Tucson Fiesta De Los Vaqueros Rodeo Parade

Thursday, February 23

What a great way to start Valentines Day. The weather decided to cooperate and the rain and wind stayed away. Jenny and Diane did a great job leading 11 riders strong on a picturesque ride. The group had an enjoyable easy ride on well marked trails. They spoiled us after the ride with so many goodies to eat, chocolate covered strawberries, chocolates and fresh strawberries. Thanks so much for a fun filled day.                         Write-up by Laura Cummings​   

Twelve riders showed up for the Valentine's Day ride led by Jennifer Brown and Diane Fouts at Sweetwater Preserve in the Tucson Mountains.  It brought back memories for me having lived just a couple blocks from there for 15 years and ridden there often until I married Letha and moved to Mescal in 2007.  What a nice surprise to arrive at the trailhead and see the wonderful trailhead parking area they had put in since I was last there about 10 years ago.  While we were saddling up a neighbor who lived right by the trailhead and had six horses of his own was so happy to see a group of riders using the new trailhead, he came over and greeted us and had a bag of treats for our horses.  He also got a membership form and is planning on joining the club!  We set out on the trails and I quickly had another very pleasant surprise; they have put in many more trails winding all over the place and the signage is outstanding!  Every trail intersection has a sign with a map of the entire trail system with a star where you are at that moment.  The trails are excellent with many saguaros and get views of the valley below and surrounding mountains.  We rode for 1.4 hours and then back at the trail head snacked on all sorts of chocolate, muffins, fruit and assorted other goodies folks had brought along to share.  All in all, a great day with a nice ride and great weather.          Write-up by Dan Simmons  

Nine riders met Saturday October 7th at approximately 7:30 A.M. for a beautiful ride through Saguaro National Park East. Renee Hahne led and Stuart Scibetta rode drag.  We left the Broadway entrance at 8:00 AM.  The trails, which included Shantz and Wentworth Trails, were well marked and well groomed and were easy to follow.  We enjoyed beautiful views of the Catalinas and the Rincons while experiencing a variety of vegetation and landscapes.  For the most part the horses were cooperative and there were no major issues. The riders who live on the east side are fortunate to have such an inviting area to ride so close at hand. I really enjoyed the trails and am looking forward to exploring the area more completely.                                                                                Write-up by Bill Braskamp




Barb Heller




Mother Nature cooperated with us on April 1 for the Empirita Canyons ride.  25 riders came wearing multiple warm layers after hearing that the forecast called for cool and possibly windy.  Lucky for us there was a nice mixture of sun and clouds and the winds stayed low until the very end of the ride.  We started out along typical ranch paths and roads and had a view of the broad landscape and beauty of southern Arizona.  Shortly we dropped down into a canyon wash and traveled southeast to a very lush lunch spot.  The ride leaders picked the perfect area to rest and it’s not often that we get to let our horses drink from clean, fresh spring water.  We learned from Dan, Bill, and Letha that this was the beginning of Wakefield Canyon and soon we were riding through the most picturesque part of the ride.  Wakefield Canyon walls are steep and colorful.  At one point the walls narrowed with just enough room to ride through - quite a sight here in SoAz.  It was at about this point that a beautiful owl with a mostly white chest flew over us and gave quite a thrill to both the front and the back of the group.  It has to be a good omen to have an owl grace us with its presence.  Dan and Rhythm set a good pace and even with this large a group there were no issues.  Good horsemanship everyone!!  Thank you Dan, Bill, and Letha for carving out such a nice trail in this vast ranch land.  

