You are here: NEWSLETTERS > TROT News January 2000Trail Riders Of Today
What seems like yesterday is 20 years passed that TROT has existed. Congratulations TROT! Your accomplishments are many. From 22 charter members to now approximately a membership of 1,000 people, we hail you. From a network of bridle trails that took in a small area to almost every county in Maryland, you´ve done your job. Trails now link to parks, developments, private lands, and there are safety areas for horse and rider to cross busy highway intersections. The friendship made along the way and the dedication of old and new members is overwhelming. You´ve shared your accomplishments, learned by experience, become innovative, shared trails and successes with other use groups, become politicians and diplomats—all to serve what we love most, Trail Riding!
Your complexities represent your members. Your goals reflect every member and horse who has enjoyed a day on a pleasure or a competitive ride, and who look forward to their next ride.
We will honor you on Saturday, February 19th. Your members will greet one another with enthusiasm and tell stories of the old days when the surveyor tapes were first spotted. Your accomplishments will be highlighted. Goals are still to be met. Your members will give you a tribute individually and as a group on what you have meant to them. Yes TROT, we will be there—welcome us!
Judy Richardson, Past President
Potluck Dinner and Annual Meeting
Date: February 19, Saturday
Time: doors open 5:30 pm
Place: Howard County Fairgrounds 4-H Building
Directions: Rt. 144, 1 mile west of Rt. 32 and I-70 exit 80.
Menu: A-H Main Dishes
P-Z Salads/Side Dishes
Join old friends and meet new ones for a fabulous 20th Anniversary celebration of TROT and its accomplishments. Bring your family! Bring your friends! Bring a new member! Meet your county´s representatives and fellow riders, share ideas, make plans to ride new trails and revisit old ones. And come with an appetite!! TROT folks sure can cook!
I´ll see you there! Save me some brownies! Suzanne
Cindy Berkey Remembered
Cindy Berkey, longtime member of TROT, died December 3, 1999, at the age of 44. She was found by her husband in their indoor pool. The accolades and memories of her community involvement are astounding.
"No one was more generous with her time or more committed to making Caroline County a better place," said Sue Simmons, directory of the Caroline Co. Dept. of Recreation and Parks.
"She gave a tremendous amount of her time, talent, and energy back to the community," remarked Denton Commissioner George McManus.
"You wonder," mused Sen. Richard Colburn (R-Mid Shore), "who will take this person´s place, who volunteered all these hours?"
In the equestrian community of Denton and the Eastern Shore, Cindy will be remembered most for her instrumental work in obtaining land, capital, and in-kind donations that brought the Tuckahoe Equestrian Center to fruition.
"Cindy was the one that was leading that charge," said Simmons. Berkey served on the Rec. & Parks Advisory Board. "I think of the Advisory Board as our conscience," Simmons continued. "She contributed to that tremendously."
TROT board members voted to make a donation of $150 in Cindy´s memory to the Tuckahoe Equestrian Center.
Thoughts on "Giving Back"
While reading the lengthy and laudatory article listing Cindy Berkey´s many accomplishments, one phrase truly struck me as concerns our work as TROT members. "Who will take this person´s place?"
TROT has reached its 20th anniversary through the strength of many concerned and dedicated volunteers serving in many different capacities. And as we face a new year and a new decade, TROT needs new people to step in and share in the activities, offices, and projects make us the most effective trail riding special interest group in the state.
As I do every year at this time, I´m asking TROT members to consider stepping up to a more active role in the activities of TROT. At our General Meeting and Potluck, president Gale Monahan will announce nominations of people to become members of the Board and will ask for nominations from those of us assembled and stuffing our faces with wonderful food. Everyone present may speak on behalf or against the different nominees, and finally we vote for or against these nominees.
At the March 14 meeting of the Board of Directors, the offices of president, vice-president, treasurer, and secretary are elected from among the Board members.
Please consider serving on the Board of Directors of TROT this year. Our By-laws ask for a term of 2 years, and in practice many dedicated folks stay on for much longer. The Board members meet on the second Tuesday of each month to review happenings in the different counties in which TROT is active. Board members are also active committee or project leaders.
For instance, Treasurer Anne Bennof has taken a leading role in organizing opposition to the Sunday Hunting issue. Statewide issues that affect all members of TROT are brought before the Board for discussion and action.
Tara Santmire accepted the role of Membership Chairperson last year. With input from Board members, she designed the membership survey you have each received recently (remember to complete and return it!).
In addition, Tara and her husband Ben have taken the lead in the mapping project. They need some more active TROT members to help map trails and to organize the data to make it useful and available to TROT riders.
Are you a computer savvy kind of person? TROT needs a couple folks to help Randy Hammock manage the TROT Web page. How to make the best use of the Web page are also decided by the Board.
