Apr 212017

By Patty Wilber

BCH 101 was at the Edgewood Arena. Sandy and Peggy are enhancing the sign. Thanks Elisa for the picture!

Last Saturday (April 15th), the NM Back Country Horsemen, Pecos Chapter held a BCH 101 clinic to go over some basics of BCHing.

Welcome and check in. Each participant chose a group and got a packet of information. Then the participants went and participated!

We had four stations.

1. Horse containment.
When we do an overnight project, equines need to be contained.  Typically, we use existing pens, highline, or set up portable electric-wire pens.  Animals can be hobbled to allow grazing time, as well.

Cheryl and Kit covered highlining, portable electric fencing and hobbling (since everyone already knows how to use existing pens)!

Because our containment instructors were stationed in the parking lot of the Edgewood Arena, they set up the highline between two trailers!

Kit, being supervised by her horse while supervising Cheryl, who was explaining how to put the metal doohickies on the rope to which you can tie the equine. This keeps the highline from having lots of knots. Hence, the doohickies are really called Knot Eliminators. Picture from Elisa.

2. Sawing.
Last (2016) Memorial Day Weekend, a number of us re-upped our sawyer certifications. (See Saw Certified and Desalted.) Peter was one of those, and he, with the help of James (who is 5, I think) talked about the basics of safe back-country sawing .

Peter LOGicizing the process of sawing while James holds down the log.

We cut, push, pull, lever and roll lots of logs when out on the trail, so LOGically speaking, we need to know how.  DendroLOGically speaking, we have logs of fun.

3. Packing.
In order to get our saws, pry bar, and wedges to the logs, we load up our pack animals!  The animals may also carry trail rakes, axes, pulaskis, shovels, first aid kits (and even food and supplies, if we go out overnight).

Nichole and Derek demonstrated the basics of BCH packing.

4. Trail ride.
Linda organized the trail ride and I helped. We reviewed saddle bag contents, discussed trail safety, and took a short trail ride. The Edgewood Arena (which is open to the public) has a nice set of obstacles (including LOGS!) that served as the start of our ride.

In addition, we had planned encounters.

A German hiker, a LOG way from the Alps, with some “unruly” dogs. “He’s friendly! He vill only bite a leetle!” We did the ride with groups and each time our hiker had a new hat and a new persona! The dogs remained about the same.

Abby (riding) and Sandy provided the donkey obstacle! Some horses have limited experience with LOnG-ears and can be a bit reactive! It doesn’t take very LOG until the horses recover their wits. The LOnG-ears don’t seem to react the same way to horses.


A campsite! Heidi (not pictured) and Jim and the dogs had a camp aLOnG the trail. A few horses underwent a bit of snorty breathing at the sight of the rainfly in the tree, but everyone make it by safely. Penny, the horse, got to be a rainfly mentor for some of the less experienced animals. The bike wasn’t much of an issue for anyone, interestingly. Thanks Elisa for the picture!

Overall, people seemed to have a lot of fun!

Our Pecos Chapter President, Mary Ann Ende, deserves a big THANK-YOU for all her organizational efforts and the time LOGGED to make this event a go.