Muriel Hohle rides for love of horses
If Muriel Hohle had kept a running tally of the number of hours she has spent in the saddle since her very first horse, an ornery Shetland pony named Spot, she could have traversed the Continental United States and back-several times over.
Over the decades, she has had the pleasure of riding any number of quarter horses, including Cowboy Skip A Star (a.k.a. Chocolate), who won the trophy saddle in 1992.
This year’s Sitting Bull Stampede Rodeo marked the 60th anniversary of Muriel Bohlander’s reign as queen of the rodeo.
Twenty-one years ago, Muriel read about a horseback riding program in the American Quarter Horse Journal, sponsored by Drysdales Western Store, Tulsa, Okla.
“You simply log the hours you spend riding your American Quarter Horse,” she said. “As you move up through 15 thresholds, from 25 to 5,000 hours, you earn attractive awards.”
Muriel would ride every day, weather permitting, and record the number of hours each day on the calendar.
When stormy weather threatens, the rules allow her to log up the hours, combining her second passion, reading, astride her present horse, a phenomenal 13-year old palomino mare, WR She’s All That (a.k.a. Katie), sired by My Skip Vanzi, a world champion halter horse.
The hours have added up quickly despite several medical setbacks last winter.
The award series culminates at 5,000 hours, she said, with a Montana Silversmith silver belt buckle.
Muriel was an elementary school teacher for 43 years and also worked with and coached 4-H kids. She judged many horse shows including the State 4-H Horse Show. She continues to compete at open horse shows during the summer months.
And even with all that riding, she hasn’t quit her part-time job as activities assistant at the Golden Living Center in Mobridge.