One of the cornerstones of Show-Me Missouri Back Country Horsemen (SMMBCH) is educating riders and non-riders to use and promote basic trail courtesy and ethics; follow the Leave No Trace Principles and utilize best methods in trail building and maintenance. And what better building blocks to achieve this goal than the youth of today.
Each year, several SMMBCH chapters volunteer their time, knowledge and resources, not on the trail, but with the organization of a Youth Day Event in their area. Youth events bring seasoned trail riders together with youngsters, some who have never ridden a horse, for a fun day of learning. This year, three chapters, NEMO River Valley, Indian Trails and Tri-Lakes conducted a youth day with a total of 31 youth participants. The activities included, hands on experiences with horse professionals such as veterinarians, farriers, and trainers; instruction on the care and behavior of horses; instruction and practicing emergency dismounts; games and educational scenarios on horseback; a visit from a cowboy poet; assembling First Aid kits for the trail; and of course, training in the Leave No Trace Principles! Each chapter provided a lunch for the participants as well as “take away” items including t-shirts, trophies and items for a safe trail ride.
SMMBCH understands that the youth of today will become the future stewards of our public lands, and hopefully carry on the mission of keeping trails open to all recreational stock use. Membership in SMMBCH provides for Youth Day Events and other activities that support our mission. If you would like to join in this effort, please click here.
NEMO River Valley Chapter Youth Day participants
At the Indian Trails Youth Day, youngsters were taught to listen to the healthy gut sounds of a horse with Dr. Erin Frandsen, DVM
Indian Trails Chapter Youth Day participants
Proper horse care basics were part of the many activities at the Indian Trails Youth Day
Games on horseback at the Tri-Lakes Youth Day
Tri-Lakes Chapter Youth Day participants
In the arena with Tri-Lakes Youth Day riders
NEMO River Valley youngsters on their mounts
Emergency dismounts were taught and practiced at the NEMO River Valley Youth Day
For more information about these youth day events and lots more great photos, visit our Facebook page: Show Me Missouri Back Country Horsemen.