March 7, 2012 | LXXI, No. 49

Ridge Riders will offer clinic

Horse enthusiasts from far and near can saddle up “Old Paint” and join both youngsters and adults in the Ridge Riders riding clinic, March 31- April 3.

Tara Johnson, of Mossyrock, Wash., explains one of the exercises she teaches during a riding clinic at the local rodeo grounds last year. She will return again this year to instruct riders of all skills in the Ridge Rider riding clinic March 31-April 3. — submitted photo

It will be Janet Doughty’s 36th year as head organizer of the clinic, which attracts riders of all ages from all over central Washington and beyond.

Doughty said she plans four categories: Intermediates (from 9 a.m. to 11); beginners (from 11 a.m. to noon); advanced riders (1-3 p.m.); and adults (3-5 p.m.).

It becomes somewhat a family thing, Doughty says.

“If kids see their parents ride, then they want to ride,” she said. Doughty said that one year a blind rider took part in the clinic.

You have to provide your own horse or one loaned to you for the clinic.

Instructor Tara Johnson will return again this year. The Mossyrock, Wash., horse trainer doubles as a trainer of race horses and is a college professor.

“Tara’s teaching experience comes to play when she works with riders,” Doughty stated.

“Ninety-five of our riders come to the event from out of town,” Doughty said, “but we see some renewed interest in horsemanship in the area and that’s encouraging.”

Johnson outlines the riding task and then demonstrates it for riders in the clinic, making it easy to follow along and gain new skills, Doughty noted.

The clinic organizers have relied on letters, posters and word-of-mouth to get the clinic message out.

“Rodeo people travel around a lot and the word spreads pretty fast,” Doughty said. “I send out letters each year along with a poster and people just respond.”

This year, she anticipates clinic riders from Ritzville, Okanogan, Omak, Coulee City, Ephrata, Wilbur and some from the Goldendale area. “We’ve had riders from Oregon,” Doughty noted.

“People come from outside the area and some stay for all four days, using campgrounds and motels and eating in our restaurants,” Doughty said.

Persons interested in signing up for the clinic can call Doughty at 633-1263.

Cost for the riding clinic is $100 for all four days, or $20 a day if you decide to only ride part of the time. Beginners get a little off the price at $70 for all four days or $20 per day.

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