Tri-Lakes Youth Day

August 8th was a great day for Tri-Lakes Chapter and the 12 kids who participated in our Youth Day Event.  A big thank you goes to the Tim Brock,  BC Stables of Fair Grove, who again allowed us to use their facilities for this event.  The large arena and the indoor arena were available and used more than we expected.  The plan was to hold all the riding fun games and educational games in the outdoor arena.   However, Mother Nature made herself known by dropping by with a thunderstorm and some wind for a time, and everything was moved into the indoor arena.  This in the big picture was great since it did not last long and left behind cool weather.

The kids were divided into two groups with the older more experienced riders and those who had attended past youth events in one group, and the newcomers and younger riders in the other group.  All went through and educational session where we had members of the Easy Riders Drill Team of the Springfield area on hand to teach and demonstrate bridling and saddling but most important, horse psychology and horse behavior.  The young ladies of the Easy Rider Drill Team were great teachers and very knowledgeable.

Riding games and safety training took place in the larger arena.  One of the most popular sessions was called “What Would You Do?”  The kids were assigned the job of packing their saddle bags from a large selection of items with things they thought they might need on a trail ride to be prepared for any mishap.  As they rode around the arena with their packed saddle bags, they were stopped at stations where they were faced with a disaster scenario and were asked, “What would you Do?”  They had to choose from their saddle bags to “fix” the problem scenario.   The scenarios were all things that trail riders have most likely faced.  The scenarios ranged from getting lost, ground bees, broken arms, tack disasters, etc.  One of the kids was overheard saying, “This is the worst trail ride I have ever been on!”

Lunch was provided for all that attended and after lunch a Leave No Trace Awareness Training session was held.  More riding took place after lunch.

Youth events are extremely important for our organization.  The opportunity for kids to experience horses and trail riding is disappearing and holding this type of event hopefully will open some doors for youth to continue this activity as they take their life’s journey.  The adults who brought these kids to this event are greatly appreciated.  It is impossible for kids to attend these events without their adult sponsors and family.  A big thank you also goes out to our Tri-Lakes members who helped with this day.  It takes a lot of adult help to make this a safe and successful day.

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Want to know the “Nuts and Bolts” of the SMMBCH?

The SMMBCH by-laws as well as our policies and procedures. are on the “About Us” page.  Please review both documents and feel free to share them with anyone who may be interested in our organization.

EDUCATION REPORT – Marsha Copeland

Newsletter Education Report

Sept 1, 2015

EDUCATION REPORT – Marsha Copeland

SMMBCH was presented with an opportunity by the State Parks to be a part of the opening day events for the five day Katy Trail Bike Tour. Each year hundreds of bicycle riders meet to ride sections of the Katy Trail from Clinton to the St. Charles. We were asked to address questions bicycle riders had requested as to how and what to do when approaching horseback riders on the Katy Trail. Many of the bicycle riders have not had horses on the trails where they ride and the section of trail from Clinton to Sedalia is open to multiuse.

Russell Martin, Sherry Copeland, and Marsha Copeland drove to Clinton on the opening day, June 21st, with two of Russell’s horses. The horses were in an enclosed arena for display and a draw for those bicyclists who wanted to stop by and talk about horses and bicycles sharing trail corridors. A handout was prepared to give interested persons that briefly discussed horse behavior and psychology.

This event was an important step in bringing bicycle riders and equestrian together in an educational experience where all can learn from one another. It was a wake-up call for those of us attending and talking with bicycle riders as to the lack of understanding many bicycle riders have toward horses and horse behavior. We are in hopes that we will be invited back next year for this event and have more of a role and more detailed educational presence.

Your organization is watching closely the progress of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways and the development of the Horse Management Plan that will be developed under the umbrella of their General Management Plan. The scoping period is near where all will have the opportunity to comment on what as equestrians we want included in the plan. We are waiting to hear the dates and places for meetings and will make that available to members as soon as it is available. Watch for and be ready for this opportunity when it becomes available.

Eastern Missouri Chapter meeting and trail ride

We are having a Chapter meeting and trailer ride on Saturday September 19th at 9:30 am at St.Francois State Park.This will be a good time to meet and see the major improvements to the equestrian/ hiker trailhead.Everyone should be ready to ride by 10:00 and after the ride we can have a short meeting to update the members.
Please bring your lunch for after the ride.There is plenty of parking for everyone and I expect to have a good turnout due to the nice weather.
If it should rain us out we will schedule it for the following Saturday.
I need all members who plan to attend to reply to
Thank you
Larry Bast
State President
I hope everyone will try to attend!


From the halls of Congress, we once again have good news to share!

Last week, the National Forest “trails bill” we supported last year was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Cynthia Lummis  (R-WY)  and Tim Walz (D-MN). The bill, the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act (H.R. 845), continues to spur high-level dialogue and a search for solutions to the growing trail maintenance crisis on our national forests.


BCHA strongly supports H.R. 845.


You can click here to read the text of the bill as introduced.


The bill was introduced at the request of BCHA and our partners, The Wilderness Society and American Horse Council. It responds, in part, to a June 2013 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that reviewed the status and causes of the Forest Service trail maintenance backlog. 


If enacted as currently written, H.R. 845 would:

  • Direct the U.S. Forest Service to develop a strategy to more effectively utilize volunteers and partners to assist in maintaining national forest trails;
  • Provide outfitters and guides the ability to pay permit fees in trail maintenance activities instead of dollars;
  • Address the liability issue that hampers volunteer and partner trail maintenance activity in some national forests; and
  • Prioritize specific areas for trail maintenance within national forests.


Take Action!

Please call or write your congressional representative to express support for H.R. 845. As a result of widespread bipartisan interest, the bill could move quickly through the House of Representatives if no controversial provisions or requests for new appropriations are added. We also hope to see a companion bill introduced in the Senate soon.


Go to this website to find contact information for your member of Congress. In your own words, tell your representative why you support H.R. 845, the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act. Tell them of your passion for, and commitment to, keeping national forest trails open and enjoyed by horsemen and others. Lastly, please ask them to consider co-sponsoring H.R. 845.


If you are a resident of Wyoming or Minnesota, please include in your message a heartfelt “Thank You!” to Representatives Lummis and Walz, respectively, for introducing H.R. 845 on behalf of the Back Country Horsemen.


Feel free to share copies of your letters with BCHA’s Advisor for Public Lands & Recreation, including any response you receive from your member of Congress.


We are excited to have this bill reintroduced.


Our campaign has taken nearly three years to get to this point. Consequently, we believe BCHA is well-positioned–along with its partners–to continue to explore and promote lasting solutions to the trail maintenance crisis on our National Forests.


Thank you! And please call or send letters today to you congressional representative in support of H.R. 845.


Jim McGarvey, Chairman

Back Country Horsemen of America