Fundraisers, specifically the Judged Pleasure Ride, are approved by the Board, and often Board members are the organizers, too. An officer or board member attends Maryland Horse Council meetings (monthly) and the Board reviews and often organizes TROT representation at different Fairs and Expositions (like the Horse World Expo 2000).
The Board needs several new members to fill several gaps occurring this year. Our secretary of the past 2 years, Linda Jean Brakmann, is stepping down from this office to attend to her studies at law school. Our other officers, while staying on as Board members, have held their offices for quite a few years and wouldn´t mind letting you take a turn as Treasurer, President, and Vice-President.
Board member Kim Hawkins has resigned due to personal reasons. And I myself am also taking leave of the Board after 6 years of serving on it.
Now it is your turn. Call up a current Board members and ask what´s involved in being a member. Then volunteer for nomination. TROT needs your talents and your ideas. Suzanne
Thank You from Suzanne
I´d like to thank my many TROT friends who kept me and my family in their thoughts and prayers this past holiday season on the death of my father, Vernon Anderson. He died November 29, at my parents´ home in Sierra Vista, Arizona, while my sister and I were visiting for Thanksgiving.
Your cards and the flower arrangement from TROT that was present at his memorial service were beautiful and greatly appreciated by my sister Carolyn, my mother Carole, and myself. Suzanne Anderson
TROT Member in the News
Bob Ledley was featured in the December 1999 Washingtonian Magazine, regarding his extensive research and invention of Computer Tomography, which led to the development of the CT Scan used for diagnostic medical purposes. Bob also received a Presidential Award for his scientific works in 1998.
There´s a great picture of Bob on page 49 of the Washingtonian. Terry and her involvement with TROT are also mentioned!
Trail Safety and Etiquette
Web Page Has Moved
The TROT Website has been moved off of Randy Hammock´s personal Website and placed on a free Website provider. This has several advantages . . .
. . . and disadvantages:
The new TROT site can be found at:
Give it a go! Randy Hammock
Scoops of Humor
I have a lot of friends with e-mail and too much time on their hands. They send me some really hysterical stuff. Here are just 2 of them.Suzanne
The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from one generation to the next, says that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
However, in modern business, because of the heavy investment factors to be taken into consideration, often other strategies have to be tried with dead horses, including the following:
Ten Exercises to Become a Better Horseman...
Drop a heavy steel object on your foot. Don´t pick it up right away.
Shout, "Get Off, Stupid! GET OFF!"
And the number one exercise:
1. Marry money.
Shenandoah River State Park
The Shenandoah River State Park (SRSP) is currently reviewing its Master Plan, and there is a strong possibility it will increase its services catering to horses. A public planning meeting was held last December 8, and the Virginia Horse Council together with the Dominion 100-Mile Endurance Ride, Inc., worked to gather as many equestrians as possible to attend and speak out in favor of equestrian trail access and horse camping.
Dorothy Lowe of the VHC Trails Committee, Pete Wilson of the Old Dominion 100, and others put together a proposal to present at this meeting. Their key points were:
Contact Dorothy Lowe (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Pete Wilson (email@example.com) for more details about the meeting and the proposal.
What Does the Coggins Test?
Every spring, along with regular vaccinations, we all have a Coggins test performed on our horse. Many of us know this is a mandatory test, a negative result is desired, and we must carry the results sheet with us to attend many horse functions. But many of us don´t actually know what the Coggins test is testing for.
The Coggins test is looking for the presence of a virus in the blood that causes Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA), also called Swamp Fever. Signs of acute EIA are sudden fever (105 deg. F or higher), rapid weight loss, anemia, and nose bleeds. However, some horses will never show symptoms, but they can be a source of the disease for other horses.
EIA is spread by biting flies and mosquitoes taking blood from an infected horse and then biting and passing on some of this infected blood to another horse.
EIA is under control in the United States through annual testing of horses with the Coggins test. A good fly control system in your stable will eliminate the carriers of the virus. Sterile surgical instruments, tattoo and hypodermic needles also prevent spread of the disease.
EIA is not something we need to worry too much over. Good husbandry methods, awareness, and yearly testing are all the average horse person need do. When buying a new horse, or keeping a large stable where the horses in the herd change frequently, you will want to take extra measures of quarantining new arrivals and perhaps even performing more frequent Coggins testing.
In Maryland, the Dept. of Agriculture Animal Health Section provides information for the owner of a positive EIA animal. Since there is no known treatment or cure for EIA, and to aid in control of the disease, the Dept. does recommend euthanasia. The owner can have a second, confirming test performed, made by State or Federal personnel at no expense to the owner. If the positive reading is confirmed, the owner does still have the choice of euthanasia or quarantine. Quarantine would be on the animal´s home farm or other such premises as approved by the Secretary of the Dept. of Agriculture, and the horse would be segregated from all other horses in Dept. approved facilities. These conditions and rules are covered in Title 15, Dept. of Agriculture, Subtitle 11 Animal Health, Chapter 12 Equine Infectious Anemia.