Write-up by Barb Heller

March 24-26, 2017​

Pictures by Barb Heller, Nancy Mueller, and Lorelei Redmond 


Ride Reports

July 11 - 16, 2017​


​October 7, 2017

After a failed first attempt due to bad weather, the sun gods smiled on Barbara's second date for her weenie ride. 21 riders showed up to enjoy the day together, and ride the scenic Catalina mountains. The ride left right on time, and started with a sandy wash that went quite a ways uphill and through a neighborhood to access the trails beyond. The trail took us up and down many hills, but the real prize was the ride through a boulder strewn area that offered many challenges. When I say boulders, I mean rocks the size of a Volkswagen, as the area resembles Texas Canyon, as seen from the highway in Dragoon. There were narrow passages, good sized step ups and step downs, and if you were not careful, knee knockers. Lunch was at a beautiful treed spot with a small stream running through it. Folks gathered firewood, and Barbara cooked the hot dogs in a neat contraption that held almost all of the dogs at once. We had the hot dogs, chips and cookies before Steve made sure the fire was really out before we left. The ride back was just as much fun, with a trip back through the boulders. Arriving back at the trailers everyone said their goodbyes, and headed home. I was duly impressed with the horses and riders, as we had no horse refusals, and no riders complaining about the challenges. Way to go Saddle Club!! Thank you to Barbara for putting on this fun ride. See you on the trail, hopefully soon!​                                                                                 Write-up by Dave Cummings





What a great day for a drive!  How often do we just drive south and enjoy all the other mountains and the wildflowers blooming?  Of course, it was a great day for a ride as well.  Georgia and Keith did a great job of getting all 29(?) of us corralled and pre-briefed.  If we lost a few along the way, that’s all good too.  (They did show up).  You know how we love water and we definitely had it.  We went back and forth a few times and let the ponies drink.  There was lots of history along the way and some of our members have been a part of the maintenance along these trails.  Much thanks to our brave ride leaders and we shouldn’t wait so long to do this again.                                   Write-up by Jean Ebbert    ​

It was too dark to take pictures during the ride, but the eating was sweet before the ride!

Pictures by

Carolyn Pferdeort


​Diane Fouts

It was a pretty warm evening June 9 for the presidents ride, but 11 desert dwellers showed up anyway. Leaders Carolyn and Jean were ready for the arriving guests, and there was plenty of parking. After getting parked and settled, most of us were given the tour of the beautiful Mule Power grounds. There are lots of horse and owner amenities there and we can see why it is so popular. Carolyn had her signature “bales” of cake waiting, and we all enjoyed cake and ice cream during the social hour before the ride. When the depart time came, we hadn’t gone but a few
hundred feet when one of our riders was rather unceremoniously launched into the night sky, and came face to face with the sand in the wash. After remounting and getting settled, the ride went off into the evening. Some horses started off a little antsy, but the deep sand soon took that silliness out of them and all behaved for the rest of the ride. The trail took us to what used to be known as the bird sanctuary (I don’t know if it’s still called that) and some nice treed trails. As the night continued, the temperature came to a very pleasant level and lots of chatter could be heard amongst the riders. The ride back to the trailers was pleasant and uneventful and everyone returned safely. Many thanks to Carolyn and Jean for putting on this ride and to Steve for the following statistics: we rode 6.8 miles, were moving for 2 hours and 8 minutes, and were stopped for 27 minutes. It was a fun time, and we look forward to seeing our club members on the next ride!!                                                                                   Write up by 
Dave Cummings​


​Happy Valentine's Day Ride​

Sweetwater Preserve - Tuesday, February 14




Dan's first attempt at a Go-Pro movie (Letha gave me this camera for a Christmas present the year before last; I finally got around to starting to figure it out and decided to try and use it on a ride).  I'm riding my moving horse most of the time, so there is some movement, but not too bad actually.  This might be the next best thing to being there and give you a better perception of the ride(s), which were really awesome!  Thank you Steve and Carolyn!!


