February 10, 2018​



March 10, 2018​

I knew this would be a fun day when I hopped into Fancy’s (Loretta Rowley’s) trailer! We drove and drove and drove: new sights through the windows and new scents on the breeze. The end of the drive was uphill twists and turns and
then we were there! Wow! 15 Saddle club buddies and a bunch of strangers in a beautiful equine complex called Hay Creek Ranch overlooking a broad valley.  We parked next to a long line of pipe corrals near a mare motel. There was
a big parking area on the other side filled with RVs and LQs belonging to the people of the boarding horses and up the hill was a set of rooms for people without campers and a group room: what a concept!

Mountains and crest lines loomed over us as the trail ride headed out led

by Frank Santana on one of his Arizona Trail horses. Through the one and

only gate we filed and headed on down a rocky hill and up a rocky hill and

up and up and up. Trucks and ATVs were easy peasy for our courageous

group. We can all handle screaming police cars, smoke and fire! Up over a

ridge line, then working our way up a canyon we passed boulders bigger

than me! Bigger than Fancy! Bigger than that big black Shocker (Linda

Dahl)!  How did they get here? Looking up I figured it out! Boulders and

outcroppings poised on the steep walls. Awesome!

Suddenly there was a steep ridge of grey rocks in front of us. Frank led small groups of three and four up the hill, along the top and then back. I was curious!  What's up there that's so special? Three spooky dark entrances into the hill concealed by bushes and trees. Mines! And all that grey rock? Tailings pulled out of the mines in a quest for silver and gold. People sure work hard for glitter.

                                                                            Another long climb, more rocks but nothing too tough. We can do this.                                                                                We hardly noticed the climbing with all the interesting trees and twists                                                                                  and turns. Oh good, lunch break! What a view! 1200 feet above our                                                                                    trailers. Away out
                                                                            there was the San Pedro River and we could see the glowing cliffs at                                                                                  Sacaton Bingham Ranch. Tying up to well trimmed pines, we felt like we                                                                              each had our own private space. Thanks for the apple, Mom. After a                                                                                   long relaxed lunch, our riders
                                                                           had their choice of lots of mounting boulders!

Here we all go again: down hill, up hill, down, down, down, around and up. Old mine roads for side by side visiting and narrow trails, mild drop offs and then, really?  Down that? YumYum (Joanne Triplett) thought it was weird but she did it. I can too.

With all the hunt activity in the area, wildlife sightings were limited to birds. But as we moved along a beautiful tree-lined road, suddenly a skunk appeared, marching determinedly toward the horses. Thankfully he veered off into a wooded wash never sharing his perfume. That was enough wildlife for one day.

Hey! Our trailer, I know we're headed back! Yippee! So happy I'm going to

dance! All the way back! Ok, Fritz (Steve Pferdeort) and General (Don

Finlayson) remind me how to slow motion and flat foot. Everyone else is

well behaved and calm, enjoying the big country scenery as we covered

9.3 miles in 3 hours 15 minutes. Add an hour for lunch. A good day!

Cheerful conversations, happy comments about the ride and making plans

for future get togethers; maybe Tierra Bella at Hay Creek? I'm going to try some new dance steps.

​~ Written by Sandy Pony (Mary Karrels typist); contributions from Loretta Rowley and Steve Pferdeort

** Added info from Loretta Rowley: Our ride leader, Frank Santana is staying at Hay Creek Ranch while he and a friend are riding southern Arizona sections of the Arizona Trail. His horses are not only saddle savvy, they work as a team pulling his wagon up and down the mountain mine roads. When asked about the challenges of descending steep grades he replied, "I built that wagon and it has great brakes!" No wonder his horses are in such fantastic shape!​

On February 22, eight TSC members assembled on a dark, chilly morning to ride in the Tucson Rodeo Parade. Our line-up number was 121. We weren't at the end with the street sweepers! Donuts were a welcomed treat from Becky as she organized the group. We parked on Fair Avenue by our line-up spot. Bonnie enticed some of us to her camper for more donuts! As the sun rose over the Rincons, the riders began to tack up. Frank S. and his horse proudly carried the American Flag and looked sharp in his leather jacket. Some saluted or put their hands or hats over their hearts as the flag passed by. Carolyn and Finnigan carried the Arizona flag. Spectators liked her "horse"! Michelle Casey carried the TSC flag. She and her horse dazzled parade goers with teal flowers in the mane and tail with the club banner on her horse's rump. Also in the line-up were Amy R., Jennifer B., Don F., and Steve. The Buena HS Band was in front
of us and a mule team with bells behind us. The riders finished the parade without incident and were able to shed a layer. Hopefully, Becky will be healed and able to ride with us next year. The morning was a good one!

~ Written by: Steve​ Pferdeort

On February 11, Pamela led nine riders on the Urban Ride. Art was the drag for a total of ten riders. A new member, Sarah, joined us. Letha was back in the saddle! Three horses had red ribbons in their tails. The slight breeze kept some of the dust off the riders. It was a cool morning to begin with as the riders dropped down into the Agua Caliente Wash.  None of the animals were afraid of the traffic overhead as we went under the bridges. Riders rode in the cool shade of trees to a pond then back towards the trailers. A lonely coyote was awakened and he trotted off. The obstacle of a step-over bar was too much for a couple of horses. When the riders dismounted, the horses went over the bar. After just over 2 hours, the riders returned to the trailers. The ride was about 6.5 miles long. Thanks to Pamela and Art for leading this ride.                                                                                                         ~ Written by Steve Pferdeort​


