In December 2021, BCHBC held another successful ‘Adventures or Experiences’ On Line Auction with net proceeds in excess of $12,000 raised. Special thanks to everyone who provided items, and a ‘hip, hip, hurray’ to all the bidders helping raise funds for BCHBC initiatives.

Below is the account of the Horse Camping 101 Adventure hosted by Rose Schroeder and Linda Buchanan.

“Linda’s and my goal for this  Horse Camping adventure, was to encourage those new to horse camping, to feel comfortable, provide some basic knowledge, share how to live each moment to its fullest, find teachable moments, and most importantly, to ‘take only memories and leave only hoofprints’. Thank you, Kim and Kayla, for supporting BCHBC and sharing your time with us!”

We chose to hold this adventure at the Rainbow Trails site near Merritt and crossed our fingers for good weather for the May long weekend. The plan was to combine teaching some skills for safe horse camping with some riding, good food and campfire time.

Kim Hensens and her daughter Kayla were the successful bidders of the ‘Horse Camping 101 Adventure’, supported by the Shuswap Chapter of BCHBC. This adventure was led by Linda Buchanan and Rose Schroeder, both members of Shuswap Chapter.  The Hensens came with basic horse camping skills, gleaned from their membership with BCHBC’s Aldergrove Chapter. We started the weekend off with the most important principle of Leave No Trace (LNT) —  Plan Ahead and Prepare.

One way to be prepared is to know the quick release, half hitch, bowline, butterfly and clove hitch knots.

Rose teaches Kim and Kayla the 5 Essential Knots

After practicing getting ‘knotty’, we showed Kim and Kayla how to set up a highline; how to prepare and clean up the area following LNT principles;  why we shorten the highline at night; how to feed, hobble and general horse care.

Linda teaching how to use the Avenza trail mapping app.

Then, we tested their preparedness and resourcefulness. On our first ride, we came across a small tree lying across the trail. Linda yelled out: “Who has a saw?” And Kim did. (She passed!) We also threw a lot of teachable moments at them. Like “Lost shoe, whatcha-gonna-do?” (Put it back on, have a spare boot, or sock and duct tape).

Another time we came across a feral horse — a good time to discuss how to react and keep everyone safe.

On one ride, Kim’s mule leaped across a small  shallow ditch. This presented a good opportunity to learn how to approach and cross at an angle, where the footing is solid.

Kim, on her mule ‘Huggy’, and Kayla, on her horse ‘Jeb’, learn how to water their horses safely.

After one ride, one of the horses came in  showing symptoms of ‘tie-up’, also called ‘Monday Morning Sickness’ or myositis. This is caused by cramping muscles and an imbalance of electrolytes. It’s important to recognize the symptoms and know how to treat them quickly. We aren’t vets, but our endurance ride training has taught us how to recognize a horse that is ‘ADR’ — ain’t doin right! Fortunately, this was a mild case. Quietly walking, keeping his hindquarters warm, and letting him drink and graze facilitated a quick recovery. This incident gave our apprentices an opportunity to learn how to take a horse’s temperature, pulse and respiration,  and when to use electrolyte therapy.

Around the dinner table and campfire we shared lots of stories from our mentors and the “School of Hard Knocks”. We discussed feeding, both us and our horses. On one of our rides out, we noticed what we thought might be wild potatoes. So, we tied up the horses (and one mule!), which was a good opportunity to teach the safest way to do that, and literally dug in. To go along with the spuds, we found wild onions and dandelion flowers and leaves for our salad.

“I really don’t know how to express how much my daughter and I enjoyed this Horse Camping 101 experience,” said Kim. “Rose and Linda went above and beyond to make sure that we experienced many outside activities. The knowledge that they shared was so valuable. I couldn’t have imagined that this auction adventure could have turned out any better.”

 

If you have something you or your Chapter would like to offer for this December’s 2022 online auction, please contact us at: fundraiser@bchorsemen.org

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