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Having Fun in Idaho


See the moose?            Yup!  Feel that heart rate go up...

     Trio corrals loophole to ride horses to school
           Posted: Wednesday, Jun 06, 2007 - 09:02:44 am PDT
           By MARLISA KEYES
           Staff writer

--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 gallop.

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 sidewalks.

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 administrators.

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 principal.

Kiebert did call the boys' approach to the obscure law both "unique and individual."

Tenuto also knows nothing about horses. However, she was amused by the horseplay.

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.

A natural horsemanship equestrian center offering alternative horsemanship, alternative equestrian assessments, riding lessons and training in ground work, jumping, dressage, cross country, endurance, trail, western horsemanship & riding plus much more.  Alternative Horsemanship with Samantha Harvey offers training with a focus on colt starting, refinement and finishing. Horses learn respect at TEC's charm school. Instruction offered by Sam Harvey, whose background includes 3 Day Eventing, Jumpers, Western Horsemanship, Dressage and more.  Sam is also an alumna of The United States Pony Club Youth Congress. Have your young children come join our Pony Pals Program with Jennifer Harvey. We offer facility membership and rentals for use of:  round pens, dressage arenas, conditioning tracks, beginner trails, jumping & gaming arenas and more! Gorgeous, scenic location with easy access on Selle Road in Sandpoint, Idaho available for recreational and recognized shows with overnight camping and overnight corrals, even for overnight travelers. We winter in Yuma, Arizona and offer lessons, training and clinics.  Samantha offers clinics throughout the United States along with Spring and Summer Full Immersion Camp Clinics in ID, private horsemanship and responses online to Ask the Trainer.