In addition, it is Maryland Law that you be able to show a copy of a negative Coggins test for your horse wherever horses are gathered for an organized event. That includes our weekend TROT Pleasure Rides.
Make several photocopies of each horse´s Coggins result and keep them in an envelope in your trailer. My mom used to tape a plain letter envelope to the inside wall of the trailer behind the spare tire or the battery and we kept a copy of all three horses´ test results there at all times. Frank and I sometimes keep a copy of our friend´s horse´s Coggins when we plan to frequently trailer them with us.
Still have questions? Your own veterinary is your best source of good factual information. Suzanne Anderson
First published in the May 1999 TROTNews
A Word from Our New Trail Boss
Spring is just around the corner, so let´s get ready for another year of TROT´s trail rides. TROT has a tremendous number of trails available in parks within easy driving distance of most members. Come out and learn the trails!
Our rides are planned for the enjoyment of all. The pace is determined by the ride´s host, but safety for horse and rider is our priority. Call the ride leader for directions to the meeting place and also for details on what kind of ride is planned. Be sure you and your horse are ready for whatever a particular trail has to offer.
Bring a friend. If they are not a member already, they can join at the start of the ride. And don´t forget, BRING YOUR COGGINS!
For a horseback view of a variety of trails, local history, and TROT´s camaraderie, come ride with us!! Mary Prowell
Greening Patuxent Pastures
Howard and Montgomery counties are home to an estimated 22,000 horses, many living on land that drains to the Patuxent Reservoirs. According to a recent study, the majority of these horses live on small properties housing five or fewer animals. If current trends continue, more and more large farms will subdivide into much smaller "hobby" farms, many housing a handful of horses.
Horses are notoriously hard on sod. They tend to "spot graze," eating tastier grass down to the roots while letting less appetizing grass grow tall. And, when too many horses have grazed on a pasture for too long, the grass can get grazed down to the point that it can´t bounce back. Also, because horses are large, active animals, their hooves destroy young grass, particularly when the ground is wet. All of this results in bare earth with no roots to hold soil in place when water rushes over it.
To complicate matters, few horse hobbyists have farming backgrounds or know which agricultural agencies to turn to for assistance.
So, to address these problems, the Howard and Montgomery Soil Conservation Districts (SCDs), along with other governmental agencies, are working together on a variety of educational programs aimed at horse owners in the watershed.
Pasture management workshops, including pasture walks on local horse farms, are held in Montgomery and Howard counties every year. During pasture walks, forage experts help participants identify good and bad plant species common to this area and explain how to promote the former and eradicate the latter. Good management practices, such as pasture mowing and dragging, also are discussed and promoted. The site of a half-day horse pasture workshop held last May in Howard county featured two popular water-protection measures promoted by SCDs—a spring development to provide an alternative water source away from the stream and a stream crossing to provide stabilized access—both designed by the Howard SCD.
Each year, the Montgomery SCD and Cooperative Extension Office, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service hold a three-day seminar for horse owners. At two evening sessions, "best management practices"—environmentally sound farming measures—are discussed. On the third day, one of more of these practices is illustrated at a local horse farm.
This past September, both Soil Conservation Districts, in collaboration with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Howard County Dept. of Recreation and Parks, the Patuxent Reservoirs Watershed Protection Group, and the Patuxent River Commission, conducted a mini-expo to promote water quality protection. Called "Horses and the Environment" and held at Schooley Mill Park in Howard County, the Expo featured experts and exhibitors discussing horse pasture management, proper stall waste disposal, and other best management practices.
Based on attendance at these events and feedback from participants, the horse-owning public appears eager for help with pasture improvement. Few were aware that the SCDs and Cooperative Extension Offices offer pasture and nutrient management advice and technical expertise on automatic waterers, stream crossing, and manure storage facilities. Attendees also have been surprised and encouraged to learn that cost-share and other financial incentives are available to offset the costs of implementing several best management practices.
Future seminars and pasture workshops are planned in both counties. For more information, contact the Montgomery SCD at 301-590-2855 or the Howard SCD at 410-465-3180. (Reprinted from the Patuxent Reservoirs Watershed Newsletter, Vol. 1, No. 3, October 1999)
BARN LEASE—Lovely private barn for lease in Brookeville, MD. Beautiful custom barn, airy box stalls, tack and feed rooms, grooming/wash rack, big loft, & indoor riding aisle. Two large rolling pastures with plentiful grass, large run-ins and automatic waterers. For self-care, responsible individuals with 2-5 horses. Call (301) 570-4208.
LAND WANTED—20+ acres for horse farm. Must be near good trails, in area with other horse farms, and within reasonable distance to water for sailing. Call (610) 486-0153
Farm Services by TIM
All of the above services are customized to meet the equestrian's special needs and wants.
For any real estate leads generated by or for a TROT member, I will donate a portion of my fee to TROT. Tim