June 17 11:03 AM

Saddle club trailrides, camp outs great times

July 22, 2009
Two huge loads with round bales of hay just passed by. It brought back memories of this time of the summer when Red and I took our Almont 4-H Saddle club for a weekend trailride and camp out. That is, with the help of ever cooperative and supportive parents. It was always between haying and combining season.

There was one exception of parent cooperation. I guess I can tell you about it since it was nearly 50 years ago and I can't even remember their name. They didn't stay in Almont very long. The conversation went something like this. "What, you expect our daughter to ride her registered Quarter Horse (very few had registered riding horses back then, mostly run-of-the-mill horses) miles and miles on dusty roads to go camping? Why can't we trailer them? (very few had trailers back then and, wasn't a trailride supposed to be, 'ride on the trail?') How come the parents do everything you tell them to?" As politely as possible I told her if she didn't like the way our club was run to start a club of her own. End of girl being in our club.

It all began with our then, Almont's own Extension Agent, Ab Hall. Ab stopped in one day and asked if Red and I wouldn't like to start a 4-H Saddle club. Red said he didn't think so. I thought it a great idea. Our kids and their friends who had horses, what fun! Red gave in and we always said it was the best years of our lives. Lots of work, to be sure but, so rewarding with nice kids and great parents to support us.

The weekend trailride and camp out took lots of planning but with committees named for details, it all went quite smoothly. The committee that chose our campsite and route had to choose a lunchtime stop and obtain permission for us to do so. George Juhl with his horse and buck-board wagon carried our drinking water and lunches. My 4-H Saddle Club Scrapbook is hiding but I do remember either Alan or Lee picking up Foster Jones and taking him to camp for our Sunday morning Devotions. Sunday was also parent's day with their loaded picnic baskets.

Monday morning we broke camp and began the long ride home.

Thanks for the spotty memories. Hope I find my scrapbook. Some of our 'kids' still around....maybe we can have a reunion. Wouldn't that be fun??

— Country Cousin

Gertie Brooks, of Almont, has been a columnist for the Tri-City Times for over three decades now. Gertie's style of reliving days long past in her writing make her one of the Times' most popular columnists.
Castle Creek
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