Back Country Horsemen Participate in JBLM Trail Ride

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Amidst a beaming sun and warm spring weather, the Back Country Horsemen Chapters of Nisqually and Pierce County attended a three-hour long trail ride at site eight on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Nearly 50 riders attended the event on Sunday, April 24. Kathy Talbot, the vice president of the Nisqually chapter, said she only expected about 30 riders to show up, but the groups gladly accommodated the extra participants.

Leading up to the event, Talbot was responsible for contacting JBLM to obtain a permit so the groups could ride on the base for the day.

“I call JBLM and let them know roughly how many horses, people, and trailers are going to be here,” Talbot said. “We want to thank JBLM for letting us come out to this beautiful area and ride the trails.”

The trail itself was over eight miles long and took riders about three hours to complete. Longtime Nisqually chapter member Sandra Johnstone was selected as the ride host who guided those in attendance. 

“Sandra is one of the most knowledgeable JBLM trail riders in the area. After she was appointed as host, she enlisted Jay Adams and David Bowl,” Talbot said. “They come out during the week and ride where they think the nicest route course will be.”

Johnstone, Adams and Bowl marked the trail with ribbons indicating where riders had to turn in an effort to keep the horseback riders on the right path.  Different amounts of ribbons were displayed to indicate where riders needed to turn.

Talbot, who joined the Nisqually chapter 16 years ago, takes pride in ensuring the trails are left in the same condition they were found.

“We practice LNT (or) leave no trace,” she said. “We account for garbage, hay, manure and ensure that everything and anything else gets cleaned. I am usually the first one here and the last to leave. I give everything one final scan before I leave.”

The Nisqually Back Country Horsemen Chapter began in 1991 after a group bonded together over a love for horses. That bond still runs strong through the group of 106 members.

“We have a lot of the old chapter members that are still involved,” said Talbot.

Talbot always encourages riders, young or old, to join the group for a ride. One of the youngest members of the group was Ellie Adams, who got to enjoy her day riding horses with her grandfather Jay Adams.

With beautiful weather, a large turnout and a fun trail ride, the day was deemed successful.

“It was a great time. Everybody loved and enjoyed it,” said Robert Dimond, a Back Country Horsemen member. “The weather was beautiful which made for a fun day, and the potluck afterwards was fantastic.”

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