Letters to the Editor

Letter | Saddle Club management responds to letter

I just want to clarify some misunderstandings about the Mercer Island Saddle Club [see April 20 edition]. Abby Stern misinterpreted what I said about our stall waiting list. I didn’t say that there had been no turnover for six years; I said that the person on the top of the list had been on the list for six years — she probably started out at #75 when she first got on the list.

In fact, in the last year we have had four stalls change “ownership.” Yes, we do allow stalls to be sublet; however, that is handled through the barn management and those stalls are sublet to those on the stall waiting list in priority order. The only exception to this is if the permanent stall holder is actually riding or training the horse in their stall. Today we have about six of our 20 stalls sublet to people on the stall waiting list.

We do have a junior board that is active at the barn, and in fact have put on a number of events this year. We have over three dozen juniors taking lessons in different disciplines and even more who are involved in summer camps or who get involved through some of our community outreach programs. I encourage anyone to come by the barn in the afternoons after school and weekends and you’ll typically see kids from elementary to high school doing exactly the work you describe and loving it! We’d love to have more juniors, but unfortunately with the horses leaving Stevenson’s this means there will be even less opportunity for juniors to ride at the Saddle Club. The best way now to get started at the Saddle Club is to take lessons with a trainer who has the use of horses in the barn — you can see our Web site to locate some of those trainers at www.misaddleclub.org.

The barn is not run by a few people who set the rules; it is a cooperative and is run by a long-standing community of horse lovers from the Island and beyond. As such, the MISC is a very unique entity when compared to other privately run barns in the area. Our practices and culture reflect this community and this cooperative spirit — exactly the way it was intended years ago. We are proud of that history, and we work hard to carry that vision forward for future generations. The Saddle Club has an elected, volunteer board that works with the membership to set the rules and manage the property to keep it both physically and fiscally sound. We welcome feedback on how to improve our practices and facilities for the horses, our members and our community.

And as regards Stevenson’s, we would love to be part of the community conversation about how we save this open space!

Connie Clark-Redmond

Mercer Island Saddle Club

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