound, screaming her head off across the field. She had a couple scuffs from the stallion from before I got to her, but nothing that needed treating, and she got her pound of flesh from him by the next morning as he resumed his position below her in the herd.


  1. Learn.
    There’s often a lesson to be learned. Here I was reminded about a stretch of old perimeter fence that was there when I bought the property. If this same turn of events had happened anywhere else in the field, the hot wire would’ve given way. They would’ve been loose, but the majority of the wreck would have been avoided. Horses are incredibly adept at finding your weak spots, both practically and metaphorically. No time like the present to build some fence.