Riding groups gain ground in Wyoming
Riverton — Because riding groups are scattered across Wyoming and often are not aware of each other’s existence, Milt Green of Casper attended a recent Wyoming Horse Council meeting to let others know about Everything Equine, a new group of riders based in Casper.
“Two years ago we started talking about it,” Green explained. “Last year we got our feet on the ground and got organized. All it took was a small group of people that believed in it strongly enough to do it.”
Everything Equine is open to all breeds, riding disciplines and ideas. Members let others know of opportunities planned in the area through an email list serve that gets to enough people that the rest hear about events word of mouth.
“It’s hard to know what’s going on,” Green continued. “You hear about events after the fact, especially smaller ones, and go ‘gee whiz, wish I had known.’”
“We expected 10 to 15 people to be interested in gathering and by the second meeting there were 45 members,” he said.
The group hopes to have a riding facility of their own at some point. Currently they meet at various arenas for fun, relaxed events. The members are not into super competitive events, and are seeking recreational opportunities.
“The benefits of the group are two-pronged,” said Green. “It’s recreation and a real good venue for education. Just about every meeting we have an expert on some part of the horse industry, horse health and so on come and share their knowledge.”
“Age isn’t an issue either; real young people and older folks are all involved. Grandmas and grandpas come with their grandkids for something for them to do together and on horseback. It’s a lot of different people from different lifestyles coming together to promote horses.”
Wyoming Horse Council board member Deb Simpson has been a member of the Boot and Bottle Club in Cody for six years.
The Boot and Bottle was founded in 1939 and has an arena and clubhouse. Membership fees support the facility and all members can use it free of charge. The community also rents the clubhouse for meetings and such.
“The Boot and Bottle is really family-oriented,” Simpson said in a later interview. “Trail rides are led on weekends by members May through October. We also host and organize a horse fair, clinics and gymkhanas.”
The Boot and Bottle promotes horses and horsemanship throughout the Bighorn Basin and members range in age from two years old to 90. A monthly newsletter tracks the goings-on for area horsemen and women.
“The group provides a supportive learning environment,” Simpson explained. “And it provides people with a reason to ride and use those horses sitting in their backyards.”
The Wyoming Horse Council is working to coordinate and build an alliance of Wyoming riding groups. The coalition would represent, and together build, the horse industry throughout the state.
Melissa Hemken is correspondent for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.