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loophole to ride horses to school
Posted: Wednesday, Jun 06, 2007 - 09:02:44 am PDT
By MARLISA KEYES
--Photo by MARLISA KEYES Sandpoint
High School seniors Nicholas Hawkins, Riley Flanigan
and Adrian Mitchell rode horses several miles to school Tuesday morning.
SANDPOINT -- Three Sandpoint High School seniors
have found a hitch in Idaho Code's giddy up.
That misstep convinced a student posse of Riley Flanigan and
cousins Nicholas Hawkins and Adrian Mitchell to ride Hawkins' family horses to
school Tuesday morning.
While brushing up on American history at SHS this spring, the three found out
about an antiquated law still on the books that requires administrators to care
for horses if students decide to hitch a ride to school on them.
The three holed up Monday night at the Pinecrest home of Hawkins' parents, Ed
and Rebecca, before dressing in jeans, and cowboy hats and saddling up and
ambling down Pine Street before turning right on Division.
But the young men underestimated their steeds' willingness to take the trip at a
Instead, the critters' pace was pretty lame.
The trek they expected to take 15 minutes, instead took 40, Hawkins said.
The three were 30 minutes late to school and had to use the once-a-month free
tardy pass that Dr. Becky Kiebert, the school's principal, allows students to
have once a month.
The young men found it difficult to ride herd on horses unused to being ridden
on anything but trails.
"They were spooked by everything," Hawkins said.
The teens have put the horses through their paces, but always on trails during
the summer and while elk hunting, he said.
The animals had no interest in riding hell bent for leather, especially when the
nervous Nellies encountered the concrete supports for Union Pacific Railroad's
overpass on Pine, said Mitchell, the son of Todd and Sarah Mitchell.
He said the horses also were timid about walking on crosswalk striping and
When the gang arrived at school, they tethered their horses to some trees in
front of the building.
Kiebert figured the horses would not do too much damage to the lawn, which she
said could use a bit of fertilizer.
The only other concern the trail crew had was what to do with their saddles if
it rained, Mitchell said.
"You really can't fit them in the locker," he said.
The stunt was met without a nicker or neigh of complaint from the school's
Kiebert, who knows nothing about caring for horses and does not need to curry
favor with her subordinates by mucking out the stalls herself, instead turned
over the reins for caring for the horses to Dr. Penny Tenuto, the school's vice
Kiebert did call the boys' approach to the obscure law both "unique and
Tenuto also knows nothing about horses. However, she was amused by the
Riding herd on 1,200 students has its challenges, but, it also can be a lot of
fun, said Tenuto. Some people do not have a good perception of SHS students, but
"SHS students are really nice kids," she said.