January 27, 2018​


​When Jean and I were pre-riding the trail I told her I was planning on bringing my Go Pro camera and doing another movie of the ride like I did of the Happy Camp - Picket Post Ride Steve and Carolyn led in the Spring.  She said that was cool and maybe next time I should add some music.  I thought that would be nice and I'd see what I could do, never having done that before.  Not sure what kind of music she had in mind, but I looked around for some equine related type music but couldn't find anything that fit the mood.  So, I picked some songs kind of perky country-western that I liked and went with it.  Was fun learning to add that to the movie track; I'll work on expanding my music library for potential future trail movies.  Comments are more than welcome what you think of the movie. Enjoy! - Dan Simmons​

Ride Reports

Photos by:

Carolyn Pferdeort
Becky Tucker-Hardy

Photos by

Rebecca Pferdeort


Diane Fouts​




February 11, 2018​



On December 2nd, Jean led 18 riders and one hiker on the most beautiful ride I've ever been on with TSC.  We began the ride from the Gabe Zimmerman Trailhead riding in cool weather with a wonderful cloud cover.  We rode single file through the lower Sonoran vegetation to the Davidson Canyon Wash.  The we dropped down into the wash to ride under the I-10 bridges.  Now I personally had been putting some concerned thinking time in to this path not knowing if my horse had this kind of adventure before, but he walked along like there wasn't tons of cement, steel, cars, and people (maybe a few horses in horse trailers) above him.  In fact, all the horses were complete pros traveling under the bridges.  The excitement came in response of several horses who used to running in washes.  The walk to the gates at the Kentucky Derby is tame in comparison.  They were ready to be off to the races!  The riders expertly contained their horse's enthusiasm.  As we moved down the riparian area, a magical area of beautiful Fall leaves was revealed that one would never know about driving along I-10.  Tall trees ringed by full bushes had beautiful orange and yellow leaves with large sagauros interspersed.  Beautiful rocks of gray and mauve formed the walls that rimmed the canyon which complimented the pale gray sand of  the wash.  Amazingly it was so quiet in the wash.  Only when we were near the bridges did we hear traffic.  We returned along the same route, but there was so much to look at it seemed like a different path.  I met new people, had great conversations, and was proud of my horse.  I even picked up the lone hiker and took him home wit home.  It sounds a lot more exciting than it was since he's my husband!  Another fabulous TSC ride.                                                                                                                                          Write-up by DeDe Havens

(Note): I asked Jean to assist me with the Davidson Canyon Ride and she readily agreed.  Then I had a health issue that kept me from riding as she was about to pre-ride the trail (I am healthy now!).  She found another ride partner (Dan) and thank you to both of you.  I was able to attend the ride and be back in the saddle!  We rode just under 6.5 miles in two hours of riding time and were stopped for 18 minutes.  Our moving average speed was 3.2 miles per hour. - Steve Pferdeort

Thanks to Karen Lake and the Pferdeort team of Carolyn and Rebecca, 14 riders found our way through the beautiful hills and the canyons of the Catalina Mtns. We got to see a nice little dam and it's pools and the horses got to splash through a few streams of that cool mountain water. We ended up stopping for lunch in a beautiful opening under the watch of Thimble Rock with an expansive view of Tucson below. Wearing my flannel shirt open over a t-shirt, it felt more like a fall ride with all the fallen leaves, golden grass and that little bit of overcast sky. We traveled 9.8 miles in the 4-1/2 hrs we were out and climbed just over 1300 ft. It was a good work out and a ride well done! Didn't catch that little bit of rain until I was down off the mountain either!
~ Written by Diane Fouts​



​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​

​December 2, 2017​


March 7, 2018​

​October 7, 2017​

Davidson Canyon
"The Movie"
See the ride that DeDe described as the most beautiful ride she has ever been on with TSC!  It was a gorgeous treat.


16 riders set out on a sunny and comfortably cool morning for a 5 hour ride after a quick temperature check for the health and safety of our horses. Our destination was two great landmarks in the Santa Rita Mountains that I had missed seeing on the Fish Canyon Tierra Bella. The little Arizona Heritage horse (Spanish Barb) I was riding handled the 9 miles of trail and 1500 ft of climbing effortlessly.  At our first stop we got off our horses and took a short hike to find the Bathtub Spring. The best view was found by climbing a ladder up the rock wall. It was amazing to see. There were even icicles at the bottom where it overflowed to the pond below. The next stop was lunch at El Pilar and another short hike to see more water that came forth from the rocks! It was all so beautiful to see. Thank you Bonnie and Diane for leading us there and to Don for being Drag.                                                                                 ~ Written by Diane Fouts​

15 riders joined Don and Colleen Finlayson at 9:30 am for a scenic ride into Saguaro NP East. Shortly after hitting the trail we spotted a magnificent crested Saguaro with the largest crest several of us had seen. This was the first ride at Saguaro NP East for some and we were not disappointed--lots of trees and cacti plus well-managed/marked trails. As promised the ride level was suitable for horses inexperienced with group rides or other trail challenges. The ride was just under 3 hours traveling 8.09 miles with a moving speed of 3 mph. The perfect weather coupled with a fun group made for a truly enjoyable ride.
~ Written by Pam Oldfield​

​​The ability to share our wonderful rides here on the web site and in the newsletter with those who weren't able to attend a ride, or those who are considering going on our rides and want to see what they've been missing, is totally dependent on those who have gone on them submitting pictures they have taken, volunteering to do the write-ups on them, and send to both to the club Newsletter EditorAND to the Webmaster of the website via email.  Pictures must be in jpeg format and attached (not embedded in the text body) of the email!  Ride reports are typically posted in the next newsletter they are received before the deadline.  Please help us continue to support this tradition of sharing the fun and scenery we have on our rides by submitting your pictures and write ups to both​ the newsletter editor Linda Dahl at and the Webmaster Dan Simmons at . Thank you.)​

February 22, 2018