Boots and Saddles Club



    Each member wrote down five terms on five strips of torn paper.

    The strips were collected, mixed in a stack and it all began.

    Gabrielle Polakoff, went up to the white board and picked up a dry erase marker. Shouting came from all directions.


    “Water bucket.”



    “Barn house.”



    After a pause, “round pen” was yelled out. It was the correct guess.


    The Boots and Saddles Club has been centered on horses for 15 years.

    Last week, Monday, after the business portion to their meeting came to an end, they played horse Pictionary.


    Julia Crisler, the club president since Fall 2010 and former club secretary Helene Zinn could describe the club in one word: horses.


    Besides producing the equestrian shows on campus, members are concerned with promoting Pierce College during outside campus events, fundraising for the agriculture department and local charities and assisting with animals that are evacuated and brought to Pierce during natural disasters.


    “We play games. We play with horses and we donate money and time to events,” Crisler said.


    Pierce is an official evacuation center for large animals when mudslides or fires occur. In the pens, animals have found a temporary home.


    “One year we had 326 animals here,” said Zinn.


    Linda Howell, owner of Girlfriend, an 11-year-old chestnut that has lived at Pierce most of her life, remembers the year well.


    “We had llamas, alpacas, tortoises, a couple of pigs, and sheep,” Howell said.


    Club faculty advisor Paddy Warner uses girlfriend, the only female horse on campus, when she instructs advanced riding classes.


    Howell, a Specialist Reserve officer with the LAPD has owned Girlfriend for many years. She and her horse have patrolled events at Warner Center Park, in Woodland Hills.


    Unlike Howell, Crisler, a history major had never been in contact with a horse until two years ago when she enrolled in a riding class. Since then she, like every other member, has been captivated by the four-legged, wide-eyed animals.


    “They’re your best friends. I’ve learned patience and so many things from training them and feeding them. I’ve woken up at 3 a.m. worried about a horse and want to come down (to Pierce) when I know their sick,” Crisler said.


    The agriculture department’s annual fundraiser, Farmwalk is taking place Sunday, April 10. Recently, the club has been finalizing plans for the activities they organized for the event.


    Live acts performed by members including barrel racing, dressage and jumping done by member Siobhan Donnelly will be performed.


    With 49 active members, the Boots and Saddles Club is one of the oldest running clubs on campus according to Zinn.


    Warner credits one reason why the club has continued for so many years.


    “The camaraderie of the equestrians community is strong,” Warner said.


    Club 4-1-1

    Meets every other Monday in Agriculture Building 4114

    Concerned with promoting horse culture and education

    Organize equestrian shows on campus

    Participating in the agricultural department’s annual fundraiser, Farmwalk, Sunday, April 10