St. Patrick's Day Ride

Saguaro National Park​ West - Broadway Gate

Friday, March 17, 2017

​Pictures by Carolyn Pferdeort and Letha Simmons

Nine members participated this year. Carolyn (Flag bearer) & Steve Pferdeort, Pamela & Art Deters, Becky Tucker, Lynne Herman (welcome back to Tucson Lynne), Frank Dahl , Amy Rinder and Chuck Tampio. The weather, despite a cool breeze, was perfect for the parade. Lynne and Amy’s horses were first time “paraders” and took the challenge in their stride. I think it was one of the best performances by the club in keeping a formation of two by two. Despite practices it is never a guarantee of what happens on the day. This year we were following a band and they had added an extra interval between participants and bands which helped immensely. Being assigned 416 we had another long wait this year and did not start the parade until 10.30. As this is our second year in a row to be assigned the fourth (last) section Becky is hopeful of securing an earlier section next year. Art was kindly given the participation plaque this year to celebrate his 80th birthday. He has promised Romeo, who we think is 30, it will be his last parade!! As always the early rise (4.00am) along with the long wait in the saddle (8.30-10.30) is compensated with the crowds cheering from the side lines. It is special to participate in the only non motorized parade. Thank you Becky for organizing this for club members for the umpteenth time.  ​                                                                                            Write-up by Pamela Deters

Empirita Canyons Ride

April 1, 2017

​I couldn’t have asked for better riding companions, trails, or weather - yes, even in monsoon season! - on my first trip with the Tucson Saddle Club.
Tuesday: 7/11 - set up camp day.
Wednesday:  7/12 - Ride on your own day.  Two groups rode out today - the first group of four riders left camp at 8:30 am heading to the Schultz Tank. It was a beautiful sunny morning and everyone enjoyed the shady ride through the forest, lush ferns and good company.  We were back in camp before the afternoon monsoon rain. The second group rode out at 3:30 pm under a friendly-enough sky, but that quickly changed and they were caught in rain twice and hail once! This did not
deter the hearty group of riders - they persevered and returned to camp late afternoon under a sunny sky. That evening, we all enjoyed a “campfire-less campfire” evening of snacks and great conversation.
Thursday,:  7/13 - Nine riders left camp at 8:30 am on the Sandy Seep Trail. Another awesome day in Flagstaff!
Perfect temps, friendly bicyclists, and great conversation between friends old and new. We covered 9.6 miles in
3 hours and were again back in camp before the monsoon opened up.
Friday:  7/14 - Seven riders headed out at 8:30 am on a loop ride to the Schultz Tank. 7.24 miles were covered in
2 hours, 25 minutes for an average of 3 mph. We enjoyed a relaxing break at Schultz Tank. Lots of good conversation
and laughs shared between us. Light sprinkles caught up with us on our way back to camp, but they only added to our perfectly peaceful forest ride.
Saturday: 7/15 - Poker Ride. Seven riders headed out at 8:30 am via the Deer Hill Trail. 11.2 miles were covered
in 3 hours 47 minutes. Despite the obvious devastation to the forest from the Schultz Fire 7 years ago, our ride
showed us beautiful views and the promise of new growth to the area.  Once back at camp, we took a break to settle our mounts before gathering again to determine who won the poker hand. Congrats to Steve P., who took the winning prize of a gift certificate to Boot Barn.
Sunday: 7/16 - This was a break camp day for some and a hiking day for others. Six campers hiked the Fat Man’s
Loop Trail. They covered 2.6 miles in 1 hour, 22 minutes and had an elevation gain of 690 ft. All agreed this trail
is better hiked and is not a good option for horses/mules.  

As a new member, my sincere thanks to all for their friendship and trail savvy! I look forward to many more rides with the TSC.                                                                                                                                               Write up by Sheri Gingerich​




