The Fall Season Opens with a Packing & Outfitting Mini-Symposium
The Montana Center for Horsemanship, an international equine education and event center to advance horse-human education and natural horsemanship, headquartered in Dillon, Montana, will host a 1-day Packing & Outfitting mini-symposium, Saturday, October 3rd. The fall program features presenters from the US Forest Service and the renowned Nine-mile Pack String, Backcountry Horsemen, and Natural Horsemanship educators, trainers, and students. Presentations and demonstrations with horses and mules will focus on the rich history, skills, practice and hands-on experiential learning and training that have made packing and outfitting in America’s backcountry and wilderness possible, for recreation and for the industry. One of the tentative featured speakers is Montana’s iconic outfitter and recipient of numerous awards, Smoke Elser. Elser, who is in his 80s and still active with horses and mules, has worked the backcountry for more than 50 years. He has trained and guided thousands of individuals and groups including the U.S. military’s Special Forces, corporate CEOs, and worked with hundreds of mules and horses in the most remote, wild areas of the American West.
Organizers of the mini-symposium say that given Covid-19, they are “cautiously optimistic” that programs supporting the MCH mission can resume by following current health guidelines and recommendations. Coordinator Janet Rose says the mission of the Center is to advance horse-human education through natural horsemanship and she thinks of these new programs as representing the true “Icons of the American West. The way natural horsemanship is taught at MCH, is the foundation of everything that we do with the horse. We are developing programs and events to advance that vision.” Rose adds that the newly expanded Center, which is currently under development, is an education center to support hands-on learning, research, and training. The Center will have events – conferences, workshops, and other symposiums, enabling people to advance their knowledge of horse-human interaction and well-being. Rose says this first event of the season will have tables, booths and welcomes new sponsors. The University of Montana Western, Triple Crown Feed, the historic Andrus Hotel, Horse Haven Montana, the USFS and Backcountry Horsemen are among the event’s sponsors.
William Kriegel, President of the MCH board and founder says, “It’s a Center that facilitates learning with the horse, through our relationship with the horse. We are building a Center to promote and advance education and research. It’s unique in the U.S. In France, we established Haras de la Cense, Europe’s leading equine education center and we hope MCH fills a similar, education niche in the U.S.” The Montana Center for Horsemanship is also home to the nation’s first and only Bachelor of Science Degree in Natural Horsemanship, in partnership with the University of Montana Western.
The 1-day Packing & Outfitting mini-symposium on Saturday, October 3rd, begins at 9:30am and runs until 4:30pm To learn more, register or sponsor, contact MCH at 406.925.3270. Registration is $20 in advance or $25 at MCH.
Contact: Janet Rose, Montana Center for Horsemanship-Tel: 406.925.3270