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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Trail riders slate clinic

  • OETRA slates clinic, plus poker run next month.
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  • Oklahoma Equestrian Trail Riders Association Inc. (OETRA) will host a clinic on GPS 101 and Horse Camping 101 on Saturday, Oct. 12, at Bell Cow Lake Equestrian Camp in Chandler. On Sunday, Oct. 13, an equestrian poker run will be held for participants who have their own horses to practice using their GPS on the trail. The clinic will be held rain or shine.
     
    Instructors will be available to assist participants in learning how to use a handheld GPS unit for the morning session. The afternoon session will cover what to take on the trail, trail riding etiquette, what to expect on an organized ride, how to condition the horse for trail riding and safety skills. Attendees will learn how to use portable corral panels, electric fence pens and picket lines to safely contain their horses. Former OETRA Presidents, Milt Alexander and David Smith, are the instructors.
     
    On Sunday morning, OETRA will sponsor a poker run using the GPS, beginning at 9 a.m. The GPS will be used to locate the various check points on the trail. For those who don’t have a GPS, OETRA will team them with someone who does. Prizes will be awarded for the winning hands.
     
    Clinic fees are $25 per person for OETRA members and $35 for non-members. Registration is 8:30-9 a.m. The classroom portion of the GPS 101 clinic starts promptly at 9 a.m. at the Equestrian Camp pavilion. At noon, clinic participants will what elements should be in their saddle bags, then at 1 p.m., Horse Camping 101 will continue the clinic and will conclude at 3 p.m. After 3 p.m., participants can have one on one time with the instructors. Dinner will be served at 5:30 for participants. Lunch and dinner are provided in the costs. Camping and trail fees are not included and are payable to the City of Chandler who operates the park.
     
    For those not familiar with OETRA, this group has donated more than $20,000 in funds across the state in the last four years at several horse camps and trails. OETRA was established in 1974 as the state’s trail riding association with the goal of promoting good stewardship towards Oklahoma’s trail system.
     
    OETRA members worked to put the horse campground in at Robbers Cave 39 years ago and also planned, cut and marked the horse trail system. Today, OETRA hosts a work week at Robbers Cave State Park each spring and volunteers bring their horses and work by horse back and also on foot to maintain the trails and clean up the camp. OETRA also hosts workdays at other horse trail systems.
     
    OETRA membership is based on the calendar year. The cost is $20 for individuals and $25 for families. Those who join after September 1, membership will be good through December 2014. Members receive a monthly newsletter full of upcoming rides and ride reviews and yearly membership directory.
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