​After being postponed a week, due to rain, we had 8 riders show up to Prison Camp on Sunday, February 26., for the Sycamore Canyon ride.  Our lead and drag riders were Steve and Carolyn Pferdiort.  Jovan, Lindsay, Diane and Matthew, 4 of our newest club members were on their 3rd group ride!  Yay, and hope to see you many more times!   We followed the Sycamore trail into, what used to be, the reservoir for water being pumped up to the prison camp.  Some of the stone pillars, which held the large water pipes, are still visible.  The ride down is a mixture of steep and rocky trail, water crossings and spectacular views of the entire canyon.  The power poles from the top of Mt. Lemmon plus part of the road up were also visible.  We did stop at the Sycamore dam, which had a nice waterfall.  At the junction with the Bear Canyon trail, which was going to be our turn-around spot, we discussed following it.  That trail is narrow with steep drop offs as well.  We ended up at the backside of Thimble Rock, where we got off our horses and enjoyed our snacks and the view.  From a rock vantage point you could see all the way down Bear Canyon plus a view of the east side of the Tucson Valley.   You could also hear the water rushing down 7 falls!  To those viewing this spot for the first time (including myself) it was quite spectacular!  We followed the same trails back to the trailers.  Our ride was 9.8 miles done over 3 hours and 12 minutes. We did stop a total of 54 minutes. Our average speed was 3.1 mph—pretty amazing considering all the hills we climbed!  All equines and people got back to our trailers with only a couple of minor mishaps (broken breast collar strap and 1 mule shoe pulled off.  Thank you Steve and Carolyn for a great ride!​

Write-up by Karen Clark





​I have never been horse camping before and had no equipment. When I heard that there were a few corrals available, I thought why not try it. I bought a cot, sleeping bag, and lantern to sleep in the back of my two-horse trailer.  We got set up on Friday and enjoyed a relaxing lunch and afternoon. Friday night was a potluck with LOTS of delicious food, friends and conversation. After the potluck, I thought I would get a good night sleep. Wrong. I froze because I had forgotten to shut the ceiling vents in my trailer and couldn’t reach them without a stool which was outside my trailer. After only about 1 hour sleep and thawing out on Saturday morning, 21 riders set out for a beautiful 5-1/2 hr ride with a stop for lunch. The hills were golden with yellow wildflowers. Saturday night some went into town to a restaurant and others ate dinner at their trailers. Saturday night I slept much better because the vents were closed and people took pity on me and gave me extra blankets. Sunday’s 5-hour ride was also very beautiful in a much different way. There was varied terrain, riding through two tunnels under the highway, many water crossings, climbing over logs, dodging tree limbs, etc. Bill Braskamp was overheard saying that the scenery was so beautiful that it left him speechless (an unusual condition for Bill). I totally enjoyed myself and learned what to do differently the next time I horse camp. A huge thank you to Bill and Sharon Braskamp and Gary and Deb Ledford for feeding me all weekend and generally taking care of me. Also thank you to Steve and Carolyn Pferdeort for arranging a great place to ride. Unfortunately Steve got sick Saturday night and couldn’t ride on Sunday. ~ Write-up by Linda Dahl​

Moon Over Mule Power

President's Moonlight Ride

​June 9, 2017

Fairbanks Historic Ghost Town Ride

Saturday, March 18, 2017



​Catalina Weenie Roast Ride​

Saturday, February 11




On a beautiful St. Patricks Day morning 13 riders gathered around the new rocks.  Not the Blarney Stone, but Saguaro Rocks.  After a few photo ops (thanks to my honey, Gary for joining us to take a few pictures) we set out.  Mary had everyone "wearin the green" as she gave us all green ribbons for our horses to wear.  It was great to see everyone out and also a relief that we were under the SNP ride limit of 15.  We headed South down the Shantz Trail, dropping into the Javelina Wash and going ‘right’ after our first road crossing.  We crossed the interior loop road 4 times, watching out especially for bikes.  The washes are cooler in the morning and the scenery was varied and interesting.  We saw our first of 4 cristated cactus, a huge saguaro with the classic ‘fan’ top. When we connected up with the Cactus Forest Trail we were way South, almost to the Irvington gate.  The terrain in that area is different, grey outcroppings of rocks, Teddy Bear Cholla forest.  But keep watch here, bikes are allowed on this section of the Cactus Forest Trail.  But before we left the wash I handed out shortbread cookies with green sprinkles to everyone.  I didn’t know this but cookies on St Patricks Day have been known to turn some otherwise honest folks into LIARS.  I kept hearing, ‘I didn’t get one.  Can I have another?’  Ride Stats: 7.33 miles, 3.2 moving average, 2.5 hours.  All back safe.  A good ride.​

​Ride Report by Bonnie Slaten

Sycamore Reservoir Ride

​Sunday, February 26