Continuing education for Back Country Horsemen

Over a dozen riders attended the first safety-riding clinic hosted by the Judith Basin Back Country Horseman. Ed Lamb continues the instruction 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday, July 16, at High Meadows Arena owned by Bill and Karen Kuhlmann with an advanced riding clinic for JBBCH members.
Photo courtesy of Karen Kuhlmann and the Back Country Horsemen

Over the past two months, the Judith Basin Back Country Horsemen hosted a number of intensive safety workshops for preparedness while in the backcountry. A final advanced horsemanship session taught by respected Moore trainer, Ed Lamb, is scheduled for 9 a.m. this Saturday, July 16 at High Meadows Arena in Lewistown. This clinic is open to all members and builds on the basics developed in the first clinic held June 18.

Education is a critical component for riding in the backcountry. Summer courses offered by JBBCH allow for hands on demonstration that support the winter classroom lecture series.

Summer lessons began June 12 with Defensive Horseman certifications and re-certifications. Members participated in a two-day clinic. Day one included best practices for working around horses while on the ground, proper care for equine and tack, tying to a high line and trailer loading. Particular care was given to practicing awareness of one’s surroundings and how it affects a horse no matter how well the horse may be trained. The second part of the first day’s clinic discussed first aid on the trail for humans: First assessing if the scene is safe, can the injured ride out, walk out or do they need to be flown out and how to proceed in each incident. Time was also dedicated to materials that should be in a first aid kit for the backcountry and how to use each asset.

The second day of Defensive Horsemanship featured two keynote speakers. Dr. Scott Damby of Cactus Veterinary detailed first aid steps for equines while out on the trail. He described what should be included in a first aid kit for horses and how to know what to utilize and when. Lamb concluded the session with in depth discussions on tack and proper saddle fitting.

Following the conclusion of Saturday’s advanced riding clinic, members will turn their attention to chain saw certification before the summer ends. First Aid, Defensive Horseman and Chain Saw certifications enable club members to support the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management in keeping public trails open for hikers, bikers and riders. Last year Back Country Horsemen of Montana contributed over 25,000 hours in trail work and education equaling over $1 million dollars in assistance to keeping the backcountry open for future generations.

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